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EXCLUSIVE: Bournemouth student who exposed racist group chat may have obtained the screenshots illegally

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Bournemouth University student Telma Rodrigues was called a 'big black ape' and 'gorilla looking motherfucker' by her former school classmates in a private group chat.

She shared the screenshots to her social media page and expressed her disgust at the messages. 

The group chat was not created to discuss Rodrigues neither was she a member, however racist and sexist remarks like "cotton picking fuck" and "gorilla looking motherfucker" were made after one of the boys shared a photo of her dressed as a Playboy bunny.

"It's 2017 and people are still using skin colour as a reason to target and bully someone?" Telma posted on Facebook, she has since made her Twitter account private.

“You’re all nothing but pure racists and I really hope karma hurts you as much as you’ve hurt me.”

"These boys are people I went to school with and have known for a long time." 

Telma knew the boys as former classmates. 

Speaking exclusively to The National Student, a member of the group who wishes to remain anonymous told us that the screenshots were taken by Telma after she hacked into one of their Facebook accounts using his password. 

The messages were sent in a private space and the conversation was not leaked by anyone within the group. 

"Telma illegally went through my friends Facebook and saw the messages we never intended for her to see them," he told us. 

He has since made a Facebook post apologising for the comments he made within the chat and explained how the screenshots were taken. 

"She is my mates ex girlfriend from years ago and probably knew his password," he told us. 

A 'where you're logged in' image sent to us shows someone in Bournemouth logged in at 3:52 in the morning and multiple other times. The user whose Facebook was used to access the private conversation lives in Deepcut, Surrey - he does not own an iPhone and has never been to Bournemouth.

Stuart Miller Solicitors that deal in cybercrime and serious fraud told us that they considered this an illegal offence in accordance to the Computer Misuse Act 1990:

Section 1 of the Computer Misuse Act 1990, provides that where a person causes a computer to perform any function ‘with intent to secure access to any program or data held in any computer then an offence is committed when the access is unauthorised and the individual knows that to be the case’. The Section is broad in scope and therefore, switching on a computer without permission might be caught under this offence.

The Offence is made out if

 

(a)    Intent to secure access to any program or data held in any computer, and that the accused must know at the time when she causes the computer to perform the function which she intends to secure is unauthorised;  and

(b)   The access  to the program or data which the accused intends to secure must be unauthorised access.

Telma claims she did not hack the account but has refused to clarify how she gained access.  

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