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Arrest Made In Webcam Highjacking Extortion Case

Soulskill posted about a year ago | from the you-own-more-cameras-than-you-think dept.

Crime 311

Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes "CNN reports that Jared James Abrahams, a 19-year-old computer science student, has been arrested for allegedly hijacking the webcams of young women — among them reigning Miss Teen USA Cassidy Wolf — taking nude images, then blackmailing his victims to send him more explicit material or else be exposed. Abrahams admitted he had 30 to 40 'slave computers' — or other people's electronic devices he controlled — and has had as many as 150 total. His arrest came six months after a teenager identified in court documents as C.W. alerted authorities. She has since publicly identified herself as Cassidy Wolf, the recently crowned Miss Teen USA. Wolf received messages featuring pictures of her at her Riverside County address and others apparently taken months earlier when she lived in Orange County, says the criminal complaint (PDF). The message explained 'what's going to happen' if Wolf didn't send pictures or videos or 'do what I tell you to do' in a five-minute Skype videoconference, according to the criminal complaint. 'Either you do one of the things listed below or I upload these pics and a lot more (I have a LOT more and those are better quality) on all your accounts for everybody to see and your dream of being a model will be transformed into a pornstar (sic),' wrote Abrahams. FBI agents raided Abrahams' Temecula home in June and seized computers and hardware, cellphones and hacking software, court records show. Outside the court, Abrahams' lawyer, Alan Eisner, said that his client's family feels 'profound regret and remorse' over what happened. Eisner told CNN affiliate KTLA that Abrahams is autistic. 'The family wants to apologize for the consequences of his behavior to the families who were affected.'"

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Autistic huh? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44973783)

The current excuse of the day when some nerdy low-life gets caught up to no good. Here is a hint, just because you have problems coping, it does not mean "I am autistic" is an excuse for being an arsehole.

Re:Autistic huh? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44973883)

Dude, its from CNN, I'm sure most of this is fake or made up.

Re:Autistic huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44974169)

No you're not. You just want to be.

You have it backwards. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44973997)

Just because you're a nerdy low-life who gets caught up to no good doesn't mean you're autistic. How much do you want to bet that he was diagnosed AFTER?

Re:You have it backwards. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44974011)

No, I have it forwards. He is a nerdy low-life, and now he claims to be autistic. I believe that is exactly what you said.

But that is not what you said. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44974159)

What you said implies he had been previously diagnosed and was using his condition as an excuse. I take particular exception to that as that idea runs rampant on Internet forums the world over and there is much animosity attached to it. What I said is that he was caught doing no good and may have been since diagnosed for the benefit of the excuse.

Re:But that is not what you said. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44974295)

Didn't intend to imply that, and not sure I did. In any case, I agree with you.

Re:Autistic huh? (1)

ruvablue (2571043) | about a year ago | (#44974109)

If he is officially diagnosed, what would you say then? There are so many other diagnostic criteria besides "...you have problems coping...".

Re:Autistic huh? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44974183)

I would treat it with the disdain it deserves. What has whether he is on the spectrum (yes, I know people who are) got to do with whether he is a criminal low-life. Autism is the modern excuse for people not to bother trying. It used to be ADD/HD. Now it is autism. I know kids whose parents claim to have both, and what it actually means is "I can't be arsed controlling my children, because it's hard work". Yes I am a parent. Had the teenage rows. Been the good guy. Been the bad guy. Step-son understands and appreciates it now. Daughter is just at that age where I am not infallible. It's hard work sometimes, but everyone has to make the effort. As an introverted, shy, socially awkward person, I have to make the extra effort at the time. This does not make me autistic. It just means I have to try harder and my friends and family have to be a bit more understanding - it takes longer for me to be comfortable with people.

Re:Autistic huh? (2)

Golddess (1361003) | about a year ago | (#44974345)

What has whether he is on the spectrum (yes, I know people who are) got to do with whether he is a criminal low-life.

Because it may change how you end up dealing with the situation. For example, if your intent is to fix the problem, instead of just sending such people away and forgetting about them.

Re:Autistic huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44974429)

Ahhh, I presume you are American. In my part of the world the justice systems tries to fix the problem without requiring some "fad of the month" behavioural excuse.

