STEPHANIE GARCIA WRITES – It has been said “imitation is the highest form of flattery.” Perhaps stalking is second highest? And the new frontier seems to be taking place on the cyber highways.
Sure, stalkers may be a problem that has existed since the dawn of civilization, but Web avenues make this crime all the more difficult to take action against. Perhaps not many know these realities better than Leandra Ramm, an opera singer who was tormented by a cyber stalker for six years. Featured on “My Life is a Lifetime Movie,” the singer reports having received nearly five thousand death threats from Singaporean Colin Mak Yew Loong. He is also reported to have similarly threatened two other musicians, Krasznai Tuende Ilona from Hungary and Veronika Sakhno from the Ukraine.
The difficulty in cyber stalking lies in the rub that citizens of one nation can be victims of residents across the globe. Lack of jurisdiction and inconsistencies in cyber legislation creates roadblocks in dealing with these issues. In a past Presidential Proclamation, The Economist reported President Barack Obama as stating, “Increasingly, stalkers use modern technology to monitor and torment their victims, and one in four victims reports some form of cyber-stalking—such as threatening e-mails or instant messaging—as part of their harassment.”
In Ramm’s case, her stalker was finally arrested after the Secret Service intervened in 2011. He will finally receive sentencing in Singapore on December 13.