Cyber Stalking: The Digital Frontier

On the digital frontier, stalkers have updated their weaponry and they are gunning for the unprepared. Cyber stalking is a criminal behavior which occurs when an individual uses the Internet to harass, humiliate, damage, or threaten someone. Most states have included electronic forms of communication as part of stalking or harassment laws. Cyber stalking crimes are classified as misdemeanor or felony offenses depending on aggravating factors which may include: possession of a deadly weapon, violation of a court order or condition of probation or parole, victim under 16 years, or repeatedly victimizing the same person. Based on specific circumstances, these offenses are subject to punishment ranging from probation to ten years in prison.

Forms of Cyber Stalking

Cyber stalking takes on many forms which may include sending victims harassing or threatening emails and text messages and/or posting personal, false or humiliating information on social media. In some cases these perpetrators may send viruses, spam attacks, and harmful programs via e-mail to compromise or destroy the victim’s computer. Even more ominous are cyber stalkers who intend to locate and confront their victim by obtaining personal information such as home and work addresses and phone numbers.

Scope of the Problem

The Department of Justice reports that 6.6 million people are victims of stalking in the United States. More than 25% of stalking victims, report that they were harassed on the internet during their lifetime. Most of these victims experienced significant anxiety or fear and believed that they or someone close to them could be harmed or killed. Most victims know the person stalking them. However, some stalkers fantasize or harbor grudges against public figures or celebrities they have never personally met.

Types of Cyber Stalkers

Cyber stalkers present mental health problems that vary from irrational anger to psychosis. They range from people who are angry ex-partners who feel unfairly rejected to more seriously disturbed individuals who are compulsive, vengeful, or delusional. The motivation for these crimes is to control, intimidate or influence the victim. The harmful effects of cyber stalking most commonly include severe emotional distress and damage to one’s reputation. In serious cases physical, sexual, and fatal assaults have been reported.

Preventive Measures

The following security guidelines are designed to help you prevent cyber stalking by closely protecting your personal information.

  1. Keep antivirus software updated.
  2. Use strong passwords.
  3. Never put personal photos, account profiles or email addresses online.
  4. Do not download unknown e-mail attachments.
  5. Don’t sign into accounts when using public Wi-Fi networks.
  6. Never reveal your home address.
  7. Privatize any online calendars or itineraries.
  8. Delete or password the details of any events you plan to attend.

Managing Cyber Stalking

In the event you become a victim of cyber stalking, here are some initial recommendations to follow.

  • Inform the person that further contact unwanted will be reported to police.
  • After this first warning, stop all responding to that individual.
  • Record the time, place, and details of all unwanted contacts or incidents.
  • Scan and clean your computer thoroughly for malicious software.
  • Change all passwords.
  • Block unwanted calls/ internet contacts.
  • Change phone numbers and e-mail addresses.
  • Inform family, close friends, and employers.
  • File complaints with the stalker’s ISP and websites.
  • File a police report with documented details of the cyber stalking.

Summary

Cyber stalking is a criminal behavior which occurs when an individual uses the Internet to harass, humiliate, damage, or threaten someone. Preventing cyber stalking emphasizes online security and safeguarding your personal information. Managing incidents of cyber stalking includes severing all contact, recording all incidents, and making formal complaints to both internet providers and law enforcement.

The Basics of Electronic Discovery: Part 2 of 2

In Part One of this article, we took a broad look at what e-discovery really is, defined the key terminology, and examined some of the technology impacting this field. Now, in this final Part Two, we will explore the technology in more detail, address the defensibility of the technology, and conclude with how all of this affects you, as a practitioner.

TECHNOLOGY

The technology used for e-discovery is constantly changing and improving. Well, if it is evolving at such a rate, then why do you need to obtain some technology to assist you now? Because, like your phone and computer, it has become an unavoidable component of the practice of law. New phones come out all the time, but you don’t likely change yours every three months. Similarly, new advances improve the scope and speed of e-discovery tools all the time, however, you will not need to change your technology regularly, but merely to have some reliable and proven technology upon which to rely to assist you in this regard.

The technology or software to assist you in your e-discovery practice can be hosted on your computer or reside elsewhere, such as on the server of a vendor or in the cloud. Each of these options has their own security concerns for protecting client data. Naturally, the decision of which method to utilize is one that only you can make after exploring the options with vendors. Many vendors offer multiple versions of the same technology for those who wish to self-host or those who wish to have remote access to the data.

While technology exists to aid you in sorting data collected or provided from your client and third-parties, you must also be aware that technology exists to assist your clients in preserving, maintaining, and producing ESI. To complement the software, it is not too early to begin discussing a litigation hold policy with your clients and even developing internal training strategies for their employees and contractors to avoid the inadvertent loss of important ESI.

