If you are reading this post, chances are you have been the victim of a cyber crime from a stalker or harasser.
It could be an abusive personality halfway across the world, or an abusive personality living literally next door to you. Regardless of their emotional instability, medical history, status, or excuses, it is a crime punishable by law.
Some victims are so affected by cyber stalkers and bullies that it can be easier to simply shut off the phone and the internet than to put a stop to the abuse. However, turning the other cheek to a bully does no one any good. Sooner or later, you run out of cheeks. Sooner or later, they will escalate to the next level of crazy.
I would like to take a moment to touch base about this subject – and what you can do about it if it’s happening to you right now.
Exactly what is a “cybercrime”?
(reposted from Criminal Defense Lawyer)
“The crime of harassment (which can include stalking, hate crimes, and cyberbullying) occurs when one person acts in a way designed to annoy, provoke, threaten, or otherwise cause another person emotional distress. State laws and some federal laws identify multiple ways in which harassment can be committed….”
“…the prosecutor must show that the defendant did or said something with the intent that the communication would harass the victim. The person may intend to annoy or intimidate the victim, or the words may be designed to provoke a fight….”
“…Harassment can be committed through verbal or non-verbal means. A person may use physical gestures to threaten or annoy a victim, or a person may intimidate a victim through a pattern of behavior, such as showing up at the victim’s home or workplace. In some states, harassment that involves monitoring or following the victim is known as stalking…”
“…harassment also occurs where a person uses an electronic device such as a phone or computer to communicate threats, sometimes anonymously. The prevalence of the internet in everyday life has made harassment via email and social networking sites commonplace. Referred to as cyberbullying or cyberstalking, states have responded in differing ways to the growing problem. Some state legislatures have created separate statutes specifically addressing harassment that occurs online…”
“…States recognize both misdemeanor and felony forms of harassment. Many states punish first-time harassment offenses as misdemeanors, but punish subsequent harassment convictions as felonies…”
Every state varies by what constitutes a cybercrime and its punishment.
There was a powerful writing from NW3C about cyberstalking that states “..while there is no generally accepted definition of Cyberstalking, the term normally involves stalking another person, using the online environment to carry out any of a number of actions. “Stalking generally involves harassing or threatening behavior that an individual engages in repeatedly, such as following a person, appearing at a person’s home or place of business, making harassing phone calls, leaving written messages or object, or vandalizing a person’s property…”
“…The definition of Cyberstalking includes (repeatedly) “sending threats or false accusations via email or mobile phone, making threatening or false posts on websites, stealing a person’s identity or data or spying and monitoring a person’s computer and Internet use. Sometimes the threats can escalate into physical spaces…”
“…Cyberstalkers can also obtain personal information about their victims (example, home address, phone number) from the Internet and utilize this information to meet their victims in person…”
“…The harassment can take on many forms, but the common denominator is that it’s unwanted, often obsessive, and usually illegal. Cyberstalkers use email, instant messages, phone calls, and other communication devices to stalk, whether it takes the form of sexual harassment or just plain annoying attention to your life and your family’s activities…”
Put simply, it is a form of harassment that takes advantage of the anonymity and relative protection from enforcement provided by the Internet.
Or does it?
This brings us to our section..
I.P. Addresses. Wherever the stalker is, their computer has it’s own designated I.P. address. If you are unsure of what that is, click here. Many times, stalkers try to cover their own tracks by using dummy emails. They will use computers that don’t belong to them, with fake email accounts. Often times, they will put their own jobs, friends and family at criminal risk from their obsession.
What is deplorable (and sickly humorous) is when they use the same computer repeatedly while using multiple aliases, in order to threaten the same person. This particular group should get together and write a book.