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Monday, December 29, 2014

True Crime Online Newsletter - December 29, 2014

I couldn't make this up if I tried. . .Man accidentally sells box spring containing cat
An Oregon man said he is searching for his girlfriend's cat after he mistakenly sold a box spring that the feline was using as a hiding place. Roy Dufek of Rockcreek said in a Reddit post he was selling two bed sets for his girlfriend while she was at work last week and he did not realize until later that his girlfriend's cat, Camo, had apparently been hiding inside a box spring he strapped to the top of a buyer's car. Dufek, who was in the process of moving when he sold the items, said the man who purchased the bed set allowed him to search his house, but there was no sign of Camo. The man said he had heard unusual noises while affixing the box spring to the top of his car. Dufek said his posts on Reddit and Craigslist have resulted in an outpouring of support and offers of assistance, but so far there have been no confirmed Camo sightings. "People have told us stories of their cat that was gone a few months, or a month, and found the way home. So that gives us hope," Dufek told The Oregonian. "The only issue is we don't live at that apartment anymore."

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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)

Revenge porn to be treated as domestic abuse under new rules for prosecutors from today - 12/29/14
Ex-partners who post 'revenge porn' online could be treated as domestic abusers under new rules for prosecutors which come into force from today. Campaigners warn thousands of people have fallen victim to having explicit photographs published on the internet by former partners and spouses.

Man returns stolen tablet when he couldn't make it work - 12/29/14
A man who admitted stealing a tablet computer from a charity store and returning it eight days later because he couldn't get it to work was fined. Christopher Hooson, 33, was recorded by CCTV cameras taking the Android tablet from the window display at the Jonny Kennedy store in Whitley Bay, England.

Outcry over snooping 'Paddington Bear' that could be used to spy on ex-partners - 12/28/14
In the wake of the hit film starring Hugh Bonneville and Nicole Kidman, Paddington toys are hugely popular but a charity fears violent fathers could give children these bears, which are being sold online, to pry into the lives of their former partners. Harry Fletcher of Digital-Trust, an organisation fighting online stalking and abuse, said: “An abusive partner will often use any opportunity including children to harass and stalk their ex-partner in or out of the relationship.

A former University of Washington student from India has been sent back to his own country after being convicted of cyberstalking in this area. Keshav Mukund Bhide, 24, was deported after he was convicted of cyberstalking for making threats on social media to carry out a campus shooting, according to a report by the Seattle Times.

Abusers using spyware apps to monitor partners reaches 'epidemic proportions' - 12/26/14
The use of surveillance software by abusive spouses to monitor the phones and computers of their partners secretly has reached “epidemic proportions” and police are ill-equipped to tackle it, domestic violence campaigners have warned. Helplines and women’s refuge charities have reported a dramatic rise in the use of spyware apps to eavesdrop on the victims of domestic violence via their mobiles and other electronic devices, enabling abusers clandestinely to read texts, record calls and view or listen in on victims in real time without their knowledge.

Should Social Media Police Online Abuse? - 12/26/14
Social media services came under fire recently for not being more proactive in addressing online harassment and violent threats and for removing offensive comments only after being reported. Now some believe the role of social media in overseeing online behavior should change. “Whoever is in charge of these spaces ­ that includes the people who are hosting the site, that includes the users on the site, that includes the social media platforms ­ they have a responsibility to actually try to make their environment such that they are not aggressively targeting and attacking and driving away certain groups of people,” said Mary Anne Franks of Miami University’s School of Law.

Anonymous To Release Names Of Dalhousie University Students In Controversial Case - 12/26/14
Anonymous has promised to go after a new target: Dalhousie University in Halifax, Canada. The hacker group told the university in an open letter posted online that they have been tracking the institution’s formal response to complaints of a campus group of dentistry students engaged in “systemic misogyny.” They said that the official reaction has been so insufficient in terms of addressing alleged harassment by the group of 13 dental students against women on campus that their only choice is to further expose the university.

Time To Rein In Online Harassment - 12/24/14
Remember the bad old days, when smokers could torture you if you didn’t like breathing or smelling their smoke because they were allowed to do their thing wherever and whenever they chose? Those days are long gone, thankfully. Enough people rebelled against that obnoxious behavior to bring the full weight of majority opinion down on it, leading to laws and customs that confined smokers to areas where they could no longer make everyone else suffer.

BBQ Owner Regrets 'Suck-Start Pistol' Comment to Police - 12/23/14
A public relations company is giving one of the owners of a Detroit barbecue stalwart a lesson in Social Media 101: The Internet is forever. Once you post, you can never completely take it back. The way it gathers hashtags, search terms and third-party referrals, it’s like the herpes of the Internet. It never goes away.

