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August 12, 2005 12:00am
LiveCamNetwork Blocks Chat Room Stalker
Source: LiveCamNetwork
by: Company Press Release

(TORONTO, ONTARIO) -- Baltimore police had to place a resident under warning for harassment and obstructing the operation of an online business after multiple complaints were placed by Toronto webmaster Jen, of LiveCamNetwork.com.

"Even after a series of calls to the Police there and at the guy's ISP I couldn't get a reaction, actually," said Jen. "I had to bring a lawyer in and contact the Baltimore Computer Crimes Department."

The activity actually got 2much.net president Mark Prince's attention when he noticed that chat hostesses on the 2Much MBase Network were logging off early, while regular customers and chat room guests complained by e-mail.

"They weren't complaining about the log off," said Prince, whose company built LiveCamNetwork. "They urged her to log off. He was getting too sick to ignore."

The situation began when a user who nicknamed himself RichRaven asked one particular chat hostess at the popular live video chat site for a personal meeting. "She turned him down, of course," Prince said. "And she was right to do so."

"RichRaven" then went on a harassment campaign which lasted for weeks and annoyed or offended chat hostesses and their chat room guests, but was essentially harmless.

"The poor loser really wanted attention, and he couldn't get that final bit which was seeing the girl live, in the flesh," Prince said.

Jen eventually found that ignoring him, no matter how virulent the offending tirades, did the trick - but only temporarily. "He ended up coming back twice as bad."

Prince soon found this RichRaven had once been a client, so he wrote a polite request to cease the harassment or his information would be turned over to the proper authorities. "I didn't think anything could be done, really," said Prince. "Especially after the regular Baltimore police told Jen there was nothing they could do because site and business were in another city."

Unfortunately things got worse after Prince wrote to the chatroom harasser. "He wrote me back all offended, asking how we'd gotten his personal information, saying he'd sent my email to his congressman, his lawyer, the police."

Which is when RichRaven's attacks intensified. "Telling others in the chatroom that I am a pimp or that they're fools is one thing," Prince said. "Then he starts talking about wanting to see my mother fucked by dead men, and he himself wanting to use a knife as a strap-on with this one chat hostess."

The strap-on tie-in to the movie "Seven" unnerved Prince; RichRaven, who lives near a Baltimore primary school, also complained to a chat hostess that she wasn't "young enough".

"That's when I had enough, and called the lawyer in and asked about how to put a stop to this guy," said Prince. "That's when the Computer Crime people called me back from Baltimore. They knew exactly how to handle it."

"I should have contacted them [Computer Crime] from the first. They established an initial contact, letting him know they're aware of him," said Jen. "After that official legal steps could take him into the judicial arena. I hope he wants to avoid that."

"This was the first time it happened to us, and luckily it was a nut from another city," said Prince, who worries about the new 2257 regulations and the US Department of Justice's stand on just who is responsible if things turned worse for the chat hostess.

"I could register a domain name for ten bucks, start buying content and get anyone's info that I cared to," sai d Prince. "And so could RichRaven. Now in Canada we have laws against distributing personal ID, but by signing a waiver, or by working out of the US, performers are seriously at risk from lunatics like this."

2much sites have since seen their security beefed up with increased user-screening and e-mail validation security among other means.

While LiveCamNetwork has not heard from RichRaven since the police knocked at his door, Prince is still not confident these measures will deter him. The cyber-stalker has been able to hide behind a dozen IP addresses and used different computers, which allowed him to return to the site repeatedly under various pseudonyms.

"He's out there, he could do this at anyone else's site," he said. "Those are the people that need filters on their computers, permanently."

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