May 9, 2009

"Often the only way victims can prove that they are being stalked... is through new technologies like GPS."

From a NYT article about the use of GPS technology to monitor individuals who are accused of stalking:
The scope of stalking was revealed in a study released by the Justice Department in January, which found that 3.4 million people had been subjected to stalking over a one-year period....
"Subjected to stalking"? Does that mean they believed they are being stalked or that it has been proved? Note how the quote in the title suggests that GPS should be used to substantiate allegations — but you're not supposed to notice the threat to individual privacy, because these allegations aren't called allegations. These are statements by "victims" who have the problem of needing to "prove that they are being stalked." But if it's the "only way" to prove there is stalking, then how do we know whether the accused deserves to be monitored?

What's the difference between "monitoring" and "stalking"? Monitoring is what the government does.

I'm not trying to say that GPS monitoring is never warranted. Go read the article to see some good examples of persons who deserve monitoring. What bothers me about this article is that there's nothing about excessive government surveillance.

(And when it comes time to write a NYT article about the surveillance of suspected terrorists, I have the feeling that the threat of government abuse will not be forgotten.)


Trooper York said...

No wonder Simon is laying low. Heh.

rhhardin said...

I'm surprised they let men out at all.

traditionalguy said...

Stalking is the "new" idea in law that preemptive action can be taken against a likely perpetrator who has not done anything wrong whatsoever. The whole world presume to have a right to a policeman along by their side all the time now. Maybe police must also waterboard suspected "stalkers" until they confess to thinking about another person so much that it is "scary",

rhhardin said...

Something to broadcast my thoughts to the government is needed, speaking of monitoring.

It would save keystrokes.

PatCA said...

Easy answer: If Bush monitors terrorists, it's stalking and a violation of the Constitution. If the new regime monitors insane military men, it's monitoring.

The Drill SGT said...

Note they are using GPS monitoring at the restraining order stage, which is "he said she said" not enough for a charge.

GPS monitoring makes sense as a bail or parole condition, because the alledge stalker is seeking freedom and there is probable evidence of an underlying crime.

I also found the story of the first victim strange, there is more there than discussed.

“He’d come to our child’s school and beat both of us up in front of everyone,” Theresa said. ..

I'm sorry, if an adult man beat a woman and child in front of multiple witnesses at a school, there would be no need for a restraining order with GPS, they'd lock him up for 5 years.

KCFleming said...

If they just inserted a GPS device under our skin at birth, this wouldn't be such a big deal.

Just men, though.
Mebbe just white guys first.

NotWhoIUsedtoBe said...


Who stalks the stalkers?

And what about the shadow of Chernobyl?

Freeman Hunt said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Freeman Hunt said...

GPS seems like a pretty good idea if the person has repeatedly violated protection orders.

That and victims should buy guns. (And consider dating guys who look like linebackers.)

Bissage said...

(1) If they just inserted a GPS device under our skin at birth, this wouldn't be such a big deal.

(2) We microchipped our Sheltie, but only after I found out the hard way that, unleashed, she loves to chase after the sent of rabbits more than she loves me.

It was night-time and she ended up lost in a suburban tangle of cul-de-sacs and stockade fences.

We found her, eventually, but only because she was being chased by a German Shepard and a Rottweiler. Mrs. Bissage ended up looking for her by driving around the neighborhood and she spotted her only because she ran out into the street trying to escape certain death.

When Mrs. Bissage pulled over and opened the car door, our dog jumped right in. I guess it was worth the risk that we might end up taking her to the vet.

Anyway, before that happy ending, I was going door to door, in tears, pleading with people to please tell me if they’d seen anything. Anything at all -- please.

They all seemed very understanding and some actually came out with flashlights to help.

People are nice.

After that ordeal was all over, the people who owned the German Shepard and the Rottweiler apologized saying that they simply don’t know how to control their dogs.

Funny . . . but I didn’t laugh.

Unknown said...

Hmm. Read article. Read link labeled 'report'. Simply pointed to another article that didn't link to the report. One in a hundred US citizens being stalked last year seems too large to be real. If I missed the link that goes to the report, I'd be glad to know. Would very much like to read the report and see what it says stalking entails.

rhhardin said...

My Dobie was stalking bunnies this morning. I put her on a long down-stay while I finished a scythe pass across the lawn.

Down-stays may be the solution.

Bissage said...

(1) Thanks, rhhardin.

She’s reasonably well-trained (she knows sit-down-stay) but she went absolutely ape-shit berserk that night like I’ve never seen before and that caught me off my guard. (It is also quite possible I was taking her for a walk after dinner so Mrs. Bissage and her parents could have some private time together and maybe I’d had more drink than I needed.)

Anyway, that particular problem has never recurred.

Immediately after that incident, we fenced in the yard.

Problem solved.

(2) Scent.


Scent, sent, sent!!!

Kirk Parker said...

"That and victims should buy guns."

Freeman, you missed the part about this being in MA, right? It's far from the worst place in the US, regarding self-defense and the tools thereof, but it's not good either--especially if you want to leave your home and still be able to protect yourself.