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Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Phoebe the Cyber Crime Dog still needs help with her surgery

We are still way short of our goal for Phoebe the Cyber Crime Dog's surgery -only $1990 out of $5643. I am going to discount my offer for a signed copy of my latest book, True Crime Online or a digital watercolor portrait of your favorite pet. Make a $75 donation and you choose which one you would like. The book or portrait can be for you or given to someone as a gift. If you can't donate that much, any amount is greatly appreciated. And please share this link wherever you can. We need to pay back the money we borrowed. Phoebe thanks you (see her saying so in the photo, lol).

Monday, July 20, 2015

True Crime Online Newsletter - July 20, 2015

I couldn't make this up if I tried. . .Adorable video show kittens getting the slip by a digital mouse
An app is putting a spin on the age old battle between feline and rodent. Two cats are put to the test in an Internet clip showing the two pets being outwitted by a digital mouse on a tablet. Efforts to catch the rodent go in vain as the mouse scurries off the screen while squeaking in a genuine mouse-like fashion. The game along with various other digital game apps for cats can be downloaded free and/or purchase on both iTunes and Google Play stores.

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Please share this link to Phoebe the Cyber Crime Dog's Surgery Fundraising page -


(DISCLAIMER: The following news items were found on the web and were not written or endorsed by WHO@; they are for informational purposes only)

Reddit Wrangles Reins From Users at a Risk - 07/20/15
Reddit became one of the most visited websites in the world on the backs of users devoted to the online bulletin board where people could post just about anything. Reddit benefits from a free workforce of volunteers who moderate discussion forums known as "subreddits," on topics running a gamut from science and religion to white supremacy and woman-bashing.

Taking a look at stalking - 07/20/15
People have been stalked for a long time, but stalking is only now starting to be recognized as a psychologically damaging form of assault – and still being handled very badly by the police and legal system. Unwelcome and intrusive contact Stalking is related to obsessive perversions of love. It is often seen between people who knew each other very well, as lovers or friends. One of them may handle the break-up really badly and maintain unwelcome and intrusive contact with their former lover or friend.

Technology poses risk to victims fleeing abuse 07/19/15
The tragic murder-suicide in Exeter earlier this month brought back painful memories for one survivor of domestic violence who made headlines years ago in her quest to leave a toxic, abusive relationship.Jennie Barnes was abused mentally and physically. When she finally left and sought safety in a shelter, her now ex-husband was able to track her by her phone. While her story ended safely, it’s a reminder to those in abusive relationships to be mindful of the darker uses of every day technology.

This Ruling Could Change Online “Free Speech” Forever - 07/19/15
Negotiating the contours of free speech and harmful speech has been a constant discussion since we began thinking about freedom as a concept. But today, where 140 characters or a Facebook post can instantly travel across the world and get you fired, that negotiating matters more than ever. Should we conclude that ethics doesn’t matter because “it’s the Internet”?

Here's how AI could fix the toxic nature of the internet - 07/18/15
Venture outside the Safe For Work confines of the internet and you’ll find off-the-scale offensive images that will rattle your brain. Or you could provoke the ire of strangers on the internet, like Anita Sarkeesian, who runs a blog exposing the way sexist video games depict and exclude women. On a daily basis, she receives sexual harassment and death threats from anonymous Twitter users. Last October, she had to cancel a Utah State University event because of an anonymous terror threat.

Burglar takes video selfie with home owner's phone - 07/17/15
Los Angeles police are looking for a suspect in a home burglary who took a selfie with the victim's phone. According to the Los Angeles Police Department the suspect entered the home around 7 a.m. on July 11 and dug through the home while two 15-year-old girls and a woman were sleeping in a bedroom. KTLA, a local LA news station, reported that while rummaging, the burglar picked up an iPhone and "accidentally activated a video application, which recorded him standing in the victims' living room."

N.H. Man Charged in 'Sextortion' Scheme That Targeted Young Girls - 07/17/15
A New Hampshire man is facing computer hacking and cyberstalking charges in an alleged "sextortion" scheme that targeted young girls. Ryan J. Vallee, 21, of Franklin, was indicted on 10 counts of making interstate threats, two counts of computer hacking to steal information, seven counts of computer hacking to extort and seven counts of identity theft, according to authorities. He was scheduled to make his first court appearance at 4:30 p.m. Friday in U.S. District Court in New Hampshire.

