Cyberstalking via Electronic Tracking Device

Most of us, at one point or another, have dedicated a day of the week to running our personal errands. That day might consist of going to the grocery store, shopping at the mall, or grabbing coffee with a friend. Now imagine on the way home from any of those activities, you get this notification on your iPhone:

You don’t own an AirTag or probably don’t even know what it is, but it doesn’t take long for you to realize that you’re being tracked. Recently, this has happened to unsuspecting people in Virginia and Arkansas.

While there have not yet been any reported instances in North Carolina, our cyberstalking statute prohibits this type of nonconsensual tracking. This post explores the cyberstalking offense as proscribed by G.S. 14-196.3.

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Cyberstalking and the 48 Hour Rule

G.S. 14-196.3 prohibits “cyberstalking,” which the statute generally defines to mean using electronic communications to threaten, extort, make an abusive or embarrassing false statement about, or repeatedly harass another person. As Jessie noted in this prior post, cyberstalking has become a frequently charged offense. It can be committed by text message, email, Facebook, and other … Read more



Furious that her ex-boyfriend slept with her best friend, defendant puts up a post on Facebook falsely stating that boyfriend enjoys intimate relations with inbred dogs (actually, the phrase “enjoys intimate relations” and the term “dogs” are mine; defendant herself employed far more colorful language). Since boyfriend and defendant are “friends” on Facebook, defendant knows … Read more