Re:Autistic huh? (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44974679)

As a father of a child on the autism spectrum who also has ADHD, I can tell you that those kids are out there. I can also tell you that you have NO IDEA how much work my wife and I have put in over his lifetime to get him to the point where he can be in a mainstream classroom, and generally come off as just "mildly aloof and a bit forgetful, but friendly" as opposed to "way out there, completely disorganized, and won't make eye contact." He has to work much harder to make friends and get his schoolwork done, but because of all the training, therapy, and professional help that we have gone through (and it takes all of us to do this), you might not be able to tell in a short interaction with him. (It's still the case that in any lengthy interaction with him, if you know what to look for you'll pick some of it up.)

So don't assume that ASD + ADHD = lazy parent. We also have a typical child, and you can tell the difference in parenting effort between the two easily, but only because we have put that effort in on the atypical one. Parenting is hard for anyone, and even harder for parents of kids with either ASD or ADHD, let alone both. Many parents in one boat or the other get plenty of sideways glances from people with the attitude you wrote above, and I feel it is very disrespectful to the massive amount of time, effort, and money we have spent on our children.

That said, I agree, it is completely irrelevant whether the blackmailer in this story was autistic or not, because the behavior is not something related to the behaviors autistic people generally express as part of that diagnosis. If his family (IF) is using that as an excuse, shame on them.

Re:Autistic huh? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44974265)

If he is officially diagnosed, what would you say then? There are so many other diagnostic criteria besides "...you have problems coping...".

I am officially diagnose too. I know what your saying to stupid piece of shit. Oh, and I've been diagnosed with Tourette's Syndrome you fucking cocksuker!

NIGGER!

WHOP!

Cracker!

Are you going to call me a liar? NIGGER!

Really, you FUCKING CRACKER!

I DO have a psychiatrist's signature. That's not hard to get - you stupid fucking nigger-cracker-cunt-cock-sucking -fag-lesbo-LIBERAL!

huh?!~? LIberal!?

FUKCKER.

Re:Autistic huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44974293)

If he is officially diagnosed, what would you say then?

The same thing, because it's bullshit to list such tripe in a news article when it has fuck all relevance.

It'd be like the news doing a story on your speeding ticket, and pointing out, "Oh, hey, this guy likes being urinated on by midgets. Just thought you'd like to know."

Re:Autistic huh? (5, Interesting)

dkleinsc (563838) | about a year ago | (#44974331)

If he is officially diagnosed, what would you say then?

I'd say that there's a significant difference between autism and sociopathy. An autistic person frequently doesn't understand how to interact with someone else, but they have enough empathy to know some basics of how *not* to interact.

Re:Autistic huh? (4, Interesting)

ruvablue (2571043) | about a year ago | (#44974411)

One feature of autism/Asperger's is obsessions. This and male teenage hormones do not mix well. I had many obsessions as an autistic/Asperger's teenage girl. The "girl" part can be a moderating factor in the expression of autism. [I'm officially diagnosed BTW]

Re:Autistic huh? (3, Funny)

michrech (468134) | about a year ago | (#44974675)

Lies... All lies... Everybody knows there aren't any Girls on Slashdot (let alone the internet)... :P

Re:Autistic huh? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44974143)

Autistic people know right from wrong. It's no more a valid excuse than saying he's ugly.

Re:Autistic huh? (1)

CauseBy (3029989) | about a year ago | (#44974237)

Autism or brain chemistry or whatever might be an explanation but in my opinion it is legally irrelevant. In the past we focused on judging criminals morally -- they are bad people. Western justice has been in a slow-motion process of dealing with the consequences of focusing on moral blame when criminals explain why, for various reasons, they aren't blameworthy: "I killed my dad because he was mean to me", "I have a predisposition to crime", whatever.

I predict that Western justice will soon do away with those excuses and focus instead on proximate cause. Are you the proximate cause of a crime? Meaning did you do it? If so, the the other dimensions of the defense will be irrelevant.

