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Technology Becomes a Tool for Abuse - Interview at the 2009 NIJ Conference

NCJ Number
Cindy Southworth
Date Published
December 2009
1 page
This is a video and transcript of an interview with Cindy Southworth, the director of the Safety Net Technology Project, in which she addresses methods of stalking and bullying that use computer software for victim harassment and monitoring the victim's computer use, as well as GPS technology for tracking victim movements and locations.
The stalking and victimization report issued in January 2009 shows that stalkers are using technology as part of their stalking strategy; however, accurate statistics on the prevalence of this stalking method are not yet known. Much of the difficulty in obtaining accurate statistics on this criminal method is that victims are often unaware that they are being stalked with the use of spyware on their computers. A stalker may place a GPS device on a victim's car or cell phone, where it may go undetected. Ms. Southworth advises stalking victims who suspect that their activities are being monitored by a stalker to contact a victim advocate about safety and the importance of using appropriate methods for collecting evidence of the stalking. The interview also addresses cyberbullying, which can involve circulating embarrassing pictures of a victim on the internet ("sexting").