August 29, 2011

Twitter user accused of Buddhist Cyberstalking.

…By the FBI, no less. He’s in jail.

United States vs. William Lawrence Cassidy, “Twitter Stalker” of Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo.

Excerpt from the NY Times—click for the full story, it’s well worth it.

Using an ever-changing series of pseudonyms…authorities say, Mr. Cassidy published thousands of Twitter posts about Ms. Zeoli. Some were weird horror-movie descriptions of what would befall her; others… “Do the world a favor and go kill yourself. P.S. Have a nice day.”

…relentless tweets landed Mr. Cassidy in jail on charges of online stalking and placed him at the center of an unusual federal case…Twitter posts have fueled defamation suits in civil courts worldwide. But this is a criminal case, invoking…cyberstalking…

In a complaint filed in federal court in Maryland, the Federal Bureau of Investigation concluded that Mr. Cassidy had published 8,000 Twitter posts, almost all of them about Ms. Zeoli and her Buddhist group, along with similar posts on several blogs.

…Every time Ms. Zeoli blocked the messages, more appeared from a different Twitter account. Ms. Zeoli…stopped using Twitter altogether. “She felt constantly attacked and monitored by these anonymous people, and the attacks went on whether or not she was online”…

…a boy who hacked into the Facebook account of an acquaintance was charged with felony identity theft, and a student who bombarded a professor with mean e-mail was accused of disturbing the peace.

This all sounds so familiar.

Looks like I was right to be concernedwhen I got legal “cease and desist” letter from these folks regarding my broke blog’s publishing and support for another Jetsunma internet hater—they mean business.

elephant’s got a lot of work to do—our diverse and growing community of writers, many of whom (respectfully, but forcefully) disagree with one another philosophically, all are joined in dedication to a greater cause: being of benefit, helping all of us live a good, fun life that’s good for others and our planet.

Of course, in my case, I can’t afford a dentist, let alone a lawyer—and I care more about living life than fighting battles on twitter, or in court.

So I say: let us all, including yours truly, remember how to criticize but do so respectfully, and with some sense of humor. After all, being frank and being gentle at the same time? That’s meditation-in-action. ~ ed.


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