US v. Cassidy

A federal district court judge in Maryland has blocked the government's use of a federal anti-stalking law to prosecute a man for posting insults and criticism of a public figure to Twitter, ruling that "the First Amendment protects speech even when the subject or manner of expression is uncomfortable and challenges conventional religious beliefs, political attitudes or standards of good taste."

EFF filed an amicus brief in this case, arguing that the revised federal anti-stalking statute – expanded in 2006 as part of the Violence Against Women Act to criminalize causing emotional distress by means of an "interactive computer service" – was unconstitutionally vague and ran afoul of First Amendment protections as an unlawful content-based restriction. EFF argued that even though some criticism of public figures may be offensive, emotional distress was not a sufficient basis on which to criminalize speech.

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EFF is leading the fight against the NSA's illegal mass surveillance program. Learn more about what the program is, how it works, and what you can do.

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