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Multiple accounts in Amanda Todd harassment case linked to same internet service, expert testifies

Prosecution seeks to prove extradited suspect was behind 22 fake accounts in “persistent campaign of online sextortion” 

An expert witness for the Crown prosecuting Aydin Coban returned to the stand this morning (June 28) in the cyberbullying trial involving Port Coquitlam student Amanda Todd.

Warren Bulmer, a digital investigator retired from the Toronto Police Service and now working with the Australian Federal Police, told the BC Supreme Court in New Westminster about his analysis of Facebook accounts linked to the case.

Bulmer, who was identified by Facebook in 2013 as being a senior point of contact (SPOC) for law enforcement agencies investigating online crimes, told Justice Martha Devlin and the jury about connections he found with 13 accounts associated with Todd — specifically with their IP addresses, date and time stamps, locations, user data and cookies. 

(Cookies are small files that websites send to a device to monitor and gain information from the user).

For a Facebook account named “Alice McAllister,” the log showed the user was in San Francisco, Dallas and twice in Germany between Dec. 23 and 24, 2010. Bulmer concluded that the IP address was likely attached to a virtual private network (VPN) or a proxy server to mask the user’s identity and location, he told the court.

On the Alice McAllister account, Bulmer testified he uncovered 22 unique IP addresses — some of which were shared with the following users: Monica Stewart, Austin Collins, Justin Platt, Marc Camer, Kody Maxson, Tyler Boo and Marc Cameron.

“It showed that the accounts were using the same internet service,” Bulmer testified.

Bulmer said the records also show that Alice McAllister was on Facebook 37 times between Dec. 23, 2010, and Jan. 5, 2011, and “in all 37 sessions, there was the same user agent data for the device operating system and browser."

Bulmer told the court he also examined Kody Maxson’s account on Facebook, which showed similar patterns as Alice McAllister’s. That account had five cookie values over 10 sessions in a day-and-a-half in late December; he also shared IP addresses with Alice McAllister, Monica Stewart, Tyler Boo and Marc Camer.

Earlier in the trial, Todd’s mother, Carol, testified she received a Facebook message from Alice McAllister on Dec. 22, 2010, as well as on Jan. 4, 2011, about her daughter’s online activities.

In her opening address, lead prosecutor Louise Kenworthy said the Crown will prove that Coban was behind 22 fake accounts for a “persistent campaign of online sextortion” against Todd.

Coban has pleaded not guilty to 

  • extortion
  • importing and distributing child pornography
  • possession of child pornography
  • communicating with the intent to lure a child
  • criminal harassment

None of the allegations is proven in court.

The trial continues.