Tragic privacy breach in the dorm

privacy-invasion

This is just heartbreaking.  You may remember the suicide of  Rutgers student Tyler Clementi. Tyler jumped from the George Washington bridge shortly after it was revealed that his roommate Dharun Ravi repeatedly recorded and streamed Tyler’s intimate encounter with another man in their dorm. Dharun not only set up a webcam in their shared room, but streamed it on multiple occasions and invited other college to a “viewing party”on Twitter. The other man involved in the recorded tryst (who remained anonymous) testified that he noticed the webcam turned awkwardly but no recording light being one (it was later revealed that Ravi knew of a fairly simple way to operate the camera remotely – thru iChat.)

Dharun plead guilty to one count of invasion of privacy yesterday and got 30 days in jail (time served.)

At the time of the crime, there was outrage over LGBT rights, privacy violations and cyberbullying with celebrities like Ellen and Madonna making public statements relaying sadness and outrage over the intrusion and resulting suicide. Rutgers ended up changing the rules so that LGBT students can choose their roommates and they can be of the opposite sex, if desired.

Tyler’s mom now runs an anti-bullying foundation in her son’s name. She has made statements pleading for kindness and empathy in this new digital world.

You can read more about this case in this highly-lauded,major news article the New Yorker published at the time of the crime.

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