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Accused Swatter Tyler Barriss Charged With Involuntary Manslaughter

Cross posted from Stop Cyber Abuse

On January 3, 2018, I predicted that if Kansas has felony murder law, that Tyler Barriss would be charged for the death of Andrew Finch.

I’ve been following and posting about this case. It is another demonstration for how cyber abuse crosses the line of the internet into the personal and private lives of victims, causing harm emotionally, physically and in this case, resulting in death.

Tyler Barriss made a call reporting that he killed his father, was holding his mom and little brother hostage, had poured gasoline throughout the house and was planning to set it on fire.  He gave 911 dispatch an address.  It was not his address.  Barriss was making a swatting call.  Andrew Finch, the man at the address, heard noise outside the house and opened his front door.  He was shot dead by a Wichita police officer.

Barriss, who is 25-years old, was still on the phone with dispatch after Andrew was shot.  Andrew was unarmed and uninvolved in the events leading to Barriss’ false police report.  Andrew was 28-years old and the father of two children. Read the rest of this entry

Questions Arise About Swatting Prank That Ended In Death

There was a swatting incident on December 30, 2017 in Wichita, Kansas.  I’ve been reporting on it on my other blog.  Some of you might already know that my other blog deals solely with cyber abuse, whether harassment, stalking, swatting, threats, spoofing, or combinations.

Today after reading some articles and comments on Twitter about the most recent swatting incident, I asked myself if there is anything I could have done to make information more available; to inform the public that spill-over of internet harassment into the personal lives of target victims is dangerous.  However, as with other issues, people don’t seem to take an interest unless major media reports it first or unless it happens to them.  Then too, I’m only a drop of water in a vast ocean.

Swatting is a prank where someone makes a call to a police department with a false story of a happening crime involving killing or hostages and guns.  Police arrive and at times, SWAT is dispatched.

In order to pull-off the prank, an address is needed and that is generally obtained by doxing targets.  Doxing is the seeking and gathering of personal information of others to use to harass, cause them fear and distress, post publicly on the internet, and yes — to swat or encourage others to do so.

On November 23, 2014, I blogged about a civil case filed in Northern Illinois that involved swatting.  The plaintiff in that case was awarded $50,000 by a jury.

On February 9. 2015, I blogged about a case where a Nevada man swatted a resident of Naperville, IL and was extradited to Illinois for prosecution.  The State’s Attorney stated that he would seek legislation to make swatting a felony.

On May 20, 2015, I recapped those two cases in another blog post about a couple arrested for harassment by eletronic media.

In August 2017, I wrote a post about a Bill introduced by Representatives Katherine Clark (D-MA), Susan Brooks (R-IN) and Patrick Meehan (R-PA).  The Bill is H.R. 3067 and is titled the Online Safety Modernization Act of 2017.  If passed, it will make swatting and doxing federal crimes.

Now that the father of a 2-year old and 7-year old is dead because of a swatting prank,, the Post Gazette, and the New York Times among other news sources, are reporting on the introduced Bill and asking the question, who is at blame for Andrew Finch’s death? Read the rest of this entry

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