Police Departments Are Using Swatting Registries To Help Protect Swatting Targets From Police Officers

from the yeah-it's-weird dept

Swatting isn't going away. Neither are SWAT teams. And the amped-up, guns-out tactics these teams use all but ensure a violent end for targets of bogus 911 calls.

"Swatting" is a cheap and efficient way to terrorize anyone you want terrorized, whether it's a gamer, journalist, online critic, celebrity, activist, or just someone's whose personal info has ended up on the wrong website. Why hire a hitman to take out your enemy when cops are willing to do it for free?

The downside is limited. Even if caught, "swatting" perpetrators are charged with a grab bag of crimes that combined rarely add up to the attempted murder a swatting actually is. The rare exception is serial swatter Tyler Barriss, who was sentenced to 20 years in prison for making the bogus 911 call that ended in the death of Andrew Finch at the hands of the Wichita, Kansas police department.

There isn't much being done to deter future swattings -- at least not in terms of additional training or policy changes at law enforcement agencies. It's almost impossible to tell if a 911 call is legit until officers are on the scene, but it does seem these situations could be approached with a little more caution and little less reliance on immediate lethal force deployment.

There are some other efforts being made to limit future tragedies resulting from swatting attempts, as Olivia Solon and Brandy Zadrozny report for NBC. Changes are being made to 911 services in a few US cities that have already shown some positive results.

In June 2018, a Seattle resident who feared a Wichita-style tragedy asked the department to pre-register his address as a swatting risk. The request gave Whitcomb the idea for a city-wide registry, and the registry became part of a unique three-pronged protocol. In September, the police department also established the swatting advisory committee, which includes police, prosecutors, and 911 dispatchers, as well as gamers and tech workers from the city’s large tech community.

[...]

The most innovative part of the protocol, the registry, lets members of the public pre-register their addresses and contact details in an online database via a secure portal. To date, the city has registered 57 profiles of people who believe that they may be swatted. So far, four of them have been targeted by swatters.

This registry idea has already been co-opted by other cities around the nation, which will hopefully insulate some swatting targets from the full force of a SWAT deployment. The article discusses a couple of attempts targeting Seattle activist Ijeoma Oluo. Because she was on the registry, responding officers were advised the calls might be bogus and acted with more restraint.

Six officers, four of whom were armed with rifles, still showed up at Oluo’s home at 6 a.m. But because they knew the address was a swatting risk and had spoken to Oluo, they came to the door without their rifles drawn. They asked her son Malcolm some questions and swept the house to verify no one had been killed. It was all over within minutes.

The second swatting attempt targeting Oluo went the same way:

Again, Seattle police reacted cautiously, sending plain-clothed police officers to the venue to determine whether the threat was real without creating panic. No real threat was detected, but the incident was referred to a federal law enforcement agency.

The registry is a good idea and will save the lives of innocent people. But it does raise the question of why more anonymous reports of violent crimes (active shooters, multiple murders, etc.) aren't subject to the same sort of restraint and caution seen in these two instances.

A member of Seattle's Swatting Mitigation Advisory Committee says swatting "weaponizes" police forces against private citizens. Yes, it does. But part of the problem is the teams sent to deal with calls like these. SWAT teams are weapons. That's pretty much all they offer, at least in their current incarnation. There's no "weaponizing" needed. Swatting would result in death or injury far less often if cops responded to anonymous tips like these with the same restraint shown in the responses to the two calls targeting Oluo.

It seems that officers headed towards potentially-deadly confrontations would want as much information as possible before entering the supposed crime scene. In far too many cases, the actions of officers during swatting attempts shows the opposite, as if everything can wait to be sorted out until after the bullets stop flying.

This isn't to say law enforcement officers are the real problem here. This is only to say that the general law enforcement mindset that sees neighborhoods as war zones and residents as enemy combatants has made something truly terrible even worse.

The real assholes, though, are the ones necessitating all of this in the first place. The people who think it's okay to try to get other people killed or, at the very least, turn their lives into a cop-filled hell for a few hours. And all because a person killed them in a video game, or said something they disagreed with, or embrace different religious and/or political beliefs.

Filed Under: militarized police, police, swatting


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  1. icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), 30 Dec 2019 @ 9:00pm

    One has to wonder about the concept that they think bad guys will wear a black hat & explain their entire plan to them over the phone.

    While they are screaming about creating good guy only access to encryption, they can't seem to be bothered to demand the holes in caller ID be finally fixed.

