True Crime Online Newsletter - August 25, 2014
Kim Kardashian has competition as the queen of selfies. Instagram user Mortao Maotor of Bangkok has posted more than 12,000 selfies on the social media website. Mortao, which is not her real name, has 20,000 followers and snaps an average of 200 selfies per week. She is not the stereotypical selfie-taking teenager but a married Thai woman in her 40s, Time reports. Mortao did not speak English but said through her husband's daughter that her reason for the high number of self-portraits is "quite personal."
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(DISCLAIMER: The following news items were found on the web and were not written or endorsed by WHO@; they are for informational purposes only)
Polytron and Fez Reportedly Put Up For Sale After Hack - 08/25/14
After being the target of disgruntled hackers, Fez creator Phil Fish announced that he is selling both the Fez IP and his development studio Polytron, as he plans to leave the game industry forever. Hackers took over the Polytron website and Twitter account early last Friday morning as part of a broad attack on developers embroiled in the midst of a massive wave of online harassment.
The trouble with electronic records - 08/25/14
In the summer of 2010, a physician working for Columbia University took his personal laptop to work at New York Presbyterian Hospital. His decision would cost the two entities almost $5 million. By accessing the server, the physician, who was not named in federal documents, inadvertently allowed thousands of patient records to be exposed online. The hospital agreed to pay $3.3 million and Columbia $1.5 million, the most expensive settlement of its kind ever.
Put-in-Bay gets 'hate email' - 08/23/14
It appears somebody isn't too happy with the Put-in-Bay Police Department. The department received a "hate email" on July 31 from an explicit, anonymous email address, according to an Aug. 1 Put-in-Bay police report. At about 11:30 a.m., Put-in-Bay Chamber of Commerce member Nicole DeFreitas told police about the email she received regarding the department.
Be careful what you share on social media – it could be a crime - 08/23/14
Social media and online chat sites have opened new opportunities for citizens to take matters into their own hands, drastically increasing the risks of harassment, defamation and invasion of personal privacy. Not everyone is aware, for example, that sharing information about a suspected criminal could in itself constitute a criminal offence.
Computer programmer 'cost Hollywood studio £2.3m' with world's first pirate copy of Fast & Furious movie - but was caught because he used his hacker name on his dating profile - 08/22/14
A computer programmer bragged on Facebook that he was the first person in the world to pirate a copy of the movie Fast & Furious 6 – but was caught after he used his hacker name on his dating profile. Philip Danks, 25, secretly filmed the sixth installment of the Hollywood action movie at a cinema in Walsall, West Midlands, on its UK release date and illegally uploaded it on the internet, costing Universal Pictures an estimated £2.3million. Fraud investigators quickly traced him after they noticed his online ‘Thecod3r’ tag attached to the video was identical to his profile on dating site Plenty of Fish.
Popular Website Bans Sexism - 08/22/14
The online misogyny frequently leveled at women on the internet isn’t a new issue, but the topic has been back at the news lately thanks to Fark, a prominent link aggregation community launched in 1999, that recently announced it will no longer allow misogyny in its online forums. The site will be updating its moderator guidelines accordingly. “If the Internet was a dude, we’d all agree that dude has a serious problem with women,” site founder Drew Curtis wrote in a statement about the change, adding that “this represents enough of a departure from pretty much how every other large internet community operates that I figure an announcement is necessary.”
Brick Township police officer charged with misconduct, online stalking of ex-girlfriend - 08/22/14
A New Jersey police officer has been indicted for allegedly stalking his ex-girlfriend online and gaining access to a law enforcement database without authorization. Ocean County Prosecutor Joseph Coronato said Friday a grand jury charged Justin Delaney with official misconduct and stalking. The 33-year-old Brick resident is free on $30,000 bail and has been suspended without pay from the Brick Township police department.
The Chilling Effect of Misogynistic Trolls - 08/22/14
This is the first column in this new series I've started to focus on issues of sex and gender in the world of science and tech, and it seems as good a time to start as any. Or perhaps I should say it's a bad time to start, because today's topic of discussion is an issue that has long hounded women with even the slightest interest in going near a computer, and which has been fantastically demonstrated by a few recent events: Women aren't welcome on the internet.
Gaming Misogyny Gets Infinite Lives: Zoe Quinn, Virtual Rape, and Sexism - 08/22/14
A lady developer was harassed by her vindictive ex-boyfriend. Some gamers ‘rape’ other avatars in Grand Theft Auto V. Is there no game over to sexism in the industry? The chronic problem of misogyny had another flare-up this week with a disturbing harassment campaign organized against indie game developer Zoe Quinn, the mind behind Depression Quest. It’s a story that demonstrates, yet again, how serious the problem of misogyny in the gaming world is and how any woman in it can find herself targeted by the howling mobs of woman-haters on the Internet, often on the thinnest of pretenses.
The movement to empower women online is strong, but will it work? - 08/22/14
Whether you're of the female persuasion or not, recent news events have made it clear that the struggle for gender equality has a new battlefield: The Internet. There are very few corners of the Web where you won't be confronted with sexist images, misogynistic comments or sexual harassment. As sad as it sounds, this type of behavior has actually become what we expect out of Internet culture.
Up your identity theft IQ - 08/22/14
Your income is laughable. Your car is a POS. Your wallet is near empty, and even your meal plan is in arrears. When you're an average, broke college student, it's easy to believe you have nothing to steal. In a world where most financial transactions happen invisibly, though, even a poor college student has a lot of things of value to a thief, things like a Social Security number, a basic bank account or a stupidly simple password. (1234! Bosco!)
