The local police of Evansville, Indiana flipped when threats against their family were posted on a Topix forum. They flipped so hard, they sent a SWAT team with a search warrant to the location corresponding to the IP address of the offending forum-poster. Employing the “break glass and throw flashbangs first, ask questions later” strategy, the team tossed two flashbangs into the house before entering to find a startled 18-year-old girl watching the Food Network, and an unsecured Wi-Fi network.
The police also alerted Eyewitness News, so we have a lovely little video to go along with the story. Watch it here.
Admittedly, the threats targeting the police were nothing to laugh about, some even claiming possession of explosives and firearms:
Cops beware! I’m proud of my country but I hate police of any kind. I have explosives :) made in America. Evansville will feel my pain.
However, it does not in any way merit a SWAT team and flashbangs, especially given how iffy it is trying to pin Internet threats to actual people. The only people who really get hurt are the innocently trusting people who don’t secure their wireless routers. They’re the ones feeling the pain, blinking in bewilderment as a bright flash interrupts their food porn session.
Realizing their mistake, the police then did some further investigation and sent some officers to politely knock on the door further along the street, where the “real” threat lives. Where’s your SWAT team now, huh? Ran out of flashbangs? Not that they were sorry about their little bit of overkill.
Moral of the story: Just smack a password on your router.
(via Ars Technica)
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