Sunday, March 14, 2010

The dark side of digital ‘love’

It's is a part of the high tech: the heart is injured, unbent his mind, the mouse that is easily clicked to damage and destroy others, or wandering voice mail messages laced with menace or despair. It is the dark side of "love" in the digital age.

Tiger Woods has become such a man with voice mail to his mistress in a common national, audio intact: "Hey, it's, uh, Tiger. I need you to do me a huge favor. Um, can you please, uh, take your name from the phone. my wife went through my phone. And, uh, can you call ... "

Despite many optimistic stories of online games or romantic meetings via Facebook or e-mail, there are plenty of moral tales. They have high profile, TMZ-appeal the case Woods, but are devastating to victims, such as the cases, from just last month:

- In Wyoming, a woman former boyfriend is charged with claiming to be online, she and her rape by organizing a Craigslist ad said it was looking to play a fantasy "rape". A 26-year-old woman forced his way into the house, bound his hands and raped her at knifepoint, prosecutors say. Both ex-boyfriend and accused attacker faces life in prison if convicted.

- The 19-year-old Wisconsin, Anthony Stancl, was sentenced to 15 years in prison after being convicted of using Facebook to blackmail sex dozens of colleagues. Stancl presents as a girl on Facebook and tricked more than 30 male colleagues send him naked photos of themselves, then using the photos to blackmail.

- In New York, Paul Franco, is accused of coercion and harassment for allegedly hijacking facebook account of his former lover, changing settings on page to show them that they are homosexual and demanding cash from her before he would change the settings back. "He changed all my details and said that I was interested in women. I have a lot of requests for relationships with women - and it was an acceptance of them," Zamora said Jessica Anderson of the New York Post.

"It used to be when stalked someone physically had to follow, you physically had to leave nasty notes on their door, break their windows," says Robert Morgester, a deputy attorney general of California, which is specializing in technology crime and identity theft cases.

"Technology has eliminated what I call moral" speed bumps. "Before, when someone came up, or doing a horrible act, had to decide to go out that front door and do it," he says.

"But what technology has allowed to do is sit in the privacy of your home and wreak havoc."

In particular, "we see an increase in people claiming other people online for a variety of different reasons, and to harm them with personal attacks", such as the above cases. He describes it as "prosecution by proxy."

Among the cases he prosecuted was that of a clerk Fresno, California court whose ex-boyfriend online fake profiles created it, including information about where he lived and worked, and posted messages saying he wanted men Contact her for sex.

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