Victims of stalking suffer dreadfully, and the nature of the response to their plight varies across jurisdictions. To add to traditional forms of stalking, there have been experience of email stalking, Internet stalking and computer stalking. The Australian Institute of Criminology has been a pioneer in the analysis of cyber crime, and this paper adds to that body of knowledge.

This paper examines cyberstalking as an example of a crime that is simultaneously both amenable to, and resistant of, traditional forms of legislation, depending upon the way in which the possibilities of the Internet are exploited. Cyberstalking is analogous to traditional forms of stalking, in that it incorporates persistent behaviours that instil apprehension and fear. However, with the advent of new technologies, traditional stalking has taken on entirely new forms through mediums such as email and the Internet. Cyberstalking dramatically signals the potential of the Internet to facilitate some types of crimes, as well as pointing to the interventions available and likely to prove effective. To date, there is no empirical research to determine the incidence of cyberstalking.

Arguments as to whether Internet-based technologies have created entirely new types of crime requiring equally new legislative and other responses, or provided new expressions of traditional crimes requiring the adaptation of current legislative strategies, are hotly debated by the proponents of both views.

This paper is taken from the report of research undertaken with the assistance of a grant from the Criminology Research Council.