Skip to main content

International cyber bully hit with 181 charges including criminal harassment and identity fraud

Canadian police has arrested a cyber bully that was subject of an international investigation involving the UK, US and Canada into crimes that date back over 12 years.

Related: One in three young people victimised by online trolling, claims study

The Toronto Star reports that an unemployed man from the country’s capital Ottawa has been charged with 181 counts relating to a wide scale cyber bullying and harassment network that covered as many as 38 victims.

“It’s a huge web,” Acting Insp. Carl Cartright of Ottawa Police said in an interview. “This is an extremely important and large case.”

An eight-month probe, known as “Project Winter”, finally caught up with the man who has been served with 27 counts of criminal harassment, 85 charges of defamation libel and another 69 of identity fraud.

His campaign started off with one central target and eventually branched out to an international web of victims that were all targeted for one reason or another, with each and every one of them adults.

“In this case, the victims did absolutely nothing wrong,” Cartright said. “Imagine you’re a small-business owner or any business owner and somebody posts information to your clients that is false.”

Police in Hertfordshire and those working for the Metropolitan Police at Scotland Yard assisted with the investigation and the police had to use various innovative methods to find out about the hacker due to his use of Internet anonymity software.

“The individual changes the way he conducts himself online as technology evolves. He definitely had some computer expertise,” Cartright added.

Large numbers of web firms have been challenged by petitions requesting that they reform the way cyber bullying is dealt with following a number of high profile incidents involving celebrities being subjected to abuse.

Related: How to be an idiot when it comes to Internet comments

This came to a head with the tragic case of 14-year-old Hannah Smith who committed suicide as a result of cyber bullying and it led Prime Minister David Cameron to call for a boycott of sites that ignore cyber bullying.

Jamie Hinks

Jamie is a freelance writer with over eight years experience writing for online audiences about technology and other topics. In his time writing for ITProPortal he wrote daily news stories covering the IT industry and the worldwide technology market, as well as features that covered every part of the IT market, from the latest start ups to multinational companies and everything encompassed by the IT sector. He has also written tech content for our sister publication, TechRadar Pro. Jamie has since moved into sports betting content and is Content Manager at Betbull.