Re:Autistic huh? (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44974515)

What we are witnessing is the spread of progressive ideology. For 200 yrs. progressives have been trying to create an impossibility: a society in which no one ever has to feel guilty or ashamed about anything that they do. That's why progressives attack the very idea of societal standards of behavior, try to destroy institutions such as marriage that impose personal responsibilities on individuals, promote policies that mitigate the negative consequences of a person's behaviors, e.g. taxpayer subsidized abortion, and create govt. handout programs that protect an individual from their own poor life choices and their own irresponsibility. It is only natural for progressives to blame criminal behavior on some condition supposedly beyond an individual's control or on "society".

Re:Autistic huh? (4, Insightful)

meerling (1487879) | about a year ago | (#44974305)

Running a blackmail scam is NOT a symptom of autism.
I sure hope he likes a having a tiny living area and orange jumpsuits.
I agree, too many people are using pretty weak excuses for antisocial and illegal activities.

Pics or it didn't happen (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44973793)

Also, FP.

Re:Pics or it didn't happen (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44974089)

Nice try, but I believe you got sloppy seconds. Yes, I got the first post.

she invited him in (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44973795)

since she didn't secure her computer enough

Re:she invited him in (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44973967)

you forgot the sarcasm tag, not everyone will get it

Poe's Law (1, Redundant)

Valdrax (32670) | about a year ago | (#44974117)

she invited him in ... since she didn't secure her computer enough

I really can't tell if you're making a tasteless joke parodying blaming rape victims, expressing a sincere belief in support of that train of thought, or being bitterly sarcastic about it, since any of those are believable on Slashdot.

That's incredibly creepy (5, Insightful)

RevDisk (740008) | about a year ago | (#44973803)

Well, here's hoping that Abrahams gets a fairly long sentence. Coercion and blackmail is coercion and blackmail, regardless of the circumstances.

Re:That's incredibly creepy (0, Flamebait)

i kan reed (749298) | about a year ago | (#44973915)

And blackmail into sexual activities is rape, even if it doesn't meet the legal definition. Seems like it would violate a person in all the same ways.

Re:That's incredibly creepy (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44974191)

And blackmail into sexual activities is rape, even if it doesn't meet the legal definition. Seems like it would violate a person in all the same ways.

No, it's not. It may be a "violation," but if it doesn't meet the definition of rape, it's not rape.

If you expand the definition of rape to include anything you don't like, it will end up being a word with no real meaning at all.

Re:That's incredibly creepy (4, Funny)

Anne_Nonymous (313852) | about a year ago | (#44974615)

>> If you expand the definition of rape to include anything you don't like, it will end up being a word with no real meaning at all.

Oh, quit yer raping.

Re:That's incredibly creepy (5, Insightful)

timeOday (582209) | about a year ago | (#44974199)

It won't get your pregnant or give you an STD or get you killed if you struggle. My vote is for preserving the word for its actual meaning.

Re:That's incredibly creepy (2, Informative)

i kan reed (749298) | about a year ago | (#44974273)

Not all rape has any of those, and in fact most rapes don't. Rape doesn't have to be violent to be terribly degrading.

Re:That's incredibly creepy (1)

FrankSchwab (675585) | about a year ago | (#44974415)

Relationships don't have to be violent to be terribly degrading...
Seventh grade doesn't have to be violent to be terribly degrading....
Work doesn't have to be violent to be terribly degrading...

If "terribly degrading" is your definition of rape, it's a crime far more prevalent than ever before thought.

Re:That's incredibly creepy (1)

i kan reed (749298) | about a year ago | (#44974455)

You idiot, my definition of rape is quite clear, from the top of the thread "non-consensual sexual activity". I'm sorry you've bought into the myth that rapes are mostly perpetuated by homeless people hiding in the bushes or whatever kind of story is in your head, but that's not how reality is.

Re:That's incredibly creepy (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about a year ago | (#44974475)

If "terribly degrading" is your definition of rape, it's a crime far more prevalent than ever before thought.

Nowhere did he say that was his definition of the term; i kan reed was ascribing a particular aspect of rape, and in that is not particularly incorrect.

Re:That's incredibly creepy (4, Informative)

fche (36607) | about a year ago | (#44974435)

OTOH, a terribly degrading thing doesn't have to be called rape.

