Adrienne Lafrance reports on largely futile efforts to make the Internet "safe for women". It's not just that law enforcement doesn't take it seriously, even after "real world" consequences such as swatting, violence and bomb threats. They're so ignorant of the Internet they don't even know what they're looking at when you show it to them. Even when you're a member of congress...
Law enforcement had turned out in force, responding to a tip about an active shooter at [Massachusetts congresswoman Katherine] Clark’s house—a report that turned out to be false and, Clark believes, a reaction to her legislative efforts to fight online harassment. What the Clarks likely experienced is known as swatting, the term for when someone deceives law enforcement into responding to a made-up emergency.
Months before all this, Clark had introduced the Interstate Swatting Hoax Act of 2015, a bill that would prohibit the false reporting of emergency situations—just the way federal law addresses bomb threats and fake reports of terrorism. Back in November, after first filing the legislation, Clark had talked to her local police about the possibility that she might become a target of such hoaxes because of the bill—but she still wasn’t prepared for what she experienced that night in January.
Everyone seems to assume it's one of those "taken seriously only when someone gets killed" situations. But if and when this happens, there are still no guarantees. When police screw up like that, they're vigorous in defending themselves and the contributing causes of their failure. That's the toxic beauty of swatting: two entirely different sources of moral hazard — police impunity and the caller's anonymity — combining to target victims (mostly vulnerable minorities) in a way that leaves everyone with excuses.
At Barcelona’s international airport, police arrested a Colombian gentleman who arrived from Bogota with half a kilogram of cocaine under his toupée. According to a Reuters report, “The man attracted police attention as he looked nervous and had a disproportionately large hairpiece under his hat. They found a package stuck to his head with about […]
America has an epidemic of untested rape kits, thanks to the institutional misogyny of police departments and prosecutors, especially when it comes to rapes committed against poor and racialized women.
As city after city has remitted hundreds of thousands of dollars to pay off ransomware criminals who hijacked their crucial systems, the US Conference of Mayors had unanimously adopted a resolution to never pay these ransoms again, on the basis that these payments "encourage continued attacks on other government systems, as perpetrators financially benefit,"
Theoretically, there’s never been an easier time for marketers. The ubiquity of social media means a good word – or a good brand – can spread like wildfire with very little effort. But as limitless as the internet is, there’s a lot of competition and noise to contend with. And the vast graveyard of failed […]
They might be the shiny new thing, but AirPods aren’t for everybody. Maybe you’re looking for a new sound or you understandably lost those tiny buds during a brisk run. If so, here’s 10 headphones and earbuds that break out of the Apple mode with a return to quality and wearability. Klipsch R5 Bluetooth Neckband […]
When it comes to passwords, there’s no such thing as paranoia. You want them secure and complex, and you definitely don’t want to repeat them on all your accounts. The trouble is, the internet seems to keep growing. And so do those accounts. Just one lockout from an important email or banking site is enough […]