Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Ex Boyfriend Blogs, Breaks Restraining Order - Goes to Court

A man who subjected his ex-girlfriend to a terrifying internet hate campaign has broken his restraining order just two months later – by writing about her in a blog.

Stephen Andreassen, 37, pleaded guilty to harassment in June after bombarding her with Facebook messages and setting up 35 websites about her when she dumped him.

He was ordered not to create any more sites about his ex, or contact her.

But on August 15, the woman’s sister found an entry on his blog detailing the court case and calling the woman involved a ‘liar’ and ‘sociopath’.

He even threatened to write a book about their relationship – adding that August 11 last year, when he first asked the woman to go out with him, was ‘the day that ruined my life’.

The blog did not name the woman – but police believed it contained enough detail to identify her.

Andreassen pleaded guilty to breaching the restraining order at Manchester magistrates court yesterday and was given a 14-week prison term, suspended for one year, and a 9pm to 7am curfew.
Gareth Hughes, prosecuting, told the court that Andreassen’s former partner ‘just wanted to get on with her life’, but was now ‘very depressed that she was back on his mind’.

“It worries her because he is very unpredictable,” added Mr Hughes. “She drives everywhere in case she bumps into him and just wants this to come to an end.”

The court heard that Andreassen and the woman had been out on dates last year. They split up at the woman’s request – and the harassment began.

Andreassen, of Ellesmere Road, Chorlton, set up a string of websites, including blogs and fake Facebook profiles for the woman and people she knew.

He posted so many messages on her genuine Facebook page that she was forced to close it down and change her email address and phone number.

The terms of the restraining order were also extended to prevent him writing a book ‘or any other material’ about his former partner.

David Philpotts, defending, said Andreassen had been ‘exceedingly foolish’ in writing the blog.

But he said the material had not been posted on any social networking site or emailed to his former partner, and suggested it could only be found using a search engine.

Andreassen was warned that if he was brought before the court again, he would go to prison.

Sunday, August 29, 2010


Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Nearly two years after the launch of a Web site offering instant access to addresses, ages and telephone numbers, consumers remain outraged over the open access to their personal information.

The site (ZabaSearch.com) is one of the most widely known of numerous online databases that allow anyone surfing the Internet to confirm the birth month and year, address and phone number of just about anyone, free of charge. With a single click, the site puts select data about friends, relatives and strangers right at your fingertips.

It also provides links to even more comprehensive sources of information that are available for varying fees.
"I don't understand how this site can post information without the individual's consent," complained New Yorker Velma Baker. Tom Mugan of New York called the Web site "very scary," adding, "With very little effort, someone can steal your identity."
Zaba Inc. launched the site in early 2005 with little marketing or publicity. Within weeks, it emerged as one of the most comprehensive personal-data search engines on the Net. Since then, both traffic to the site and concern about the information it offers has apparently multiplied.
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

As word about the site circulates in one unsolicited e-mail after another, consumers rush to the site to check out what data the company has on file about them. More often than not, they don't like what they find.
As Diane and John McCarron of New Jersey explained, "This is an invasion of our privacy, and we don't know what we can do to stop it."
The concern, of course, is understandable. It's unnerving to realize that your address or age is a click away from anyone with the curiosity to uncover it. However, all of the information provided by Zaba and other online databases is from publicly available government records and commercial sources.

These online people-search companies use a mix of public records - everything from court records to the change-of-address cards you file with the post office - to generate digital dossiers that are legal to post under existing state and federal laws.


Saturday, August 28, 2010

Puppetmaster Cyberpath Coerces Victims into Webcam 'Acts'

CANADA -- An Ottawa man who pleaded guilty to blackmailing girls and young women into performing degrading acts in front of a computer like a "puppeteer pulling strings" was handed an eight-year-sentence on Friday.

Ontario Court Justice Celynne Dorval said Ryan Earl McCann, 20, committed "premeditated torture" on his young victims, and used his youth to manipulate them into doing what he wanted.

McCann used nearly a dozen phoney online personas to manipulate women and girls as young as 14 into committing "demeaning" acts under the threat of physical violence or the release of the webcam videos on the Internet.

"When manipulation failed, his weapons of choice were threats which rendered the complainants powerless and unable to control their own lives," said Dorval. "Contrary to his fictional characters, each one of these young women is a 'real' person. He leaves behind a trail of scarred and emotionally fragile teenagers and young women."