De-jargoned: What is SIM swap fraud? - 07/17/15
Financial transactions are gradually moving from cash to electronic, especially with both the government and the central bank emphasising on cashless and paperless transactions. While technology makes banking more convenient, it also exposes customers to various risks such as phishing, identity theft, card skimming, vishing and cyber stalking. SIM swap fraud is one such fraud.

In a first, Healey files criminal cyber-harassment charges - 07/17/15
The online headlines were splashy, but none of them were true, according to the Massachusetts attorney general’s office. In their first criminal cyber-harassment case, state prosecutors allege that the developer of a failed condominium project in Revere fabricated press releases and news articles designed to harm the reputation of a creditor to whom he owes more than $30 million.

Winchester Man Arraigned in Connection With Online Intimidation, Harassment - 07/17/16
A Winchester man has been arraigned on charges in connection with online intimidation and harrasment against another man and his company, according to the Massachusetts Attorney General. Steven C. Fustolo, 57, was arraigned in Woburn District Court today on charges of Criminal Harassment and Intimidation of a Witness, Attorney General Maura Healey’s Office announced.

Former Reddit CEO: 'The Trolls Are Winning' - 07/16/15
Former Reddit CEO Ellen Pao has spoken out for the first time since stepping down as CEO last week, offering a rather disheartening message - that the online trolls are winning. Pao herself was targeted on the site for attempting to shut down some of the more vile sections of Reddit, which is labeled as the "front page of the Internet." "Balancing free expression with privacy and the protection of participants has always been a challenge for open-content platforms on the Internet," said Pao in an op-ed published in The Washington Post. "But that balancing act is getting harder. The trolls are winning."

Cyberbullying Is a Bigger Problem Than Screen Time Addiction - 07/16/15
The harms that can come to children who use technology excessively ­ including depression, behavioral problems and poor academic performance ­ are not just caused by too much screen time. It is the nature of the interactions that take place through the screen that count. Simply limiting screen time ignores the many benefits of technology for teenagers.

DA: Gangs use social media for witness intimidation - 07/15/15
With the number of homicides in the City of Portland already surpassing numbers from this time last year, some have begun to wonder how the use of social media is changing the way violent criminals interact with potential witnesses. Anthony Jackson, 19, died Tuesday after he was shot in SE Portland over the weekend. His death marks the 20th homicide in Portland so far this year, and for those who prosecute violent criminals, social media threats aren’t making the pursuit of justice any easier.

Ending fat shame: How the Internet is creating acceptance for all body sizes - 07/15/15
When Los Altos-reared writer Galit Breen penned a Huffington Post blog about the secrets to a happy marriage, she knew better than to expect commenters to say nice things about everything she wrote. After all, this was the Internet. But she wasn't prepared for readers to attack her viciously for how she looked in her wedding photos. One reader derided the site for loving fat women, and another called her a "heifer."

Monday, July 13, 2015

True Crime Online Newsletter - July 13, 2015

I couldn't make this up if I tried. . .Broadway audience member tries to charge phone on stage
An audience member apparently caught up in the illusion of live theater at a Broadway show stunned onlookers by trying to charge his phone on stage. Cast members and theatergoers at the July 2 showing of adult puppet play Hand to God said the man climbed on stage before the start of the show and attempted to charge his phone in an electrical outlet. Witnesses said the man's attempt failed, as the outlet was a non-functioning part of the show's set, and workers quickly arrived to unplug the phone and make an announcement about not using the set for charging. "Well, where can I charge it?" the man was quoted as saying by the blog Broadway Adjacent.

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Don't forget to share the page for Helping Phoebe the Cyber Crime Dog: (also see

(DISCLAIMER: The following news items were found on the web and were not written or endorsed by WHO@; they are for informational purposes only)

I'm Being Stalked ...On Snapchat! - 07/12/15
Snapchat has made Evan Spiegel the world's youngest billionaire -- but it's also part of the reason he's calling in LAPD to nab a seriously creepy alleged cyberstalker. In a not-at-all-funny case of live by the sword, die by the sword ... police say Spiegel received harassing messages through Snapchat, Twitter and email from a man identifying himself as Ramon Martinez.

Should Twitter trolls be named and shamed ? - 07/12/15
Over the last 10 years it has become a major part of mine and my colleagues’ legal practices to deal with the effects of online harassment and abuse. The attitude Twitter is taking now shows an increase in its understanding of its responsibilities, and it will become more difficult for those who have been successful at online harassment.

Court gunman's 3 relatives guilty of cyberstalking - 07/11/15
A federal jury on Friday found that the death of a woman shot by her former father-in-law at a Delaware courthouse in 2013 was the result of cyberstalking by the gunman's widow and two children, convicting the three defendants on all counts in a nationally unprecedented verdict.

