According to a judge in California, identity theft no longer includes just stealing personal information, it now includes acting like that person online. Rolando S., a juvenile decided to use a password he received via text message to access the email account of S.W. (female victim).
He then used the email account to access Facebook and post obscene messages about the victim on two pages of male friends and altered the Facebook profile of the victim. According to court documents filed in the Fifth Appellate District Court of Appeals , the profile was altered to read the following:
Hey, Face Bookers, [sic] I’m [S.], a junior in high school and college, 17 years young, I want to be a pediatrician but I’m not sure where I want to go to college yet. I have high standards for myself and plan to meet them all. I love to suck [expletive].
Rolando was ordered to be committed to the Kings County Juvenile Academy Alpha Program for 90 days to a year. In addition, he was put on probation. The court has maintained that he violated section 530.55 , which is the identity theft statute and applies to those who:
Willfully obtain personal identifying information and use that information for any unlawful purpose, including to obtain, or attempt to obtain, credit, goods, services, real property, or medical information.
What makes this different from elsewhere in the US is that California has added a e-personation statute, which not all states have. The judge said that since there was no requirement to access the password under the new statute, the law was too vague . The defendant admitted that he intended the posts to "be a joke." However, it seems that now the appeals court has denied his appeal, leaving him with a felony conviction. Looks like the joke is on him.