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Legal Statutes: Illinois

UPDATED September 19, 2017

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Act 135. Harassing and Obscene Communications Act

back to top135/1-2. Harassment through electronic communications

§ 1-2. Harassment through electronic communications.

(a) Harassment through electronic communications is the use of electronic communication for any of the following purposes:

(1) Making any comment, request, suggestion or proposal which is obscene with an intent to offend;

(2) Interrupting, with the intent to harass, the telephone service or the electronic communication service of any person;

(3) Transmitting to any person, with the intent to harass and regardless of whether the communication is read in its entirety or at all, any file, document, or other communication which prevents that person from using his or her telephone service or electronic communications device;

(3.1) Transmitting an electronic communication or knowingly inducing a person to transmit an electronic communication for the purpose of harassing another person who is under 13 years of age, regardless of whether the person under 13 years of age consents to the harassment, if the defendant is at least 16 years of age at the time of the commission of the offense;

(4) Threatening injury to the person or to the property of the person to whom an electronic communication is directed or to any of his or her family or household members; or

(5) Knowingly permitting any electronic communications device to be used for any of the purposes mentioned in this subsection (a).

(b) As used in this Act:

(1) “Electronic communication” means any transfer of signs, signals, writings, images, sounds, data or intelligence of any nature transmitted in whole or in part by a wire, radio, electromagnetic, photoelectric or photo-optical system. “Electronic communication” includes transmissions by a computer through the Internet to another computer.

(2) “Family or household member” includes spouses, former spouses, parents, children, stepchildren and other persons related by blood or by present or prior marriage, persons who share or formerly shared a common dwelling, persons who have or allegedly share a blood relationship through a child, persons who have or have had a dating or engagement relationship, and persons with disabilities and their personal assistants. For purposes of this Act, neither a casual acquaintanceship nor ordinary fraternization between 2 individuals in business or social contexts shall be deemed to constitute a dating relationship.

(c) Telecommunications carriers, commercial mobile service providers, and providers of information services, including, but not limited to, Internet service providers and hosting service providers, are not liable under this Section, except for willful and wanton misconduct, by virtue of the transmission, storage, or caching of electronic communications or messages of others or by virtue of the provision of other related telecommunications, commercial mobile services, or information services used by others in violation of this Section.
Laws 1957, p. 304, § 1-2, added by P.A. 90-578, § 10, eff. June 1, 1998. Amended by P.A. 91-878, § 5, eff. Jan. 1, 2001; P.A. 95-849, § 10, eff. Jan. 1, 2009; P.A. 95-984, § 5, eff. June 1, 2009; P.A. 96-328, § 335, eff. Aug. 11, 2009.