Washington, D.C. – Although technological advancement has done a great deal to improve the daily lives of Americans across the country, it has also opened the door to a troubling new form of domestic abuse: the use of internet-connected home devices to harass and control victims. In an effort to combat this disturbing practice highlighted by a recent New York Times piece , U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), alongside U.S. Senators Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Patty Murray (D-WA), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Tom Udall (D-NM), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Ed Markey (D-MA), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV) and Tina Smith (D-MN), called on the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to take steps to make updated resources and assistance available to victims, as well as law enforcement, judicial personnel and other professionals who assist victims of this type of domestic abuse.
“The adoption of these technological advancements shows no sign of slowing down, as these devices revolutionize a variety of everyday tasks across the United States and the world. Yet for victims of domestic abuse, the convenience offered by connected devices can become a web of manipulation and harassment,” wrote the Senators. “To address the novel threats of harassment and manipulation posed by these devices, the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) should take steps to make updated resources and assistance available to victims, law enforcement, judicial personnel and other professionals who assist victims of domestic abuse. As technology advances and poses new practical and legal concerns, we must ensure that we are keeping pace to address and prevent domestic abuse, no matter what form it takes.”
A full copy of the letter can be found here.