I was sexually harassed on LinkedIn and it made me question the site's credibility - 07/11/15
LinkedIn is a fantastic resource for job seekers and professionals looking to connect, but as I found recently, it can also be a haven for some pretty creepy behavior. Last year I wrote a popular post on LinkedIn about an upsetting experience I had on my morning commute and how I didn't let it ruin my day.

How to Fight Trolls Online - 07/10/15
It's a normal day on the internet. Twitter is tweeting and faving, Facebook is liking and sharing, and Reddit is humming with all things good and bad online. It was a day like this in 2010 that cartoonist Ben Garrison had the gall to create something political about the Fed and post it online.

9 things all dedicated social media creepers know to be true - 07/10/15
You constantly have to stop yourself from admitting too much. What you want to say: Oh heya, haven’t seen you in literal years. How’s the new baby? The new gaff? You split up from Adam didn’t you? Thought you were going to Portugal this week?
What you really say:Oh hey, long time no see. How’s life?

Queensland woman reveals online predator humiliated her to the point of attempting suicide - 07/10/15
A Queensland woman has revealed she attempted suicide after years of manipulation and abuse from an online predator that targeted her when she was just 15 years old. In 2009, Ms Johnston was in year 10 at Dalby State High in South East Queensland when a handsome university student named Jayke Williams requested her friendship on Facebook.

Army regulation defines proper online conduct - 07/09/15
“How do we ensure Army values-based conduct to prevent and respond to harm inflicted through the use of electronic communication?” Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno asked for an answer to that question earlier this year in the wake of revelations at the February 2015 SHARP Summit in Washington, D.C. At the SHARP summit, soldiers spoke about online sexual harassment via social media. They had also discussed retribution delivered online against soldiers who had spoken up about both sexual harassment and sexual assault.

Pickpockets caught on selfie camera at Pope Francis' Ecuador mass - 07/09/15
A man using a selfie stick to film himself during Pope Francis' visit to Ecuador captured a team of pickpockets who targeted him on video. Diego Mino, who posted his video to YouTube, was shooting video with a camera attached to a selfie stick Tuesday while walking through the crowd gathered to hear the pontiff give mass in Quito's Bicentennial Park when a man wearing a leather jacket and two female accomplices started following him.

Smart-bullying: Taking hate to the World Wide Web - 07/09/15
We’ve all been bullied at least once in our lives, on some level by some person. Heck, I’d say getting hit by a wildcard draw-4 cards or a skip at UNO (the horrible feeling and frustration definitely counts) is bullying if I never managed to pay back the favour (sweet revenge). But it gets worse. Maybe someone physically pushed you, hurt you, or locked you inside a bathroom for a laugh? Go beyond physical boundaries and bullying still exists, when someone says something hurtful to you, or even offensive or vulgar or sexual. Bullying can happen on all levels, and it can get real ugly. Life isn’t just UNO, you know?

Revenge porn is just one part of a changing picture of harassment - 07/08/15
Google’s recent decision to remove content at the request of victims of revenge porn is a huge win for victims. Governments are also reacting to the growing problem of revenge porn – the NSW government this week announced a parliamentary inquiry into existing laws and whether there was any need for reform.

Internet privacy rule under debate - 07/08/15
A new rule under consideration of The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers is causing a stir. Some believe it could increase internet harassment. The new rule would require some website owners to publicly disclose their address by limiting the use of proxy registration. Supporters believe it would cut back on piracy and other forms of fraud. Owners of domains use proxy registrations to conceal their information from being listed in a data base.

Monday, July 06, 2015

True Crime Online Newsletter - July 6, 2015

I couldn't make this up if I tried. . .Woman took proposal photos at the Eiffel Tower, now searching Internet for mystery couple
Jen Hurd Bohn was in Paris earlier this month and happened to capture a couple's proposal while visiting the Eiffel Tower. She snapped a few photos, but had no way of contacting them, so she put the images on her Facebook and called on the Internet to find the mystery couple. "Saw this guy propose to this girl on the Eiffel Tower Sunday," Bohn wrote on the post. "I wanted to send them the pics but was stuck in line. Help me find them!" As of Tuesday afternoon, the post had almost 200,000 shares and even actress Candace Cameron Bure tried helping find the couple by sharing the post on her Facebook page. The Full House actress wrote, "Share this so these two can get these pics of their engagement!" Local, national and international media outlets have also shared the post on social media in hopes of finding the newly engaged couple.

