Feeds

US cyberstalker pleads guilty

Used PC 'to annoy, abuse, threaten and harass'

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

A US man has pleaded guilty to cyberstalking a former girlfried. Believed to be the first person to be fingered under US laws prohibiting Internet stalking, Robert James Murphy, 38, of Columbia, South Carolina, originally denied a hearing in April 26 counts of using his computer "to annoy, abuse, threaten and harass" Joelle Ligon, a 35 year-old Seattle woman.

Yesterday, Murphy pleaded guilty to two counts of cyberstalking in an agreement with federal prosecutors, AP reports. He is to be sentenced at the end of October.

In May, Chubb Insurance warned that stalkers are increasingly using email and the Internet to prey on their victims. Although widely regarded as a crime that happens to celebrities, a study found that one in eight adults in the UK is a victim of "persistent or unwanted attention".

Experts identified ordinary men and women in their 40s - especially those holding managerial positions or working as lawyers and doctors - as "typical victims" of stalking.

In many cases, people are followed or receive menacing phone calls, in eight out of ten cases email is used to threaten or abuse victims.

According to the report: "It is anticipated that the rapid technological advances of recent years will facilitate stalking offending further. Although no figures are available yet, stalkers are taking advantage of email to harass their victims. The Internet and electronic databases provide rich potential sources of information for offenders on their victims. This is making it more difficult for victims to hide from their stalkers." ®

Related stories

US man on Net stalking rap
Stalkers target victims with email
German 'old tart' emailer fined
Jilted lover jailed for email stalking

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Bladerunner sequel might actually be good. Harrison Ford is in it
Go ahead, you're all clear, kid... Sorry, wrong film
Euro Parliament VOTES to BREAK UP GOOGLE. Er, OK then
It CANNA do it, captain.They DON'T have the POWER!
Musicians sue UK.gov over 'zero pay' copyright fix
Everyone else in Europe compensates us - why can't you?
I'll be back (and forward): Hollywood's time travel tribulations
Quick, call the Time Cops to sort out this paradox!
Megaupload overlord Kim Dotcom: The US HAS RADICALISED ME!
Now my lawyers have bailed 'cos I'm 'OFFICIALLY' BROKE
Forget Hillary, HP's ex CARLY FIORINA 'wants to be next US Prez'
Former CEO has political ambitions again, according to Washington DC sources
prev story

Whitepapers

10 ways wire data helps conquer IT complexity
IT teams can automatically detect problems across the IT environment, spot data theft, select unique pieces of transaction payloads to send to a data source, and more.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
How to determine if cloud backup is right for your servers
Two key factors, technical feasibility and TCO economics, that backup and IT operations managers should consider when assessing cloud backup.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.