CyberStalking Is Increasing

from the watch-out... dept

After all those stories abou thow online dating has gone mainstream and “everyone is doing it”, here’s an article that says that all that online dating has led to an increase in cyberstalking, as well. I’m not sure how much blame should really go twoards online dating, and how much is due to people just having much easier access to the tools necessary. While, historically, cyberstalking has mostly been men stalking women, the reverse is happening more often as well. Even worse, kids are getting started at a young age, cyberstalking other children. People are even putting trojan horse spyware onto the computers of those they’re stalking. Surprisingly, the study also focuses a lot on the Verizon-RIAA battle over whether Verizon needs to give out private info of one of their customers without a court order, thanks to the RIAA filing a DMCA information request. While the connection might not be obvious, the people behind the study say that stalkers will now be able to file one-page DMCA requests to service providers in order to get the private info of people they’re stalking. Of course, such a filing would leave a record which might not be the best thing for someone who is stalking.

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JA Hitchcock (user link) says:

Latest Cyberstalking Statistics Released - 3-year


Latest Cyberstalking Statistics Released

CONTACT: Jayne A. Hitchcock

APRIL 27, 2003

Working to Halt Online Abuse (WHOA at announced today its
cyberstalking statistics for 2002. Victims who come to WHOA for help fill out a questionnaire
which has voluntary information at the end that includes location, age, gender and race (see WHOA averages 50-100 cases per week, but
only 218 victims filled out the questionnaire completely in 2002, which were used to compile the
latest cyberstalking statistics.

WHOA found that most of the statistics for 2002 were similar to the previous two years (2001
and 2000, when they began compiling the statistics). For example, just over half of the victims all
three years were 18-30 years old and 52-68% were harassed by males. Fifty-nine percent of the
victims had prior contact with their harassers in 2002, up 10 percent from 2001 statistics. All
three years saw e-mail as the primary way the cyberstalking began, whether the victim and
cyberstalker previously encountered each other in a chat room, newsgroup, forum, instant
messaging or elsewhere online.

“The most surprising thing we’ve seen is the rise in female cyberstalkers – this increased from
27% in 2000 to 32.5% in 2001 to 35% in 2002,” says Jayne A. Hitchcock, president of WHOA.
“We’ve also had more men come to us for help, jumping from 17% in both 2000 and 2001 to
35% in 2002.”

More statistics, including location of victim and cyberstalker, race, how the cyberstalking began,
who the cases were resolved and more are available by e-mailing Hitchcock at

WHOA was founded in 1997 to fight online harassment through educating the general public and
law enforcement workers an by empowering cyberstalking victims to become survivors. The
agency also recommends voluntary policies to purveyors of online Web sites designed to create
welcoming Internet environments for users.

WHOA is the only organization that offers up-to-date cyberstalking statistics, a current list of
states with/without cyberstalking or related laws, online and offline safety tips, and much more.
WHOA is an all-volunteer organization made up of people from around the world who help
online victims. For a complete listing of agency statistics from the years 2000-2001, visit
WHOA’s Web site at

Hitchcock, a cyberstalking victim who joined WHOA in 1997 and was appointed president in
1999, has since become one of the foremost experts in cybercrime. She has been interviewed by
dozens of media outlets, and shares her expertise with readers in her recently published book,
NET CRIMES & MISDEMEANORS: Outmaneuvering the Spammers, Swindlers, and Stalkers
Who Are Targeting You Online (, CyberAge Books (350 pp/trade
paper/ISBN 0-910965-57-9/$24.95), available in better bookstores offline and online.

In the book, Hitchcock explains how individuals and business users of the Internet can protect
themselves, their children, and their employees from online cheats and predators. She details a
broad range of abusive practices, shares victims’ stories (including her own), and shares practical
advice on how to handle junk e-mail, privacy invasion, financial scams, cyberstalking, and
identity theft. She offers useful tips and techniques and points to the laws, organizations, and
Web sites that support victims and helps them fight back.

Hitchcock lectures and trains law enforcement worldwide how to track down online criminals
and work with victims; has helped pass related legislation in several states, including Maryland
(the first state in the country to pass such a law), Rhode Island, California, New Hampshire and
Maine, and offers general lectures to the public about staying safe online.

Hitchcock is available for media interviews via telephone or in person by calling 815-550-5059
or e-mailing her at


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