Articles Posted in Cyber Crimes

The occasions in which I find myself looking up at the sky and shouting, “Really? Again? Is anybody ever going to start learning?”

But, then I remember that they are kids and, as long as they suffer from that affliction…probably not.

A 16-year-old Mashpee High School student has been charged with a felony and two misdemeanors, including threatening to commit a crime and disturbing a school assembly.

You’ve got it…another threatening Twitter story.

The young brain-trust apparently threatened that he or she was going to shoot everyone up at the school. Less than one month after the Newtown Connecticut shooting.

And so, quite rightly, Mashpee Police Chief Rodney Collins explains that “When someone says in a tweet that they’re going to shoot everyone up, we’re going to get involved.”

It was on Monday that the school officials received the printed copy of a Twitter communication between the student-at-issue and a Rockland teen which contained the threat. Just to make sure that nobody missed it, I guess, the Rockland High School Principal Alan H. Cron wrote a letter about it and posted it on the school’s website.
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Today’s Attorney Sam’s Take introduces a concept that law enforcement officials and I regularly discussed back when I was a prosecutor in Brooklyn, NY, hundreds of years ago.

The concept is that of enacting a new statute proclaiming certain activities punishable as “felony stupidity”. It is, however a story which reflects where we are as a society at the moment.

Especially when it comes to new cyber-crimes.

Worcester police are investiginvest what is being called a “hit list” with the names of 200 city high school students on it. Of course, as this is being investigated, there are cyber breadcrumbs to be found along the way.

Take what happenned at South High Shool last week for example. They took a 15-year-old young lady into custody. She has been charged with two counts of being an accessory before the fact. The police admit, however, that there is no “imminent threat” at the school.

Well, except for the young lady, that is, who now has markings on her CORI.

Apparently, one of the complaints that sparked the investigation was parents alerating law enforcement about a series of social media messages. One of these thretening messages, which led to the above-mentioned arrest, was that the teen asked in a tweet if someone would “please” spray her high school with bullets.
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Massachusetts schools are really not the same place they were when I was a kid.

Let’s take a look toward Marshfield High School. A 17-year-old student (hereinafter, “Young Gentleman”) was arrested yesterday for threatening to kill his fellow student.

According to law enforcement, police were called Tuesday night to investigate a report that Young Gentleman threatened a schoolmate while at school that day. In addition, says police, he is said to have made threats via social media to the school as a whole. In response, the police applied for and received an arrest warrant. Despite the alleged threats, no weapons were found when Young Gentleman was arrested.

Most schools these days do not take such threats lightly. However, THIS school was a school at which, in 2004, two students were charged and convicted of plotting a columbine-style massacre at the school.

They were taking no chances. Young Gentleman was charged with promotion of anarchy and two counts of threats to commit a crime. According to prosecutors, should he make bail, Young Gentleman has bail conditions to help keep the peace.

“Conditions of his release include GPS monitoring, a stay away and no contact order with the victim, weekly reports to probation, remain alcohol and drug free and obey all school rules,” prosecutors said in a statement.

While the court has not entered an order that prevents Young Gentleman from returning to school, the school district itself has apparently not made its decision yet.

In the meantime, Marshfield Superintendent Scott Borstel said that school officials were working with police to “ensure the care, welfare, safety” of students.

Meanwhile, Weston Middle-School has had its own recent issues when it comes to student conduct. Two students at the school have now been disciplined after pouring liquid used to clean whiteboards into their teacher’s water bottle according to school officials.
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Well, it looks like Massachusetts sex crimes are still present here in the Commonwealth. Well, actually, the news would lead you to believe that Massachusetts sex offenders are still “at it” both here and abroad.

For example, take the case of 25-year-old Quincy woman Carissa Hads. Ms. Hads is in allot of trouble in Clarksburg, West Virginia. More specifically, she has pleaded guilty to one charge in federal court which leaves her facing up to 30 years in prison as well as a hefty fine.

Her crime?

Well, she apparently posed as a teenage boy in order to prey on a West Virginia girl. She has now pleaded guilty to a single count of traveling across state lines with the intention of having sex with a minor.

