A $410,000 fine has been announced for a man and the 16 companies he ran that produced and sold spyware and stalkerware to customers.
It is the Electronic Frontier Foundation that reported as a result of work by prosecutors in New York State, Patrick Hinchy and his companies also must notify victims.
“This sends a clear message to app developers who make their money by surreptitiously installing software to spy on the devices of others: the State of New York will not tolerate your actions,” the report said.
EFF said it long has championed the fight against stalkerware and its director of cybersecurity, Eva Galperin, helped found the Coalition Against Stalkerware several years back.
During this time, the organization has “urged legislators and rule-makers to take the threat stalkerware poses to the safety and privacy of its victims just as seriously as other forms of malware.”
The surveillance software is installed on phones – without the users’ knowledge or consent, the organization reported.
“The apps track victims’ locations and allow abusers to read their text messages, monitor phone calls, see photos, videos, and web browsing, and much more. It’s being used all over the world to intimidate, harass, and harm victims, and is a favorite tool for stalkers and abusive spouses or ex-partners,” the EFF explained.
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New York prosecutors, in announcing the result, confirmed, “These apps and products put New Yorkers at risk of stalking and domestic abuse, and were aggressively promoted by Patrick Hinchy through 16 different companies. Today’s agreement will block these companies from allowing New Yorkers to be monitored without their awareness, and will continue our ongoing fight to protect New Yorkers’ rights, safety, and privacy.”
The EFF said the awareness of the problem has been increasing.
“In a groundbreaking ruling in September 2021, the Federal Trade Commission banned the Android app company Support King and its CEO Scott Zuckerman, developers of SpyFone, from the surveillance business. Almost a year ago, Maryland’s legislature unanimously passed a bill requiring law enforcement agencies to learn to recognize the common tactics of electronic surveillance and the laws around such activities. The double-penalty imposed in New York is a welcome way not only to disincentivize would-be stalkerware developers, but also to start to redress some of the damages caused by this shady industry.”
EDITOR’S NOTE: What is behind the current war against America’s children? Why are so many adults killing their unborn children right up to the moment of birth, or even after? Why are millions of kids sexualized virtually from birth, and injected with an experimental “vaccine” proven to be both ineffective and dangerous, then as toddlers transported to events glorifying mentally ill, demonically possessed men dressed as women?
Why are America’s children systematically sexualized at school, and by transgender recruiters on social media platforms like TikTok, seducing many into “identifying” as the opposite gender, or a brand-new imaginary gender, then encouraged to take powerful drugs and hormones and have their healthy breasts amputated or undergo chemical or surgical castration?
Why are our children simultaneously indoctrinated with toxic Marxist ideologies like “critical race theory” intended to condition them to hate and reject their own country, parents, faith, race, gender and themselves? Why are they simultaneously being frightened of the future by being fed lurid, terrifying – and groundless – apocalyptic tales of the imminent destruction of the world due to global warming?
No wonder youth suicides have skyrocketed, as have depression, anxiety, addiction and drug overdoses. Indeed, fentanyl, the No. 1 cause of death of younger Americans 18 to 45, destroys multitudes of children annually.
Make no mistake: The harm being done to America’s children in this multi-front war is not accidental: Children are the primary target.
WHY? How can all this be happening in the greatest nation on earth? Who and what is behind it? And HOW CAN IT BE STOPPED?
Find out in the explosive January issue of WND’s critically acclaimed monthly Whistleblower magazine, “WINNING THE WAR AGAINST AMERICA’S CHILDREN,” available in both print and state-of-the-art digital editions.
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