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Online Stalking Could Get You Locked Up

The Internet might let you check up on your former college classmates without having to actually speak to them ever again, but please don't get carried away. It could get you put behind bars.

A 34-year-old TV producer in the UK was sentenced to 16 weeks in jail today because he harassed his former classmate for seven years. His offenses? Googling her name 40,000 times, using Google Earth to find her home, and having her wedding photos on his computer. He also followed her around and made hundreds of late-night phone calls, making him obviously criminal, and not just overly curious.

How do you know your Internet snooping is out of control? You Google someone 40,000 times (and get arrested for it).

Around The Web
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Veka Veka 6 years
janneth - There are certain ways that your IP address and internet history can be checked. I am not an expert IT person so I can't tell you exactly how, but it's possible.
Yogaforlife Yogaforlife 6 years
That is scary! I had a stalker once when I was 19. It was the scariest time of my life. A guy once walked into the clothing store I worked at, greeted me and asked me out on a date. I said no, I don't think my parents would appreciate me going on a date with someone so much older (he was like 40 something) and he said okay, and walked away. My creep alert went off and I remember thinking he had the softest hands ever and wondering what the hell he did for a living that he had such soft hands. Well next thing you know, I start getting huge flower arrangements sent to my work (like $100 flower arrangement on a weekly basis). Then they start coming to my parent's house where I still lived. I lived 40 minutes away from where I worked - on the other side of the city out in the country. I called all the flower shops and whoever was sending the flowers was paying in cash. Then I started receiving poetry with the flowers saying how we were meant to be together and one day he knew we would be together for life. At this point, I went to the police. The police were helpless, I had only a description of what the man looked like, no name, and since he only paid in cash, we couldn't get a name from the flower shops. I was however able to stop the flowershops from sending me flowers unless a credit card or check was used at which point they would have turned the name over to the police. He started sending me other gifts such as chocolates and stuff. At this point, the mall police provided an escort for me whenever my shift ended, walking me out to my car and ensuring I made it off the property okay. One day when I was off, my bestfriend and I drove an hour and a half to the King of Prussia mall in Philly to go shopping. I was trying on clothing in the Guess store and I came out of my dressing room and my stalker was about 15 feet away standing behind a clothing rack watching me. My bestfriend and I left the store and he started following us. We went up to the mall security and told them, but by then he had disappeared into the crowd and they couldn't locate him. That scared me that he somehow knew I was going to a mall 80 miles away on my day off and followed me there. At that point, my brother and dad started taking turns driving me to and from work. It all came to a head one day when I was walking to get food in the mall on my lunch break and I spotted the guy. I started running and the mall police started chasing the guy. The guy got away but luckily someone in the crowd recognized the guy as a former employee of another store in the mall. The police show up at the guy's house to speak with him because I was filing a restraining order and here the man is married with three young kids. They said he started crying, saying he never meant to scare or hurt me. I slapped a restraining order on him as fast as I could. Scariest time in my life.
Yogaforlife Yogaforlife 6 years
That is scary! I had a stalker once when I was 19. It was the scariest time of my life. A guy once walked into the clothing store I worked at, greeted me and asked me out on a date. I said no, I don't think my parents would appreciate me going on a date with someone so much older (he was like 40 something) and he said okay, and walked away. My creep alert went off and I remember thinking he had the softest hands ever and wondering what the hell he did for a living that he had such soft hands.Well next thing you know, I start getting huge flower arrangements sent to my work (like $100 flower arrangement on a weekly basis). Then they start coming to my parent's house where I still lived. I lived 40 minutes away from where I worked - on the other side of the city out in the country. I called all the flower shops and whoever was sending the flowers was paying in cash. Then I started receiving poetry with the flowers saying how we were meant to be together and one day he knew we would be together for life. At this point, I went to the police. The police were helpless, I had only a description of what the man looked like, no name, and since he only paid in cash, we couldn't get a name from the flower shops. I was however able to stop the flowershops from sending me flowers unless a credit card or check was used at which point they would have turned the name over to the police. He started sending me other gifts such as chocolates and stuff.At this point, the mall police provided an escort for me whenever my shift ended, walking me out to my car and ensuring I made it off the property okay.One day when I was off, my bestfriend and I drove an hour and a half to the King of Prussia mall in Philly to go shopping. I was trying on clothing in the Guess store and I came out of my dressing room and my stalker was about 15 feet away standing behind a clothing rack watching me. My bestfriend and I left the store and he started following us. We went up to the mall security and told them, but by then he had disappeared into the crowd and they couldn't locate him. That scared me that he somehow knew I was going to a mall 80 miles away on my day off and followed me there.At that point, my brother and dad started taking turns driving me to and from work. It all came to a head one day when I was walking to get food in the mall on my lunch break and I spotted the guy. I started running and the mall police started chasing the guy. The guy got away but luckily someone in the crowd recognized the guy as a former employee of another store in the mall. The police show up at the guy's house to speak with him because I was filing a restraining order and here the man is married with three young kids. They said he started crying, saying he never meant to scare or hurt me. I slapped a restraining order on him as fast as I could. Scariest time in my life.
nicklover nicklover 6 years
Crap that's scary!
nicklover nicklover 6 years
Crap that's scary!
janneth janneth 6 years
I wonder how they found out how many times he googled her...
jocupcake jocupcake 6 years
This headline is kind of misleading. The guy was locked up for actual harassment and stalking (aka following someone around, etc) not for over-googling or online stalking.
Hiding55 Hiding55 6 years
I was also stalked for nearly a year via the internet, emails, phone, and vandelism. The police didn't really take me seriously. They would ask how I knew who was harrassing me. Duh. I knew who it was since it happened as soon as I broke up with my pyscho ex. Basically, I had no solid proof so I just had to do everything possible to protect myself, my finances, and my credit until he got bored or distracted by a new victim. I feel really uncomfortable being nosy online and looking people up. I feel like I'm invading someone's privacy. After having my a-hole ex all over my personal business and screwing with my life for a year privacy is sacred to me.
Hiding55 Hiding55 6 years
I was also stalked for nearly a year via the internet, emails, phone, and vandelism. The police didn't really take me seriously. They would ask how I knew who was harrassing me. Duh. I knew who it was since it happened as soon as I broke up with my pyscho ex. Basically, I had no solid proof so I just had to do everything possible to protect myself, my finances, and my credit until he got bored or distracted by a new victim.I feel really uncomfortable being nosy online and looking people up. I feel like I'm invading someone's privacy. After having my a-hole ex all over my personal business and screwing with my life for a year privacy is sacred to me.
lauraxtc lauraxtc 6 years
eeesh scary.
lauraxtc lauraxtc 6 years
eeesh scary.
plasticine1 plasticine1 6 years
would he have been caught if it werent for the real-life stalking and phonecalls? my guess is no, but i wonder why googling her and having her wedding pictures on his computer is added to the other offenses.
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