Online sex chat messaging
The novel legal issue of how to characterize e-mail communication arose in a recent criminal case in Washington's Spokane County.
Children having increasingly more unsupervised time online, they’re exposed to the dangers of online predators every time they log on.Setting up a sting operation on the Internet, Detective Jerry Keller pretended to be a 13-year-old girl named Amber with a Hotmail e-mail account and a screen name of "ambergirl87," according to legal papers.Detective Keller, in the role of Amber, sent messages to Townsend, kicking off an e-mail exchange between the two parties -- about seven messages in all, said Deputy County Prosecutor Patti Walker.And they all had something in common: the same excuse.Just about every man who came to our house said it was the first time he had done something like this and most claimed they really had no intention of having sex with a minor.We have, however, cross referenced the names of the message senders with their Facebook profiles just to make sure these communications are authentic; all indications are that they are.
Our thanks to Tipster Sarah, who supplied them to us while also supplying them to Nick Summers, organizer of Tipster Sarah: "I do understand French and this one is hilarious.
Also, scroll to the bottom of the page for the software mentioned in the story and more resources.
To follow the trail of an Internet predator prowling for children, from seduction in a chat room to a face-to-face meeting, Dateline rented a house, wired it with hidden cameras, and enlisted the help of an online vigilante group called "Perverted Justice." Volunteers from the group posed as teens in chat rooms, saying they were home alone and interested in sex.
A recent study found that one in five children online is approached by a sexual predator, a predator who may try to set up a face-to-face meeting.
In a Dateline hidden camera investigation, correspondent Chris Hansen catches some of these men in the act.
Within hours there were men literally lining up at our door.