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Targeted Neighbor Eavesdropping and Harassment

Black and white photograph of a man eavesdropping and taking notes. from: PWCD - Neighbor Harassment.

Written by: Jerry Lefsen

Targeted Individuals

It seems a reasonable expectation in a civilized society to live peacefully next to one’s neighbors, and with some degree of personal protection as afforded by community-focused institutions. Urban planning, is human geography, and including the inherent spatial interdependencies make it necessary for laws that facilitate individual privacy and residential living without nuisance. Neighbor harassment and eavesdropping, therefore, violate laws protecting a person’s right to enjoy their property as they wish.

One of the most common indicators of eavesdropping is that other people seem to know something they shouldn’t know. If you learn that an activity, plan, or meeting that should be secret is known to an adversary or competitor, you should ask yourself how they might have learned that.

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Eavesdropping and/or harassment could potentially escalate to include:

  • Unwanted contact.
  • Stalking.
  • Making the victim feel unable to remain on their (rented/owned) property, 

If the perpetrator intercepted information, threats and/or blackmail may follow, a crime prohibited under Title 18 US Code §2511. Artists, independent contractors, and home businesses are particularly vulnerable and may find themselves robbed of inventory and intellectual property, something difficult to put a price on.

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Statistics – Neighbors Are the New Unknown

More people are opting not to get to know their neighbors. City Observatory found in a 2015 report that one in three residents had no contact with their neighbor, and only one in five reported ongoing interactions with them. Frequently this is preferred and may be related to greater numbers of independent women wishing to avoid harassment at home and increased crime rates. That being said, back in 2012, the Bureau of Justice Statistics released a study stating that 13.5% of participants were victims of neighbor harassment.

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Apartment buildings already come with a sense of community and being surrounded by strangers. Thin walls lend themselves to easily overheard conversations with others and tracking of any TV shows and videos played. This type of surveillance can go on for months or even years without the tenant being any the wiser.

Other eavesdropping tactics come in the form of microphones, cameras, recorders, transmitters, and wiretaps. Harassers will sometimes hide these mechanisms in gifts such as flowers, stuffed animals, and other items placed in ideal areas of the apartment to record personal information.

Harassment Issues With Homes Settling down on a rural piece of land seems like a safe place to live privately. Unfortunately, opportunity for all levels of harassment and eavesdropping are still present and may be related to children living on the property and boundaries – where residents may experience trespassing and burglary.

Neighbor Proofing

Technology is a boon and curse, with data being intercepted at record paces. Experts recommend the use of encryption and VPN services, which can keep data safer from thieves and harassers; professional sweeps (as opposed to looking for devices yourself); soundproof window film products, which help create a barrier to keep out long-range listening devices; and acoustic absorption pads placed on walls to absorb noise before it can travel next door.

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Targeted Individuals activism offers examination into the generalized solutions prescribed for consensus reality and validates the experiences of the (individual). Partaking in such a resource provides victims with a greater ability to be proactive in doing things like; bringing charges to court, filing restraining orders, or figuring out how to work patiently with a landlord to resolve a precarious situation.

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