Did Shaquille O'Neal Raid The Wrong Home For Child Porn Over Mistaken IP Address?

from the besting-Terry-Gilliam dept

And you wonder why they say truth can be stranger than fiction? We all know that IP addresses are notoriously unreliable in tracking down who may have committed an online crime. Most of the time, we see this in civil cases filed by the entertainment industry where they accuse someone without enough evidence or (better yet) without a computer at all. However, sometimes, the myth that an IP address identifies you has bigger consequences. A year ago, reminiscent of the computer bug in the movie Brazil that created a mixup over whether or not someone named Buttle or Tuttle was responsible for a crime, a Cox Internet employee gave police the wrong info about an IP address, leading a completely innocent couple in Wichita, Kansas to be accused of distributing child porn. It seems that a similar situation has again happened, this time in Virginia, where another wrong IP address resulted in a family having their house raided in search of child porn. This was pointed out by Radley Balko who notes that the story gets even weirder when you realize that basketball star Shaquille O'Neal may have been a part of the raiding team. The original report doesn't mention the Shaq connection, but others do, and a separate report does say he participated in an attempt to execute a child porn warrant that weekend in that county. So, beyond the question of why Shaq is apparently participating in such raids, can we ask no one does things like double check IP addresses or, say, look for additional evidence that a particular household is guilty of a crime before sending in people with guns drawn? The same report that suggests Shaq was a part of the raid also notes that "Shaq did some computer work" with the team. Anyone know if Shaq is familiar with the way IP addresses work?


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    Your Mom, Oct 23rd, 2006 @ 1:29pm

    This is completely and utterly bizarre. Plus, why was Shaq doing this?

    Did they have a warrant? Do people know?

     

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    Steve E, Oct 23rd, 2006 @ 1:29pm

    WTF? This is possibly the most random (of some very random posts on Techdirt). Shaq working undercover, IP expert, as well as slam dunk hero?? Whatever next!

     

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    Boilerbob, Oct 23rd, 2006 @ 1:36pm

    Deputy Shaq

    Actually, Shaq is a deputy with the US Marshall's Office working on a child protection operation. See http://www.usmarshals.gov/district/va-w/news/chron/2005/030305.htm

    I live near Miami and there have been many stories about Shaq working with law enforcement. Since he'd be really hard to go undercover on the streets, he spends a lot of time doing computer work.

     

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    Innerdaemon, Oct 23rd, 2006 @ 1:38pm

    Shaq v child porn

    I remember a news report from a couple of years back that Shaq was taking online classes in criminal justice at the University of Phoenix. I am guessing he completed his degree and is now free to troll around to help wrongly accuse people of distributing child porn. Kazaam!

     

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      disgracerpg, Oct 23rd, 2006 @ 1:40pm

      Re: Shaq v child porn

      LOL at kazaam.

      For what reason does shaw need Criminal Justice degree? what the hell?!

       

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        FaMiNe, Oct 23rd, 2006 @ 2:00pm

        Re: Re: Shaq v child porn

        I read some biography stuff on Shaq a while ago. He grew up a military brat, and had quite a bit of military/law enforcement leanings, but his size made him an obvious choice for something like basketball.

        I guess he's finally doing what he was brought up to do.

         

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        Anonymous Coward, Oct 23rd, 2006 @ 2:59pm

        Re: Re: Shaq v child porn

        For what reason does [Shaq] need a Criminal Justice degree?

        What kind of dumbass are you to imply that because somebody is a celebrity or makes millions that they can't be or do something else?

         

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    Ray Trygstad, Oct 23rd, 2006 @ 1:40pm

    Shaq actually does know something about this stuff

    I know for a fact that Shaq was in a class on online solicitation of minors and child pornography taught by Michael Sullivan of the Illinois Attorney General's office. SO he does know something, and Sullivan is a good instructor.

     

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    VL, Oct 23rd, 2006 @ 1:52pm

    Not so hard to believe he was a part of it.

    It was about a year, maybe year and a half, ago that it was announced in a low key press release that Shaq was "sworn in as a U.S. deputy marshal and is only a few training sessions away from being certified to make arrests, conducting search warrants and carrying a weapon" and was doing undercover work to track down child porn.

    That and it is easily verified with a simple search:
    http://www.usmarshals.gov/district/va-w/news/index.html

    http://news.com.com/2061-10789_3 -5723001.html

    http://www.apbweb.com/articles-z81.htm

    As for whether or not he knows anyting about the way IP addresses work, his education history does not suggest he has had any technical training but then again the internet never has all the details about a person. . .

    Though I may as well throw up the other two links:
    http://www.answers.com/topic/shaquille-o-neal
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shaquille_O'Neal

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 23rd, 2006 @ 1:57pm

    much like one of his free-throws, his shot missed and hit an innocent person

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 23rd, 2006 @ 2:07pm

    Woa, Shaq is a narc....