The surfer, her stalker and his £2million plot to blackmail estranged wife: Man married to daughter of owner of major U.S. supermarket company admits trying to extort her and harassing two other women - 12/23/14
A husband has admitted stalking and trying to blackmail £2million from his estranged wife – the daughter of an American billionaire. James Casbolt appeared in court yesterday to face claims that he targeted heiress Haley Meijer, whose father is US hypermarket tycoon Hank Meijer. The 37-year-old was accused of sending threatening texts and emails containing pictures of his ex to her family and friends as well as posting images of her on the internet.

How Your Android Phone is Stalking Your Every Move - 12/23/14
A new study looking at how mobile Android apps track smartphone users has revealed some interesting facts about Android applications, InfoWorld reports, finding that many apps collect plenty of personal data in an attempt to track users online and serve them targeted ads in the process.

Why doesn’t Twitter think these rape and death threats are harassment? - 12/23/14
Remember the huge dust-up a few weeks back when certain corners of the Internet lost their damn minds because feminists were working with Twitter to address harassment? Remember how that was supposed to signal the beginning of some new feminist nightmare hellscape where, I don’t know, people actually listen and care when women receive rape and death threats? Remember how it was supposed to be the dawn of an era of feminist tyranny where feminists get to control everything and men can only feel sadness and eat dirt for the rest of their lives?

SJC rejects online harassment as free speech argument - 12/23/14
Harassing neighbors is not a form of constitutionally protected free speech, the highest court in Massachusetts ruled Tuesday in upholding the jail sentences of a former Andover couple who pestered their neighbors through fake Craigslist ads and a false child abuse report. William Johnson was sentenced to serve 18 months in jail in December 2011 after he was convicted of criminal harassment and falsely reporting child abuse against Jim and Bernadette Lyons. His wife, Gail Johnson, served six months after she was convicted of criminal harassment.

Domestic abuse victims warned to beware of gifts containing spyware this Christmas - 12/22/14
VICTIMS of domestic abuse are being warned to be aware of Christmas gifts that could contain hidden spyware. As was reported nationally over the weekend, a new company supporting victims of digital abuse warned that abusers will hide cameras or listening devices inside presents such as mobile phones, laptops and toys to spy on their victims.

Army thanks Soldier for confronting unethical behavior online - 12/19/14
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and senior Army officials met with a senior non-commissioned officer Monday, to thank her for leading by example and defending Army values, despite facing harassment after confronting Service members who were behaving unethically online. First Sgt. Katrina Moerk, now the first sergeant of Charlie Company, 741st Military Intelligence Battalion, was browsing a social media network's community page earlier this year, when she came upon a video that she found offensive and sexist. When she commented as much, several respondents attacked her with insults. Some of these respondents were wearing uniforms in their profile photos, the first sergeant said, so she wrote to them directly.

Monday, December 15, 2014

True Crime Online Newsletter - December 15, 2014

I couldn't make this up if I tried. . .Runner uses GPS app to propose marriage
A British runner popped the question on Facebook by spelling out "will you marry me" with a GPS tracking app's map function. Ben Chudley, 28, of Portsmouth, England, said he enjoys using his GPS running app to create "Urban Pictionary" drawings and messages while out running and he decided to use the app to ask girlfriend Olivia Abdul for her hand in marriage. Chudley said his run was about 15 miles, but he only used 5.7 miles with the GPS app so the ensuing map showing his route would spell out "will you marry me." Chudley said he posted the map on Facebook so Abdul would see it before he arrived with flowers and a ring. He told the BBC his post-first plan "could have been very embarrassing if she had said no." However, Abdul happily accepted the proposal. "I think I made out a muffled yes underneath the crying!" Chudley wrote in the comments section of his Facebook post. Chudley's previous "Urban Pictionary" projects, which he said were inspired by accidentally creating a rude image while using the app to track his runs, include a dinosaur, a stick figure, SpongeBob Squarepants and the word "mum."

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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)

‘Revenge porn’ culprit to serve 1 year in jail - 12/13/14
In the first case of “revenge porn” to be prosecuted in King County, a 31-year-old Seattle computer technician was sentenced Friday to a year in jail after he pleaded guilty to charges involving naked photos of four women that he posted online.