According to law enforcement, the “romance” began on MySpace as Ms. Hads pretended that she was an age-appropriate male in 2010. Since that time, investigators say that she visited the teen girl at least three times and had a sexual encounter with her in February.

She is said to have disguised her appearance with a back brace.


She is currently an involuntary guest of the United States government.

This is not to say that alleged sex offenders from Massachusetts never follow their “instincts” right here in the Commonwealth.

Closer to home, in the Boston area, the Suffolk County District Attorney has announced that a sex sting has nabbed about a “half dozen men from the Greater Boston area” who are accused of trolling for sex from girls under the age of 18.

Boston police arrested the six men yesterday in an undercover online investigation into illegal online prostitution by the Family Justice Unit, the Human Trafficking Division, the Youth Violence Strike Force and District A-1 detectives. The suspects were all charged with enticement of a person under 18 years old, Boston police said.

Attorney Sam’s Take On Internet Sex Crimes

Usually, when we consider sex crimes and computers together, we are talking about the possession and/or dissemination of child pornography. However, the internet provides a dandy location for folks to contact kids and set the stage for personal contact.

Such cyber-crime has become a focus of law enfrocement.
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Approximately 125 undergraduate students from Harvard University have been accused of using unethical methods to complete a spring take home exam. In what may be the largest Ivy League cheating scandal in recent memory, Harvard University is taking determined action against suspected undergrads that may call for the immediate assistance of legal counsel. Accusations of plagiarism or academic dishonesty can have longstanding effects on an individual’s personal and career goals.

Suspicions of a conspiracy originally rose in May when a teaching fellow noticed striking similarities with many of the tests’ answers to short questions and even essays. The fellow then informed the professor of the class who contacted Harvard’s administrative board, the governing body that monitors student behavior.

None of the answers from students appeared to be blatantly lifted from outside sources. But according to Jay Harris, Harvard’s dean of undergraduate education, some students obviously plagiarized or came close enough to suggest collusion. The non-collaboration policy printed on the exam leaves little room for the possibility that any student partnerships were merely oversights. The 125 suspected make up nearly half of the entire class comprised of students from all four levels of college. Some of the accused have already graduated. And though Harris has not confirmed or denied whether any students who are found guilty of cheating will be stripped of their diplomas, he did indicate that Harvard is treating the matter as grave.
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As mentioned yesterday, in my “mini-blog”, Harvard University is investigating 125 undergraduates who are suspected of cheating on a spring take-home final exam. It is the largest cheating scandal in recent memory to hit the university.

Any allegation of cheating in any way is a serious thing, of course. However, in an institution like Harvard University, it takes on the air of scandal as well.

Nearly half the students in a class of more than 250 are suspected of jointly coming up with answers or copying off one another, said Jay Harris, Harvard’s dean of undergraduate education. Independent groups of students appear to have worked together by e-mail or other means on responses to short questions and an essay assignment, violating a no-collaboration policy that was printed on the exam itself.

A teaching fellow noticed the similarities in May while grading a subset of the exams. He alerted the professor, who approached the college’s Administrative Board, the body that oversees student behavior. The board was worried enough to spend the summer interviewing some of the students and reviewing every exam in the class.
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This is an emergency mini-blog Attorney Sam’s Take to advise you of a breaking story. It is a story of an offense we do not discuss very often, but as students return to school, we may be hearing it much more.

The offense is plagiarism.

Harvard University is investigating some 125 undergraduates who have been accused of collaborating on a spring take-home final exam in the largest cheating scandal in recent memory to hit the Ivy League.

In the various postings of the Boston Criminal Lawyer Blog, I have pointed out various areas in the criminal justice environs in which we are vulnerable. Often it relates to being unfairly treated in the system when one’s last name becomes “Defendant”. However, I also try to pay heed to instances where the one at risk is the alleged victim of a crime. In most cases, my point is that we, as the general citizenry, are the ones at risk when it comes to the big picture.

We have dealt with all kinds of criminal activities from drunk driving, to sexual assault to murder. And…oh, yes, there is white collar crime as well. Including Cyber-Crime.