McCann pleaded guilty earlier this month to 26 charges, including extorting young girls and women to make pornographic videos, producing child pornography, invitation to sexual touching, harassment and uttering death threats against 22 victims.

One of McCann's victims left the courtroom in tears as the judge outlined the crimes committed against her.

Dorval said McCann's nearly two dozen young women suffered "significant consequences" while McCann was "callous and uncaring" to the harm he was causing.

"Shame, self-loathing and loss of confidence are common to all," said Dorval, adding some now suffer nightmares, sleeplessness and a constant concern for the safety of their families.

Dorval said McCann's videos, including one in which the webcam captured stuffed animals on the headboard of a bed behind a young girl performing explicit acts, provided a "very graphic image of the sexualizing of children."

Wearing wire-rimmed glasses and a white hooded sweatshirt, McCann occasionally hung his head as he sat silently in the prisoner's box. He briefly acknowledged his family, who sat in the front row.

"Bye Ryan, I love you," one of his sisters called out as he was being led out of court.

With two-for-one credit for 13 months of time served, he now has five years and 10 months of his sentence to serve.

Dorval said a 2007 psychiatrist's report turned out to be "prophetic" when it found McCann had the capacity to inflict "significant emotional and psychological harm" in situations where he perceives he is in power. The doctor also concluded McCann, who apologized in court last week, lacked the capacity to feel guilt or remorse.

McCann confessed to developing an elaborate scheme to recruit girls and women between the ages of 14 and 21 to perform sexually explicit acts for money by portraying his purported company, Talen's Playground, as a legitimate business.

McCann, who was 18 at the time, would initially chat with his victims on Facebook or MSN Messenger. Then he would encourage the young women to take on "clients" who would instruct them to perform in exchange for huge sums of money, depending on the explicitness and number of sexual acts they performed.

But instead of paying, McCann blackmailed the girls and young women into committing more degrading acts by threatening to expose the videos or to recruit their friends by using the victims' own online identities, which he had hacked. McCann also had two 15-year-old girls perform sex acts on him.

McCann assumed 11 different personas to further the ruse and intimidate his victims, including threatening physical violence and death. Many of them didn't realize he was the only person involved until after his plea.

Although the victims were told they were performing for clients, McCann admitted to police he had the victims do the shows "for his own personal pleasure" and because he enjoyed the thrill of being a predator.

In the videos, the young women removed clothing, danced in front of the camera, touched themselves, simulated sex acts on the handles of flashlights or hairbrushes and carried out more explicit acts. At other times, they wrote degrading messages on their bodies. Some cried throughout their performances. One threatened suicide.

In addition to prison time, McCann was ordered to provide a DNA sample to the national databank, was added to the sex offender registry and prohibited from possessing weapons for 10 years.

He was also ordered to stay away from parks, playgrounds, schools, daycares or any other place children under the age of 16 may be present for life. That order also bans him from using computers to communicate with children under 16.


Friday, August 27, 2010

Meets Them on Craigslist, then Harasses Them

When Randall Mason’s girlfriend ended their relationship, the harassing calls began, police said. The threats led the victim to being fired and led police to capture a man they believe is a serial harasser.

The Greenwich woman called police in July and they soon determined that Mason, 28, had a history of meeting women on Craigslist. When they ended the relationship, he would harass them, the Greenwich Time reports. Police believe there are at least six victims, mostly in Connecticut and New York.

"All the women were the same age and had the same physical descriptors," Sgt. Michael Reynolds told the Time. "He has been very consistent with what he does."

Mason and the victim lived together in New York City for several months before she ended things. Then, she left New York and moved in with her parents in Greenwich.

There were Internet threats and text messages, police said, and Mason allegedly threatened serious bodily harm, the Time reports.

He is also accused of harassing the woman’s employer. The threats were so “intolerable,” she was fired, the Time reports.

"This was initially classified as a domestic violence case, but we realized during the investigation what his background was," Berry told the newspaper. "Our investigation yielded two separate warrants and we quickly developed information that he was out of state."

Police told the Time, they believe Mason left the state and went to Chicago last year to avoid the charges.

On Aug. 5, authorities in Illinois arrested Mason. On Wednesday, Greenwich police brought him back to Connecticut. On Thursday, he was arraigned on threatening and harassment charges in Stamford Superior Court on Thursday.

