Jennifer Peltz of Associated Press reports that Raphael Golb’s trial has started in New York. I’ve covered the case on PogoWasRight.org in the past (here, here). What’s unusual about it is that the defendant is charged criminally with online harassment, impersonation, and identity theft for what most of us are used to just writing off as “spoofing” as part of an Internet flamewar.
You can read her coverage of the issues and trial here.
Anyone whose real identity has been spoofed by an opponent in an online debate probably understands the anger the spoofee feels. But to criminalize the tactic? Even if real harm was done to the spoofee’s reputation, isn’t that really a civil matter?
Read the coverage and see what you think — should this be a criminal matter?