Re:That's incredibly creepy (0)

i kan reed (749298) | about a year ago | (#44974517)

Yes, but as a degrading, non-consensual, sexual thing it seems like a convenient shorthand for the category of harm being done.

Re:That's incredibly creepy (0)

misexistentialist (1537887) | about a year ago | (#44974561)

Lots of stuff is degrading, but come on now, rape requires force, in the mechanical sense. No, cyber-sex isn't real, you're still a virgin!

Re:That's incredibly creepy (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44973955)

What we learn from this:
If a student spies on someone its a crime but if government does the same it's not.
How does the saying go, do as I say but don't do what I do ?

Re:That's incredibly creepy (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44974319)

This kid shouldn't have gotten arrested. The person who found him out should have.

James Clapper

Re:That's incredibly creepy (1)

Jeff Flanagan (2981883) | about a year ago | (#44974513)

Of course it's not a crime when a government spies, that's a normal part of their activity. Are you simple?

Re:That's incredibly creepy (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44974201)

Seems cheaper just to shoot him and be done with it.

He's guilty. We all know it. Why must we pay ~$150,000 a year to 'teach him a lesson'.

Re:That's incredibly creepy (1)

Minwee (522556) | about a year ago | (#44974261)

He's guilty. We all know it.

I'm sorry, is Due Process inconvenient for you? We'll just get rid of it and replace it with "If he was charged, then he must by guilty and if he's guilty then he has no rights so let's go all wild west on his ass."

Oh, and by the way, there's an armed mob outside who would like to talk with you about some unpaid parking tickets.

Re:That's incredibly creepy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44974685)

Well, he clearly must be guilty and have already been convicted of such in a court of law, else a well-respected and established news organization wouldn't have RELEASED HIS FULL NAME TO THE PUBLIC like some disorganized middle-school journalism class, right? Right? Hey, where's everyone going?

Re:That's incredibly creepy (1)

houghi (78078) | about a year ago | (#44974443)

If he asked to play music in the background, that would put him in jail for a seriously long time. Just extortion? Not so much.

Hope they throw the book at him (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44973809)

This goes *way* beyond teenage fun and games. He deserves to spend some time in custody.

Re:Hope they throw the book at him (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44973969)

Huh? The guy's a adult, not a child!

totally forgiveable (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44973823)

Eisner told CNN affiliate KTLA that Abrahams is autistic.

Oh, well that's makes his actions okay then.

Re:totally forgiveable (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44974041)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1DX4PJkyCxM

Replace "retarded" with "autistic" and there you go.

Feeling "profound regret"... (4, Funny)

hey! (33014) | about a year ago | (#44973849)

Funny how being caught does that to people.

Re:Feeling "profound regret"... (4, Insightful)

LordNimon (85072) | about a year ago | (#44974187)

That makes sense. Until you are caught, you typically have only your perspective on what you're doing. There's no one else out there telling you that you've made a mistake. A lot of people change their minds about their activities once they realize that other people don't approve.

Re:Feeling "profound regret"... (3, Insightful)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about a year ago | (#44974507)

That makes sense. Until you are caught, you typically have only your perspective on what you're doing. There's no one else out there telling you that you've made a mistake. A lot of people change their minds about their activities once they realize that other people don't approve.

Ah, bullshit - I stole a pair of JNCO jeans once when I was a pre-teen, and believe me, I didn't need anyone else to tell me that I was in the wrong for doing it.

Re:Feeling "profound regret"... (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44974285)

It's his family that is expressing regret, not him.

I've never heard of autism causing extortion (5, Insightful)

kawabago (551139) | about a year ago | (#44973889)

Someone with enough knowledge to commit this crime can't possibly hide behind autism as an excuse. This person formed intent, then a plan and executed the plan uncounted times. He communicated his intentions quite well which doesn't really point to autism. This young man is a sexual predator and probably always will be. Autism doesn't make you a pervert either, you have do that on your own.

Re:I've never heard of autism causing extortion (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44973905)

In the modern language, Autism = "a bit nerdy/geeky" - basically like all of us here. Most of us don't consider it to be an illness that excuses not trying to fit in.

Re:I've never heard of autism causing extortion (0)

guanxi (216397) | about a year ago | (#44973987)

and probably always will be

Is that based on your evaluation of him?