The fight back against rape and death threats online - 12/12/14
Twitter, police and law courts are waking up to the ugly abuse that women endure online, with systems, algorithms and trials closing in on perpetrators "CAN'T wait to rape you." That's one of the anonymous messages sent earlier this year to Janelle Asselin, a comic-book editor and writer based in Los Angeles. Asselin had written an article criticising the cover of the comic book Teen Titans #1. The response: a slew of tweets and comments from people questioning her credentials, calling her unprintable names and sending rape threats.

Inventor of the internet says that online violence against women is "one of the tragedies of humanity" - 12/12/14
According to the World Wide Web Foundation's 2014-15 Web Index - a massive report on the internet's role in global issues and progress - 74% of countries are not doing enough to stop online violence against women. And that, says Tim Berners-Lee, the creator of the web, is "one of the tragedies of humanity."

Internet troll sent to prison - 12/12/14
An internet troll from Eastwood who emailed death threats to a former friend and harassed a police officer has been sent to prison for six months. Simon Tomlin, 46, of Lawrence Avenue, was found guilty in November of five charges including criminal harassment of former friend Melony McElroy and PC Richard Reynolds, but he evaded arrest until November 28.

Online Harassment Is a Game of Control - 12/12/14
The ugly episode that has come to be known as GamerGate may have receded, but it left in its wake some unanswered questions. Why did a seemingly legitimate discussion of gaming journalism devolve into harassment and threats of violence against women journalists and critics? What triggered this behavior and was it a reflection of offline gender harassment?

'I seriously hate you': North Vancouver man gets more jail time after years of cyberstalking young women - 12/11/14
A North Vancouver man who cyber-stalked several young women he had previously stalked when they were teenagers will spend five more months in jail after pleading guilty to a charge of criminal harassment. Judge Joanne Challenger handed the sentence to Stephen Christopher Hoy, 54, in North Vancouver provincial court Dec. 4. The five-month sentence is on top of nine months Hoy has already spent in jail.

School District Police: IT employee steals three MacBook Pro laptops - 12/11/14
A Palm Beach County School District employee stole three MacBook Pro laptops from the IT department this year and gave them to his kids, according to a police report. Steven Brucella, 51, faces charges of grand theft. Judge Joseph Marx ordered he be let go on alternative supervised release from the Palm Beach County jail.

Yeovil man accused of harassing two women online to stand trial at Taunton Crown Court - 12/10/14
A YEOVIL man accused of harassment against two women he met via internet dating websites has been ordered to stand trial at Taunton Crown Court. Kyle Michael Keay allegedly bombarded one complainant with thousands of text messages and hundreds of phone calls and was said to have made threats to her and members of her family.

Stalking might have been warning in Alicia West's case - 12/10/14
The stalking might have been a warning sign. But for Caddo Judge Eugene Bryson, who denied Alicia West's third request for a protective order Nov. 6, there were "no threats of 'immediate and present danger of abuse'" posed by an ex-boyfriend who'd reportedly posted photos of West on an escort website, sent her repeated and unwanted text messages and showed up to her home to bang on the doors and windows.

Twitter Under Pressure To Ban Blogger Who Posted UVA Rape Victim’s Name - 12/09/14
Twitter users are calling on the social media company to jumpstart its new anti-harassment policies after a conservative blogger claims to have published the full name of the University of Virginia (UVA) student whose alleged gang rape has come under scrutiny in recent weeks.

Cliff Ford, Toronto dad, posed as preteen daughter to bust online predator - 12/09/14
Like so many parents, Toronto dad Cliff Ford just wanted to keep his children safe online. He had no idea that his efforts would eventually help U.S. authorities bust an online child exploitation ring based in Ohio. It all started in January, when Ford’s daughter received an email from a stranger with the subject line, “Hey sexy.”

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Phoebe the Cyber Crime Dog

Read all about how Phoebe became the Cyber Crime Dog and mascot of WHO@-Kids/Teen Division

Monday, December 08, 2014

True Crime Online Newsletter - December 8, 2014

I couldn't make this up if I tried. . .British police car goes viral for 'polce' typo
A British police department's new cruiser went viral online when a picture revealed the letter "i" was missing from the word "police." The South Yorkshire Police became the target of online jokes when a picture emerged revealing one of its new Astra patrol cars bears the word "polce" in large letters across its doors instead of the intended "police." A department spokesman said the car's error, which was first brought to the public's attention by the U.K. Cop Humor page on Twitter, was spotted before it went into service. "The spelling error was identified immediately by staff who took delivery of the new vehicles," he said. "The error was rectified the following day." The department poked fun at the error on Twitter. "Have you seen our 'I'?" The department said in a bulletin posted to its Twitter account. "Last seen at the printers. He is described as being tall, lean and blue. He is much missed by the force who require his immediate return to complete their investigations."

