RIPR News
1:44 pm
Mon October 4, 2010

ACLU: Narragansett cyberstalking case threatens free speech

Providence, R.I. – The Rhode Island chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union is asking Narragansett police to drop cyberstalking charges against two residents.

The two men were charged in August after they posted rude comments about candidates for Town Council on Craigslist.

ACLU Director Steven Brown says the charges don't fit under the state cyberstalking statute, which is meant to cover direct communication.

"[The law] was never intended and does not address passive activity by an individual such as posting something on a website" Brown says, "as opposed to directly contacting a person and directly threatening or harassing them."

Brown says the Narragansett police misused the statute in pressing charges, and the case threatens free political speech.