This Article is written by Amra (Senior editor at Legalonus and Content head for The Radicals)
Cyberstalking is the use of the Internet or other electronic means to stalk or harass an individual, a group of individuals, or an organization. It may include the making of false accusations or statements of fact (as in defamation), monitoring, making threats identifying theft, damage t data or equipment, the solicitation of minors for sex, or gathering information that’s may be used to harass. Cyberstalking shares important characteristics with offline stalking; many stalkers-online or off-are motivated by a desire to control their victims. Cyberstalker may be an online stranger or a person whom the target knows. A cyberstalker may be anonymous and may solicit the involvement of other people online who do not even know the target. Cyberstalking is a criminal offense that comes into play under state anti-stalking laws, slander laws, and harassment laws. A cyberstalking conviction can result in restraining order, probation, or even criminal penalties against the assailant, including jail.
Harassment and stalking of women online is common and can include raper threats, and other threats of violence, as well as the posting of women’s personal information. It is blamed for limiting victims’ activities online or driving them offline entirely, thereby impeding their participation in online life and undermining their autonomy, dignity, identity, and opportunities.
Of intimate partners
Cyberstalking of intimate partners is the online harassment of a current or former romantic partner. It is a form of domestic violence, and experts say its purpose is to control the victim in order to encourage social isolation and create dependency. Harassers may send repeated insulting of threatening e-mails to their victims, monitor or disrupt their victim’s e-mail use, and use the victim’s account to send e-mails to others posing as the victim or to purchase goods or services the victim does not want. They may also use the internet to research and compile personal information about the victim, to use in order to harass him or her.
Cybersquatting (also known as domain squatting), according to the United States federal law known as the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act, is registering, trafficking in, or using a domain name with bad faith intent to profit from the goodwill of a trademark belonging to someone else. The cybersquatter then offers to sell the domain to the person or company who owns a trademark contained within the name at an inflated price.
The term is derived from “squatting” which is the act of occupying an abandoned or unoccupied space or building that the squatter does not own, rent, or otherwise have permission to use. Cybersquatting, however, is a bit different in that the domain names that are being “squatted” are (sometimes but not always)being paid for through the registration process by the cybersquatters. Cybersquatters usually ask for prices far greater than that at which they purchased it. Some cybersquatters put up derogatory remarks about the person or company the domain is meant to represent in an effort to encourage the subject to buy the domain from them. Others post paid links via Google,Yahoo!Ask.com and other paid advertising networks to the actual site that the user likely wanted, thus monetizing their squatting.
The AnticybersquattingnConsumer Protection Act (ACPA) is an American law enacted in 1999 that established a cause of action for registering, trafficking in, or using a domain name confusingly similar to, or dilutive of, a trademark or personal name. The law was designed to thwart “cybersquatters” who register Internet domain names containing trademarks with no intention of creating a legitimate website but instead plan to sell the domain name to the trademark owner or a third party. Critics of the ACPA complain about the non-global scope of the Act and its potential to restrict free speech, while others dispute these complaints. Before the ACPA was enacted, trademark owners relied heavily on the Federal Trademark Dilution Act (FTDA) to sue domain name registrants. The FTDA was enacted in 1995 in part with the intent to curb domain name abuses. The legislative history of the FTDA specifically mentions that trademark dilution in domain names was a matter of Congressional concern motivating the Act. Senator Leahy stated that “ it is my hope that this anti-dilution statute can help stem the use of deceptive Internet addresses taken by those who are choosing marks that are associated with the products and reputations of others.”
For example in Panavision Int’l L.P. v. Toeppen, 141 F.3d 1316(9th Cir. 1998), Dennis Toeppen registered the domain name Panavision.com. Panavision, the trademark owner, learned that Toeppan had registered their trademark when they attempted to register the trademark “Panavision” as a domain name. Toeppen was using the domain panavision.com to display photographs of Pana, Illinois, and, when asked to cease, he offered to sell the domain name to Panavision for $13,000.After Panavision refused to buy the domain name from Toeppan , he registered their other trademark, Panaflex, as a domain name. The court held that the Federal Trademark Dilution Act could be violated without the traditional tarnishing or blurring the courts had required. Rulings like this extended the Federal Trademark Dilution Act substantially, making the law a less-than-ideal fit for protecting trademark owners against cybersquatters.
The use of Internet services or software with Internet access to defraud victims or to otherwise take advantage of them, for example by stealing personal information, which can even lead to identity theft. Internet service can be used to present fraudulent solicitations to prospective victims, conduct fraudulent transactions, or transmit the proceeds of fraud to financial institutions or to others connected with the scheme.
Purchase fraud occurs when a criminal approaches a merchant and proposes a business transaction,and then uses fraudulent means to pay for it, such as a stolen or fake credit card. As a result, merchants do not get paid for the sale. Merchants who accept credit cards may receive a chargeback for the transaction and lose money as a result.
With dating fraud, often the con artist develops a relationship with their victim through an online dating site and convinces the victim to send money to the fraudster. The requests for money can be a one-time event or repeated over an extended period.
The scammer poses as a charitable organization soliciting donations to help the victims of a natural disaster, terrorist attack( such as the Sept. 11World Trade Center attack), regional conflict, or epidemic. Hurricane Katrina and the 2004 tsunami were popular targets of scammers perpetrating charity scams; other more timeless scam charities purport to be raising money for cancer, AIDS or Ebola virus research, children’s orphanages ( the scammer pretends to work for the orphanage or a non – profit associated with it), or impersonates charities such as the Red Cross. The scammer asks for donations, often linking to online news articles to strengthen their story of a funds drive. The scammer’s victims are charitable people who believe they are helping a worthy cause and expect nothing in return. Once sent, the money is gone and the scammer often disappears, though many attempts to keep the scam going by asking for a series of payments. The victim may sometimes find themselves in legal trouble after deducting their supposed donations from their income taxes.