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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)

Online harassment: 'Dedicated' trolls will find way around anti-abuse rules - 12/08/14
Twitter's recent move to bolster its anti-abuse policy is a positive step in fostering more respect on the web, say observers, but it also demonstrates the ongoing difficulty of quashing online harassment. Earlier this week, Twitter announced that in an attempt to identify and mitigate online harassment, it was improving its abuse-reporting system.

Stalker put spy software on woman's computer, Carlisle court told - 12/08/14
A jealous lover set up secret software so he could spy on everything his partner looked at on her computer. Carlisle taxi driver Brian Dorrance, 45, carried out a “campaign” of surveillance, watching over Susan Walkingshaw's emails, internet access and social media activity.

'Revenge Porn' Conviction Is a Legal First - 12/06/14
Three years ago, Noe Iniguez and his girlfriend broke up. That's when he decided to get even, prosecutors said. He posted a topless photograph of his ex-girlfriend on her employer's Facebook page along with messages calling her a "drunk" and a "slut" and encouraging her firing, they said. Until recently, his actions would have been outside the reach of the law, because victims were not offered protection from people who intentionally posted their nude photographs without their consent.

Jamestown man accused of stalking woman arrested - 12/05/14
Rockingham County sheriff's deputies have arrested a Jamestown man accused of stalking an Eden woman. Thomas Alvis Reece IV, 25, of 101 Newberry St., is charged with cyberstalking and misdemeanor stalking.

LA Man Becomes First to Be Convicted Under California’s Revenge Porn Statute - 12/05/14
After a four year relationship, Noe Iniguez and his girlfriend broke up. Almost immediately she began to suffer constant harassment from him. In November 2011, she obtained a restraining order after a barrage of harassing text messages. He was not deterred. Using an alias, he began posting derogatory messages on her employer’s Facebook page in December 2013. In a campaign that would last several months, he continued to disparage her online. In March 2014, his attacks escalated with him posting a topless photo of her, captioning it with comments that called her a drunk and a slut.

Former Zillow worker sues over penis pic, culture of misogyny - 12/04/14
Zillow’s maps have no doubt featured a frat house or two, but an explosive lawsuit filed by a former employee claims the online real estate outfit actually operates out of one ­ “an ‘adult frat house’ where sexual harassment and misconduct are normalized, condoned, and promoted by male managers.”

Alexandria man faces charge of felony stalking - 12/04/14
An Alexandria man faces a charge of felony stalking after allegedly sending threatening texts to a former girlfriend, according to the Rapides Parish Sheriff's Office. The suspect is Jeremy Cole Cleary, 34, of 4124 Queen Elizabeth Court in Alexandria.

Privacy advocates unmask Twitter troll - 12/03/14
What happens when you troll Tor developers hard? You get unmasked. Towards the end of last week, a troll who had sent various aggressive tweets to a host of security experts and privacy advocates associated with the Tor project and browser, which enables online anonymity, had his identity exposed. To some, that may seem hypocritical. To others, it seems like justice.

Local man arrested on cyberstalking charge - 12/03/14
A Gainesville man was arrested Tuesday on a cyberstalking charge after he promised a woman he would ride a bicycle 35 miles to rest on the porch of her mother’s home. Benjamin Nelson Wilson, 37, had exchanged several emails in June with a Union County woman where he made sexually themed comments that prompted the woman to ask him to stop.

Gatineau cops release video after seeing rise in 'sextortion' cases - 12/03/14
Gatineau cops have launched a new website and video after receiving 30 complaints about "sextortion" this year alone. "Sextortion is one of the most common computer scams, and the number of complaints continues to grow in Gatineau and elsewhere," said Det. Mathieu Guilbault.

Paris Hilton Takes Legal Action Against Anti-Semitic Cyber-Stalker Sending Death Threats - 12/03/14
Paris Hilton and her father Rick Hilton took legal action recently to stop an an anti-Semitic man from cyber-stalking the family with death threats. Hilton told Entertainment Tonight that she and her father, who are not Jewish, filed a police report because “the threats were getting out of control, getting more frequent and more intensive each time.”

Off-duty cops protect Darren Wilson, as death threats come in - 12/03/14
Darren Wilson has lived in the shadows for nearly four months, changing residence from house to house, spending spare time in dark movie theaters, in hopes he won't be spotted. But he has not sneaked around alone. He has had protectors. Fellow officers have been by his side day and night, as deadly threats have driven the former Ferguson police officer into hiding, after he shot unarmed teen Michael Brown in August.

Monday, December 01, 2014

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.