Whatever route you take and whatever technology you ultimately choose to assist you in handling and producing ESI, you will be faced with a decision of how much control to release to the computer/software “brain”. At present, this is a hot button topic in the federal courts and has been addressed in several recent federal opinions. Software that assists us in searching voluminous data that allows the software to make decisions as to relevance has been referred to as “computer assisted research”, “computer assisted coding”, and “predictive coding”. This is in contrast to technology that utilizes a different method of searching, such as keywords, whereby the software merely identities those pre-defined keywords in documents and leaves the ultimate decision on responsiveness to the practitioner. Obviously, the first method is arguably more sophisticated programming, but its process must be reliable in order to be defended to a Court later if the issue arises, which leads us to the issue of defensibility.

DEFENSIBILITY

Although, at present, our Florida State Courts may be in somewhat uncharted waters, it is foreseeable from parallel developments in federal cases that the method by which ESI was processed may be called into question in a particular case. While one argument may be that the culling method is protected work product, it may also be appropriate for a Court to inquire into the method used in a particular case to determine, for example, whether the imposition of sanctions is appropriate or in balancing which party should bear the costs of production from the party or a third-party.

In selecting software to assist you in e-discovery or a third-party vendor to perform this task, you will want to inquire as to the methodology employed in the software and its track record to avoid a potentially costly situation later where you are called upon to defend the methodology used in production. That is not to imply that computer assisted review or predictive coding is somehow inappropriate or untested technology, but simply that you must be aware of the technology you are using no different than understanding the methodology of an expert you would employ.

SO HOW DOES ALL THIS AFFECT YOU?

This brings us to the all-important question of why should you care about any of this. E-discovery will become an integral component to civil discovery and with it the real potential for a wide range of sanctions.

In recent months there have been several highly visible cases in which Courts imposed sanctions based on e-discovery violations. Sanctions can range from the exclusion of evidence and adverse jury instructions to post-trial findings that impact a party’s appeal.

Sanctions can also be monetary and can run against a party or even, in some cases, directly against the attorney that aids in secreting a client’s electronic data. Similarly, the improper production of privileged materials in e-discovery may be considered legal malpractice. Thus, the lesson to be taken is that all attorneys now have a new obligation to counsel their clients on ESI and data management, therefore, the attorneys must understand this area of the law, as well.

This “brave new world” of e-discovery is here to stay and must be embraced and integrated into the practices of all Florida civil litigation attorneys. It is conceptually not that different from traditional discovery. Disregarding it, however, can be perilous and costly, while mastering its nuances can make you more efficient, cost effective, and provide a better service to your clients.

How Is Gas Chromatography Used In Forensic Science?

Forensic science is one of the popular subjects, which has been used widely in public services from time to time. Gas chromatography helps people to gather more evidence in an effective way, as the component is known to separate various elements in the crime scene in order to analyze from time to time.

Gas chromatography comes in various mixtures, which are known to be used based on the scene and the crime scene in an effective way. It is evident that various elements in the crime scene are separated in order to figure out the result of exact evidence from time to time. The process has been evolved to a great extent for a long time now, as it is known to provide an accurate result from time to time.

The process has a lot of uses for public services, as people are known to use the process in order to invest give various police cases in an effective way. The forensic pathology team has been known as the largest user of gas Chromatography on a regular basis, as they will have to identify various elements and molecules available at the crime scene from time to time.

Some of the uses of gas chromatography in Forensic science

Crime scene investigation – Forensics is all about finding better evidence related to crime scenes and accident scenes from time to time. It is very much necessary for people to understand different elements involved in forensic science, as it helps them to use the benefits to the maximum extent on a regular basis. There will be a variety of samples found in both accident and crime scenes on a regular basis, and it is important to investigate the scene and figure out the sensitive evidence in order to solve the case in a quick span of time.

As Gas chromatography can be used in order to investigate about blood marks and fiber samples, it is evident that a proper process can provide you a lot of information about the scene in an effective way. As most of the forensic outputs are known to provide accurate results, it is important to have a team of forensic experts in order to investigate the scene from time to time.

Conclusion

It is a known fact that gas chromatography mixture or a process has been extensively used in public services like Police, Federal investigations and so on. As the compound is known to provide better investigative methods and results, it is important for every individual to choose the forensic report in order to know the actual cause of the issue or the crime in an effective way. Gas Chromatography has been used in order to figure out various facts about the crime and an accident scene, as it can effectively provide accurate results.