To Protect and Coddle
While browsing the online news this morning, I came across a story where a famous German athlete was being stalked. Read here. This isn’t anything new. People, especially famous people, are stalked all the time. What made this blog worthy was what transpired after.
The stalker, to use the athlete Ariane Friedrich‘s own words, obviously ‘messed with the wrong person’ as she is trained as a police officer. Not only that but she also took it upon herself to post the stalker’s information including name and address, on her Facebook page. She also posted excerpts from the email he sent her.
So what’s wrong with that? Well it seems that some people, including the German authorities has an issue with this outing. Apparently her actions contravened their online data protection law, which makes it illegal to share information about someone online. “As much as I can understand your anger about the stalker, you as a police officer should not just pillory somebody on the Internet,” one person wrote on Friedrich’s Facebook page.
In contrast to the negative reactions, I tend to agree with Ariane. I think she did the right thing. Maybe this guy is the husband of a wife who doesn’t know about his dark side. Or maybe he works in an environment where he may need to be monitored.
I think that the law has coddled and protected the privacy of criminals for too long and it is one of the causes of repeat offenses. I am not saying that as soon as someone is suspected of a crime, their names and pictures should be published. What I am saying is that when proven guilty beyond a doubt, all privacy protection should be lifted. Everyone should be made aware that John Doe has committed a crime for which he has been charged. (One never know who else might be tempted to come forward with more accusations after this). Sometime the embarrassment of their names and pictures being published could be more effective than a jail term. (I know of individuals who did time behind bars then upon release, told everyone that they were in another province).
The cold, hard fact is that criminals are not made to take full responsibility for their actions. In my opinion, victims are doubly victimized. Once by the perpetrator and then again by the legal system that does all in its power to provide a soft landing for said criminals.
That’s just my take. What’s yours?
- Olympian outs stalker on Facebook, triggers debate (worldnews.msnbc.msn.com)
- German track star fights back against genital photo stalker – shames him on Facebook (offthebench.nbcsports.com)
- German Olympian Calls Out Crap Email Dude on Facebook [Facebook] (jezebel.com)