Share Phoebe's Surgery Page

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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)

Man kicked by camel while attempting selfie with nursing calf - 07/06/15
A viral video purportedly shot somewhere in the Persian Gulf region shows the dangers of attempting a nursing camel selfie in easy kicking range of a mother camel. The video shows the man attempt to pose under the mother camel's legs with the nursing youngster before being kicked out of the camera frame by the annoyed mother.

This Is What Happened When a Popular Blogger Took Off Her Makeup and Revealed Her Acne - 07/05/15
You look disgusting. That's the title of beauty blogger Em Ford's latest YouTube video, a three-minute feature that's about far more than lipstick and mascara. Ford, a 20-something from London who suffers from adult acne, has been posting photos of herself without makeup for the past three months. In the video, she washes off her makeup to highlight the disturbing online harassment she faces. She includes a smattering of the horrible comments she receives on social media daily, like "ugly," "revolting," and "I can't even look at her."

New Study Sheds Light On Bystander Intervention In Cyberbullying - 07/05/15
We have yet to scratch the surface in the emerging field of Cyberpsychology, but one headache that always seems to appear in the media is Cyberbullying. Online bullying is quickly soaring and a significant number of cases are now resulting in tragedy, PsyPost reports.

35-yr-old first convict in a cyber-stalking case in state - 07/04/15
A 35-year-old man will serve three months in jail for sending obscene pictures and videos via email to a woman he met on a social networking site ­ the state’s first conviction in a cyber-stalking case. On Friday, additional chief metropolitan magistrate MR Natu convicted Yogesh Prabhu under section 509 (word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman) of the IPC and section 66 (E) (punishment for violation of privacy) of the Information Technology Act, 2008. “Prabhu has been sentenced to three months’ simple imprisonment and fined Rs10,000 for the offence under the IT Act and Rs5,000 for intending to insult the modesty of a woman,” said Dhananjay Kulkarni, deputy commissioner of police, crime branch.

Elderly targeted by online scams - 07/04/15
Sandra’s Facebook friend told her that she had won $50,000 in a random drawing. “She wanted me to send money so I could get my $50,000 in cash,” Sandra, who asked that her real name be withheld, said. “She talked me into it.” Sandra initially sent $4,000 to facilitate the delivery of her money. She never received anything in return, even after making repeated efforts. Sandra, who lives in Putnam County, ended up losing about $30,000. “I am digging out of that hole right now,” she said, in an interview in Charleston last week set up by investigators working for U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin.

Ex-judge accused of making fake sex ads for ex-girlfriends - 07/03/15
A former Galveston County judge has been arrested and charged with two counts of online harassment after police say he created fake online ads saying two ex-girlfriends were available for sex-for-hire. Galveston County sheriff’s office spokesman Col. Ray Tuttoilmondo says former County Court-at-Law Judge Christopher Dupuy was arrested Thursday and is being held on $600,000 bail. The Houston Chronicle reports 43-year-old Dupuy has requested a court-appointed attorney.

Man charged with harassing woman over text, Internet - 07/03/15
A Fairbanks man who allegedly used text messaging and Craigslist to threaten and harass a woman has been charged with misdemeanor second-degree harassment. The victim texted back asking Drotzur to leave her alone. Drotzur sent a second text reading, in part, “I’m going to ruin your life like you did mine.” Jeremy Lee Drotzur, 29, of Fairbanks, sent the victim a text message on May 14 stating “I want to rape you,” according to charging documents.

'Obsessed' police officer who harassed his former lover with 42,000 messages is thrown out of the force - 07/03/15
A shamed police officer who harassed his former lover with 42,000 messages has been dismissed from the police force for bringing it into disrepute. Pc Allan Smith, 54, subjected his on-off partner to a torrent of abuse over several years through thousands of frightening text, Facebook and WhatsApp messages to control her.

The invaluable service of TrollBusters - 07/03/15
Michelle Ferrier loved being a columnist with the Daytona Beach News-Journal in Florida. She established a real connection with her audience, she says, built around a fly-on-the-wall view into her African-American family life. Then, two years into the gig in 2005, Ferrier started receiving a series of letters. “Have you played the race card, Michelle, this week,” the first, handwritten letter said, and “All you people do is cry, bitch, wine [sic], bitch.” Ferrier tried to shrug it off, but the hate mail grew increasingly threatening.

