SWAT Team Raids Home Because Guy Had An Open Wireless Router
from the wrong-lessons-learned dept
This is just ridiculous. Apparently a SWAT team raided the home of an innocent guy, accusing him of downloading child porn:
Lying on his family room floor with assault weapons trained on him, shouts of “pedophile!” and “pornographer!” stinging like his fresh cuts and bruises, the Buffalo homeowner didn?t need long to figure out the reason for the early morning wake-up call from a swarm of federal agents.
That new wireless router. He’d gotten fed up trying to set a password. Someone must have used his Internet connection, he thought.
“We know who you are! You downloaded thousands of images at 11:30 last night,” the man’s lawyer, Barry Covert, recounted the agents saying. They referred to a screen name, “Doldrum.”
“No, I didn’t,” he insisted. “Somebody else could have but I didn’t do anything like that.”
“You’re a creep … just admit it,” they said.
It seems that law enforcement folks now admit that they screwed up, but the “lesson” they’re getting out of it seems completely backwards. They’re saying the lesson is that you should protect your WiFi router. That may be a good idea for some people, but there are plenty of legitimate reasons for offering an open WiFi connection. Furthermore, as noted, some people don’t know how to set up their WiFi security.
But the bigger questions are:
- Why is law enforcement sending in a SWAT team for child porn downloads? You could potentially see it in cases of production, but with downloads, can’t they just do a standard arrest?
- Why didn’t they do a simple check beforehand to see if the router was open before bursting into the home with assault weapons and unproven assertions?
- How come none of the “cautionary lessons” involve law enforcement folks realizing that they overreacted?
What’s really disturbing is that the thrust of the original article is all about how this is a cautionary tale for wireless router owners, rather than a cautionary tale about overaggressive law enforcement.