Detecting an illegal annoyance

In response to the Perspectives column written by Declan McCullagh, "Create an e-annoyance, go to jail":

Sir, I read your article on e-annoyance and have to say that from the law enforcement perspective, I can understand this legislation fully. There has been a law on the books for decades prohibiting someone from making annoying phone calls to another person.

With the advent of pagers, there was updated legislation prohibiting someone from electronically doing this as well. With the speed that technology is moving, there must be legislation in place to keep people from using another medium to harass or annoy someone else.

As far as your point on a female employee being harassed at work for favors, there is also legislation on the books that prohibits that type of harassment and many ways to report it. What this does is gives a person who wants to falsely report such activities behind the veil of anonymity something to think about before they do it.

As with any law, we in law enforcement have to find a prosecutor to prosecute each case, so I'm sure these will be looked at on a case-by-case basis, by law enforcement and prosecutors before a decision to prosecute is made.

Thanks for the article.

Steve Mosley
Detective sergeant, Temple Police Department
Temple, Texas