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  • Abuse of Technology
  • Volume 14 | Spring 2009

from the chair

The Honorable Pamila Brown

Dear Colleagues,

This issue of our eNewsletter addresses the rapidly developing area of technology abuses in domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking cases. From spyware and GPS tracking to “spoofing” Facebook and cell phone records, today’s batterers have found a whole new universe of tools to assist them in controlling, monitoring and frightening their victims. Fortunately, there is emerging expertise in how to effectively combat these technological abuses, using tools we are already familiar with: skilled safety planning and carefully crafted civil protection orders.  We do, however, need to learn how to adapt these tools to the new realities our clients face.

We are very lucky at the Commission to have Guilherme Roschke on staff to share his expertise in these issues. Prior to law school Guilherme was a computer programmer with experience in corporate, non-profit and scientific environments, and before joining the Commission he completed a Skadden Fellowship at the Electronic Privacy Information Center. In his first article for our newsletter, “Interpartner Surveillance: Recent Developments in the Legal Response to Electronic Privacy Invasions,” he explores how technologies, such as spyware and video surveillance, can be used by abusers and the strategies lawyers should use when dealing with evidence of technologic surveillance.

Then, Guilherme describes the legal implications of electronic surveillance in his article “Identity Abuse: Identity Theft and Impersonation.” He explores the intersections between domestic violence and identity theft, outlining the ways in which clients and lawyers can monitor, document and remedy specific acts of identity theft perpetrated by abusers.

As always, the Commission welcomes information from you regarding resources or promising practices on this critical area of domestic violence practice.  Our heartfelt thanks to all of you for your work on behalf of survivors.

The Honorable Pamila Brown
Chair, ABA Commission on Domestic Violence