Laboratory Manual to Legal Issues in Information Security: Lab 8

  1. Define cyberstalking.

Stalking refers to harassing or threatening behavior that is engaged in repeatedly. Such harassment can be either physical stalking or cyberstalking.
Cyberstalking involves using the Internet or other electronic means to harass. It can cause psychological damage, and each can potentially lead to an assault or even murder.

It is difficult to exactly define cyberstalking because it can appear in so many forms.  As technology evolves, so does the practice of cyberstalking. A web-savvy stalker can wreak havoc on the online life of a victim. This can be incredibly damaging, particularly as more people use the Internet to pay bills, make friends, date, work, share ideas and find jobs.

Some examples of tactics a cyberstalker may use include: [1]

Sending manipulative, threatening, lewd or harassing emails from an assortment of email accounts.

  • Hacking into a victim’s online accounts (such as banking or email) and changing the victim’s settings and passwords.
  • Creating false online accounts on social networking and dating sites, impersonating the victim or attempting to establish contact with the victim by using a false persona.
  • Posting messages to online bulletin boards and discussion groups with the victim’s personal information, such as home address, phone number or Social Security number. Posts may also be lewd or controversial – and result in the victim receiving numerous emails, calls or visits from people who read the post online.
  • Signing up for numerous online mailing lists and services using a victim’s name and email address.
  • Define cyberbullying.

Bullying is unwanted, aggressive behavior among school aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time. Bullying includes actions such as making threats, spreading rumors, attacking someone physically or verbally, and excluding someone from a group on purpose. [2]

Cyberbullying is bullying that takes place using electronic technology. Electronic technology includes devices and equipment such as cell phones, computers, and tablets as well as communication tools including social media sites, text messages, chat, and websites. [3]

Examples of cyberbullying include –

  • mean text messages or emails
  • rumors sent by email or posted on social networking sites
  • embarrassing pictures, videos, websites, or fake profiles.
  • List the name of one of your case studies. Download a copy of it and insert the case study here.

Cyberbullying – The Amanda Todd case. [4]                                                   

The story of Amanda Todd began just like all cyber bullying stories begin. Amanda was born in 1996 in British Columbia, Canada, and was a happy easy going person, until she was introduced to an anonymous person on Facebook who flattered her so much to the point of convincing her to flash her topless body to him. A year later, the same person or another anonymous person sent her the picture and it went viral, creating a mass of bullying and teasing to the point that she had to change schools several times. Her reputation was ruined, she had no friends, she was beaten up by some classmates, she tried drinking bleach but was saved at the last minute. Months later, Amanda Todd took her own life.

  • Highlight the cyberstalking or cyberbullying scenario in the above case study.

A few months before her death Amanda Todd had posted a video on Youtube with the use of flash cards. Link to the video-

She told the story of being abused, bullied, harassed, and stalked online and in person. She narrated her silent story of how she used self-harm, drugs, and alcohol in an attempt to silence the pain she suffered as a result of Cyber Bullying. She was desperate for someone to understand her, listen to her and simply, she wanted a friend who got her.
After her death, her Youtube video went viral to the point of reaching more than 17 million views. [4]
People were shocked when they learned about the Amanda Todd Story and reached out to her family.
The authorities began a mass inquiry especially with the inspiration and the help of Amanda’s bullying video. 
To the shock of everyone, the hate campaign continued online after Amanda’s passing, people ridiculed her suicide and made fun of the entire story, they even said she deserved what had happened to her.
The cyber bullying continued despite appeals for people to see the real tragedy behind Amanda’s death.
The famous Anonymous hacking group even went on a massive search to defend Amanda and find the person who tormented and blackmailed her online but the authorities did not see him as a person of interest in the case.

After almost two years, as per a BBC report (, a 35-year-old man has been charged in the Netherlands in connection with the Amanda Todd’s suicide. The unnamed suspect was charged with extortion, internet luring, criminal harassment and child pornography, Canadian police say.

  • If you were to draft a law, what elements of that law would you include to protect individuals from the actions and outcomes occurring in your particular case?

If I were to draft laws to protect individuals, especially children, from such horrific crimes it would be to make detailed and specific acts for schools and educational institutions regarding children and technology. It would be on the lines of the ‘Accepting Schools Act’ that Ontario passed in June 2012, following the death of Amanda Todd. [5]

The Act requires school boards and schools to: [6]

  • Work with the school community to develop a bullying prevention and intervention plan and make the plan public
  • Investigate any reported incident of bullying
  • Support students who have been bullied; who have witnessed bullying and who have bullied
  • Inform parents about bullying incidents involving their children and discuss the available supports
  • Support students who want to lead activities that promote understanding, acceptance and respect for all
  • Issue tougher consequences for bullying and hate-motivated actions – up to, and including, expulsion

There should also be laws in place for speedy trials for the accused, and stringent punishments for acts of crime against children, exploitation, stalking, harassment, leading from cyberbullying.

Also, the minors who were guilty of bullying need be sentenced to appropriate period probation, therapy, and community service. This was also highlighted in this case where a 12-year-old Washington girl was found guilty of cyberbullying her classmate. (