New Texas Law – Tx HB 2268

In summer 2013, Governor Rick Perry signed into law0 Texas House Bill 2268

This has been hailed as a boon to consumer privacy, as it requires that law enforcement obtain a warrant if they are requesting, for example, a persons actual email content or IP address information.

More importantly for people like me, who have been the victim of cyberstalking, this law also gives companies like Twitter, Google / Gmail, AOL, etc, NO MORE THAN 15 DAYS TO COMPLY WITH THE WARRANT. If the magistrate signing the warrant chooses, he or she may pare down that time to three days if they feel the urgency is required. The law also requires that a warrant signed by any judge in the state of Texas be honored by any company that does business in the state of Texas. Proof of doing business in the state may consist of that little check box you click, swearing that you’ve read the Terms Of Service for the company. (I know you haven’t read any of them – just read one. Like Facebook’s. Scary stuff)

That’s pretty important, because Google and the others (I’m picking on them because they are the biggest thorn in my butt) have a tendency to claim that they only will honor warrants obtained in the same county as their base of operations. Fun game of hide and seek when a company’s HQ is in Denver and they are incorporated in Delaware – or outside the USA.

The caveat here is that the warrant must be “properly worded”. That might suck, depending on the literacy and competence level of your investigating agency.

I have heard, probably a dozen times, that we were waiting on _________ to comply with a warrant and it just takes time, gosh darn it.

Well, it takes 15 days now in Texas. Make sure that your own Keystone cops know the law, and know that YOU know the law.

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Hank Lehmann, alleged accomplice of Dr Steven Curley

 
Eblaster, Dr Steven Curley alleged accomplice
Eblaster, Dr Steven Curley alleged accomplice

Eblaster, Dr Steven Curley alleged accomplice

Somehow, I had neglected to add Hank Lehmann to the list of Eblaster enthusiasts. According to news reports, and the Harris County District Clerk’s website, Hank was Dr. Curley’s alleged computer expert, who installed the spyware on a computer belonging to Curley’s ex wife. Lehmann is also a former employee of the Texas cancer hospital, M D Anderson, in Houston.

Dr. Curley isn’t scheduled to appear in court until later this month (February 26, 2014), and is out on bail. Mr. Lehmann, it seems is going to trial on February 19, 2014.

I am interested to see how that plays out….

Communication with Police

My dealings with law enforcement have been consistent only in that they have been equally frustrating. Any and everything that they can classify as a “civil action”, and not eligible for police interference, they will readily lump into that category. … Continue reading

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Investigation vs Investigating

This has been a frustrating endeavor the entire way, but this week more so than usual.

The police department (McAllen, Texas) that is in charge of my case against my exhusband has moved far more slowly than I would like (of course!) but for the last three weeks I’ve been told that all they lack before they can, in good conscience, ask a judge to sign an arrest warrant, is one thing. That one thing is a court reporters transcript of my ex’s testimony in divorce court, where he confessed under oath, on the stand, to installing the software on my laptop. This confession happened on December 17, 2013, and I notified the investigator immediately. I have spoken to the court reporter, and he has told me that the transcript is ready and waiting for the police to pick it up. And has been for a week.

Geez. Investigation, by my definition, is an action. Something that someone is doing. It seems that the definition of investigation to the PD, however, is more of an object…a noun, not a verb.

In my pushing and prodding and questioning and efforts to kick this into high gear, I have been very, very thankful that I have not had to rely on the sleuthing skills of any agency. This has been spoon-fed to the police, with all of the evidence being provided by what I had believed to be America’s dumbest criminal… But since it’s been 8 months from the time the “investigation” was opened, with no arrest or consequences in sight, perhaps my ex isn’t as dumb as I thought.

I’m grateful for the support of my family (including my in-laws!) and a few very close friends. And I am horrified for any woman who is having to go through this without such a support system, and without the clear and verifiable evidence that my case has. If any single item of my proof that this crime occurred, was missing or questionable, it is painfully obvious that absolutely nothing would have even have pretended to be moving towards a legal and logical conclusion.

I feel like all I can do is escalate. Not back down or be quiet. But make sure that too many people know and are watching, to allow this stalking to go unpunished or this case to be swept under a rug.

Dr Steven Curley trial postponed

A search of the Harris County District Courts website revealed that the trial for former MD Anderson doctor accused of installing E-Blaster on his wife’s computer during their divorce, has been delayed.

Instead of going to trial today (01/22/2014) his criminal case is set to go before Judge Maria Jackson of the 339th District Court in Harris County on 02/26/2014.

For only $159.95…

As best I can tell, around February 2010, my husband began a life of crime.   For less than the cost of our monthly cell phone bill, he obtained a program called E-Blaster, made by SpectorSoft.  He installed it on the Gateway laptop that he had purchased for me – ironically during marriage counseling – and began his long siege on my sanity.

E-Blaster and its ilk have legitimate and legal uses.  Government agencies and privately owned businesses use such software on computers used by their employees, and monitor those employees internet usage as well as general time wasting activities.  I can certainly see the value in making sure that your employee isn’t using a company computer to access kiddie porn or purchasing illegal goodies on a Silk Road type venue.  Parents of minor children may also legally use such software to monitor the internet activity of their kids.   SpectorSoft quite explicitly states on their website that using their product to monitor a spouse is almost certainly illegal in the United States, and to be safe, any adult using any computer that the product is installed on should be notified that such software is monitoring their every cyberstep.

My hubby neglected to mention this installation.  In the early summer of 2010, I was pretty sure that I was going nuts: my husband began quoting, word for word, excerpts from my AOL email account, my Facebook private messages, and my text messages.  These were in addition to apparently “following” my sisters and friends on Facebook, and commenting to me on THEIR activities as well.

I’ve learned a few things over the last few years in dealing with being stalked – both in the cyber and real world.  I am nearing the end of my journey with uncooperative law enforcement, the bureaucracy of various Alphabet Soup government agencies, a narcissistic ex, and figuring out who has your back.  I sincerely hope that I can help others avoid some of the unnecessary missteps I have made.

Lesson #1:  You will sound crazy.  Really.  Get used to the eye rolling when you try to tell your family, friends and various law enforcement personnel that you are being spied on, cyberstalked, followed etc.

Lesson #2:  It is NOT a “civil matter”.  It IS a crime – from a selection of state and federal felonies, in fact.   Law enforcement does NOT want to get involved in the crime if you are involved with the perpetrator.   Be the squeaky wheel.

Lesson #3:  Document everything.  Call the police or sheriff’s department to document when needed.  That is, in fact, their job.

Lesson #4:  Don’t stoop to his level.  Nothing will stop your progress faster than law enforcement believing that YOU have violated any law, but particularly a law you are trying to bring him to justice for.

Lesson #5:   Be patient.  This has taken me FOUR YEARS.   But in the immortal words of my dad, “Give ’em enough rope to hang himself”.  It works, because this type of person is so arrogant as to believe that they have the right to terrorize you, are too smart for someone like you to catch them, and won’t really get in trouble anyway.

Lesson #6:   Be safe.  This is a sickness, and becomes an obsession.  Eventually, my hubby couldn’t NOT monitor my activities.  I literally am never alone, nor do I plan to be until he is safely wearing an orange jumpsuit.  See #1; yes, some people still think I’m overcautious and maybe a little crazy.  Those closest to me have had enough “coincidences”, odd happenings with their cars, computers, cell phones,

home alarms, vehicles following them….  Better thought of as crazy and alive to testify than have your headstone read “She Was Right”.

Great cost at a small price.

 
Great cost at a small price.