    So possible unknown victims who can only be saved if we can see all of the dick pix scooter saved to his phone matter more than actual victims being murdered by cops playing dressup... b/c they think they live in a movie where the bad guy summons them to try to stop him to prove how awesome he is.

    Dude walked into the home of a Rabbi & attacked... didn't call 911.
    Dude walked into a church to murder people... didn't call 911.

    Perhaps doing things out of an "abundance of caution" is the real problem. We have to taint the breast milk, embarrass cancer patients, colostomy patients, old people, toddlers, etc. out of the "abundance of caution" that somehow we can stop another terrorist attack... yet can't show us any plots they stopped by stealing things out of flyers luggage.

    Caller ID is fatally flawed, somehow they can't secure it.
    How many bodies until we tell them to nerd harder to fix it?
    A registry for possible SWATTING targets... until the swatting dipshit gets the address wrong & the local PD murders the wrong target who never thought to register.

    But hey lets just use QI to excuse them wanting to use their toys & shut their brains off to consider bad guys don't call them in.

    Wacky idea...
    When one of these 911 calls is coming in, autocall the number they are allegedly calling from... if you don't get a busy signal or a call waiting hit... maybe thats not REALLY the number its coming from...

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Dec 2019 @ 9:02pm

    Even if caught, "swatting" perpetrators are charged with a grab bag of crimes that combined rarely add up to the attempted murder a swatting actually is. The rare exception is serial swatter Tyler Barriss, who was sentenced to 20 years in prison for making the bogus 911 call that ended in the death of Andrew Finch at the hands of the Wichita, Kansas police department.

    Pity that the person who actually pulled the trigger isn't in gaol with him. The community would've been a much safer place.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. icon
    Atkray (profile), 30 Dec 2019 @ 10:20pm

    Once they figure out how to monetize the database it will really catch on.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Dec 2019 @ 10:36pm

    "But," insisted John Smith, "this would only be abused by leftists and criminals trying to avoid police action! Why can't any of you pirates see it?!"

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Dec 2019 @ 10:53pm

    Re:

    Sadly, as much as this is an obvious Poe, considering that we are talking about John Herrick "Section 230 allows men to call women hookers and women to work as hookers to gain power and I hate that" Smith, that's... actually not far off how the real deal would think.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. icon
    Toom1275 (profile), 30 Dec 2019 @ 11:32pm

    Re:

    From what I read, 911 tracing is why some swatters call a business who then forwards the call to the police, rather than calling directly.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 31 Dec 2019 @ 12:22am

    Why is a registry needed? Caution should be the default behaviour for any law enforcement action.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 31 Dec 2019 @ 1:37am

    The problem is not swatting, it's the police's attitude

    But the problem is not limited to swatting.

    Imagine the situation where the police are reacting to a legitimate situation. Their whole attitude means you, as an innocent bystander, are likely to end up dead from police bullets.

    Imagine the situation when the police decide to raid an innocent persons home (by mistake or deliberate malfeasance by the police), you can end up dead.

    I know we can all think of examples where both these happened recently.

    "as if everything can wait to be sorted out until after the bullets stop flying" sums up the situation perfectly.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9. identicon
    Peter, 31 Dec 2019 @ 1:48am

    Oh goody....popcorn

    Just gonna wait for the first lawyer or union rep to victim blaim.

    "If only they had registered on the database, this whole tragedy could have been avoided"

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10. icon
    Peter (profile), 31 Dec 2019 @ 2:31am

    Coming soon: Even more victim blaming

    "it was really their own fault they got shot by police officers: they had every chance to register their home on the swatting registry, and did not even take that simple step to help us protect them."

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11. identicon
    Lawrence D’Oliveiro, 31 Dec 2019 @ 2:38am

    Swatters Don’t Kill People; Police Kill People

    Why should it be so deadly to get visited by a SWAT team? Aren’t they supposed to be carefully trained in judging when to apply lethal force or not? Why do they operate on such a hair-trigger, to the point where sending them in as a prank can amount to a death sentence?

    In other words, why do the police need to be such mindless killers? What happened to “Protect and Serve”?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 31 Dec 2019 @ 3:34am

    Re: Swatters Don’t Kill People; Police Kill People

    Aren’t they supposed to be carefully trained in judging when to apply lethal force or not?

    That sort of training is what the likes of the SAS squad on antiterrorist rotation, and the GS9 receive. It involves several exercises a day, and lots of ammunition expenditure. In other words, full time practice just to keep the relevant skills up. There is also the small matter of tactical command, which includes such things as designating who issues orders to suspects, and who watches them closely to decide if they need to be shot.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13. icon
    Dan (profile), 31 Dec 2019 @ 3:45am

    This works until...