Re:I've never heard of autism causing extortion (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44974249)

and probably always will be

Is that based on your evaluation of him?

A life time of observation of people similar to him.

Yeah, I had to work at being a pervert. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44974051)

Nurture FTW

* Not to excuse this man's crimes - he deserves what he gets - but if he's a computer science student he should fail all of his classes as well. What an embarrassment he must be to his instructors - he didn't consider some way to anonymize himself? At the very least, don't show your face on Skype. WTF

Future job rejection.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44973923)

Mr. Jared James Abrahams,

We have decided to go with another candidate.

Thank you for applying.

Sincerely,

HR/Hiring Manger person.

He WILL get those.

And there's not a goddamn thing he can do about them.

Suck it.

Re:Future job rejection.... (1)

mythosaz (572040) | about a year ago | (#44974355)

Pretty sure the kitchen crew at his prison will be "hiring."

This is a bully. (3, Insightful)

SternisheFan (2529412) | about a year ago | (#44973927)

This is what bullying is, taking unfair advantage over someone else. In this case the suspect had enough knowledge to manipulate others computers, but not enough know-how to keep himself from handcuffs. Great! This 19 year old punk-ass is going to jail for (hopefully) a very long time, long term probation at the very least. I don't care that he's still in his 'teen' years, 18 is considered old enough to be considered an adult, and he will be tried as one.

I applaud this brave young lady for standing up to this creep. She did the right thing.

Worse than a bully (5, Insightful)

SirGarlon (845873) | about a year ago | (#44974021)

This is worse than bullying, it's sexual harassment and extortion.

And I agree, Ms. Wolf did a courageous thing to stand up and present evidence so this lowlife could be stopped.

Re:Worse than a bully (2)

timholman (71886) | about a year ago | (#44974657)

This is worse than bullying, it's sexual harassment and extortion.

It may even be worse than that. He had lots of photos of underage girls, and that he told one of his victims that he didn't care how old his victims were.

The Feds may pile on some child pornography charges once they examine all the evidence on his computers.

may even make the sex offender list as well. (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about a year ago | (#44974123)

and that can be wore then doing jail time.

Re:may even make the sex offender list as well. (4, Informative)

SternisheFan (2529412) | about a year ago | (#44974423)

and that can be wor(s)e then doing jail time.

Sex offender status for life, And yes, that kind of probation is far more stringent than regular probation, and regular probation is not fun. Even if he gets a no jail deal, breaking any of probation's rules is enough to get him sent to a real jail cell. He will have to report whenever he's told to, if he doesn't, jail. He will be monitored for drugs/alcohol. Failing a test means jail. He will have to report his living address whenever he moves (if his probation officer permits him to move). If he doesn't, jail. Any other type of crime he may commit in the future while on probation will carry a heavier than normal sentence. He was studying computer science in college, that career is now out the window, and he'll probably have to stay off computers as part of his probation, so he will probably re-offend.

He has irrevocably changed the course of his very young and promising life, thinking he would never get caught. Lots of guys like him in jail who thought they were too good to get caught.

NSA material (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44973933)

He should join the NSA once he's out of jail. He has a bright future there.

Pfffft (1, Interesting)

WOOFYGOOFY (1334993) | about a year ago | (#44973947)

Another criminal genius bites the dust!

Actually what I think is the court should take into account is the fact that this person's brain is not developed yet which might lead him to do... that.. and think 1) it's a fine thing to do and 2) he'd get away with it.

They do this in Europe- take the age and developmental stage of the defendant into account as it interacts with the defendants s crime.

We live in a world of humans. Some young humans spontaneously think up criminal acts to engage in. This is always a risk. We have no reliable way of making young humans be other than they are, no way to avoid developing brains doing bad , even outrageous things. Everyone involved really ought to consider that before they put him in the no-rehab hell-on-earth called American prisons for 20 years and turn him into a REAL criminal.

My liberal bleeding heart at work overtime.

Re:Pfffft (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44974145)

What do you mean "the fact that this person's brain is not developed yet"? He's 19, for fucks sake. When I was 19 I was putting myself through college, working and providing for my younger sister.

