True Crime Online Newsletter - December 1, 2014

I couldn't make this up if I tried. . .South Korea cracking down on bootleg selfie sticks
South Korean officials announced a "crackdown" on sales of unapproved selfie sticks could lead to jail time for sellers. The country's science ministry said the Bluetooth-enabled devices, which allow users to take photos of themselves with extra reach, are classified as communications equipment and must be certified by the government to ensure they comply with regulations, including the level of electromagnetic radiation. Officials said Bluetooth devices that don't conform to regulations could cause nearby devices to malfunction. The ministry said a "heavy crackdown" is being carried out on sellers of unapproved selfie sticks and retailers found to be offering the products could face fines of up to $27,000 or up to three years in jail.

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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)

Pew: Internet harassment, stalking, even threats of rape, surge - 12/01/14
The Internet and especially social media is turning dark, with reports of harassment, stalking and even threats of rape surging, according to a new Pew Research report out Monday morning. As the Supreme Court hears a case of internet harassment Monday, Pew said that many social media users have either been victims or have witnessed threatening behavior. In an example highlighted by the pollster, one of those they surveyed said, “I was threatened and told if I stopped communicating with this man he would find me and he would rape me.”

A Female Writer’s New Milestone: Her First Death Threat - 12/01/14
So much of life can be measured in sentimental milestones. Your first kiss. Your first heartbreak. Your first telephoned rape and death threat from a strange caller. You know, the precious threads in life’s shimmering tapestry. You’ll never forget your first: I was at the offices of an Oakland creative agency, in the middle of a conversation about website copy. I normally ignore blocked numbers, but was expecting a number of calls that day so I excused myself and answered anyway.

When a Woman Started Getting Rape Threats From Teen Boys, She Went to the Last Person They’d Want to Know - 12/01/14
It is not unusual to hear about people being harassed and bullied online. What is unusual in this case is how one woman decided to combat it. Australian game journalist Alanah Pearce, who has previously written 30 Days of Sexism addressing the issue of women facing sexist social media commentary, was getting rape threats from teen boys.

If Tech Companies Wanted To End Online Harassment, They Could Do It Tomorrow - 12/01/14
If someone posted a death threat to your Facebook page, you’d likely be afraid. If the person posting was your husband – a man you had a restraining order against, a man who wrote that he was “not going to rest until [your] body [was] a mess, soaked in blood and dying from all the little cuts” – then you’d be terrified. It’s hard to imagine any other reasonable reaction.

Virtual violence: When abuse goes digital - 11/29/14
In the spirit of 16 Days of Activism for No Violence against Women and Children campaign, the spotlight has been cast on virtual violence which can be described as abuse perpetrated through technology. Renowned sex therapist Dr Eve says anyone who owns a cellphone, computer or video game has been exposed to virtual violence, be it through threatening messages received from a former partner or nude photos posted online without consent.

“Pregnant Man” Tracks Ex-Wife With GPS Devise, Charged With Felony Stalking - 11/28/14
Thomas Beatie made the news back in 2007 when he became the “world’s first pregnant man”. Beatie is now on the news yet again but for another reason. Beatie has been charged with stalking his ex-wife. Beatie allegedly tracked his former partner, Nancy, by installing a GPS device on her car.

Snapchat predator jailed for online sexual harassment of young girls - 11/18/14
A Snapchat predator has been jailed for luring underage girls into sending him naked pictures after pestering them with messages on the hugely popular teen website. Aaron Finnie ensnared 11 different girls aged 13 to 15 into sending or receiving indecent images after spending hours trawling Facebook and other social networks for potential victims.

Cyberbullying, Cyberstalking And Hunting The Offenders - 11/28/14
There are few things that I am troubled by more than when a coward will hide behind the veil of anonymity to torment children and adults alike. When I was kid growing up maps still had “Here be dragons” written on them. But, bullying was front and center. I had one instance when three bigger kids, teenagers, had come down the road to our school and started picking on a friend of mine.

‘Fricking garbage’: Feds threaten alleged Anonymous hacker with 440 years in prison - 11/28/14
Prosecutors settled for a hefty fine instead of nearly half a millennium in prison for an alleged member of the Anonymous hacker collective who admitted to breaking into a Texas government website. Fidel Salinas reached a plea agreement last week with federal prosecutors – who had threatened the 28-year-old hacker with up to 440 years in prison under ill-defined and poorly understood laws on computer-based crimes. Salinas had been charged with 44 felony counts of computer fraud and cyberstalking – which carry 10-year maximum prison terms and could have resulted in a centuries-long sentence.

Hackettstown man charged with cyber-harassment after allegedly sending woman 170 porn links, sexually explicit pictures - 11/26/14
A 40-year-old Hackettstown man has been charged with cyber-harassment after a town woman accused him of sending more than 170 pornography links and sexually explicit pictures, court records say. Michael Galbierczyk, of the 300 block of Grand Avenue, made his first appearance Wednesday in New Jersey Superior Court in Belvidere to answer to the charge.

Sentencing of Yeovil internet troll Bonehill-Paine delayed as "more serious charges" to be considered - 11/25/14
A YEOVIL man who falsely labelled other social media users as paedophiles, homosexuals and holding religious views has had his sentencing adjourned as he could be facing more serious charges before the courts. Joshua Mark John Bonehill-Paine posted online articles, “wanted” posters and made derogatory comments about his victims on his politically-motivated website The Daily Bale and was labelled in court as an “internet troll”.

San Diego woman who targeted couple in 'dream home' gets plea deal - 11/25/14
A San Diego woman charged with soliciting rape in a campaign to drive a couple out of a house she wanted has pleaded guilty to a felony charge of stalking, lawyers said Tuesday. Kathy Rowe, 53, told authorities she was suffering from extreme stress and exhaustion when she played a series of what she called "pranks" on a couple who outbid her for a house in Carmel Valley. Rowe's campaign included placing advertisements for sex on the Internet under the name of the woman who purchased the home with her husband, according to court records. A man who responded to one of the sex ads went to the Carmel Valley house but left after the victim's husband answered the door, the records said.


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