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AC Privacy High Tech Spousal Abuse MSNBC

AC Privacy High Tech Spousal Abuse MSNBC - High Tech...

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High Tech Spousal Abuse MSNBC website August 14, 2007 Leah lived for seven years with an abusive man. The bruises, the bleeding and the isolation were only part of his strategy to control her, she says. He turned technology on her, too. He installed spyware on her computer, read her e-mail, tracked her cell phone calls, spied on the Web sites she visited, even attached a GPS locator device to her car. One day, after she visited her college Web site, he accused her of trying to contact a former boyfriend. The punishment was severe. "He beat me all weekend after that," she said. There's nothing new about abusive spouses using technology to terrorize, said Cindy Southworth, technology director at the National Network to End Domestic Violence. What is new is that now nearly all abusers use high-tech spying tools to try to extend their domination, she said. That’s why the domestic violence victim advocacy group is running a training session on high-tech spousal abuse tactics this week in Kansas City for employees and volunteers at the nation's 2,000 local domestic abuse shelters. "Victims find us every week," she said. "We are constantly hearing stories now from local agencies we've trained on this. … Everybody is using technology now, so in every domestic violence case, the parties are using technology." Spyware has been around for years, and so have software packages marketed specifically to suspicious spouses. But so have wiretapping laws which make electronic interception of other people's conversations illegal -- making use of such spouse spying tools a likely violation of federal law. That should make you scratch your head when you search for "cheating spouse" on your favorite search engine and find thousands of links to software products specifically intended to spy on husbands or wives. In at least one high-profile case, a software maker was indicted by federal authorities for marketing spouse-spying products. In August 2005, Carlos Enrique Perez-Melara was
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