     

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    outforjustice, Oct 23rd, 2006 @ 2:13pm

    I can't believe his contract would allow this kind of work. What if he did raid someone and got shot in the middle of it all. Highly unlikely but still possible. I commend him for his work but I would think for insurance reasons he would not be allowed to do this-- there are too many ways to get hurt.

     

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    ccunning, Oct 23rd, 2006 @ 2:23pm

    Shaq wants to be sheriff

    I remember reading that Shaq wants to be a sheriff or other law inforcement officer once he retires from the NBA. I guess those classes are paying off, now that he can break down a few doors.

    I say go for it Shaq.

     

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      charlie potatoes, Oct 23rd, 2006 @ 5:31pm

      Re: Shaq wants to be sheriff

      i want to know where his 'it all' is...if a man gets shot right in the middle of 'it all' is he ever gonna be able to play basketball again?
      and just how important is your 'it all'? can you survive without it?
      i remember in school they told us that gen. stonewall jackson was shot right in the thick of the 'fray'.. and he died.
      is your 'it all' close to your 'fray' i wonder?

       

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    Mark, Oct 23rd, 2006 @ 2:30pm

    Shaq was a Deputy or Reserve Deputy in California when he was a Laker. I can guarantee you he does not need to stand on the running board to talk face to face with a trucker.

     

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    hysterically laughing, Oct 23rd, 2006 @ 2:33pm

    I'll bet Dirty Harry's magnum looks like a purse pistol in those hands, too

     

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    Awesome Mr Ethan, Oct 23rd, 2006 @ 3:10pm

    Wow

    This sounds like a movie. One of those things where they have some job that gets fouled up and need to pull in some high-paid celebrity to do things for them.

    In fact, it's exactly like a movie. Wow. Except now Shaq has to try again and this time he'll uncover the largest kiddie porn distribution ring in history and become a hero and win over a girl's heart and stuff. Are you listening, Spielberg?

     

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    DigitalBomb, Oct 23rd, 2006 @ 3:21pm

    Well the problem with this story is that we have too little information to make any judgements whatsoever. So this is one of those "take it with a grain of salt" articles.

    There's just not enough information on either side of it.

     

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      truth teller, Oct 26th, 2006 @ 9:08am

      Re: Shaq & mistaken raid

      regarding the "take it with a grain of salt" - you don't need even one grain. the people in virginia are close to my family. the raid was worse than you can ever imagine, unless you have had a swat team invade YOUR home, and totally without merit. a despicable act, the horror of which is getting lost in shaq's celebrity & people's sports-star worship. for shame.

       

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    gofigure, Oct 23rd, 2006 @ 3:27pm

    Kobe set him up

    I am from L.A. and I heard Kobe was the one that gave the bogus tip. He wanted to humiliate Shaq.

    Go Figure.
    Must be jealous of Shaq's new bling.

     

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      Jo Mamma, Oct 23rd, 2006 @ 4:41pm

      Re: Kobe set him up

      Oh yeah? I once heard that Shaq got Bill Gates pregnant... just by looking at him... I also heard he lost his virginity before his dad did! err, wait, was that Chuck Norris?

      Idol speculation... all of it. And he's listed as being an honorary member, which probably doesn't mean too much. But hey, he's doing something other than banging hookers and spending his millions, so I'll give the guy credit.

       

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    Phlatus the Elder, Oct 23rd, 2006 @ 3:45pm

    Honorary Deputy US Marshall and reserve sheriff's deputy do not make anyone the lead investigator, or even an active participant, in any case. He may be doing some actual work but more likely they're using a celeb as a spokesperson - nothing more, nothing less.

    The guy is intelligent enough to understand that a sports hero is just an entertainer and he wants to do something he sees as more meaningful with his life. More power to him.

     

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    Smegma, Oct 23rd, 2006 @ 4:04pm

    Yawn. The law enforcement equivalent of American Idol.

     

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    nonuser, Oct 23rd, 2006 @ 4:32pm

    shaq-a-hack?

    Hack-a-shaq hasn't worked out too well iin the NBA playoffs, and now it sounds like shaq-a-hack isn't all that either.

     

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    fn-great, Oct 23rd, 2006 @ 4:50pm

    so sosweet

    hahahahah, sorry...this one was too great to pass up a random comment.
    I am assuming that there will be a nice lawsuit to come out of this. Shaq in court "Yes your honour I noticed that 127.0.0.1 was downloading massive amounts of child porn"

     

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    mrcbr1, Oct 23rd, 2006 @ 4:54pm

    Shaq can smack (the perps, that is)

    Shaq accompanied a police raid of a suspected drug dealer's house in Baton Rouge, LA in September of 2002. The suspect sued claiming he was abused. The details were vague but included the suspect being dunked headfirst in the toilet until he became more cooperative.
    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/basketball/news/2002/09/11/shaq_cleared_ap/

     

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    Chuck, Oct 23rd, 2006 @ 4:56pm

    Arnold for Governator and Shaq for Sheriff. What's next Brad and Angelina as prosecuting attorneys?

