This week on the “On being mobbed” blog

These last days in Seattle have seen some beautiful weather with the turning leaves at the height of their color and the crispness in the air that heralds the winter ahead. I spent much of the weekend outside gardening and wasn’t able to publish any additional blogs. In the next few days, however, I’ll publish a blog on the unreality of cyber-crime that should have been included as a section in the already lengthy part 3 of Unmotivated sound and the narrative of mobbing. And, hopefully by the weekend, I’ll publish a blog on my recent report of the mobbing to the Seattle Police Department. I made some progress there, although it was not without cost. When I called to request a non-emergency visit to report “tenant relocators,” which seemed like it might yield better results than using the term “real estate mobbers,” Seattle Police Department dispatch asked me what “medications” I was on. Obviously, the dispatcher didn’t mean the extra-strength Ibuprofen that a physician recently gave me. The dispatcher’s question, and its underlying assumption, revealed not only ignorance but possible bias, an issue that the United States Justice Department continues to mediate with the Seattle Police Department through the Seattle Consent Decree ( My blog on the visit of Seattle Police Department will describe my response to that too.

I’ve been doing a bit of research on how notions of probable cause are affected by cyber-crime and came across the following discussion in “Fighting Cybercrime After United States v. Jones” in the Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology, Volume 103 | Issue 3, Article 4 in Summer 2013. The authors are David Gray, Danielle Keats Citron, and Liz Clark Rinehart.

The social problems constituting ‘cybercrime’ are varied and costly. Take for example cyberharassment, which involves patterns of online behavior that are intended to inflict substantial emotional distress and would cause a reasonable person to suffer substantial emotional distress. Multifaceted and malleable, ‘cyber harassment. . . tend[s] to involve explicit or implicit threats, privacy invasions, defamation, data thefts, impersonation, technological attacks, and[] the recruitment of third parties to physical harm victims.’ Attackers hack into victims computers to steal revealing pictures and then extort them, threatening to release the pictures unless they agree to the harassers’ demands. Vengeful ex-lovers post victims’ naked pictures on pornography sites alongside the suggestion that they are interested in anonymous sex. Although some attackers confine their hostile activities to networked technologies, others use all available tools to harass victims, including real-space stalking.

Cyberharassment has a profound impact on victims’ lives. It causes debilitating psychological and emotional harm. It damages victims’ careers and professional reputations. It interferes with their educations. It silences them….

This brief description of how cybercrime extends into the physical world describes the phenomenon of real estate mobbing. One of the aspects that is most prominent in real estate mobbing, at least my own mobbing in northeast Seattle, is the consistency with which the mobbers stalk over public networks and use public networks for access to speakers of any kind, whether on public announce systems, building security systems, nearby computers or the cell phones of others, and use them to harass their victims. This type of following over daisy chains of networks is very much an application of cyberstalking. When networked access to speakers is not available or sufficient, the mobbers can also use a directional speaker from a surveillance drone to pipe and channel harassment into the ventilation systems of the structure in which their victim takes refuge or they can pelt its windows with the same directional sound to produce surface harassment inescapably audible to the victim as she moves from room to room within her home.


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