Internet Stalking. Preventing & Responding to Injuries Tuesday, October 28,2009 Nona L. Wood Associate Director of Student Rights and Responsibilities Dean of Student Life Office 250 Memorial Union, NDSU [email protected] Fargo, ND 58105, 701-231-7754. Cyberstalking Defined.
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Craig Matthew Feigin, 23
Allegedly installed software on a woman’s computer to remotely control a camera on her computer.
Took 20,000 pictures as she moved from room to room in various stages of undress.
Was sending them to a European server.
Not clear if the photos were being sold.
Victim became aware when every time she got near her computer a light came on and her battery life of her laptop was not nearly as long.
Programs found on her computer include freeware known as “Log Me In” & “Web Cam Spy Hacker.”
Feigin admitted to doing the same to another woman’s computer.
Police fear 8 or 9 more potential victims, some at University of Florida or Santa Fe College.
Source: Gainesville.com, Friday, August 1, 2008.
A former business professor from the U of St. Thomas, Stephan Grzeskowiak, 34, is facing federal charges in U. S. District Court in Madison, WI, for allegedly violating state and federal laws governing privacy of electronic communications.
He allegedly tricked his exgirlfriend into downloading software that allowed him to read her e-mails at will.
He used a program called “SniperSpy.”
In addition, he used an alias to join an online support group called DailyStrength.com to manipulate her emotionally and to harass her.
He also stalked her outside of cyberspace, using a secret key to enter her St. Paul apartment while she was inside.
Both filed restraining orders; he ultimately agreed to allow the order against him to stand and his was dismissed.
He also faces civil charges over the same events.
He was released on an unsecured $100,000.00 bond and was required to surrender his passport and to avoid contact with his victim.
Los Angeles District Attorney’s Threat Assessment Unit, 20% of their cases involve some form of cyberstalking
Manhattan Sex Crimes Unit, 20% of their cases involve e-mail or electronic communications
New York City Computer Investigations & Technology Unit, 40% of their cases involve electronic harassment and/or threat
Source: U.S. Attorney General, 1999
“Most stalkers believe that male dominance equals female submissiveness.”
“Cyberstalkers now may be younger, more intelligent and better educated than other criminals. They are described as fairly lonely, isolated, highly intelligent, impulsive, cunning, resourceful, understand how to be anonymous, and know computers.” Barbara Fullerton, December 22, 2003, “CyberAge Stalking”
Anonymity may be ensured by use of Anonymizer or MixMaster tools.
Disinhibition—a willingness to do or say things on the Internet that individuals would not do or say in person.
An illusion of invisibility.
No tangible visual or auditory feedback.
Online social norms may be supportive of cyberbullying and/or cyberstalking.
Victim fear of retaliation, perhaps worse than the original bad act.
Belief that freedom of speech has no limitations.
Source: Nancy Willard, J.D., Center for Safe & Responsible Internet Use.
The fear factor can be very real.
In April 1999, Gary S. Dellapenta, a 50 year old former security guard in North Hollywood, pled guilty under California law to one count of electronic stalking and three counts of solicitation to commit sexual assault on a woman for using the Internet to solicit the rape of a woman who rejected his romantic advances.
He impersonated her in several chat rooms, posted her telephone number, address, and claimed that she fantasized about being raped.
On at least six occasions, men knocked on her door, wanting to help her fulfill her fantasies.
He faced up to six years in prison.
This cases illustrates some of the problems of cyberstalking cases, jurisdictional issues and anonymity.
May be any age.
Persons identified as GLBTQ, or believed to be GLBTQ, may experience more cyberstalking (Finn, 2004).
A study of over 1500 youths, 10-17 years of age (YOA), who regularly use the Internet found, . . .
1/5 received an on-line sexual solicitation in the past year, about ¼ of which induced fear or distress.
Girls (66%) were targeted about two times as often as boys (34%).
About 24% of sexual solicitations reported were by adults.
Have clear and precise monitoring policies (Acceptable Use Policies, AUP’s)
Follow your AUP’s consistently
Even if you own a device, have a monitoring policy, and pay for the service, monitoring the content of a communication may not always be appropriate, so be careful before automatically monitoring content.
Text messaging should be included in your AUP.
At least in California, assuming that employee communications are public records needs caution.
Source: Andrew Serwin, June 23, 2008, WI Technology Network.
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