Turns out federal government employees can be Craigslist creeps, too

government employees can be Craigslist creeps

Cyber-crimes come in many shapes and sizes. Some are massive, sophisticated attacks … and others are incredibly dumb personal vendettas carried out via Craigslist from a work computer that ends in an easily traceable and extremely embarrassing crime. 

When you think of someone who trawls for sex on Craigslist, you’re probably thinking of someone who looks like homeless Steve Buscemi dipped in perv sauce. But people who go on Casual Encounters walk among us. Sometimes they’re not creeps at all, just people looking for love. Sometimes, of course, they are the people your parents warned you about. But they are easily outed when they don’t understand how easy it is to track somebody online – in this case, it’s  made even more surprising given that the perpetrator works for one of the most expansive research centers in the world. 

Case in point: investigators are charging Library of Congress employee Kenneth Kuban with felony stalking for harassing a woman he used to date with a series of sublimely creepy Craigslist ads. Now, it’s not illegal to make posts that explicitly ask for sex on the Internet, as long as you aren’t soliciting sex for money. People can make all sorts of obscene statements and queries as long as they are seeking sex that comes without a price tag.

But what Kuban allegedly did is something different: Instead of soliciting sex for himself, he is accused of soliciting sex for someone else. He is charged with making posts that solicit sex for a woman called “L.M.” According to investigators, Kuban wrote these posts with the intention of sending men who wanted sex to L.M.’s house. Since the posts made it seem as though she wanted to have a casual sexual encounter, she was left with an incredibly awkward and confusing situation to deal with when these salacious suitors showed up at her door. 

Screen Shot 2013-03-27 at 5.48.37 PM

The victim of this prank became so incensed by her unwanted visitors that she called the police and posted signs around her property that Craigslist visitors were not welcome. 

The situation escalated into a major problem – the police report states that it got so bad it “resulted in the local Sheriff’s department being called to her residence frequently, often several times a day, to chase away the men who had been enticed by these ads to travel, even across state lines, to visit L.M. for these falsely advertised sexual encounters.” 

But the onslaught of sex-seekers continued until undercover agents posed as potential targets and chatted with Kuban, who obliviously continued to pretend to be the woman. 

The agents traced the postings back to Kuban’s computer without a problem – he wrote most of the posts from a computer within the Library of Congress. 

This case makes it clear that cyber-stalkers aren’t always derelict weirdos with obvious social problems (at least, on the surface). And though it’s far less tragic, it shares a few strands of DNA with the Craigslist killer case: An educated male perpetrator with a well-respected job overestimates his ability to stay anonymous on Craigslist, and uses the site to take advantage of women. In this case, luckily, nothing violent occurred – and hopefully it will teach people looking for romance on the site that they can’t trust that people portray themselves honestly. 

Top image courtesy of tiptoee/Shutterstock

Social Media

Tinder Lite will soon launch to bring the dating game into emerging markets

Tinder Lite, a lightweight version of the dating app, will soon launch in emerging markets where access to data may be limited. The app will look to bring more people into the dating game, as Tinder looks to maintain its growth.
Social Media

Update WhatsApp! Sophisticated attack installs spyware with just a call

A WhatsApp vulnerability left Android and iOS devices open to attack from sophisticated surveillance software that could be installed simply by calling the targeted person through the app.
Social Media

Twitter sorry for mistakenly storing and sharing some users’ location data

Twitter has revealed that a bug led to it accidentally storing and sharing location data for a number of iOS users. The issue, which has now been fixed, affected those operating more than one Twitter account from the app.
Social Media

Save me: How to download Instagram photos from any device

Browsing photos in Instagram is one thing, but saving them is another. Until recently, it wasn't easy to get your pics and data off the 'gram and saved elsewhere, but now you can download Instagram photos with just a few clicks.

Photographer sues Ariana Grande after she posts his images of her on Instagram

A professional photographer is suing Ariana Grande after she posted photos on Instagram that he'd taken of her. Grande used the post to promote one of her albums, but the photographer says she used the photos without permission.
Social Media

Instagram ditches plans for stand-alone Direct messaging app

Instagram is shuttering it's stand-alone messaging app, Direct, after testing it since 2017. While the messaging features remain intact inside Instagram, the separate app will be discontinued in the next few weeks.
Social Media

Instagram’s new Explore grid tempts you to open your wallet

Instagram has made some changes to its Explore tab that might tempt you into the occasional shopping spree. It's also planning to add Stories to the grid, mixing them up with the existing photos and videos.
Social Media

6 easy ways to archive all of your favorite Instagram videos

Saving Instagram videos should be just as easy as taking a screenshot. So, we've put together a list of the best apps and tools that save your favorite Instagram videos onto your phone or computer.
Social Media

Be the master of your own Insta-verse with multiple Instagram accounts

Whether you own a small business or have separate Instagram accounts for your five cats, we'll walk you through the process of switching between your multiple accounts on your Apple or Android devices.
Social Media

A fond farewell to Grumpy Cat, the internet’s most famous feline

The worst day ever. We say farewell and offer a fond remembrance for Grumpy Cat, the internet's most famous frowning feline, meme and a genuine sweetheart, who died at the age of seven. Exceptionally even tempered and tolerant, Grumpy Cat…

Treat yo' selfie with one of these 13 apps made to beautify your pics

Selfies might be a phenomenon second only to karaoke, but they're not the easiest thing in the world to create. Thankfully, these awesome selfie apps for Android and iOS will make beautifying your self-portraits easier than capturing them.

Creators of WhatsApp attack software face lawsuit from Amnesty International

This week a spyware attack was launched on WhatsApp. Now the Israeli firm linked to that attack is facing a lawsuit from human rights NGO Amnesty International, alleging their software has been used to surveil human rights defenders.

New York could dish out fines for texting while crossing the street

Do you text on your phone while crossing the street? The dangers of stepping out in front of a car or bus are obvious, but in New York, offenders could soon face a fine of as much as $250, too.
Social Media

Help wanted: British royal family seeks social media wiz to run its accounts

The British royal family is looking for a social media expert to help it communicate its role and activities to the masses. So if you like the idea of having the Queen as your boss, why not throw your hat in the ring?