And as for the "autistic" get-out-of-jail-free card, give me a fucking break. It's getting really old, really fast.

If some loser had done this to my sister I would have shattered both his knee caps without thinking twice. Low life scum doesn't deserve to walk.

Re:Pfffft (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44974549)

I would have been trace routing the stuff. And basically been doing the police work for myself. Then walking into the local FBI office with 'hey want an easy case of extortion and wire fraud?'. If that did not work my next stop would be my local lawyer for some good ol fashioned suing of the bully and court ordered restraining orders. I would not care the cost.

Its amazing how far you can go with a nice smile and being nice to those who can really make someone elses life hell.

This dude is nothing more than a common blackmailer. I am sure there is a flotilla of other crimes he committed here. Once maybe, but 30 different people? And this your dream of being a model will be transformed into a pornstar. Just wow... That is not someone who is 'sick'. This is a calculated person who knows what sort of crime they are committing. If he gets to a jury. The proceedings will not take long for them to come back with a unanimous guilty verdict on all counts.

Re:Pfffft (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44974211)

and turn him into a REAL criminal.

So computer fraud, blackmail, coercion, and 2nd degree rape aren't real crimes. There's not real criminals that are locked up for that? How about this guy becomes your kids teacher or principal then we will see how opposed you are to him getting a 'slap on the wrist' just to appease your 'bleeding heart'.

Re:Pfffft (1)

mrbester (200927) | about a year ago | (#44974279)

He isn't a retard. He's claiming to be autistic. Big difference.

Re:Pfffft (4, Insightful)

Valdrax (32670) | about a year ago | (#44974335)

Actually what I think is the court should take into account is the fact that this person's brain is not developed yet which might lead him to do... that.. and think 1) it's a fine thing to do and 2) he'd get away with it.

He's 19. He is legally an adult and should have more than a well-enough developed brain to realize that sexually blackmailing women is wrong. Most people would easily grasp the concept years before.

That knocks out #1, which is really the only relevant point because you don't deserve any leeway for thinking that it's okay to do something wrong so long as you don't get caught for it. Poor impulse control and an inattention to the consequences of one's actions at that age is the opposite of a mitigating factor.

Everyone involved really ought to consider that before they put him in the no-rehab hell-on-earth called American prisons for 20 years and turn him into a REAL criminal.

This isn't just some little ha-ha prank or delinquency. He broke into a person's computer, commandeered it for his own amusement, and then threatened the future life and career of a woman if she refused to degrade herself for his sick sexual entertainment. The first half? Maybe your argument holds water. The second? That IS being a real criminal. This was sexual assault in all but contact -- that same sort sexual self-gratification through the control and degradation of an unwilling party.

I won't disagree that 20 years in the current system will do next to nothing to reform him or prepare him for better integration into society, but let's not pretend that he deserves to get special, kids-gloves attention just because the system is broken. What he did was flat out evil and deserves to be punished -- harshly -- by whatever standards we have as a society set for sexual predators and blackmailers. Because that is what he is.

Re:Pfffft (2)

aitikin (909209) | about a year ago | (#44974661)

Your liberal heart is ignoring the cynic that must be present as well. There's a high probability that this is NOT an autistic individual, merely a person who was diagnosed as autistic at the parents' wishes. This is a HUGE problem in America and one of the reasons that parents of truly autistic children have a hard time with the systems in place.

My anecdotal evidence for my view point is the fact that the lady who lived at the end of the block I grew up on had a son. That son was not diagnosed by their first physician, nor their second with autism. Finally, after 3, possibly 4 different physicians saw him, she found one that considered him autistic. After finding this, she decided that he needed special attention throughout school and, when the school district wouldn't give him the attention she felt he needed, she tried 4 different schools before she decided to home school him.

Now, this child (at the time I last saw him, he was approximately 8-10) is odd, and has some weird tendencies (at one point, their neighbor was selling their house and he went over and wrote in chalk on their driveway "WAY OVERPRICED"), I would describe him as socially inept, but he doesn't behave like other autistic children I've encountered. In fact, he doesn't behave like children or people with Asperger Syndrome even. My mother and I were walking our dog and he yelled out to us to say hi and ask if the dog had gone "poopie" yet. Anyone familiar with these disorders knows that this is unusual to the point of it being near impossible.

