041615CM0513SPRINGFIELD- Stalking victims numbered 3.3 million adults in the United States in 2012 according to the U.S. Department of Justice. New technology has given stalkers more tools to track their victims’ location and private information.

Cyberstalking is the use of electronic communication to harass, disturb, threaten, pursue, intimidate, or “follow” someone without their permission. The effects on victims can range from psychological damages and endangering a victim’s life to identity theft and financial scams.

State Senator Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park) advanced House Bill 242 to bring Illinois’ laws up to date with the growing use of technology.  

“Stalking in any form endangers the well-being of Illinois residents. The use of technology to stalk victims is a growing problem,” said Cullerton. “In this digital age, we need to ensure our laws stay up to date with new technology.”

Under this legislation, downloading a program on to someone's phone that would track their location would be classified as stalking.  

HB 242 moved out of the Senate’s Committee on Criminal Law without opposition and now moves to the full Senate for consideration.