Technological Predation

As technology advances like a tsunami, so do the related abuses and misuse, and what people easily forget is that often what may seem clearly wrong is just as often not reflected in the current legal code.

I am reminded of a case from back in the late 80’s in the US where an employee had secretly installed a video camera in the ladies’ room and yet, when caught by one of the ladies, was at first legally guilty of nothing, as there was no specific law to protect the rights of the woman in this clear case of peeping. She fought it, and managed to push through new legislation making video peeping a crime.

Nuremberg comes to mind where the scale of Nazi atrocities was so great that new laws had to be written before the trials could commence. Anyway, my point here is that the legal system has got well on top of cybercrime, after a few years of uncertain limbo, which is why a recent case in Almería was handily dealt with.

On various social networking sites, a 20-year-old youth had charmed many a minor into disrobing on videocam, collecting many videos and photos, which he then used to blackmail the victims, telling them they had to keep doing this or else he’d publicise the material on these same sites. He was good at it, as he was accused of committing over 600 sexual threats, some against children as young as twelve.

Owing to his lack of penal antecedent, he has avoided jail time, but the charges will stick just in case he tends towards recidivism. The Internet really is a parallel sort of world, but a world that requires laws just as much as this more prosaic one we muddle through every day.

(News: Andalucia, Almeria)

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