Moral of the story, if you look hard enough you can find someone who will say whatever you want them to, and if I were doing something like this and got caught, I'd make it a point to get at least one person to claim me mentally deranged.

No worries (1)

djupedal (584558) | about a year ago | (#44973953)

The perp will be out in 30 days so he can make the rounds on TV talk shows...

jack me off, johnny cab! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44973959)

and drop me off at the mutant brothel.

Digital Darwinism? (0, Troll)

SanDogWeps (2882399) | about a year ago | (#44973963)

I dunno. Sure - there's the pseudo-excuse that is Autism, and the pseudo-apology upon getting caught (didn't regret it when you were viewing the images, did you?). But unless you crawled out from under a rock and into Best Buy after being a hermit for the last decade, then by now you should know enough to take certain precautions. Turn your webcam away from you, close your laptop, don't change clothes in front of it, put your router in standby when not using it, don't click that link, he's not really an African Prince, she's not really going to Western Union you the money plus another hundred for your trouble, these aren't really naked pics of Pink, etc. In 2013, I think survival of the digital fittest should come into play...

Re:Digital Darwinism? (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44974031)

I was wondering how long it would be before some 'blame the victim' asshole came along. Well, you didn't disappoint.

Re:Digital Darwinism? (2)

SanDogWeps (2882399) | about a year ago | (#44974097)

No - simply invoking the error chain, though I can see how that might come across in the reading. Take a link out of the error chain, any error chain (in flight collision, at-sea collision, ordnance mishap) and suddenly all you have is a close call instead of a headline. In similar fashion to the related story, taking certain precautions (full night of sleep, drink a six pack instead of a case, put down the phone instead of answering it mid-turn), keeps everyone out of harm's way. Tech is a tool - so are weapons. The user has certain responsibilities for both understanding and usage.

Re:Digital Darwinism? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44974175)

Alternatively, people could behave like respectable human beings and not invade others privacy.

I'm hoping for a long jail sentence. I hear they like people like him in prison, its not like a number of those killers in there don't have daughters that age...

Re:Digital Darwinism? (2)

SanDogWeps (2882399) | about a year ago | (#44974247)

Absolutely! But sadly, the world is full of unpleasant people who will get it into their heads that what they want, they must have, and devil-may-care about the consequences. I'm not about to leave my life savings in a box on my doorstep in the hopes that no one will steal it. I'm going to safeguard it in a vault or a bank (another topic for another thread, perhaps) because there are thieves afoot. My phone has a password on it because I'm not convinced the person to find it in case I misplace it won't be one to call Kenya on my dime. My car door is locked. The list goes on...

Re:Digital Darwinism? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44974509)

Nice way to blame the victim. You're a real jerk.

I don't get it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44974035)

Why don't people slide the webcam cover when not in use?

Re: I don't get it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44974105)

Most webcams don't have covers.

Autism (0)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | about a year ago | (#44974107)

I really want to slam Slashdot for publishing this story with the reference to autism in it. That is no different from pointing out any other unrelated personal characteristic like race or national origin as part of a news story about a person.

It is disgusting profiling and really does not belong in a reasonable news story.

Re:Autism (4, Interesting)

ScottCooperDotNet (929575) | about a year ago | (#44974229)

I really want to slam Slashdot for publishing this story with the reference to autism in it. That is no different from pointing out any other unrelated personal characteristic like race or national origin as part of a news story about a person.

It is disgusting profiling and really does not belong in a reasonable news story.

His lawyer is already bringing it up, as a possible mitigating factor. So slam him and his lawyer for bringing it up, not for Slashdot for providing details you find unfavorable.

Re:Autism (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44974623)

Correct. TEC is way off base complaining about this, and is probably overly sensitive because he's autistic.

Re:Autism (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44974525)

I really want to slam Slashdot for publishing this story with the reference to autism in it. That is no different from pointing out any other unrelated personal characteristic like race or national origin as part of a news story about a person.

It is disgusting profiling and really does not belong in a reasonable news story.

