With the recent events that spurred the investigation leading to the resignation of David H. Petraeus as C.I.A. director leads us to ask the question, Why did an every day citizen like, Jill Kelley, (although admittedly a Tampa socialite) get the special attention of the FBI for a cyber stalking case?
The FBI has said that the reason was a potential breach of national security. We also believe that Ms. Kelley’s ongoing relationships with high level government officials including local FBI, created the “interest” and “clout” to investigate the allegations of cyber stalking by a scorned woman. This is all well and good, but what happens when normal people like you and I get cyber-stalked, get fired , lose family and relationships, lose our businesses, lose our reputation and dignity because of a cyber stalker? Especially when the FBI or local Police won’t even talk to you?
Cyber Stalking Laws Vs Reality
In the state of Florida the Cyber Stalking Laws are clear as to the fact that it is against the law to utilize communications whether electronic email or phone texting or any other electronic communication for the purpose of causing substantial emotional distress to that person and serving no legitimate purpose as referenced in the statutes below. Other states have similar laws.
(d) “Cyberstalk” means to engage in a course of conduct to communicate, or to cause to be communicated, words, images, or language by or through the use of electronic mail or electronic communication, directed at a specific person, causing substantial emotional distress to that person and serving no legitimate purpose.
(2) A person who willfully, maliciously, and repeatedly follows, harasses, or cyberstalks another person commits the offense of stalking, a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
(3) A person who willfully, maliciously, and repeatedly follows, harasses, or cyberstalks another person and makes a credible threat to that person commits the offense of aggravated stalking, a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
(CIS) Cyber Investigation Services LLC receives several hundred inquiries a month from people that are being stalked by an unknown person and has been going on for as long as 3 and 4 years. These unknown stalkers have the ruining someones life, business, financial well being and emotional mindset.
The obvious question is why don’t they just go to the police or the FBI? The truth is they do. Our experience with clients tell us that police all over the United States at the local, state and Federal levels typically shun and refuse these types of cases, or simply take a report and never assign the case out to an investigator to follow up. I know that statement seems harsh, however I know first hand because I am ex law enforcement officer and detective and have relationships with people within police departments at the local, state and Federal levels that tell me they either don’t have the man power, training, finances to investigate these types of cases, or as one head of investigation for a major city told me….we just throw those cases in the trash can, unless it involves physical threat.
When it comes to reporting to the FBI, quite frankly nothing ever comes of it. As a cyber investigative agency and member of the Infraguard FBI Tampa Chapter, I understand why as they have much bigger fish to fry than these types of cases unless it threatens national security or would be a good Public relations case for the Bureau. If most people really understand what they face on a day to day basis impacting our safety, our money, and our national infrastructure you wouldn’t be able to sleep much at night.
Recent Examples of Cases
Business Executive and his daughter.
We have been working a case over the last year that involves a stalking of a very successful business executives daughter through texting, emails, phone calls, pictures, contacting of friends, posing as a lawyer trying to help her to get inside scoop on her, messages to answering machines, special delivery packages to their home, and an continual taunting that he can’t be caught. We have identified the individual, have evidence to convict him, and finally through several legal maneuvers have a restraining order against him and a civil lawsuit filed against him. The emotional distress that this poor girl
has gone through has totally destroyed her personal life and feels like she is always having to look over her shoulder. This client went to the police, they went to the FBI, no one would take their case. That’s how we got involved and are finally going to bring this individual to justice.
Retired Govt Official
We are also involved in a case involving a retired ranking govt official (branch withheld) who is being stalked by having his personal phones hacked, personal computers hacked, all email accounts hacked, business accounts hacked and believe that the (military branch involved) is hacked. The individual has reported it to the military, but it has fallen on deaf ears. Fortunately, all information they have access to is unclassified. This career military officer was literally in tears the first time he spoke to us due to the fact his life is crippled right now by this hacker/stalker. Again no one is interested in his case and that is why he has come to us.
What should you do if you are cyber stalked.
1. Document everything. Take screenshots, copy emails, texts, phone calls, router and computer logs, unusual activities as this timeline and frequency will become important.
2. Go to the police and make an official report. While they probably won’t do anything, this is a necessary step that will come into play later.
3. Don’t assume it will stop or go away. We find that most people that go to these lengths are sociopathic in nature and will continue on for months even years without being stopped.
4. If the police will not help you, seek out a professional agency that has a team of cyber professionals, forensic experts, anti/hacking experts and an internet legal team that understands
how to prosecute these types of case.
5. Take a deep breath and understand that there are solutions to getting this type of activities stopped and your attacker brought to justice.
We have found that when a case is put together for the police by a cyber professional team, regardless if the case jurisdiction is local, state or Federal they will then take the case, because you have done all of the hard work for them.
For more information you can contact Cyber Investigation Services LLC at firstname.lastname@example.org which specializes in cyber stalking and has a team of cyber professionals, forensic experts, anti/hacking experts as well as works closely with a top 100 law firm of Vory’s to prosecute and litigate against cyber stalkers.
Written by Bruce Anderson
Co-Owner and Director of Investigations for CIS