Archive for February 25th, 2016

February 25, 2016

Swatting

disconnected by Joe Morse

Swatting is the act of deceiving an emergency service into dispatching a police response based on the false report of an ongoing critical incident. The term derives from SWAT (Special Weapons and Tactics), a heavily armored police unit. Swatting has been associated with online harassment campaigns, and episodes range from the deployment of bomb squads and evacuations of schools and businesses, to a single fabricated police report meant to discredit an individual as a prank or personal vendetta.

The action of swatting – linked to the action of ‘doxxing’ (obtaining the address and details of an individual) – has been described as terrorism due to its potential to cause disruption, waste the time of emergency services, divert attention from real emergencies and possibly cause injuries and psychological harm to persons targeted. The act of making false reports to emergency services is punishable by prison sentences in the US and is a crime in many other countries.

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