[Omoyele Sowore is a Nigerian journalist and owner of the independent media outlet Saraha Reporters; shortly after the election of President Buhari, Sowore was arrested under the country's anti-cyberstalking laws for "causing insult, enmity, hatred and ill-will on the person of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria." He's still in jail, where he has been tortured. His case has attracted condemnation from US senators and solidarity from PEN. My EFF colleague Cindy Cohn, who met Sowore through her work on the Bowoto case, prosecuting Chevron for a mass murder in service to oil exploration, wrote a post, crossposted below, about how overbroad, sloppy harassment and stalking bills can be weaponized. -Cory]
EFF has long been concerned that—unless carefully drafted and limited—cyberstalking laws can be misused to criminalize political speech. In fact, earlier this year we celebrated a federal court decision in Washington State in the United States that tossed out an overbroad cyberstalking law. In the case, the law had been used to silence a protester who used strong language and persistence in criticizing a public official. EFF filed anamicus brief in that case where we cautioned that such laws could be easily misused and the court agreed with us.