Cyber Bullying: Online words can land you in jail

By | Internet Lawyer | No Comments

Remember the saying, “Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me”?

That’s not the case when it comes to the Web because of developments in Internet law.

Bad facts make bad law. Here’s what happened…

A college student did something in very poor taste with his web cam. His embarrassed roommate committed suicide. Instead of a civil lawsuit against the student (or a swift kick in the @ss), he was arrested, prosecuted for a “hate crime,” and will spend years in prison.

Although most states have anti-bullying laws, the response to the webcam incident is for at least five states to push for tougher “cyber bullying” laws. These Internet laws are often very vague and enforced inconsistently.

Be careful what you write online.

And if you own a site or blog that permits comments, these cyber bullying laws are painting a target on you.

It only takes one idiot posting the wrong thing to put you in the cross-hairs for assisting a cyber bully.

Announcing a new way to protect your website

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Internet laws book

New Internet Laws Book Business Website Owners

Internet Laws Question

Last year, I asked business website owners what they’d like to see in a book that reveals what you can do to protect yourself without paying an Internet lawyer.

The reason for this question is that many startup entrepreneurs simply cannot afford to pay an Internet lawyer thousands of dollars for legal services.

Solution – The Internet Laws Book

Based on the answers received, I wrote “Internet Laws – How to Protect Your Business Website Without A Lawyer” for you. You can find the Internet Laws book today at Amazon.com.

Top 10 reasons you’ll want to read this Internet Laws book.

You will learn…

1. The single most important thing you can do to protect yourself online.

2. How to avoid getting sued or arrested because of your website.

3. The one mistake even experienced Internet business owners make.

4. How to protect yourself against your own web designer.

5. The correct way to protect your copyrights and trademarks.

6. How to tell if your client testimonials and endorsements break the law.

7. The single most important thing you can do to run your business with peace of mind.

8. How to quickly spot and prevent online business legal problems.

9. Secrets to “ethically rigging” your Internet advertising.

10. The number one rule that absolutely must be observed if you want to keep what you earn.
…and much more.

Get your copy of the Internet Laws book from Amazon.com today.

To your online success!

-Mike the Internet Laws book author

Website Attorney: Group Think – Why Some Gurus Break Internet Laws

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website attorney group thinkIf you want to know why some Internet info product marketers break the law and think they can get away with it, take a look at the Eight Symptoms of Group Think. As a Website attorney,  believe these 8 symptoms cover most situations.

1. Illusion of Invulnerability. The marketers take unnecessary risks because they’ve never been caught by the government or sued. Combined with the ego stroking of having cult-type followers, there’s a sense that nothing can touch them even when they break Internet laws.

2. Collective Rationalization. Anyone who warns against misconduct is discredited by the Internet marketers and their followers. The attacks are personal and designed to distract from what actually occurred.

3. Illusion of Morality. Morality is based on whether a launch is profitable to the product’s creator and the affiliates. Something is “wrong” only when a launch flops.

4. Excessive Stereotyping. Anyone who doesn’t believe that “money = morality” is stereotyped as unsuccessful, jealous, or a loser regardless of the underlying facts.

5. Pressure for Conformity. Those who don’t go along with deceptive and fraudulent Internet marketing tactics are considered traitors. Pressure is applied by blacklisting or threats of blacklisting. Commonly this takes the form of refusing to do business with those who rock the boat or encouraging those with large e-mail lists not to promote as an affiliate.

6. Self-Censorship. Fear of blacklisting causes some Internet gurus to keep quiet when they see others engaging in unethical or illegal online marketing practices.

7. Illusion of Unanimity. Because no one publicly dissents, some large Internet marketers that promote for each other assume that everyone agrees with hidden continuity, deceptive billing, false earnings claims, and other illegal Internet marketing practices.

8. Mindguards. The big Internet kahunas serve as the filter for the lesser gurus for information as to how things should work pre-launch, launch, and post-launch. As if handing down the 10 Commandments in stone, these gurus define what’s acceptable in online marketing regardless of legality.

The dangers of group think are exposing cracks in the foundation of Internet marketing cliques as Congress, the FTC, and various law enforcement agencies are beginning to take a dim view of Internet scams that hurt consumers, particularly those involving health or biz opp. If you’re practicing group think in your online business (your Website attorney can help you with feedback), re-evaluate the long-term prospects for your ventures. If you can’t do business legally and ethically, chances are you won’t be around in five years. Whether it is the government or a lawsuit, karma has a way of taking down those who score big at the expense of others.

To your success!

-Mike the Website attorney

Scorned Girlfriend Used Internet to Try to Break Up Ex-Boyfriend’s Marriage

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A Connecticut woman has been arrested because of the Internet tactics she used to try to break up the marriage of a guy she dated back in 1999. The woman posted fake profiles of the man’s wife on adult website, including a picture and phone numbers. Fortunately, the ex-boyfriend was tech savvy and was able to track down the culprit.

Unfortunately, Internet laws are outdated for this type of thing. With no cyberstalking law to apply, she’s been charged with harrassment and breach of the peace.

This type of outrageous conduct is too common these days. I’ve seen cases where cyberstalking and harrassment has occurred more than a decade after the relationship has ended.

Not content to stalk, some even resort to spyware. Don’t let the stiff penalties mentioned in the press release about the indictment fool you. Of those caught, the punishment was minimal.