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Former eBay Security Head Guilty Of Cyberstalking Campaign

Former director of security at eBay Jim Baugh will plead guilty to masterminding a grotesque cyberstalking campaign against a husband and wife blogging team who were frequently critical of the e-commerce giant.

Ina and David Steiner (pictured below) often wrote about eBay on their website EcommerceBytes.

In April 2019, Ina Steiner wrote that eBay’s then-CEO Devin Wenig was paid 152 times more than an average eBay employee. This lead to an order from Wenig to “take her down”, which began a campaign of mail harassment, lead by Baugh, then head of eBay’s security division.

Employees sent live insects, a pig fetus embalmed in formaldehyde, a bloody pig mask, funeral wreaths, a book on suriviving the loss of one’s spouse, and multiple pizza orders to the couple’s house.

Bough also allegedly flew to Boston to vandalise the Steiner’s house, tracked their car, and sent pornographic magazines with David Steiner’s name on to a neighbour’s house.

“This was a determined, systematic effort by senior employees of a major company to destroy the lives of a couple in Natick all because they published content that company executives didn’t like,” Massachusetts US attorney, Andrew Lelling said.

“For a while they succeeded, psychologically devastating these victims for weeks as they desperately tried to figure out what was going on and stop it.”

Despite being the one who allegedly orchestrated the attacks, ex-CEO Devin Wenig has denied this being his intention.

“I was speaking off the cuff to a communications executive about my desire to be more aggressive in our PR effort; never in my wildest dreams would I fathom that, later, someone might associate that communication with the type of activity mentioned in the Massachusetts complaint,” Wenig said in a 2020 statement.

“I am genuinely sorry for the couple that had to endure these obscene acts. No one should have to experience that, especially not a journalist. What happened isn’t representative of the company culture I spent 8 years building, or the employees I knew there.”

Baugh was scheduled to face trial in late May, with plans to plead not guilty. Yesterday his defense attorney asked a federal judge to allow Baugh to change his plea.

Six others eBay employees have been charged with conspiracy to commit cyberstalking and conspiracy to tamper with witnesses.

 

 



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