Mason has a criminal history that dates back to 2001, including convictions for larceny and identity theft, the Time reports, citing court records. In 2005, he served 18 months in jail, records show. Court records show that Mason was also charged with third-degree identity theft, third-degree larceny and violation of probation.

Lt. Richard Cochran, head of the domestic violence section, told the Time that it seemed that Mason had "hooked another victim" in Illinois when he was taken into custody. "None of these women had any idea what they were dealing with," Cochran told the newspaper.

Mason is being held on a $225,000 bond. He is due back in state Superior Court in Stamford on Aug. 24.


Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Couple Uses Online Dating to Extort Money

At least 7 people were victims of extortion by a couple from Toledo through online dating phone service scam.

Kevin Zunk and Tonya Blaze were able to extort money of more than $10,000 by luring their victims to send sexual photos and messages to a phone number. They then told their victims that those messages were received by an 11 year old child and this is when the extortion happens. The victims would then paid the couple a large sum of money in order for them not to call the police.

One of their victims from Florida called the FBI after he sent money to Kevin and Tonya. The couple is now facing federal extortion charges.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Online Harassment Getting Serious Legal Attention

2 Chicago men are charged in separate cases of online harassment
by Steve Schmadekeb

A Chicago man accused of posting a fake Craigslist ad that said his sister was giving away all her possessions is facing misdemeanor charges after bargain-hunters descended on the woman's Joliet home looking to cart away her belongings.

And a married Chicago computer consultant is being accused of posting nude photos of his California ex-girlfriend having intercourse on two Web sites, as well as posting the woman's phone number and the home addresses of her and her mother.

The unrelated incidents are examples of cases that prosecutors are bringing against people who allegedly use the Internet to harass someone.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Web Attacks Can Find Out Where You Live

Booby Trap Pictures, Images and Photos

Visiting a booby-trapped website, the bogus webpage designed for phishing, means inviting cyber attackers to your home, a hacker turned security researcher has warned.

The attacker exploits the shortcomings in many routers -- the device which forwards data packets to their destinations -- to find out a key identification number that can reveal the victim's whereabout in minutes, noted hacker Samy Kamkar said.

Demonstrating such an attack at the recently concluded Black Hat hacker conference in Las Vegas, Kamkar described how web attacks that begin with making contact with the target (user) can be used to find a person's physical location.

After making contact, the target is convinced to visit a booby-trapped website designed by the attacker. Once the victim clicks the attacker's link, Kamkar showed how the attacker can manipulate geo location data from Google to pinpoint a victim's precise location, the BBC reported.

Many people go online via a router and typically only the computer directly connected to the device can interrogate it for ID information.

However, Kamkar found a way to booby-trap a webpage via a browser so the request for the ID information looks like it is coming from the PC on which that page is being viewed.

He then coupled the ID information, known as a MAC address, with a geo-location feature of the Firefox web browser. This interrogates a Google database created when its cars were carrying out surveys for its Street View service.

This database links Mac addresses of routers with GPS co-ordinates to help locate them.

"This is geo-location gone terrible," said Kamkar during his presentation. "Privacy is dead, people. I'm sorry."

Mikko Hypponen, senior researcher at security firm F Secure, attended the presentation and said it was "very interesting research".

"The thought that someone, somewhere on the net can find where you are is pretty creepy," he said.

"Scenarios where an attack like this would be used would be stalking or targeted attacks against an individual," he added.

"The fact that databases like Google Streetview's Mac-to-Location database or the Skyhook database can be used in these attacks just underlines how much responsibility companies that collect such data have to safeguard it correctly," said Mr Hypponen.

In 2005, Mr Kamkar created a worm that exploited security failings in web browsers to garner more than one million "friends" on the MySpace social network in one day.

Prosecuted for the hacking, Kamkar was given three years' probation and 90 days of community service and paid damages. He was also banned from using the net for personal purposes for an undisclosed amount of time.

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Internet Harassment & Revenge is a Crime

An Connecticut woman is accused of attempting to break up a marriage via the Internet.

Police said Pilar Stofega, 34, spent hours crafting fake profiles about her ex-boyfriend's wife and posting them online for the world to see.
revenge Pictures, Images and Photos

Waterford police said Stofega was attempting to take revenge on a man she dated eight years ago by going after his wife.