    This works well until the majority of people register their homes as no-kill zones. Then the cops will throw it out. But maybe that's just my cynicism. I should have realized sooner it was necessary to register with the government to get the protections granted by the Constitution. (Oops, there it goes again.)

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 31 Dec 2019 @ 4:24am

    Re: This works until...

    A question that needs answering is: why can they not use the more measured approach all the time?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15. icon
    Koby (profile), 31 Dec 2019 @ 6:13am

    Protocol

    I wonder what exactly is involved in this "protocol"? I bet it's simply a matter of the homeowner registering their cell phone number, and then if a threatening call comes into 9-1-1, then the police call your registered cell phone to ask "was that you calling 9-1-1 a minute ago?" And then when the homeowner of course says "no" then the hoax is exposed. A little communication goes a long way, and if the police can simply talk to the correct person, then many problems are avoided.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16. icon
    Dan (profile), 31 Dec 2019 @ 6:39am

    Re: Re: This works until...

    Fear.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 31 Dec 2019 @ 6:40am

    Re:

    It is needed so that they can terrorize more unsuspecting people.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 31 Dec 2019 @ 6:43am

    I guess the 'nuke it from orbit' approach to law enforcement is not working out so well after all.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 31 Dec 2019 @ 7:24am

    Just put everyone on the registry by default.

    How hard could that be?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 31 Dec 2019 @ 7:38am

    The real assholes, though, are the ones necessitating all of this in the first place. The people who think it's okay to try to get other people killed or, at the very least, turn their lives into a cop-filled hell for a few hours.

    To a certain degree, this is true. But let's give credit where credit is due; an even larger share of the blame lies with those who actively enable them. The swatting problem and the robocall problem are actually the exact same problem: people abusing phone systems to inflict harm on others, because they know they can get away with it and not get caught, because the various phone companies have refused for decades to provide and enforce a reliable, fraud-proof caller ID system, because the fraud it enables brings in good money for them.

    If they would simply fix this problem, and make it possible for 911 to reliably trace any call to its origin, swatting would vanish virtually overnight. But they haven't, and they refuse to, and the problem continues. The blood of the innocents killed by swatting incidents is on their hands just as much as it is on the hands of those who placed the calls.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21. icon
    Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile), 31 Dec 2019 @ 7:46am

    Re:

    Seems to me the issue is overly aggressive SWAT teams with poor tactical protocols. Your solution, which might reduce incidents, is more like treating symptoms rather than the cause. Regardless of 911 communications, a less aggressive force with better tactics could resolve the problem altogether.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 31 Dec 2019 @ 8:23am

    Re:

    Caller ID is fatally flawed, somehow they can't secure it.

    That's why it is being replaced/supplemented by SHAKEN/STIR.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 31 Dec 2019 @ 9:00am

    This isn't to say law enforcement officers are the real problem here. This is only to say that the general law enforcement mindset that sees neighborhoods as war zones and residents as enemy combatants has made something truly terrible even worse.

    Translation:

    Cops aren't the problem. Cops are.

    If law enforcement took a more intelligent, measured approach to everything they do then they couldn't be used in this way and there never would have been a problem. Yeah, the idiots calling 911 on people they don't like are total assholes and should be treated harshly. But the fact that our nation's law enforcement is really a barely-contained militia with its own agenda is the real problem. They need to be reined in. Hard.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  24. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 31 Dec 2019 @ 9:17am

    "The real assholes, though, are the ones necessitating all of this in the first place. The people who think it's okay to try to get other people killed or, at the very least, turn their lives into a cop-filled hell for a few hours. And all because a person killed them in a video game, or said something they disagreed with, or embrace different religious and/or political beliefs."

    ...so would that be the legislature, or the police departments?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  25. identicon
    anon, 31 Dec 2019 @ 9:58am

    oh joy

    One of my neighbors is a drug dealer, do you think it would be wise for him to get his name/address on that list? I'm sure she would appreciate not having the door kicked in at 4am.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  26. icon
    Jeremy Lyman (profile), 31 Dec 2019 @ 10:06am

    Default Options

    Kinda seems like "don't send a death squad to my home" shouldn't be an opt-in setting.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  27. icon
    mhajicek (profile), 31 Dec 2019 @ 11:47am

    Re: Default Options

    Well said.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  28. icon
    ECA (profile), 31 Dec 2019 @ 1:21pm

    REALLY?

    whether it's a gamer, journalist, online critic, celebrity, activist, or just someone's whose personal info has ended up on the wrong website....

