Friday, October 13, 2006


Encryption can be used as a measure of preventing cybercrimes, including planned security breaches, but also as a means of protecting intellectual property crimes and other crimes involving cyberstalking, harassment, and software theft. However, constitutional concerns must be balanced with the use of encryption.
Encryption is the transformation of data into a form that is close to impossible to read without the appropriate knowledge. The purpose of encryption is to ensure privacy by keeping information hidden from any unintended person including even individuals that have access to this encrypted data.
This is a pretty relevant summary.  Check it out if you're so inclined.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Blog Like An Idiot And Pay

You know, if your mother taught you that it's not right to post nastiness about someone on the Internet, she was right.
A Florida woman has been awarded $11.3 million in a defamation lawsuit against a Louisiana woman who posted messages on the Internet accusing her of being a "crook," a "con artist" and a "fraud."

Legal analysts say the Sept. 19 award by a jury in Broward County, Fla. — first reported Friday by the Daily Business Review — represents the largest such judgment over postings on an Internet blog or message board. Lyrissa Lidsky, a University of Florida law professor who specializes in free-speech issues, calls the award "astonishing."

I can think of a "blogger" right now that probably hurriedly erasing past posts.


Monday, September 18, 2006


This is really no big surprise, especially to anyone who has been a victim.
Judge rules bitter blogs are online stalking
By MEGGAN CLARK Health/Science Writer, (609) 272-7209
Published: Monday, September 18, 2006
If you think your ex-husband is a lying, cheating, scamming, con artist with no conscience and no soul, you're entitled to your opinion.

But posting warnings about him on the Web amounts to cyberstalking, a Florida judge has ruled.

I feel for the ex-wife in the story.  However, if you have a problem with a non-public person, continually trying to get at them through your blog is most certainly not the way to do it, and is a guaranteed way of getting you into trouble.
And if you're a person that's been on the side of blog attacks - the law is on your side.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006


In the Miami Herald, there is an interesting answer to the question:  How can I tell if someone is stalking me?
• Invasion of privacy is the legal freedom from interference with one's right to be left alone. It includes intrusion into one's solitude and private affairs, public disclosure of embarrassing private information, publicity that puts one in a false light to the public, and appropriation of one's name or likeness for commercial advantage. A public figure or celebrity usually isn't protected because his or her life is newsworthy and open to inspection, but the tort is available for you.

• Infliction of emotional distress is an increasingly popular tort based on a claim for damages caused by the ''outrageous'' conduct of the defendant. Original tort law didn't recognize this claim independent of a physical contact or injury. But this impact requirement has been dropped in most states and recovery is allowed solely for the emotional consequences and physical symptoms from the defendant's act.

Verrrrry interesting.  Even if you don't have a statue in your state that covers cyberstalking, don't forget common law!
That's the lesson that we learn here.


Wednesday, July 12, 2006

MySpace, again

MySpace raising several concerns
Star News - Elk River,MN,USA
... libraries. It has also found itself at the center of a number of news stories, many dealing with cyberstalking and sexual predators. ...

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Consumer Sentinel

Consumer Sentinel is a public law enforcement website I discovered.
From their About Us page:
The heart of Consumer Sentinel is a one-stop, secure investigative cybertool and complaint database, on a separate restricted-access secure web site, that provides hundreds of law enforcement agencies immediate access to Internet cons, telemarketing scams and other consumer fraud-related complaints. It gives consumers a way to voice their complaints about fraud to law enforcement officials worldwide.

Online since 1997, Consumer Sentinel responds to the fact that sharing information makes law enforcement stronger and more effective.  An international, multi-agency joint project, Consumer Sentinel also enhances cross-border consumer education and prevention efforts.

The Consumer Sentinel database, maintained by the Federal Trade Commission, now contains more than one million consumer fraud complaints that have been filed with federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies and private organizations.

Interesting.  Their website also contains a complaint page, where consumers can enter their specific complaint.
Check it out.  The FTC seems serious about cybercrime.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Essay On Sexual Harassment Online

Catherine Waerner has a couple of interesting papers on Thwarting Sexual Harassment on the Internet.  An excerpt from her essay:
Sexual Harassment is the use of sexualised intimidation, insult and threat to exert control over women. On the Internet, such behavior is more common and more outrageous than in the physical world because of the anonymity of the communications medium and the disproportionate number of men using it. Stopping such behavior is important both for the equanimity of individual women accessing the Net and for the health of the Online environment generally. A search through several types of theory has elicited some interesting tactics for dealing with such harassment. A three-part strategy directly confronting harassers has been developed, along with other tactics for preventing and diffusing harassment and for eradicating it on a wider scale.
This particular paper is a scholarly work, often delving into social and societal norms, consequences, and the like.
I like scholarship, so personally, I found it an interesting read.
However, women who are in the process of being sexually harassed on the Internet might find this particular paper more interesting, by the same author :
1. Ignore him!
He is beneath your notice.
2.  Say NO!
- Describe specifically which language is unacceptable.
- Call on a moral or ethical reason explaining your view
- make a specific demand asking that it stop.
3.  Seek Support!
- Tell the site admin. & his ISP.  Tell your friends.  You are not alone or vulnerable, but supported and empowered!
All good advice, and well worth the visit.

Cybercrime on Yahoo

Interesting that this week, cybercrime hit the front page of Yahoo.  What timing.
"If you do not pay me $500 by the deadline for payment, I intend to sue you for violating the Telephone Consumer Protection Act," it reads. "If you force me to sue, I will not settle for less than $1,000." Details of the alleged lawsuit are contained in the document attached to the e-mail.

In today's litigious -- and digital -- society, being notified of a lawsuit via e-mail might not seem too unusual, right? Gotcha! The e-mail is a scam that preys on deep-seated fears of being hauled into court. Its target: unlucky recipients who may indeed be among thousands of companies that send junk faxes.
The internet is not for the timid.  If you follow the simple rule of Don't Trust Everything That You Read In Your Email you can avoid a heck of a lot of scams.  Easier said than done, because cybercriminals of all types use human psychology as a big part of their strategy in today's world.  Be prepared. 
If you do suspect that you have been scammed, don't be afraid to contact your local FBI office or the FTC.  They are prepared to handle such situations.