Today we turn to a Massachusetts white collar/ cyber-crime issue. One in which, despite law enforcement’s rhetoric, does not seem to be abating.

Today, reveals that, despite the various high profile data thefts in the last few years, it appears that “major US companies are as vulnerable as ever to hacker attacks. The response from many of those working in the companies is that they lack the resources necessary to stem this tide. At least, that is what Waltham-based computer security company CounterTackInc. (hereinafter, the “Company”) is reporting.

You see, the Company conducted a survey involving 100 information security executives at companies with revenues greater than $100 million. The survey has revealed that half of those companies have dealt with computer network attacks over the previous year. One third of the executives indicated doubt as to whether their companies could actually prevent future attacks. 84 per cent said that they were vulnerable to “advanced persistent attacks” . These would include “highly aggressive assaults launched by major criminal organizations and foreign governments”.

An example? The 2011 attack¬ on the Bedford data security company RSA Security is cited.
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The Boston Criminal Lawyer Blog has long been arguing that prostitution should be made legal. I have given lists of reasons. Now, we have another one. It is a benefit which real criminals (alleged) enjoy thanks to the clouds of subterfuge under which those involved in the sex industry must hide.

WBZ radio (1030 AM) has broken the story about a site called “”. It is a site, supported by the out-of-country-based site of “”.

The controller of the “Badboy” site is a woman, I am informed from the New England area, who calls her self “Gia ‘Goodgirl’ Goode”. While her site claims to be operating for the benefit of escorts who are mistreated, it would appear that its true purpose is to aid in the harassment and extortion of other private individuals. Just to be clear, the “mistreatment” about which Ms. Goode complains ranges from not showing up for appointments and the writing online certain clients have posted about their experiences with the escorts.

Far from helping those in the sex industry, the site is now exposing sex workers to the light of repercussion. Further, it would appear that the site itself posts information that is simply untrue. Many of those listed as “bad clients” claim that they have never even used an escort service. However, by posting the individual’s name and address, the information that he is a “bad client” becomes searchable on Google and other search engines which appear to be willing to cooperate with the site.

“It was scary, it was an invasion of privacy. I was shocked it was there,” said one man who is listed on the site. whose name is on the list but didn’t want to reveal his identity. He worries about his reputation, saying he’s never contacted an escort, and assumes someone found his name on a business website. “If people go on that site and see my name there what will they think. They’ll assume the worst,” he said.

The victims of the site are mostly businessmen who appear to fit a profile of success. The man who spoke to WBZ-TV says he won’t spend the money to sue, and hopes his reputation prevails. “Denying it isn’t as powerful as the accusation. If you accuse somebody of something it sticks” he said.
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Along with the Mattapan Massacre trial, another matter involving death is reaching the climax of its trial This one is from New Brunswick, New Jersey. It is the trial of Dharun Ravi (hereinafter, the “Defendant”). This was a matter that also hit the headlines when it took place. The would-be complainant of the matter is dead, although the Defendant is not charged with homicide.

The Defendant is the former Rutgers student who is accused of spying on his roommate…with a webcam. The roommate was gay and having a relationship with another man in their room. The roommate, not “out”, is said to have been so mortified by the experience, that he took his own life.

This case is not being tried as a “bullying” case, per se, although, when it took place, it renewed the national debate about bullying.

I am not sure if New Jersey is lucky enough to have an Anti-Bullying statute as strong as ours is. After all, there has to be a reason that the Commonwealth’s legislators were slapping each other on the back and falling over themselves claiming that the bill they had just passed, quicker than the wink of an eye, was the “strongest” in the country. Since the new law does nothing to stop the turmoil that is being faced each day in instances of alleged bullying…and, in fact, seems to merely confuse matters, it cannot be the effectiveness. It can’t be the penalties. There are none. But then, I suppose that is a legislative atrocity for another day.

Back to New Jersey…whatever laws it has.

We do know that the Garden State has criminal statutes against bias intimidation as a hate crime, invasion of privacy, and hindering apprehension. These are the charges which the Defendant is facing.
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