Cyberstalking: a new challenge for criminal law

Bocij, P., Griffiths, M.D. ORCID: 0000-0001-8880-6524 and McFarlane, L., 2002. Cyberstalking: a new challenge for criminal law. The Criminal Lawyer, 122, pp. 3-5. ISSN 0956-7429

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Cyberstalking has recently emerged as a new and growing problem and is an area that will probably receive a higher profile within criminal law as more cases reach court (see Griffiths, 1999; Griffiths, Rogers and Sparrow, 1998; Bojic and McFarlane, 2002a; 2002b). For the purposes of this article we define cyberstalking as the use of information and communications technology (in particular the Internet) in order to harass individuals. Such harassment may include actions such as the transmission of offensive e-mail messages, identity theft and damage to data or equipment. Whilst a more comprehensive definition has been presented elsewhere (Bocij and McFarlane, 2002), it is hoped that the definition here is sufficient for those unfamiliar with this field. The stereotypical stalker conjures up images of someone harassing a victim who is the object of their affection. However, not all stalking incidents are motivated by unrequited love. Stalking can also be motivated by hate, a need for revenge, a need for power and/or racism. Similarly, cyberstalking can involve acts that begin with the issuing of threats and end in physical assault. We also make distinctions between conventional stalking and cyberstalking. Whilst some may view cyberstalking as an extension of conventional stalking, we believe cyberstalking should be regarded as an entirely new form of deviant behaviour.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: The Criminal Lawyer
Creators: Bocij, P., Griffiths, M.D. and McFarlane, L.
Publisher: LexisNexis UK
Place of Publication: London
Date: 2002
Volume: 122
ISSN: 0956-7429
Divisions: Schools > School of Social Sciences
Record created by: EPrints Services
Date Added: 09 Oct 2015 10:46
Last Modified: 09 Jun 2017 13:38

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