Presentation on theme: "National Centre for Cyberstalking Research 2013"— Presentation transcript:
1National Centre for Cyberstalking Research 2013 Digital StalkingNational Centre for Cyberstalking Research2013
2CyberstalkingCyberstalking is generally considered to be harassment that originates online, however it is also recognised that other forms of pre-existing stalking can transfer into online environments
3Occurrence of Cyberstalking Cyberstalking can be said to occur when there has been persistent and frequent unwanted contact from another individual/sThe behaviour in question has caused fear and distress.
4Types of attack Identity theft – controlling victim’s credentials Posting false profilesPosing as the victim and attacking othersDiscrediting in online communitiesDiscrediting victim in workplaceDirect threats through /instant messagingConstructing websites targeting the victimTransferring attack to victim’s relativesUse of the victim’s imageProvoking others to attack the victimFollowing the victim in cyberspace
5Prevalence of Problem 2.1 million across the UK 1.2 million females0.9 million malesNumber of male victims is growing
6How Aggressors Obtain Information? Digital FootprintsPersonal informationFinancial informationInternet usageDetails of friends and familyDaily activitiesWorkLocation and much moreSocial Networking SitesFacebookTwitter
7Geo-Location “Foursquare” app Discover where your friends are“Girls Around Me” app- banned by FoursquareMerging Facebook and Foursquare information with Google Maps and real-time GPS location dataTells where nearby women are; allows to see their full name, photos, and send them messagesFacebookCheck-in where you areAdd people you are withAdd date
9Observation and Understanding The ECHO Study - Electronic Communication Harassment Observation Commissioned by the Network for Surviving StalkingPilot study commenced in September 2010Analysis of the survey to be published in May 2011New extended study launched and will run for one year
10Observation and Understanding The ECHO Study - Electronic Communication Harassment Observation The results indicated that 22.8% of cases (25.9% for males, 21.4% females) report that their harasser was a stranger27.9% (21.2% males, 31.3% females) say the harasser was someone they dated/were married to
11Transmission to other Environments The more fixated an individual is, the more likely they are to move from one online environment to another until the target’s online presence is fully intruded upon
12Transmission to other Environments 73.55% of cases reported 2 or more mediums of harassment and 57.7% of cases reported that they had been harassed through more than 2 mediums (Phone calls, texts, , social networking sites, instant messages and physical environment)
13The Psychological Impact Post Traumatic Stress Disorder 32.7% of respondents who reported experiencing harassment indicate symptoms of PTSD according to the clinical questionnaire. Respondents indicating PTSD were more likely to report more changes to their lives due to the harassment50 % of people experiencing harassment electronically and physically (combined stalking) experience PTSD
15Effectiveness of services and other interventions 53.4%(47.7% males, 54.9% females) reported their problem to some authority10.8% (10.2% for Males, 11.3% for females) of the cases reported ended due to legal intervention (by police or Solicitors)37.2% of harassed people (27.3% of Males, 40.7% of Females) received some form of help to cope with the harassment.Mostly friend
16How to Protect Yourself? Assess what online information exists about youChange your and passwords for key online accounts and keep them safeReview all the privacy and security settingsAvoid public forumsLimit what you shareEducate friends, family and work colleaguesGather evidenceReport to policeSeek help and support for the charities
17Cyberstalking Forensics The majority of evidence is gathered from the victims immediate physical vicinityCyberstalking Monitor applications can record and transmit interactions between offender & victim simultaneously to law enforcement officersEvent log files from ISPs, Telecoms, employer network systems, etc., can correlate offender communicationsExisting technologies can assist with attribution & prosecution of offenders such as CCTV, GPS, etc.
18Bringing Cyberstalking ‘Out of the Shadows’ The problem is multidisciplinary and requires a multidisciplinary approachMore research is required to understand the problemInitial indications are that the behaviours and composition of the online stalking population differ significantly from traditional stalking – opening diverse lines of enquiry for research and the development of effective interventionsWhat it looks like
19Legal ChangeThe Internet is a conduit through which an increasing amount of interaction with society is conducted. The impact on an individual of such communications is significantly greater than it was 10 years ago.Facebook, which now has over 600 million users (10% of the world's population), was only launched in 2004!
20Legal ChangeIn recent years we have seen changes to legislation that recognise the impact of technology on society and the ease with which criminal offences can be committed.Most notably, the Police and Justice Act of 2006 amended the Computer Misuse Act of One change was the length of maximum jail sentence.
21Legal ChangeMalicious Communications Act of 1988 amended by the Criminal Justice and Police Act ensure electronic communications were covered. However, there should be reconsideration of whether the punishment currently legislated is sufficient.
22Legal ChangeProtection From Harassment Act does not explicitly state electronic communications. A clear statement of electronic communications would assist investigating police officers in seizing evidence in cases of Cyberstalking.Current lack of power to seize evidence, and this only exacerbates the problem of attribution.
23Law ChangeAmendments have been made to the Protection of Freedoms Bill making stalking a specific offence in England and Wales.One of the amendments includes the ability for Police to have access to the use of the internet, or any other form of electronic communication associated with stalking.The commencement order for the new law was 25th November 2012