High Court: Albany County Cyberbullying Law Invalid

Jul 1, 2014

New York's highest court has ruled that a local cyberbullying law in Albany County violates Constitutional free speech protections.

Tuesday’s  Court of Appeals ruling involves the case of a high school student who anonymously posted photographs of fellow students on Facebook along with personal details and offensive descriptions of their supposed sexual beahvior.

The teen was charged with violating  a 2010 county law prohibiting cyberbullying.

The court ruled that while the teen's actions were "repulsive," the county law is overly broad since the First Amendment protects even "embarrassing" or "annoying" speech.

Albany County Executive Dan McCoy agrees Local Law ‘C’ - needs clarification:   "I believe that we’re on the right track and that we can work together to craft a law that both protects free speech but most importantly keeps our kids safe.”  McCoy further noted "I also want to note that the process has brought significant public attention to the growing problem of cyber bullying and our efforts to reduce cyberbullying in Albany County. I believe that we are on the right track..."