eBay Cyberstalking Case: An Outrageous Plan To Silence Critics

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One of the largest online shopping portals eBay is attracting bad press, once again.

A few of the top executives of eBay inc. (NASDAQ:eBay) were reprimanded for cyberstalking a couple at Natick who published an online newsletter that was supposed to be obnoxious to the company’s growth and reputation.

This eBay cyberstalking incident clearly highlights the scary practices and the level, companies can stoop down to, in order to deal with publishers and individual bloggers who criticise their services or products.

The couple was steered to emotional trauma with the live spiders, cockroaches, a funeral wreath, and some blood-stained Halloween pig-faced mask delivered at their doorstep as reported by the federal authorities. 

This outrageous act was intentional to traumatize and destroy the couple’s courage to publish online.

As the couple’s online content doesn’t make the top officials happy and fulfilled, few of the senior executives at eBay plot this startling plan to wither them off.

To the profound melancholy, the couple was stalked for more than a week, not knowing who was doing this dreadful act and for what they are doing such awful things, told the Massachusetts US attorney, Andrew Lelling, to the reporters.

The six top eBay executives involved in the harassment campaign were James Baugh, former Senior Director of Safety, San Jose, California, David Harville, former Director of global resilience, New York City, Stephanie Popp, a former Senior Manager of eBay’s Global Intelligence, Brian Gilbert, a former Senior Manager of eBay’s Global Security Team, Stephanie Stockwell, a former Senior Manager Global Intelligence Center, and Veronica Zea, a former intelligence analyst in the contract at the eBay’s Global Intelligence Center.

These people were charged with a plot to execute cyberstalking and crime to alter with the witnesses.

Details of eBay cyberstalking case in the court document

There were no names of the advocates listed on the said document, but it clearly states all of the destructive acts that were made to traumatize the couple.

That indicates how those top officials mounted the plot to intimidate the couple with the words of a conspiracy such as “take her down” mentioning the newsletter’s editor. Another unnamed executive said, “We are going to crush this lady.” For publishing an article on their online newsletter about litigation that pertains to eBay.

The ordeal for the couple didn’t end with the few intimidating deliveries at the doorstep. The accused eBay executives also unrolled a fake social media account to deliver frightening direct messages to the couple, the authorities revealed.

Soon after the delivery of the blood-stained piggy-faced Halloween mask, the editor of the online newsletter received a message stating “DO I HAVE UR ATTENTION NOW????,” as mentioned in the courtroom documents.

The cyberstalking by eBay employees, however, didn’t stop to this extent also!

The accused former eBay’s senior executives were filled with more rage to attack this victim couple by posting the couple’s name and address online for yard sales, evoking strangers to knock at the doorstep.

Authorities also mentioned that these officials even lied to the police and their own company advocates about their unlawful acts. Gilbert, a former police captain in Santa Clara, California, seemed to have approached the couple in offering assistance and in sorting out this harassment to ultimately stop it.

Joseph Bonavolonta, a special agent in charge of the FBI office in Boston, quoted that, “They hoped this ‘white knight strategy’ would create some goodwill toward the company, result in more favorable articles and please eBay’s management.” 

Also, an internal investigation was started under the name “suspicious actions by its security personnel” after which the law enforcement authorities notified eBay by August. In September, all those eBay employees were fired, and then CEO, Devin Wenig also stepped down from his position due to a difference of opinion with the board of directors and raised a questionnaire that whether his departure would stand a role in this investigation.

But eBay’s board of directors formed a committee to look after the investigation. They said that the board took all these allegations of cyberstalking seriously to investigate them and take appropriate measures thoroughly.

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