Police Militarization meets Hacker Culture: Swatting

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In recent years, a small amount of hackers and gamers have been anonymously reporting fake hostage situations, shootings, and other violent crimes designed to send elite police units, like SWAT teams, to unsuspecting people at their residences.

Swatting is a dangerous and expensive prank, which is easy to pull off. Swatters are utilizing easily accessible technology to mask or even alter the ID during calls to 911 dispatchers. With SWAT teams and paramilitary gear becoming the norm across small town America, these calls have predictably chaotic results.

Despite the hyper-vigilance of America’s law enforcement, authorities still struggle to defend themselves from the unlikeliest of threats — tech-savvy teenagers. Police militarization meets hacker culture as VICE News investigates the dangerous crime of swatting.

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46 thoughts on “Police Militarization meets Hacker Culture: Swatting

  1. You would not want to be on the opposite side of that door? Really?
    I mean they announce their entrance and shout out everything they're about to do before they do it.

    If it were me, I'd hate to be one of those SWAT members. If someone actually were on the opposite side of that door the SWAT members would get swatted like flies.

  2. Umm, no… I do NOT want you guys showing up to 'help' me… I'd like a single squad car with a normal police officer and his / her partner to show first to see if there's any reason for the whole goddamn US Army to show up or not.

  3. Honestly considering the fact that the gangs in the big cities have black market weapons like belt fed machine guns and full auto AKs as well as RPGs on rare occasions it's really not unreasonable.

  4. 50,000 raids a year? Really? They didn't make that number up, did they?
    (Uh, 'swatters' are degenerate pricks with low-testosterone that think they're clever, cute, and funny that should get a taste of their own medicine, right)?

  5. I don’t have issues with cops having body armor, rifles and shotguns, or robots that prevent our brave police officers from exposing themselves to gunfire. But camo and 400k armored vehicles are a waste of money designed to be cool. The cops should get what they need to take care of threats, not what they need to get coffee in style.

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