The Internet Makes You Creepy

Site Shows You Rich People’s Mansions — and Exposes Their Personal Info

Don't forget to zoom! (Screengrab: Google Maps)

We know the thoughts running through your head upon the first mansion sighting when you arrive in the Hamptons for a weekend retreat: How many square feet is that place? How did the owner get that rich? Would I be able to see the pool via aerial image?

An eerie new site makes stalking the rich a lot easier. MansionMaps plots exquisite estates on a map alongside all kinds of handy information about the properties and their owners, CNet reports. Read More

Craigslist Goodies

Skip These Summer Jobs: 15 Insanely Creepy Craigslist Ads

16 Photos

School’s almost out for summer! If you’re not one of the overachievers who’s been networking since November — or a rich kid who doesn’t know the meaning of “job” — you might be scrambling right now to find some summer employment.

If you’re in the latter category, there’s a good chance you’ve taken to perusing Craigslist. The site may have plenty of helpful job listings — but just remember that for every harmless “Dog Walker Needed” post, there are also at least seventeen listings demanding “Woman with Orgasmic Feet Needed For Sexy Photoshoot.” Read More

Unsolved Mysteries

Our Very Own Catfish: How a Creepy Stranger Co-opted an Observer Photo to Infiltrate a Small Town

Eli Steveness' Facebook profile picture

On August 20, the Observer received an unsettling email from a grandmother in small town California named Cheryl Nagle. She asserted that a mysterious man on Facebook was infiltrating her community’s social media networks, and creepily sending friend requests to a bunch of local kids. And that the Observer, in some bizarre way, was connected to it all.

Obsessed with MTV’s Catfish, we took Ms. Nagle up on her tip. It turned out to be true. Read More

New Drone City

Seattle Man Hovers Drone Over a Family’s House for ‘Research’

Scary drone. (Photo: Flickr/Don McCullough)

A Seattle man ascended to a new level of creepiness recently when he flew a drone just a “few feet away” from a family’s home and defended his right to do so because he was flying it in the air, and thus not trespassing. He also claimed it was for research. The camera-equipped device emitted a loud noise, similar to that of a weed-whacker, which caught the attention of a woman inside.

She told Capitol Hill Seattle Blog that she saw the man on the sidewalk controlling the device near a third-story window in the eastern neighborhood. Her husband approached the man, who was standing on the sidewalk, and told him to desist from being creepy. The man told him that he was doing “research” and the camera was transmitting the images to his glasses. They called the police, but they didn’t show up since Inspector Gadget had already left. Read More

Privacy Police

Meet FinSpy, the Favorite Spyware of Oppressive Governments Everywhere [Video]

Creepy. (Screengrab)

Google engineer Morgan Marquis-Boire and Ph.D. computer science student Bill Marczak introduced New York Times readers today to FinSpy, one of the scariest spyware packages you’ve probably never heard of. Mr. Marquis-Boire and Mr. Marczak have been on FinSpy’s trail, mapping all its nasty flavors, since earlier this year. The software suite is available to law enforcement for legitimate investigative use, but the researchers have found it is also being used by oppressive governments to track the communications, activities and personal connections of political dissidents.

In a report  linked by the Times, Mr. Marquis-Boire and Mr. Marczak detail how they first learned of the spyware as a Trojan payload attached to emails sent to Bahraini human rights activists, then began peeling apart its other, much creepier uses–tracking everything a target does with a smart phone. Pretty much any smart phone. The researchers’ list of what FinSpy Mobile can do is chilling: Read More