For some reason, members of Congress really dont like to be annoyed. They made making annoying comments illegal in the Communications Decency Act; and they made it illegal again in 2005. Whether this can even remotely pass First Amendment scrutiny is another thing, but here is the law:
Sec. 113 Preventing Cyberstalking, of the Violence Against Women and Department of Justice Reauthorization Act of 2005 amended 47 USC 223 to read as follows (bold letters added)
(1) in interstate or foreign communications--
(C) makes a telephone call or utilizes a telecommunications device, whether or not conversation or communication ensues, without disclosing his identity and with intent to annoy, abuse, threaten, or harass any person at the called number or who receives the communications;
. . . . .
(h)Definitions - For purposes of this section—
(1) The use of the term “telecommunications device” in this section—
(C) in the case of subparagraph (C) of subsection (a)(1), includes any device or software that can be used to originate telecommunications or other types of communications that are transmitted, in whole or in part, by the Internet (as such term is defined in section 1104 of the Internet Tax Freedom Act (47 U.S.C. 151 note)).
Note that this is the first first time where Congress has affirmative defined telecommunications as the Internet. Previously the definitions sought to distinguish the two. Well it looks like I violated federal law tonite when I sent that joking email to my buddy.
Hey and what do you know, it apparently has already been challenged.