    Wow, Im a child molester and get my name on a list, as Iv never gone to court, yet.. There is a hidden room in the basement. and its not easy to see or find. Even if the parents complain, they wont find anything..
    (PS my home is 20x20 and there is no basement, or attic)

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  29. icon
    ECA (profile), 31 Dec 2019 @ 1:24pm

    Re: REALLY?

    Satire off.

    What things to cops have access to that could/would make things safer? FOR both parties?
    How about Entering and not breaking.. Pick the locks and Enter Quietly..

    RIFLES?? WTF needs a Rifle in a house?? get a 410 pistol..if you want to cover the area..

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  30. icon
    Uriel-238 (profile), 31 Dec 2019 @ 1:34pm

    Harkening to the pre-SWAT eras

    The history, as I understand it is that once upon a time Pinkertons and G-men would knock on the door of a suspect and come in and explain to them why it's a really good idea that he come in peaceably so as to not give the giant posse comitatus waiting outside with rifles and cannon cause to perforate the house. Very few said Pinkertons or G-men got shot because the threat was very real, and even the most violent and savage souls didn't want their loved ones (or their dog) caught in the crossfire.

    We then had the era of rum runners and organized crime. Homes were reinforced against siege. Suspects had armies of their own. Some had back-door escape routes. Often there was evidence to preserve from burning or flushing. The knock-and-talk approach gave way to the no-knock raid, based on the SWAT tactics for hostage-barricade situations (which were and remain extremely rare). Knock-and-talks gone awry were not common but there were stories and no one wanted to be the G-man who ended up the stooge getting shot.

    [By the late seventies, when we were fighting the cocaine syndicates, the tactic was to contract hits on all upper-rank officials involved in the capture or killing of high-ranking mobsters. If you were a judge or district attorney, or a law enforcement officer who organized a raid that captured a drug lord, your life expectancy was less than a year. We never did work out a countermeasure. We put some of them in witness protection and they die anyway.]

    These days we raid houses when there are no drugs to save, when they're not at flight risk, when they're not at risk of coming quietly or even going agro on the nice G-man who might knock on their door and talk to them about coming in to the precinct to discuss their situation, Dawg-style. It might be worth a look at history and see how much the risk really changes when we don't send the posse comitatus in no-knock, but actually treat citizens like human beings.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  31. icon
    Uriel-238 (profile), 31 Dec 2019 @ 1:36pm

    Bleh. Missed qualifiers.

    These days we raid houses when there are no drugs to save, when they're not at flight risk, when they're not at risk of failing to come quietly...

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  32. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 31 Dec 2019 @ 1:53pm

    Re: Harkening to the pre-SWAT eras

    This bit here didn't actually happen:

    "By the late seventies, when we were fighting the cocaine syndicates, the tactic was to contract hits on all upper-rank officials involved in the capture or killing of high-ranking mobsters. If you were a judge or district attorney, or a law enforcement officer who organized a raid that captured a drug lord, your life expectancy was less than a year. We never did work out a countermeasure. We put some of them in witness protection and they die anyway."

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  33. icon
    Dan (profile), 31 Dec 2019 @ 4:54pm

    Re:

    While there would be some benefit here of being able to instantly Trace any call, I could see the potential for a lot of law enforcement abuse that would easily outway the benefits of using it as a solution for the swatting problem.

    I think the better solution to the problem would be to solve the one of law enforcement using SWAT teams at the drop of a hat. They're the people with the alleged training in situations like this. If we just need a bunch of guys that can pull a gun and use it, we can hire the guys from duck dynasty for a whole lot less.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  34. icon
    Dan (profile), 31 Dec 2019 @ 4:57pm

    Re: oh joy

    I just heard that same comment from someone else I relayed the story to. It was the first thing out of his mouth.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  35. icon
    Dan (profile), 31 Dec 2019 @ 4:58pm

    Re: Default Options

    Agreed, wholeheartedly.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  36. icon
    nasch (profile), 31 Dec 2019 @ 9:50pm

    Re: Protocol

    I wonder what exactly is involved in this "protocol"?

    You could read the article and/or linked resources to find out.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  37. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 1 Jan 2020 @ 1:53am

    Could you please let us know when your SWAT teams are going to return to base? We'd like to repair our homes.

