Dr. Nuccitelli's Dark Psychology & iPredator Blog Posts
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iPredator & Internet Safety Notes
A Glossary of Online Assailant Terms and iPredator Concepts
“The Information Age technocentric concept of being “connected” is an illusion causing us to lose our instinctual drives for social cohesion, allegiance and selflessness. As our dependency upon Information and Communications Technology [ICT] grows, the less we care for our neighbors and the more we delude ourselves into thinking that online connections are far more valuable than reality-based relationships.”
Michael Nuccitelli, Psy.D. (2014)
iPredator: a person, group, or nation who, directly or indirectly, engages in exploitation, victimization, coercion, stalking, theft, or disparagement of others using Information and Communications Technology (ICT). iPredators are driven by deviant fantasies, desires for power, control, and retribution, religious fanaticism, political reprisal, psychiatric illness, perceptual distortions, peer acceptance, or personal and financial gain. iPredators can be any age or gender and are not bound by economic status, race, religion, or national heritage. Their sole requirement to get started in this dark dimension is an internet connection.
Central to the concept is the premise that information age criminals, deviants, and the violently disturbed are psychopathological classifications new to humanity. Whether the offender is a cyberbully, cyberstalker, cyber harasser, cybercriminal, online sexual predator, cyberterrorist, internet troll, online child pornography consumer/distributor, or a person engaged in internet defamation or nefarious online deception, they fall within the scope of iPredator. The three criteria used to define an iPredator include:
- A self-awareness of causing harm to others, directly or indirectly, using ICT;
- The usage of ICT to obtain, tamper with, exchange and deliver harmful information;
- A general understanding of cyberstealth used to engage in criminal or deviant activities or to profile, locate, stalk, and engage a target.
Unlike human predators prior to the information age, iPredators rely on the multitude of benefits offered by ICT. The primary differentiators of this very modern kind of predation are also threefold: the unlimited distance over which data can be conveyed, the immediacy with which the data can be conveyed, and the unlimited scope of data that can be conveyed. The importance of these three vectors of capability cannot be overstated. In pre-information age societies, by contrast, a predator’s malicious activity was essentially local, slow-moving, and technologically constrained; the predator was limited to the area he could cover by car, to use an emblematic example, needed careful wooing or “casing” of his victim, and was restricted by the limitations of relatively crude technologies like the telephone.
In the abstract and artificial electronic universe known as cyberspace, none of these restrictive qualifiers obtain. Furthermore, there is a fourth advantage that ICT offers iPredators: anonymity. On the internet it is easy for iPredators to actively design online profiles and diversionary tactics to remain undetected and untraceable.