Hey, Idiots, Stop Swatting People

from the sore-losers dept

You know what I bet law enforcement folks really hate? This whole swatting thing that sometimes happens. For those of you not aware, swatting is when you fake a call into police that results in a local SWAT team being dispatched to your victim’s residence, typically shortly followed up by you getting a not-so-pleasant visit from the authorities. It’s a really stupid thing to do, it’s dangerous, it’s criminal, and it makes you a horrible person. But when it’s all over losing in a damned video game, then it’s callous on a level too far off the charts to map.

Yes, it’s that age-old story of a person who couldn’t handle losing in Call of Duty calling in a double murder and getting SWAT to visit the winner’s home. I have a pretty sick sense of humor, and a wonderful eye for the profane, I might add, but this isn’t funny. People could have literally died. And the authorities aren’t going to screw around with this, either.

Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice issued a statement on Tuesday’s “swatting” incident, calling it an “outrageous waste of law enforcement resources and taxpayer dollars. Through a collaboration with our law enforcement partners, we will use every tool we have to track down whoever threatens public safety like this,” it said. “‘Swatting’ is a serious crime that endangers first responders and those in legitimate need of their help. We will hold any perpetrators accountable and seek restitution for the tax dollars wasted.”

I imagine that, once this person is found, a hellacious number of charges will be brought against them. Calling in a false report, misuse of public funds/authorities, public endangerment, fraud, blah, blah, blah. In the end, someone is going to have some serious trouble coming their way and they’re damned well going to deserve it. Terrifying an entire neighborhood over losing a game isn’t even childish, it’s evil. Stop it. Bad humans.

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Comments on “Hey, Idiots, Stop Swatting People”

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53 Comments
That One Guy (profile) says:

There is a bit of humor, or perhaps I should say well deserved schadenfreude, there when you think about it though.

The individual got angry that they lost in a video game, so they do something that proves, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that they’re not only a loser in video games, but life as well.

Before, only they and the person who beat them knew about their loser status, once they’re caught, everyone will know.

Poetic justice at it’s finest I’d say.

That Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

And many of the swatting cases out there aren’t solved.
Because there is money to be made offering services to mess up caller id, and for offering caller id.
Some group being paid by both sides of the equation…

They could track your phone usage to the nanosecond to get extra minutes… but can’t seem to stop swatting.
So very odd.

Socrates says:

Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice:

Swatting’ is a serious crime that endangers first responders and those in legitimate need of their help

First and foremost it endangers innocent victims of the SWAT teams.

The reason it swatting is a thing at all, is because of excessive aggression from law enforcement.

Pragmatic says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

You mean this guy? http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/04/24/cliven-bundy-racist_n_5204821.html

The “Secret State Law” guy? http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2014/04/the-irony-of-cliven-bundys-unconstitutional-stand/360587/

I’d SWAT him for gathering fellow sovereign citizens to break the law while claiming he has a right to because .

This is why Second Amendment advocates can’t get anything done; they’re divided over when to gather to enforce their rights ? or their perceptions of what their rights are.

me@me.net says:

Re: A valid point here

It IS a waste of Police resources and down right dangerous, but it’s also kinda sickening that this bitch overshadows the fact tha innocent people are put at risk from the misplace wrath of the Municipalties resident attack dogs, ie the swat team.

They are in danger, they are the misplaced danger to the public.

Andy says:

How

A number of things here.
Ok, this was the most dangerous thing a person could have done to another, especially a kid this could have ended up with people being killed.

But where did this swatter get the address and details of the target, seriously if he could get the details from his console or a little hacking then not only is this persons, data available to everyone online but how many others could get a persons details and attack them themselves.

I would think this is either someone the kids knows personally or if not, then one of the top hackers on the internet and that means someone that is going to have covered his tracks.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: How

It is not difficult at all. Most people use a nickname in game, that they use on forums or other sites, then you look under their profiles for any data whatsoever and search for that too.
In the end I imagine this could very well lead to clues for a facebook, or other such pages, where you might be able to find what you need in order to look him up.

I just hope that the loser who did this, gets a serious punishment.

Mikael (profile) says:

Re: How

Like AC said, it really isn’t that hard at all. I got a random friend request on PSN and was able to find the person on facebook. It doesn’t take much info really. I asked why they sent me the request and they responded saying I had commented on something. I looked up the user’s PSN id in Google and found a facebook post where someone else gave them my PSN id saying it was theirs for some reason.

I also had this happen some time ago when I was getting random requests and found that someone had my PSN id on their youtube videos. I found the person on YouTube and had him remove my id. Wasn’t hard to find either.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

This is not that far off the mark. Last summer, after I was arrested at a protest, I was told that I had put the officers in danger by being arrested. That the other people observing the arrest could have been a safety concern for the officer if they decided that I shouldn’t have been arrested.

So, you are not only responsible for your own actions, but also those of the police as well.

Michael Chermside (profile) says:

SWAT'ing Actually Benefits Society

Provocative title, I know. And I am not suggesting that ANYONE take up SWAT’ing — it is dangerous and can be deadly. But I think it has a perverse benefit for society.

Our police have been becoming highly militarized in recent years — too much so in my opinion. The number of stories of police bursting in with overwhelming lethal force and applying that force indiscriminately is highly disturbing to me, and I am sure I am not alone. So long as it was only “drug dealers and other scum” who were being impacted, there was little pressure to pull back on such tactics.

But because of SWAT’ing, police now must consider the possibility that the residents of the home or building they are assaulting may, in fact, be completely innocent. That has to impact the way that they execute their raids. It has to reduce the likelihood that they choose to fire tens of shots at someone holding what turns out to be a wallet. And THAT change is good, even while each individual incident of SWAT’ing is terrible.

That Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

Re: SWAT'ing Actually Benefits Society

Lets be honest…
They have an armored vehicle, they are going to use it.
Someone being swatted lets them play with the toys, and given the track record of some officers out there one has to wonder if they won’t just plant something to make it look like it was legit in the end when an innocent gets caught up in them playing with the toys.

Swatting is a very bad thing, it will not make them behave to protect the innocent just in case.

OrganizedThoughtCrime says:

Re: Re: SWAT'ing Actually Benefits Society

“…and given the track record of some officers out there one has to wonder if they won’t just plant something to make it look like it was legit in the end when an innocent gets caught up in them playing with the toys.”

Right, like when they burst into the wrong place, even if their original target is arguably legitimate.

Quiet Lurcker says:

Re: SWAT'ing Actually Benefits Society

I think you may be reasoning from false premises: first, that the cops at all levels from the newest recruit to the village top cop, the courts, the prosecutors, the political leaders are willing to learn from their mistakes (frankly, I often question their ability to do so, but will give them the benefit of the doubt); second that the prosecutors and courts are willing to force the cops and the politicians to face the full consequences of their decisions.

Until that happens, I hold out little hope that how the cops do things will change in any significant manner.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: SWAT'ing Actually Benefits Society

The prosecutors may not, but at some point a SWATting attack is going to hit somebody with the political clout and/or celebrity to raise a real stink. Want to bet that if it was the mayor’s kid that won that CoD round, the mayor would be raising a major stink with his chief-of-police over their raiding his house?

With regard to caller ID, I agree that it’s rather disgusting that no one gives even passing consideration to how unreliable the identifying data is. I generally don’t like authoritarian moves, but how is it that law enforcement hasn’t argued that the telecoms have a duty to, at minimum, indicate whether the incoming caller ID is trustworthy? I don’t expect them to show the real source of a VoIP call, but is it really too much to ask that they show “VoIP, source may be wrong” when the dispatcher looks at the caller ID? Once so marked, dispatchers could take into account that these calls are less traceable, and therefore temporarily more anonymous, than landline or cellular.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: SWAT'ing Actually Benefits Society

No offense, but that’s a pretty reckless way to look at it. Cops are already widely perceived to shoot anything that moves out of fear for themselves or just because they’re annoyed. Adding another layer of complexity for them to account for isn’t going to make them more wary. They’re likely to complain that they can’t assume, therefore absolving them of blame when they shoot everything in sight.

Never mind the fact that cops messing up is something that is rarely ever punished or enforced against. It actually makes SWATting worse for the victims; the police, not so much.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: SWAT'ing Actually Benefits Society

Sadly the only way I think you’d see a change is if they were to start SWATing influential people like DAs, judges, senators, and governors – and even then they’d probably learn the wrong lesson from it. Namely keeping a list of addresses of important people so they don’t find themselves permanently unemployed or worse.

Even disregarding its considerable moral issues it seems unlikely to accomplish anything.

Some Other AC (profile) says:

IIRC..I saw this story on one of the other Tech sites...

Or possibly even CNN. Either way, from what I remember, the little bitch of a loser traced the victim’s online info to get his address. A little dose of online sleuth work. Then made the call via Skype instead of land or cell line. Finding this puke will be a little harder, but will make the LEOs just a little more peeved when they do.
Personally, the vindictive side of me hopes when they do find him, they go in with full Tactical gear and dogs. I want them to pull this kid out of his house smelling like shite because he shite his pants.

Roger Strong (profile) says:

We've seen this before.

It’s like the time someone faked a call that Iraq had Weapons of Mass Destruction. Heavily armed response, people killed, massive expense. And they got away it.

You just know that the immature Call of Duty player is strutting around in a flight suit, fantasizing about being a soldier, and declaring “Mission Accomplished.”

Marceps (profile) says:

Possible Double Standard

Hackers are praised for poking holes in the system, bringing flaws into the light. Who’s to say that swatting doesn’t bring into the light a much, much larger problem than simple loss of time, money–and yeah, even loss of life?

We need more swatting, and more and more, until the world finally realizes the ridiculousness in a blood-hungry police force that sends in air strikes based on anonymous tips.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Possible Double Standard

Yup, idiot kid makes idiotic call.
That’s a small problem.
Supposedly mature adult professionals react without anything like what a normal person would recognize as policing, but more like army platoons in a war zone, that’s a much bigger problem.

Not that more and more of those idiot calls need to be made, anyone who doesn’t see the problem in the police reaction to this one, won’t see it in any others even if it’s repeated a million times.

GeneralEmergency (profile) says:

The issue not being raised here...

.

The issue not being raised here is that would “swatting” even be possible if were not for the over militarization of our local, even suburban, Police forces?

A SWAT team, with all it’s potential lethal force, should take hours to obtain and move into position, not mere minutes. Time to do a bit of investigative police work first.

.

Michael (profile) says:

Re: The issue not being raised here...

Hours? I’m not a big fan of the militarization of our domestic police forces, but if ever I need a swat team to come to my house to, you know, save my life – I would like that to happen as quickly as possible.

Honestly, I cannot think of a situation in which swat teams have acted inappropriately in quite some time. I can think of some inappropriate deployments of them, but I cannot recall swat killing someone that was not trying to kill them.

I think the bigger problem is all of the non-swat officers acting like they are swat officers when they should just be giving someone a warning for jay-walking.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: The issue not being raised here...

Maybe not hours, but maybe a SWAT team shouldn’t actually be sent to a scene until actual responsible law enforcement agents confirm there is a need for them. Not on the basis of a random call potentially fraudulent call from an unknown person.
Although given that all your police are armed, maybe they shouldn’t be sent in at all unless your average trained and armed police officers advise of a situation that they should not be expected to be able to deal with.

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