    Sincerely,
    The people of Afghanistan and Iraq

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  38. icon
    PaulT (profile), 1 Jan 2020 @ 3:38am

    Re:

    In sane countries, the default is to de-escalate situations and take the minimum required level of violence, especially in situations where little real data is known, such as a random unconfirmed phone call. Which is why this doesn't happen anywhere else.

    But, the US cops have their expensive military stuff, and lots of people who love to be able to fire back, and neither side wants to not use their toys..

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  39. icon
    PaulT (profile), 1 Jan 2020 @ 3:40am

    Re:

    Yep. The people who make these calls are dangerous idiots. But the cops who go in guns blazing on the basis of a phone call they don't know is genuine are far more dangerous.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  40. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 1 Jan 2020 @ 5:21am

    Who Puts the "SWAT" in "SWATting"?

    "This isn't to say law enforcement officers are the real problem here."

    Well, it damned well should be! SWATting wouldn't exist without these murderous assholes.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  41. icon
    PaulT (profile), 1 Jan 2020 @ 5:38am

    Re: Who Puts the "SWAT" in "SWATting"?

    SWATing would exist with the assholes who call them, but if the response was less predictably violent it wouldn't count as attempted or actual murder by proxy.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  42. icon
    Uriel-238 (profile), 1 Jan 2020 @ 1:44pm

    Ain' what they used to be.

    SWAT teams started as a municipal response to hostage barricade situations. The San Francisco SWAT team is still held to the same regimen, trains every year and is pulled out once or twice a year to deal with an incident where shit has gone exceptionally wrong.

    Contrast to SWAT teams who are issued military surplus gear, train for a handful of weekends and otherwise don't know what they''re doing, such as all the guys on the line at the Ferguson unrest. Those are the guys being sent out willy-nilly to handle simple warrants. They're also the ones shooting people that don't need to be shot.

    In the 70s we had about 500 SWAT calls yearly. Now it's 50K to 80K and climbing, usually drug raids on bad information in minority communities.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  43. icon
    ECA (profile), 1 Jan 2020 @ 2:51pm

    Re: Bleh. Missed qualifiers.

    There is a strange thing not understood by those that want a raid..
    EVEN if the Drug distributor DUMPS it down the drain...ITS A LOSS to him.. hit him a few times, with small justification, and the cops have to get smarter to catch him or he is losing TONS of money..

    Walk in with an Architect, and a ruler..and the crooks will either get smarter, or the cops will Find the stash..

    The Druggies with guns are scared or a gang.. and the smart ones Know that guns make things worse and you end up in Jail longer.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  44. icon
    ECA (profile), 1 Jan 2020 @ 2:58pm

    Re: Harkening to the pre-SWAT eras

    Long ago..
    I decided something great. Temptation is part of life. If you want help you will look for it.
    A person doing something BAD to themselves is doing it TO THEMSELVES and not hurting others..

    when I was younger we discovered something funny about a few religions on sunday. at the end of Church, the bars filled up, with those same people.

    I would think it CHEAPER to have resources and access to facilities, that can HELP those that wish it, or wish to find another way, then to RAID homes and destroy them, just to find $500 worth of meth, MJ, Cocaine, and so forth.
    But only the rich get that chance.

    Dont help the poor, reeducate, train, assist...Just throw them in jail or shoot them.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  45. icon
    True (profile), 2 Jan 2020 @ 7:15am

    Not a terrible idea esp for streamers

    I mean if a swatting call comes in for Ninja's place would't it be prudent for the cops to check his stream??

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  46. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Jan 2020 @ 8:26am

    Re: Not a terrible idea esp for streamers

    What does a urologist have to do with it?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  47. icon
    Norahc (profile), 2 Jan 2020 @ 9:58am

    Re: Not a terrible idea esp for streamers

    Prudent would to be to remove the "SWAT" response from SWATing...start by sending a patrol car or two to investigate before blasting away. Calling into the residence, knocking on doors can all be done with minimal risk.

    If there are other objective indicators thaty a SWAT response is warranted, then by all means deploy it. But to risk the lives of the public based upon a single source is reckless.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  48. icon
    Uriel-238 (profile), 2 Jan 2020 @ 1:51pm

    My understanding of getting SWATTED

    My understanding is that we want a SWAT team to be able to intervene when lives are in imminent danger, such as when OJ loses his temper and decides to murder Nicole and Ron. That would really be a good time for a team of crack ninjas to drop in and restore order from chaos.