Not reporting what his lawyer said would be a miscarriage of journalistic standards, you do not omit facts due to personal feelings, you report the facts as provided.

Re:Autism (4, Interesting)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | about a year ago | (#44974599)

The reason that this story has the reference to autism in it is because the accused is attempting to use his alleged autism (I am going to assume that he has an actual diagnosis, not that it means he is actually autistic) as an excuse for his crimes. This story is actually a perfect example of what is wrong with the way our society (in general) is approaching autism. It is viewed as something which makes one unable to tell right from wrong. I do not actually believe that this man has autism, although I think it likely that he was diagnosed with it. This article [salon.com] does a good job of explaining what I am talking about.

only 150 bots at age 19? (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44974177)

What a scapegoated noob. At age 19 most had far more :)

If his initials were NSA (2)

ScottCooperDotNet (929575) | about a year ago | (#44974181)

If his initials were NSA, would you really be surprised by this?

I can't be the only person who tapes over the camera in my laptop and disables it. Apparently my tin foil hat isn't tight enough, as I haven't unplugged the wires internally yet.

Sheeit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44974193)

I like looking at naked women, I will admit. But this sort of thing crosses so many lines, you can't just hide behind a mental illness as an excuse. If you're that kind of mentally ill that this behavior seems okay, then you need to be locked up, plain and simple. I also would be interested in punishing the companies that output such insecure software that this asshole can hack other people's webcams and computers. Sure maybe the girls clicked on a bad link or something but that shouldn't be an excuse- there should be a way to have your personal property be secure, and to know if somebody else is intruding.

Re:Sheeit (1)

houghi (78078) | about a year ago | (#44974643)

I also would be interested in punishing the companies that output such insecure software that this asshole can hack other people's webcams and computers.

You also want to sue Smith & Wesson for the people killed by their weapons? How about knife companies by people who were knifed? Or any other company that has been used to do harm?

Link from article - CNN at it's finest. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44974281)

Different story, first sentence: "Who would have thought that getting naked and naughty
with a stranger online could have negative consequences?"

I didn't read past that, seeing as from the start I'm seen as total idiot.

Police: Naked scammers seduce, blackmail men on Web
http://www.cnn.com/2013/02/18/tech/web/naked-webcam-blackmail/index.html

How many? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44974375)

So, how many girls did he extort before he made the mistake of targeting somebody with influence? If you are going to cheat, steal, blackmail, etc., you don't do it to the people the police actually protect.

RAT Breeders (3, Interesting)

CrashNBrn (1143981) | about a year ago | (#44974393)

ArsTechnica covered this "epidemic" in March.

The article is slightly sensationalist, but interesting ... The Remote Administration Tool is the revolver of the Internet's Wild West. [arstechnica.com]

Perhaps law enforcement has opened a can of worms... or monkeys... autistic monkeys.

Ironic (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44974405)

Ironic that there are no pictures of this shitbag attached to any of the stories. His face should be plastered on every page so nobody forgets it. Whatever else happens to him, a life of public shame should be the minimum sentence.

It seems like more is wrong than autism (2)

Jeff Flanagan (2981883) | about a year ago | (#44974601)

His whole plan just doesn't make sense. It relies on the victim to both have issues regarding nudity that cause them to actually believe that nude photos taken with a hacked computer are somehow blackmail material, and to also be willing to send far more explicit images or video for further blackmail purposes. The overlap of these sets has to be pretty small and only contain people with IQs below room temperature. As we see, not even a Miss Teen USA is that clueless.

We has a promising career in the NSA (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | about a year ago | (#44974607)

Scumbag-like tendencies and a lack of morals make this his likely career path.

This calls for creative sentencing. (3, Funny)

Apuleius (6901) | about a year ago | (#44974625)

When an attractive young girl accidently shows more of herself than she wants to, you need to be conscientious and respectful and look away.

When I show accidentally more of myself than I want to, you do not need to be respectful to look away. You will look away for your own sake, or what you see will be its own punishment.

I think y'all know what I'm getting at. You've seen Clockwork Orange.

Re:This calls for creative sentencing. (2)

Apuleius (6901) | about a year ago | (#44974637)

(And my low Slasdhdot UID should be proof enough that I am not speaking idly.)

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