     

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    ubetcha you, Oct 23rd, 2006 @ 5:17pm

    following in Elvis's footsteps

    Prez. Nixon swore Elvis Presley in as a D.E.A. Special Agent.
    http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/when_nixon_met_elvis/part_1.html

     

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      Elvis fan, Oct 23rd, 2006 @ 5:29pm

      Re: following in Elvis's footsteps

      AND ironically, Elvis was all tanked up on Quaaludes at the time of his swearing in.

       

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    Venomhed, Oct 23rd, 2006 @ 5:26pm

    Black people and computers

    First off, a black person with a computer? Hahaha, HAHAHAHAAA. That in and of itself is funny. But Shaq? Mr. Brawn but no brain helping the police with a computer operation.

    "Uhhhh, duhhh, lemme ax you sumtin. Duh, lets get this mo fo wit my AOL's account."

    Peace....yo.

    (rolls eyes)

     

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    computer cop, Oct 23rd, 2006 @ 5:30pm

    Shaq is a Deputy Sheriff

    Yes that's right, he's a Deputy Sheriff in Florida. I am a deputy in another state and am also a computer crime investigator.

    Shaq received training at the same place as many law enforcement officers, the National White Collar Crime Center: http://www.nw3c.org

     

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    Libertate, Oct 23rd, 2006 @ 5:35pm

    Good for him!!!!

    1. My understanding re: Shaq is he is actually quite intelligent and in fact went back to school to complete his college degree. Did not realize it was in Law Enforcement/Criminal Justice.

    2. If the man after making millions and could likely spend the rest of his life sitting on his @$$ decides to put his life on the line fighting one of the worst crimes imaginable and putting the trash involved under the jailhouse then KUDOS to Shaq.

    3. Someone needs to get a clue about how the internet works. Both the investigators AND the judge.

     

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    satan, Oct 24th, 2006 @ 12:04am

    wtf

    time to sack the shaq

     

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    Louis, Oct 24th, 2006 @ 5:11am

    DOSA

    Can anyone say

    DENIAL OF SHAQ ATTACK!

    Haha, I kill myself.

     

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    Phlatus the Elder, Oct 24th, 2006 @ 8:01am

    Arnold for Governator and Shaq for Sheriff.

    Difference is, I think Shaq might be competent.

     

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    Fools Gold, Oct 24th, 2006 @ 8:43am

    Candidate for office?

    There are other incidents wherein a lack of police and judicial efforts are obvious. One informant reported a man "had chemicals in his basement" and only after an armed assault on the house was it determined that the chemicals were in tiny yellow boxes and were stored next to a door marked "darkroom".

    I believe that the basket ball star(?) in question was rumored to be running for office so there might have been a tv crew along on the raid involving the IP address.

     

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    WePlayMegaMans, Oct 25th, 2006 @ 7:57am

    What about the guy that got busted?

    I have NO sympathy for anyone who is convicted of having kiddie porn, but God could you imagine the look on that pedophile's face when The Big Aristotle came busting through the door?! I mean Shaq is like 7'2" 350lbs. That must of been this freak's worst nightmare. Sitting behind his computer, when suddenly in comes the biggest and most prominent man in the NBA ready to preform some Shaq-Fu (remember that video game palyers?) Screw it, I'm writing in Shaq come Nov. 07.

     

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    justrin wesaquate, Oct 25th, 2006 @ 9:17am

    shaqraid

    shaq shouldent be running around playing cop and should stick to what hes good playing basketball

     

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    justrin wesaquate, Oct 25th, 2006 @ 9:17am

    shaqraid

    shaq shouldent be running around playing cop and should stick to what hes good playing basketball

     

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    justrin wesaquate, Oct 25th, 2006 @ 9:17am

    shaqraid

    shaq shouldent be running around playing cop and should stick to what hes good playing basketball

     

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    Akleeve, Jan 18th, 2007 @ 9:16am

    now all he needs to do is run for governer.

     

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    anthony, Feb 23rd, 2007 @ 2:45pm

    way to go SHaQ

     

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    anthony, Feb 23rd, 2007 @ 2:46pm

    way to go SHaQ

     

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    anderlees, Oct 30th, 2007 @ 2:05pm

    way to go shaq I think you are awsome player I love your number 32

     

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    Denisha, Feb 24th, 2008 @ 7:04pm

    This junk is such a lie and this fake mess is just trying to make folk lok bad but if dis helps. you folk better stop lieing or i will call the police. fake people i hate this stupid website and that dumb behind article!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1:-(

     

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    terry, Nov 7th, 2008 @ 2:51pm

    new file engine search!

    I surfed all the web till found the best searcher. Films, picts, mp3’s, videos and lots more at http://newfileengine.com/

     

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