I have very reluctantly been dragged into the current neurosis of my sister’s (soon to be ex) boyfriend. I became involved because I learnt that he was continually sending my 12 year old niece messages and texts in which he kept asking her not to tell her mum, but he had various things he wanted to say to my niece, or to ask her about. Not surprisingly she was distressed by these and didn’t know what she should do, but then he sent a message to my daughter who immediately told me. I then spoke to my niece and subsequently told my sister’s STBEB to back off and stop sending these messages. That was about six weeks ago. I told my niece to tell me if she got any more. I said nothing to my sister at the time hoping that the issue was resolved. That was a mistake.
A couple of days ago my niece told me she had received another message and she copied it to me. The gist of this message was ‘Please stop telling your friends I’m a pervert.’ She strenuously denied having ever said such a thing and I relayed that message to the STBEB who then said he had sent me a message via Facebook.
In fact he sent me way more than one message, and I could not believe what I was seeing. First of all he sent me word for word of a MSN conversation my niece had had with a school friend telling him that the STBEB had seen her getting out the shower. I knew from my talk with her before about that, and was as confident as I could be that it was purely accidental and embarrassing and difficult for them both. She never used the word ‘pervert’ but obviously at that point I could see why he was concerned, but what I could NOT understand was how the hell he came to have the transcript of this conversation so I asked him. This word for word was his first response:
The laptop which she uses, gets spyware notifications which keep happening in Msn chat ... when it shows the scan it points to where it is so you can remove it from the pc.... it was within her logs in between convo's....but you have to scroll down to remove where they come in...very techy ...
I hadn’t a clue what he meant. And then he sent me MORE transcripts of conversations my niece has had, but these were Facebook supposedly private chats. I was speechless by this time and not because of what I was reading. I asked him if my sister had asked him to monitor my niece’s use of the internet to which he replied:
No, it hasn’t been monitored at all. i was just clearing the spyware again using avg ... like last year, so it hasn't been monitored at all... this stuff only appeared whilst cleaning up the folders again about 3 weeks ago
At this point I cut off communicating with him, wondered what the hell I was supposed to do, and knew that of course I had to speak to my sister about the fact that her STBEB was as far as I could see spying on her daughter.
I spoke with her last night. I thought she would explode with anger, but in the event I can only describe her reaction as one of pure shock. I said to her though that she had to prevent her STBEB having any access to her computer and she said he doesn’t have any. But I knew he had done ‘fixing’ jobs on it before and said that he must have done something about three weeks ago – he’d told me as much himself. She said that in fact he had, but she had been sitting next to him at the time, and that it was impossible for him to have gone into any of this stuff, let alone copied it because she was right there all the time. However, the fact remains that a conversation he copied to me was dated 10th February this year.
Now neither my sister nor I have the tiniest bit of knowledge about how computers actually work but it seems to me that somehow he has gained access to my sister’s computer. Is there anyone reading this who might know how on earth he could have done this, and most importantly, how can we ensure that any access he has got is stopped? If anyone can help me I would be massively grateful if you could either explain it in the comments here, or e-mail me on firstname.lastname@example.org.
And as a matter of interest do people think we should tell the police?
The Hamilton Hacker - Nice wee bit of sly humour from the April 1937 issue of the *Socialist Standard*.
10 hours ago