Expert says "hit list" was written by Delaware court gunman - 07/03/15
A supposed "hit list" and two homemade death certificates found after a shooting at a Delaware courthouse in 2013 were written by the gunman whose widow and children are being tried on federal conspiracy and cyberstalking charges, a defense handwriting expert testified Thursday. Andrew Sulner told jurors that the documents were written by Thomas Matusiewicz, who killed his ex-daughter-in-law, Christine Belford, and a friend who accompanied her to the courthouse for a child support hearing. Matusiewicz then exchanged gunfire with police before killing himself.

Hate speech: how should bosses tackle staff who make harmful online comments? - 07/02/15
A high-powered Wall Street boss was ordered this week to pay out $18 million (£11.5m) to a former intern for “slut shaming” her on a website he owned. The headine-grabbing lawsuit has highlighted the cost – both human and financial – of online bullying, hate speech and abuse in the workplace.In the case, 43-year-old Benjamin Wey – CEO of finance firm New York Global Group – stood accused of writing on his website The Blot Magazine that ex-employee Hanna Bouveng was “a prostitute”, who “hangs out with cocaine dealers” and is “a terrible person”.

2nd arrest for Horry County teacher in connection with harassment charge - 07/02/15
A Horry County teacher has been arrested for the second time in connection with a harassment charge. The Sun News reports jail records show 36-year-old Adam Varnadore, of Conway, was charged with second-degree harassment Monday. Varnadore works at Whittemore Park Middle School.

Walking the Social Media Tightrope - 07/01/15
In today’s digital workplace, few issues cause more confusion than social media. Numerous laws are relevant to social media, ranging from Title VII to the Fair Credit Reporting Act to state-specific laws barring requests for applicants’ personal passwords. However, employers can navigate the social media minefield by identifying and addressing the risks. When used properly, social media searches can provide a way for employers to learn helpful information they may not otherwise get during a typical hiring process. For example, resume inconsistencies, hobbies and civic involvement may be apparent from online searches.

Tourist's Brooklyn Bridge climb selfie sparks security questions - 07/01/15
A tourist's GoPro selfie from atop New York's Brooklyn Bridge is raising concerns about security on the landmark ahead of the July 4 holiday. The picture posted to Instagram by Tennessee man David Karnauch shows him using a selfie stick to snap a photo with his GoPro camera after climbing the Brooklyn Bridge.

Cyber bullying bill passes - 07/01/15
Telling someone to ‘Go jump in the lake' is illegal after today – because as an incitement to suicide it is outlawed under The Harmful Digital Communications Bill. Last night the bill passed its third and final reading 116 votes to five, with ACT's David Seymour and four Green MPs, Gareth Hughes, Russel Norman, Julie Anne Genter and Steffan Browning, the only ones to vote against it.

CEO Accused Of Sexually Harassing Employee, Forcing Her To Sleep With Him, Writing On The Internet That She’s A Prostitute Ordered To Cough Up $18 Million - 06/30/15
Remember Benjamin Wey? CEO of New York Global Group, who was accused by employee Hanna Bouveng of:
• Pressuring Bouveng to dress provocatively on the job
• Waging “a relentless campaign to have sex with her”
• Ultimately having sex with her for approximately 120 seconds (“He has sex with her and it’s over in two minutes. She was horrified and debased”)
• Firing her in 2014 after she complained and saying the termination was because her “love of nightclubs were becoming an issue”
• Writing on a website he owns called The Blot Magazine “that she’s a prostitute, that she hangs out with cocaine dealers…[that] she’s a terrible person”
• Emailing Bouveng’s father to say he’d found another man in her bed (that man being her boyfriend)
Wey’s lawyer conceded that his client made some “mistakes” in his treatment of Bouveng, and now he’s going to pay for $18 million of them.

Teen who 'swatted' Disneyland had too much time on hands - 06/30/15
A Coquitlam, B.C., teenager who admitted to a North America-wide "swatting" spree says he terrorized targets ­ including Disneyland ­ because he was bored. The Crown is asking for a 16-month custodial sentence for the teenager, who can't be identified because he is a young offender. The youth stood up to speak in court Monday. "I had a lot of time on my hands," he said. "I don't do anything productive, and that leaves me time to do criminal activity." Swatting typically refers to an internet hoax where hackers fake an emergency call and emergency personnel, like a police SWAT team, are deployed.

Thursday, July 02, 2015

Full Moon Alert - Put Your Tinfoil Hats On!

Tonight is the full moon. I'm waiting for the tinfoil hat emails to arrive!

Phoebe Hitchcock Poulin doesn't howl at the moon - does your dog do that?

Please check this out and share.