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    Privacy, Safety Problems with Use of Surveillance Gear on Romantic Partners

    Recently, the Independent in the UK reported on the use of spyware by abusers to track and control their victims. “Helplines and women’s refuge charities have reported a dramatic rise in the use of spyware apps to eavesdrop on the victims of domestic violence via their mobiles and other electronic devices, enabling abusers clandestinely to read texts, record calls and view or listen in on victims in real time without their knowledge.”

    A 2009 report about stalking from the Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Statistics found: “Electronic monitoring was used to stalk 1 in 13 victims. Video or digital cameras were equally likely as listening devices or bugs to be used to electronically monitor victims (46% and 42%). Global positioning system (GPS) technology comprised about a tenth of the electronic monitoring of stalking victims.” (Here’s the 2012 update.) The U.S. National Network to End Domestic Violence has a paper about how abusers and stalkers use technology to control and harass their victims.

    This type of surveillance has been increasing as the privacy-invasive technology has improved and prices for over-the-counter gear have dropped. The surveillance equipment also is being marketed to consumers, so what once was the province of law enforcement officials has become easily accessible to the everyday person.

    The surveillance technology is being used in divorce cases. A case in Ohio concerned a hidden surveillance system installed by a husband to spy on his wife; the system included a camera, microphone and computer-monitoring software. A Tennessee woman, according to federal records, installed spy software on her husband’s computer to intercept and alter his e-mails.

    Law enforcement officials are investigating the misuse of such surveillance technology to invade privacy by individuals, as seen in the cases above, and by device and app creators, as well. Last year, the chief executive of the company that makes a mobile app for spying on individuals was indicted on federal charges.

    Hammad Akbar pleaded guilty in November and “was ordered to pay a fine of $500,000 for advertising and selling StealthGenie, a spyware application (app) that could remotely monitor calls, texts, videos and other communications on mobile phones without detection. This marks the first-ever criminal conviction concerning the advertisement and sale of a mobile device spyware app,” the FBI said. (Here’s more on StealthGenie.)

    One Response to “Privacy, Safety Problems with Use of Surveillance Gear on Romantic Partners”

    1. Anonymous Says:

      This is about myself being electronically Harassed. This is about the RFID Technology that is imbedded in the clothes that people do not know. I have been harassed for 11 years. What can I do? What have I done to anybody? I do not steel things or one who looks at doing somebody to harm him or her (I have my moral values). I just want to live my life in peace. I have a problem at times with my muscles and nerves. Yet, I am constantly monitored when I wear Items of clothing that have a RFID chip in them programed purposely by someone. Who is doing the harassment? I do not know. Somebody who does not like my religious beliefs (Im not Muslem), Who does not my looks, or somebody that I rubbed the wrong way without knowing it…I possibly looked at the person wrongly or something. The RFID Technology anybody can program things in (hay I am a bad guy) but I have not done anything wrong to anybody. It is unjust!!! Am I angry, yes at time, but I forgive. My anger ceases. I have no ability to take this to authority to report on this abuse because I’m crazy…its all in my head. I am guilty before doing anything wrong. We used to have checks and balances in this Nation before our right were taken away. If the levels of Governments can abuse their citizens and pick and chose who has freedom and rights verses those who do not have freedom and rights, then it is only to be expected that it will flow down to the micro level of human interactions due to the fact that “I do not like you because”….whatever the reason it may be.
      Solution: Post things out information that a person can go to feeling safe in having an investigation in who is doing the harassment. This will cause more people who are being harassed come out of the closet and not feel that he or she is suppressed and in return, this will cause people in a whole to think twice about harassing someone due to suffering the consequences.
      Thank you for reading this!

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