A US university room mate who used a webcam to spy on his college roommate’s same-sex encounter, is now finding out the extent of the US cops’ powers to lock him up.
Tyler Clementi killed himelf by throwing himself off the George Washington bridge, after Dharun Ravi revealed film of him having congress with another bloke online. Ravi used Twitter to invite people to watch a video stream of Clementi.
While the US cops could not charge Ravi with causing Clementi’s death, it seems that the book has been well and truly thrown at the bloke.
He has been charged with several counts of bias intimidation and invasion of privacy. But what is more interesting is that coppers hope to stick a charge of evidence tampering.
Ravi attempted to delete text messages and a Twitter post which showed his involvement in filming his room mate.
AP quoted lawyer Bradley Shear who claimed that the charges were a novel way to take old-school evidence-tampering charges into the newer spheres of social media and cyberspace.
It creates the precident that virtual behaviour, online activities, is just as important, if not more so, than everything you do in your everyday life, Shear said.
Ravi, 19, and another student, Molly Wei, have both been charged. Coppers claim that Ravi used Wei’s computer in her room to activate his computer in his room using Skype, and viewed Clementi and another man’s intimate moments. He did the same thing again days later and invited others to view the webcast.
Other laywers say that Ravi could claim that he took the “evidence” down because he did not want it to be part of a news story.