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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 70187
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I need urgent help on cyber law. Very urgent

Customer Question

Hi. I need urgent help on cyber law. Very urgent
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 11 months ago.

How can I help with this please?

Jo C. and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Dear Jo,
I hope this is private and confidential
Expert:  Jo C. replied 11 months ago.

Hi. No, this is a public site and your posts are visible but you are anonymous.

I can phone but do you want to tell me the issue so that we know whether I can help or not.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Jo. Please call me as soon as you can
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
I've committed a cyber crime
Expert:  Jo C. replied 11 months ago.

What specifically?

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
I have created an account in another person's name
Expert:  Jo C. replied 11 months ago.

And ?

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Can you call me? I am sorry for this. I am very anxious now
Expert:  Jo C. replied 11 months ago.

Do I have the right number? It seems to be a foreign number ?

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
I'm calling from Ireland
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Is it feasible?
Expert:  Jo C. replied 11 months ago.

I'm trying now.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 11 months ago.

It doesn't seem to be connecting. It might be that I'm in the UK.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 11 months ago.

I can deal with this online if that would help?

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Okay. I created a fake Facebook profile out of humour. And now the person has reported to the police. What are the odds of me being caught?
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Can you give me your number? I can try calling
Expert:  Jo C. replied 11 months ago.

You mean you used another person's identity?

A real person?

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
I have harassed the person's friends.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 11 months ago.

By doing?

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Sending messages that spoiled the person's reputation.
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Jo, I really wish you could give me a call
Expert:  Jo C. replied 11 months ago.

It is not connecting. Probably because you are abroad. I have tried twice.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 11 months ago.

In what specific way did you spoil their reputation?

How many messages roughly?

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Oh. Sorry. Thank you for your efforts. What can I do now Jo? I have sent messages to the person's friends. How can I say this? Is there a private email you can use?
Expert:  Jo C. replied 11 months ago.

No, we have to have contact online. YOu are anonymous.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 11 months ago.

You can always paraphrase what you have said?

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Okay. I created an account of this person. Also created a fake business page for his family business and promoted the business. Chatted with his friends. He has made a police report. Can you tell me what is going to happen from here onwards?
Expert:  Jo C. replied 11 months ago.

It depends what you have said really.

However, they are not going to consider this the crime of the century.

Almost certainly they can only trace you by IP address. They can do that but it is quite time consuming and they don't do it for every offence.

If this is a large amount of contact then possibly they would.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 11 months ago.

They would for things like offensive comments on a memorial site for instance.

Or for serious crime.

This isn't grave crime but it could be serious if there is a huge volume of contact.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 11 months ago.

Even if they do track you down though, it is only a S2 harassment. There are some aggravating features but it doesn't change the nature of the offence.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Okay Jo. I called his sister a gold digger. Then I used his 'shop' to promote discount for automobile services and tattoo services, when in reality there is no tattoo services. I offered discounts.
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
I used the profile to clicked like and shared photos of her friends.
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
I think they got offended with the 'gold digger' part. Is it defamation?
Expert:  Jo C. replied 11 months ago.

Well, that is high end.

Not calling his sister a gold digger but the corporate issues.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
If they tracked me down, would they inform the person whom lodged the report of my identity?
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Can I counter sue if he is to expose my identity online?
Expert:  Jo C. replied 11 months ago.

No, he is entitled to do that if he wishes.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
I used incognito mode. Is it traceable?
Expert:  Jo C. replied 11 months ago.

In truth, he could force Facebook to identify the IP address.

Whether or not that would link is another matter.

Even incognitos can be traced but that gets extremely labour intensive. That is not likely.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Do the police look into every case? I'm sorry for the questions Jo. Thank you for being so patient with me.
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Does Facebook usually respond or do they have tonnes of cases that they do no tend to?
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Means the fact that I was imposing as him and calling his sister 'gold digger' wasn't a serious crime?
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
I chatted with about 5 of his contacts. But not more than that.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 11 months ago.

Facebook won't be able to trace an incognito IP but the police can. They do not usually.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Does the police usually 'tell' the 'exact' identity of the person committing the crime to the person reporting?
Expert:  Jo C. replied 11 months ago.

To bring any prosecution they will need to prove the identity of the poster.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Oh that's a relief. Under what circumstances do they go into the hassle of tracing the IP? Only as serious as life-threatening issues?
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
By proving, 'prove' means? It's up to the police or the person reporting?
Expert:  Jo C. replied 11 months ago.

Oh no, it depends how much manpower they have.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 11 months ago.

For very trivial offences they will waste fortunes sometimes.

But not always and not often.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Okay. Let me get through this calmly.
What are the odds of my case being looked into?
Are my offences considered 'grave' if viewed legally? Considering I have hurt the person's relationships with his contacts.
As for the corporate issues, what charges could they hold me accountable for?
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
If identified, what will they police do with the information? What happens if they traced my IP address? Would they 'find out' my name as well? Or only the IP?
Expert:  Jo C. replied 11 months ago.

No, it is only the IP but obviously if it was at home then that is fairly strong evidence that it was you.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Okay. Thank you for the clarification. I am currently residing in another country, and the person I 'offended' is residing in my home country. Under which country's law could they hold me accountable? Will they get my home address from the IP?
Expert:  Jo C. replied 11 months ago.

It is very unlikely they would pursue this cross border.

What they will probably do is close the Facebook page down.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Thank you. You've been very helpful. I've closed the page. Can I be rather sure that the police or the person lodging the report will not contact my employer about my cyber 'misconduct'?
Expert:  Jo C. replied 11 months ago.

The police won't.

The person concerned could I suppose. They have to identify you first though.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
I'm sorry for flooding this channel with questions. I'm quite confused here. What are the steps required for them to 'identify' me? IP? Look into everything else I did on my computer?
Expert:  Jo C. replied 11 months ago.

IP first.

They could check your computer but they obviously need IP to trace that.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Oh I see. Physically track my computer? Or virtually?
Expert:  Jo C. replied 11 months ago.

No, your IP address.

It is your internet provider.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Oh, after they've tracked my IP address? Considering I'm living abroad, and has yet to register my new place. I just moved to a new place 2 weeks ago and hasn't updated my address legally.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 11 months ago.

Oh it will. You will have a unique IP. Everybody does.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
How long does it take to track IP address? You mentioned that they can only track IP but not identity (unless proven). Is it easy to prove a certain identity using an IP address?
Expert:  Jo C. replied 11 months ago.

It depends. It is quite time consuming but there are so many variables it isn't possible to say.

As I have said really, it depends on the IP address. An internet cafe is used by a many. A home address is not.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Okay. Jo, I used a home address. 1. If they tracked me down, will the police inform the person reporting? 2. Will the police press charges? Or the said person press charges? 3. What are the things that they could legally do with the information? 4. Any possibility of jail or fine?
Expert:  Jo C. replied 11 months ago.

It is very unlikely they would pursue this cross border.

What they will probably do is close the Facebook page down.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Jo, I was using an ISP in another country. Does it mean the police need a warrant to 'pursue this cross border'? Even if it's just to trace my IP, does it require them to do come up with documents and procedure? Does what I'm saying resonates with your answer?
Expert:  Jo C. replied 11 months ago.

No, they just need the cooperation of the local forces which they can get but will do not seek.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Alright, Jo. Thank you. You've been of great help. I really appreciate this.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 11 months ago.

No problem.

All the best.