Detectives said Stofega created phony profiles of the woman on adult Web sites and included her home and work phone numbers and high school yearbook photo.
revenge Pictures, Images and Photos

Police said the ex-boyfriend began doing some Internet searching and uncovered the fake profiles and told police that Stofega was behind it.

Channel 3 Eyewitness News reporter Katy Zachry reported that Stofega told police that
Stofega was released on $2,500 bond and is facing harassment charges.


Saturday, August 07, 2010

Ex-Girlfriend Smeared Online by Cop

(AUSTRALIA) A police officer accused of smearing his ex-girlfriend's reputation through a bogus, salacious internet profile has struck a plea bargain with prosecutors.

Detective Sergeant Darren James Clohesy, 40, of Mawson Lakes, was due to stand trial today for unlawful stalking.

Prosecutors had alleged that, last May, he set up an account with adult dating website adultmatchmaker.com.au in the name "SexyMillie888".

That account allegedly gave his ex-girlfriend's real name and address, and a mobile phone contact number.

Prosecutors further claimed that number belonged to Clohesy's female friend, who allegedly spoke with interested men about the other woman.
Several men subsequently turned up at the victim's home after contacting the website.

In a victim impact statement, Ms Milsom told the court of the shock of having strange men turn up at her house intending to have sex.

She said the website profile had been used to ``arouse them sexually with fantasy and filth''.

Ms Milsom questioned Clohesy's motives, asking if it was his intention to cause her suffering or harm at the hands of these men and accused him of showing no remorse.

Today, the Adelaide Magistrates Court heard the case had been resolved through negotiation.

Sue Lucas, prosecuting, said Clohesy would plead to the alternate, lesser charge of offensive behaviour.

"It's proposed that the matter be adjourned until tomorrow morning for the guilty plea to be entered," she said.

David Edwardson, QC, for Clohesy, said his client would plead guilty to other offences as well.

"There are numerous breaches of bail between September 2009 and March 2010, and a charge of unlawfully accessing a computer," he said.

"There will be pleas to that, while the charge of attempting to pervert the course of justice will be withdrawn."

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Harassment Pushed Victim to File Lawsuit


(MASSACHUSETTS) - Even after hundreds of empty boxes arrived in the mail and she was warned that firecrackers would explode on her lawn, Laurie A. Narey shied away from taking court action.

"It's not something I'm comfortable with," she said. "I'm a private person."

Eventually, however, the harassment was too much. She was getting e-mails and telephone calls blaming her for Phoebe Prince's suicide. Even the boxes she never ordered would be labeled "Phoebe Died" and "Phoebe's Killed." Someone had mistakenly linked her online to Kayla Narey, one of the six former South Hadley High School students charged in connection with Prince. It got to the point that Laurie Narey had to move out of her Lathrop Street house and stay with her father for awhile.

This week, Narey filed a civil suit against Cody M. Nallett of 122 Carew St. in Chicopee, claiming that Nallett initiated the harassment by incorrectly posting Facebook messages saying she was Kayla Narey's mother and that the defendant lived at her house.

"Her mom's laurie ... so when ya'll start calling make sure to say hi," Nallett wrote, according to the suit. In another posting, Nallett allegedly recommended calling Narey after 2 a.m. Nallett spread the word to local television and radio stations, one of which posted the false information on its Web site, Narey said. Even after Narey got through to Nallett on the Internet, Nallett wouldn't back off.

"I told her she had the wrong information," Narey said. "She said everything she did was right. She took no responsibility."

Nallett, who is being sued for libel, injurious falsehood and both negligent and intentional infliction of emotional distress, could not be reached for comment.

Narey, 47, said Friday she wanted to find another way to solve the problem before going to a lawyer.

"I decided to press charges because this went on month after month," she said. "I was able to make the decision I believe was right. This is about accountability, saying, 'Hey, you can't do this to people.'"

Narey is not the only person who has been flailing in the riptide of emotions resulting from Prince's death. Since the 15-year-old freshman hanged herself on Jan. 14, school officials and the defendants charged in her case have been subject to online humiliation and even death threats.

Laurie Narey said she is a distant relation of Kayla Narey, but Kayla has never lived at her house.

"People feel because I'm related to her I deserve this," she said. "We're talking about an action somebody has taken against me. It has nothing to do with who I'm related to."