    (Incidentally, it would never have happened in OJ's case because every law enforcement officer in Californa had a huge boner for OJ and couldn't imagine sending a SWAT team... until he killed Nicole. But let's assume that other incidents like this happen that involve suspects who don't have the entire police department under their thrall)

    My understanding is that we have a system in place to try to get SWAT teams to crimes in progress where lives are in danger. And that getting someone SWATTED (say a rival gamer) involves a certain amount of social engineering skill, contacting 911 and convincing them that such an incident is occurring at the target address.

    Given the news we frequently see here on TechDirt and elsewhere, in which houses are SWATTED with very little information, often based on allegedly-sound informants who totally weren't, it may be far, far easier than I imagine to order a SWAT team to a target address.

    But my impression is that one must know what they're doing and create a sophisticated plausible deception. I hope I'm right in this case.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  49. icon
    Uriel-238 (profile), 2 Jan 2020 @ 2:04pm

    Sex Offender Lists

    It remains a curiosity to me that we have sex offender lists yet we don't have fraud lists, or abusive spouse lists, or lists of murderers out on parole, especially when sex offenses can be as little as public urination or teen sexting.

    At any rate, if you're on a sex offender list, it means there was a trial and a judge. Or it means your state is not doing sex offender lists right (which is very possible. We're far more afraid of people being sexually explicit than people who get stabby when they're triggered.)

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  50. icon
    ECA (profile), 3 Jan 2020 @ 12:16pm

    Re:

    Iran, Syria, Pakistan, Turkey, ??

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  51. identicon
    (Not ) Random DHS Contractor, 5 Jan 2020 @ 8:20pm

    I wonder whats worse:

    A swatter, or the people online who call cops on others over a joke online about getting swatted?

    True story.

    All the crybullies online frequently leads to actual police involvement offline.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  52. icon
    Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 8 Jan 2020 @ 6:26am

    Re: Re:

    "...considering that we are talking about John Herrick "Section 230 allows men to call women hookers and women to work as hookers to gain power and I hate that" Smith, that's... actually not far off how the real deal would think."

    That, I believe, is how Poe's Law works in the first place.

    I still remember back on Torrentfreak when he frequented that place under the nick of "Bobmail" and half a dozen others (before a disqus id was required and all his sock puppets had to go away) when he regularly went into complete meltdown over how "innocent until proven guilty" kept pirates out of jail.

    Jhon/Blue/Bobmail/Herrick/Horse by no name...impossible to satirize by any means. No matter how ghoulish the post, it's nothing he wouldn't, at some point, have written.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  53. icon
    Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 8 Jan 2020 @ 6:36am

    Re: Default Options

    "Kinda seems like "don't send a death squad to my home" shouldn't be an opt-in setting."

    What is truly terrifying is the fact that there are heavily armed police out there whose judgment isn't merely so bad they fire before thinking but actually want to abolish the process of having to think completely with such an opt-out process.

    Honestly, I can't say I have much faith in the police where I live but the last time we saw a case with one police officer charged with what apparently goes down all the time in the US, with depressing regularity, the country I live in didn't stop speaking about it for several years.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  54. icon
    Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 8 Jan 2020 @ 6:46am

    Re:

    " Could you please let us know when your SWAT teams are going to return to base? We'd like to repair our homes."

    "Sincerely,"
    "The people of Afghanistan and Iraq"

    Dear people of Afghanistan and Iraq. We are sorry to inform you that your homes were deliberately demolished by US army and air force personnel who knew exactly what they were doing. The SWAT teams you refer to, in comparison, do not. Had they been in Afghanistan and Iraq the civilian death toll would have been greater by far as they still seem unable to tell the difference between an armed militant and a child with a teddy bear.

    Should you have reason to suspect american law enforcement to be in your general area we recommend evacuation. And if you could kindly inform us as well so we don't go there. No one likes being shot for no reason.

    Sincerely,
    The US Army and Air Force.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  55. icon
    Uriel-238 (profile), 8 Jan 2020 @ 12:16pm

    Attacks in Afghanistan

    If the CIA drone strike program in Afghanistan informs, the pilot teams don't know why they're blowing up villages either, at a rate of fifty civilians per one person-of-interest. Between the wholesale murder without explanation and the shitty work conditions, we now have a severe shortage of drone pilot teams.

    Until we used a drone to murder a high ranking Iranian military official, targeted killings were an acceptable substitute for assassination. Now it seems the media has discovered they're pretty much the same thing, except with more casualties.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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