Senatvs Consvlta



Because of repeated "on-line" harassment of former and current Nova Roma citizens, the Senior Consul has researched and drafted a proposed Lex against internet stalking.     Shall this, as "lex rogota" (co-operation with the Consul and the People) be put forth to the people of the assembly to be voted into law?

Uti Rogas (YES) 7 ; Antiquo (NO) 3 ; ABSTO (I abstain) 2
Item passed.


Most countries have some sort of "Internet Stalking" law.  

Definition:  There are two terms here. Internet harassment Internet harassment or hard spam is said to occur when unwelcome messages which may be sexual, derogatory, hateful, i.e. any message that causes the recipient to be upset or uncomfortable, are sent to a person by E-mail or Instant Communication.  

Internet stalking takes place after the victim requests the harassment to cease and it does not.

" STALKING"  occurs when a series of harassment messages are continued to beleft on the victim's e-mail or sent to the victim via instant message (IM) after the victim has told the stalker to stop.  The operational word here is "continued."  If the messages cease after the victim asks the sender to do so, there is no stalking, only the original harassment, which is usually not considered a crime. (Too many jerks out there to arrest them all.) However, if the messages resume after certain length of time, and the victim again asks that the messages be stopped, and they are not, the victim is again being electronically "stalked."   No means no.  If the recipient of unwelcome messages, says "no" to any more instant messages of that content,  the sender MUST stop sending them.  If the recipient says "no" to any more mail contact from the sender, the sender MUST comply with recipient's request.  If the sender continues to contact the recipient then the sender is guilty of "stalking."

On the face of it, documenting the offensive is fairly easy.  The victim simply saves the offending message.  However an interview with the sender will be necessary to get sense of the sender's personality and to obtain a confession (if the sender is guilty).  

Usually contact by the authorities is enough to stop stalking.  Often the   offender didn't know it was against the law, etc.  If "stalking" continues, once a warning has been made, however, different nations have different penalties. The most common is a fine.  This fluctuates between 500.- 2000. dollars for the first offense. The second most common is a short prison sentence. Usually 6 months to 2 years.  In extreme cases were the sender is deranged, psychiatric treatment is advised, and the sender may be institutionalized.


What does this have to do with Nova Roma?  Since we are basically an Internet driven organization, we should have a lex in place to limit Internet stalking.   If we had, perhaps Dexippus would still be with us.  Dexippus had been "stalked" by Michael Marconi almost non stop after Marconi rejoined NR as "Tacitus." He had been receiving e-mails reciting Marconi's salacious descriptions of his supposed behavior.  Most (at least the ones Dexippus sent me) ended with: " Get out now, because once we take over, your kind won't be welcome here!" (Christians still baffle the Hades out of me.)  Women of Nova Roma have complained to me, and I believe to my Consular Colleague as well about suggestive sexual remarks made by males to them via IM or e-mail.  IM seems to be the common vehicle for this type of abuse.  When asked to stop, the males continued, forcing the victims to flee off line.  Our citizens should not be forced to undergo this type of abuse,   Conscript Fathers, there should be some way for Rome to protect its people. Therefore I propose this Lex to act as a deterrent.


I Q. Fabius Maximus submit this draft of an Electronic Stalking Lex, which once approved, will be put before the assembly for acceptance as a Lex of Rome.

The Lex.  If a Citizens receives messages by e-mail or instant message from fellow citizens that are of disturbing nature they may ask the sender to stop.   If the sender does not stop immediately, he is breaking the law and subject to punishment.  Disturbing nature" in this instance is content that makes the recipient uncomfortable.  It may be, but not restricted to, messages that are sexual in nature, derogatory, or hateful.  PenaltiesConfirmed first time offenders are given a warning.  However, the transgression will be noted in that citizen's record by the censors.  If a second transgression occurs, punishment is recommended.  This can range from anywhere to being expelled from the Nova Roma list for a certain time, to being permanently banished from Nova Roma, for flagrant offenders.


Documenting the offense. Victims of "Stalking" must summon the Praetors, and inform them of the offense.  This can be done by e-mail, or over the phone. When a recipient is stalked they must save proof  for the investigation.   This is done though the saving of the offending e-mails, or instant messages.   These will be turned over to investigating magistrate via e-mail or FAX.  The investigating magistrate will be appointed by the Praetor(s).  The investigator can be the Praetor, himself.  The investigator will conduct interviews with both parties separately, either through electronic communication or over the telephone. If the magistrate's investigation turns up an infraction of the law, the magistrate will report this back to the Praetor.  The Praetor may then review the severity of the transgression to determine punishment.


The accused has the right to appeal the Praetor's decision, and request a trial before the committee.  If found guilty,  the Praetor will determine punishment.

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