Thriller in the #tech world – A mask depicting a bloody pig, a funeral wreath, a book of advice on how to survive the death of a spouse

Shocking revelations from a few minutes ago rocked the media space. Online commerce company eBay will pay a $3 million fine over a Massachusetts couple’s 2019 corporate cyberstalking campaign, TechCrunch reports. The cyber operation was conducted by several company employees including executives.

The reason for the persecution of the couple was a published newsletter containing criticism of the e-commerce giant – eBay.

As part of the cyberstalking campaign, eBay employees sent the couple a mask depicting a bloody pig, a funeral wreath, live insects and a book of advice on how to survive the death of a spouse.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts revealed that the company committed six crimes. eBay has been charged with two counts of interstate stalking, two counts of stalking by electronic communication services, one count of witness tampering and one count of obstruction of justice.

“The company’s employees and contractors involved in this campaign put the victims through pure hell, in a petrifying campaign aimed at silencing their reporting and protecting the eBay brand. We left no stone unturned in our mission to hold accountable every individual who turned the victims’ world upside-down through a never-ending nightmare of menacing and criminal acts”, said Acting United States Attorney Joshua S. Levy in a press release.

eBay acknowledged that Jim Baugh, the former Senior Director of Safety and Security, along with six other members of the company’s security team, targeted a couple who had published a newsletter addressing eBay seller-related issues. Subsequently, Baugh and his colleagues initiated a harassment campaign with the aim of coercing the victims into altering the newsletter’s content.

This campaign included the employees visiting the couple’s residence and surreptitiously placing a GPS tracking device on their vehicle. Additionally, they created advertisements on Craigslist, inviting the public to engage in sexual encounters at the victims’ home. Furthermore, the employees utilized private Twitter messages and public tweets to criticize the content of the newsletter.

In September 2022, Baugh was sentenced to 57 months in prison, while the other six employees received varying punishments, ranging from two years in prison to home confinement.

“The company’s conduct in 2019 was wrong and reprehensible. From the moment eBay first learned of the 2019 events, eBay cooperated fully and extensively with law enforcement authorities. We continue to extend our deepest apologies to the Steiners for what they endured. Since these events occurred, new leaders have joined the company and eBay has strengthened its policies, procedures, controls and training”, said eBay CEO Jamie Iannone in the press release.

eBay said it accepts responsibility for the misconduct of the former employees.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Editor @ DevStyleR