Cyber Crime Reduction Plan

Cyberbullying and its perpetrators use the internet to bully and or stalk individuals, groups and organizations.  Some stalkers try to damage the reputation of those they are harassing, if it’s an individual that is being stalked they may try to get information from friends and family to use against the individual and convince others to join in the harassment and stalking. The main way this cyber crime is committed is through online communities such as Facebook, Twitter and MySpace and it is estimated that there are 3.4 million Americans annually that are violated by this cyber crime (Baum, 2009).  As time goes on and more information is gathered the stalking becomes more intense for example continually messaging the victim (Howes, 2006).

Education is the first means to combating cyberstalking.  There are laws in place to persecute perpetrators of the crime and protect the victims however individuals need to be educated in how to access protection there are sites like Netiquette that educate in safe internet use.  The second means is legislation needs to be improved and made more adequate for instance often the perpetrator has to be prosecuted for a different crime.  An example of this was during the case of Megan Meier who committed suicide after being bullied on MySpace.  There was no statute for cyberstalking or bullying so Lori Drew the perpetrator was charged with the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.  The "Megan Meier Cyberbullying Prevention Act" was brought to US congress for it to become a crime for anyone over the age of 21 to bully and stalk anyone under the age of 18 (Dice, 2010) however the law is still to be passed as it is argued that it violates the first amendment for freedom of speech.

The effectiveness of the plan for education and legislation would be measured by monitoring.  For instance reports at school and also through monitoring the victim’s computer to gain evidence to prosecute and add sway to passing more stringent laws.