No tolerance for digital harassment - 08/21/14
I hate trolls. Not the kind of fairy tale animals found rumbling underneath cobblestone bridges with some kind of deformity, but the kind of people who have nothing better to do than spam social media and comment sections with racism, bigotry, and just plain senseless hatred. Much like the troll in Three Billy Goats Gruff, online trolls are hungry too. But instead of eating goats, they feed on others people’s emotions and get off on bullying.
How To Keep Internet Trolls And Harassers From Winning - 08/21/14
Watching a month-old video of the lead-up to a shark attack in Los Angeles is like seeing Internet trolls in real life. An unidentified fisherman hooked a seven-foot great white shark off Manhattan Beach in July. It is illegal to fish for Jaws, but the guy lets the shark struggle on the line for more than a half hour, laughing and amused by its thrashing. Then in the distance of the video, you can see long distance swimmers come into frame. The people in the video laugh harder at the impending collision between the agitated shark and the swimmers, losing it when one of the swimmers runs directly into the shark. “He fuckin’ jumped right on top of him,” howls one. “Right on top of him!”
The Primary Way to Report Harassment Online Is Broken - 08/21/14
Death threats, violent misogyny, child pornography, copyright infringement. See any of those four very different things on a social media site and you pretty much have only one technical option: You can hit a button to mark the content as objectionable, ‘flagging’ it for review by the site’s moderators. It’s a feature as simple as it is widespread. Vine, YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter all implement the flag to some degree.
Former UA Anchorage employee charged in federal court with sending threats by email - 08/21/14
A former university employee here has been arrested for emails he allegedly sent this month to university officials in Fairbanks threatening violence in retaliation for his termination five years ago. Edward W. DuBois faces a felony criminal count of sending threatening communications in the form of emails to University of Alaska employees in Fairbanks on Aug. 10 and 14, according to a charging document filed in federal court.
Brazilian judge orders Apple and Google to remove Secret from app stores, wipe phones clean - 08/20/14
It’s illegal to send anonymous messages in Brazil, according to a judge's ruling yesterday, that ordered Apple and Google to remove the Secret app from their app stores and when possible, remotely wipe phones clean of the software. Microsoft's version of the same app, Cryptic, must also be taken down. And there’s reason for concern something similar could happen in the United States. If the companies fail to comply, the order from Judge Paulo Cesar de Carvalho of the Fifth Civil Court of Victoria, says they will face fines of 20,000 Brazilian Real, or approximately $9,000 at the current exchange rate, according to an Apple Insider report.
Free Speech Does Not Protect Cyberharassment - 08/20/14
Trolling like the kind of exploitative abuse spewed against Zelda Williams on Twitter after her father’s death last week is often nasty and hurtful. But it is routinely protected expression. Internet users are free to use words and images to get a rise out of others, even at their most vulnerable. In this case, two individuals tweeted photographs of dead bodies to a young woman and wrote that her deceased father would be “ashamed” of her forcing her to quit the service altogether. These acts are offensive, disturbing and mean-spirited, and yet, they are examples of constitutionally protected speech.
Anonymity Online Serves Us All - 08/20/14
While some stalwart free speech defenders oppose any limits on repulsive speech circulated online under the cover of anonymity, a lack of regulation leaves targets of harassment no alternative but to simply toughen up and wait for it to subside. Anonymous expression has been foundational to our political culture since its inception. It is important that, when possible, Internet companies that specialize in content, like social media companies, curb harassment within their platforms. Solutions like pending comment systems can limit nastiness without inhibiting diverse and creative free speech.
Man held for sending lewd messages on Facebook - 08/20/14
The Metropolitan Police Crime Division today arrested a 30-year-old man for sending lewd messages with indecent photos of himself to women thorough a fake Facebook profile. According to the MPCD, Ram Kumar Synagbo, a permanent resident of Jalkanya-2, Sindhuli, but currently living in Lazimpat, was found to be sending obscene messages and photos to women of ‘elite social class to solicit sex from them for money’.
Mich. man accused of posting nude photos of ex to Facebook - 08/20/14
Chad Monroe, a Michigan man, will appear in court on Aug. 26, for allegedly posting to Facebook nude photos of his ex-girlfriend and vowing to torment her until she committed suicide, MLive.com reports. Monroe, 34, harassed his ex-girlfriend with calls, texts and lewd Facebook messages, even after the woman filed for a protective order on July 22, according to police. Monroe's case is the latest in what one expert last year told Crimesider is a "pervasive" trend of online sexual cyber-bullying.
Against the bullies: How local schools and organizations are addressing cyberbullying. - 08/20/14
Bullying ain’t what it used to be. “For generations, there’s been a culture of meanness, and it changes its face from the playground bully or the one kid on the block,” said Mandy Mundy, director of education and training at Nova Bucks. With school starting in just a few weeks, bullying will be on the minds of school administrators and other professionals across the region. It’s a problem that’s gotten more recognition in recent years, due both to a better understanding of its far-reaching effects and also how much more prevalent the problem has become.
Internet Stalking - 08/19/14
Internet stalking is often referred to as cyberstalking. Cyberstalking is a popular form online harassment. Internet stalkers use various forms of electronics devices to locate, harass and torment their victims. There are laws in place to protect individuals from being harassed, while they are surfing the Internet. These laws are enacted by various states worldwide to include all known forms of internet stalkking, that online stalkers are sure to use. Cyberstalkers are smart, daring and creative. They find inventive ways to reach their victims, and create havoc in their lives. Laws are designed to protect individuals who fall prey to internet stalking.