Aug 18, 2014
The proliferation of websites, social media platforms, and applications that enable users to interact virtually and often anonymously has given rise to new modes and methods of perpetrating harassment, abuse, and other criminal behaviors that compromise victims' privacy and safety. These types of acts, termed technology-facilitated abuse (TFA), can involve the use or distribution of the victim's personal information, which compromises the victim's privacy and poses a threat to their safety. Efforts to combat these profoundly harmful acts are limited by a lack of awareness among the general public and criminal justice practitioners, impediments to investigation and adjudication presented by digital spaces, and laws and policies that have not kept pace with advancements in digital technologies. To examine this issue, RTI International and the RAND Corporation convened an expert workshop. The participants discussed the challenges, opportunities, and complexities faced by law enforcement and criminal justice practitioners in TFA cases. Using these discussions, the panel members identified and ranked needs for the public, law enforcement, and criminal justice practitioners to successfully identify and prosecute TFA cases. This report provides the prioritized list of needs and accompanying context from the discussion that resulted from this effort.