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Comment Re:Investigating if laws were broken (Score 5, Insightful) 312 312

This is a legal principle that literally goes back to Greek antiquity.

In Common Law jurisdictions we have another principle that goes back for 800+ years: mens rea. Meaning that you have to have a guilty mind (i.e., intent) to have broken the law. Unfortunately this principle is being steadily eroded in favor of "strict liability" laws that require no intent, thus criminalizing more behavior and further expanding the power of the State.

Comment Re:Reasons I'm not a judge. (Score 1) 331 331

Webster defines terrorism (emphasis mine) as "the use of violent acts to frighten the people in an area as a way of trying to achieve a political goal"

The FBI also requires a political bent: "Appear to be intended (i) to intimidate or coerce a civilian population; (ii) to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or (iii) to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination, or kidnapping"

Swatting is not terrorism, at least in this instance. Not by the definition of the word or as it is commonly applied by western law enforcement agencies. *shrug* Sometimes an asshat is just that, an asshat, with no deeper motivation than the desire to be a dickhead.

Comment Re:Reasons I'm not a judge. (Score 1) 331 331

No it's not. Terrorism is activity meant to terrorize an entire population and/or influence the public policy of a Government. Falsely reporting an incident does not rise to the level of terrorism and when people keep using the 'T' word to cover all manner of crimes that aren't terrorism they undermine the meaning and impact of the word.

Comment Re:The Fictional Radioactive Materials (Score 1) 242 242

Now anyone developing engines using any kind of fusion is going to have a visit from Boeings lawyers over something they have done nothing to make work.

If you can develop a working fusion engine you'll have so much fucking money that it won't matter. Seriously, you'll be able to swim in your money like Scrooge McDuck. I highly doubt that Boeing's patent is a deal-breaker for the person that's smart enough to solve this engineering challenge. "Aww, shucks, I was going to change the course of human civilization but now I've got lawyers and paperwork to deal with. Screw it, I'm gonna go watch American Idol."

Comment Re: Reasons I'm not a judge. (Score 1) 331 331

Felony endangerment doesn't garner a 10 year sentence in any American State that I'm familiar with, much less in Canada. That's the whole point of this subthread, I was questioning the person that said "at least 10 years" for this offense. Adults wouldn't get ten years for doing it; a juvenile certainly won't.

Comment Re: A gigabyte is not worth a dollar, much less 10 (Score 1) 129 129

If data gets too slow it becomes useless. In general I like your idea (use QoS to prioritize low usage customers ahead of high usage ones) and have advocated for it before, but I'm not at all certain you'd be able to price data at $30/mo in such a scenario. The exact economics of the wireless industry are not known to any of us outside of upper level management at the carriers, but what we do know is that data is the GROWTH market. Voice isn't dying, but it's less and less important to young people, and there's a limit to how much money you could raise by tariffing it at higher rates. The carriers are looking at tens of billions of dollars of CapEx to keep pace with the growing demand for data; they're not going to find that money by inflating voice rates.

Comment Re: I don't think it's enough, but I have doubts t (Score 1) 331 331

That has happened here too (Columbine being the most infamous example) but as "active shooters" have become a bigger perceived threat the training of North American law enforcement has shifted towards a more aggressive response. That's probably for the best, dead is forever, ruptured eardrums and broken doors can be repaired.

Comment Re:Reasons I'm not a judge. (Score 1) 331 331

Homicide in common law jurisdictions (which includes Canada) requires the presence of mens rea, better known as intent. Can you get inside this kid's head and say that he wanted someone to die? Because that's the burden you'd need to meet to convict him of attempted homicide.

Comment Re:Reasons I'm not a judge. (Score 5, Informative) 331 331

It should be a serious crime. I haven't maintained otherwise. I just questioned that it should be a ten year prison sentence level of serious. That's over the top even by American standards of jurisprudence. In New York State, assuming no prior convictions, you need a class C felony to reach that kind of sentence. For perspective, class C felonies include robbery, burglary, criminal possession of a weapon, soliciting or supporting an act of terrorism, assault on a judge or first responder, or an attempt to commit a class B felony. There's some non-violent crimes in there too, primarily fraud that reaches a certain dollar amount.

IANAL but the closest charge we would have here to fit swatting would probably be falsely reporting an incident in the third degree, which is a misdemeanor. A reading of the law would seem to support bumping it up to first degree if someone is killed as a result of the false report, which makes it a class D felony.

Comment Re:Just use a sane carrier (Score 2) 129 129

He's talking about domestic roaming, i.e., he's somewhere where T-Mobile doesn't have a network and is using another cellular network, most likely AT&T's. T-Mobile pays whomever he's connected to for every byte of data used and every minute of airtime. Back in the day the carriers would pass this cost along to their customers and didn't care about how much you roamed. That went out of vogue in the early 2000s, with the advent of so-called "nationwide" plans, and they started eating the cost in favor of providing a simpler experience for their customers.

Most every American cell company limits the amount you can roam, either with an explicit policy like T-Mobile (you only get 100MB and then we shut you off) or a "soft cap" in the Terms of Service. The ones that limit via TOS typically have language saying something like, "If more than 50% of your usage for three consecutive billing cycles is on partner networks we reserve the right to terminate your service." The exception to this rule is Verizon; they've never cared about how much of your usage is domestic roaming. They make far more money from all those regional carriers whose customers roam on the Verizon network than they pay them for the handful of Verizon customers that venture into their service areas.

Comment Re:Reasons I'm not a judge. (Score 3, Insightful) 331 331

There's a limit to how far "What might have been" goes in the criminal justice system. If you text while driving you might kill someone. That doesn't argue in favor of giving every distracted driver a sentence equivalent to what you'd get for manslaughter.

I don't know the particulars of this case but as a general rule of thumb I would not be willing to throw in the towel on a 17 year old. The ostensible point of the criminal justice system is rehabilitation. That's the case even in the United States, which is probably the harshest Western country when it comes to criminal justice.

Comment Re:I don't think it's enough, but I have doubts to (Score 2) 331 331

I do think that there are other side conversations about the militarization of SWAT teams that can be had as well, but that's not the focus of this story.

I don't think that's really at play here. Let's play devil's advocate and pretend the SWAT team had never been developed; now call the police and tell them that someone is in the process of murdering your neighbor. What do you suppose happens? They come to your neighbor's house with firearms drawn and immediately force entry into his home. They won't have all of the expensive tactical gear but do you think that's really going to alter the "experience" for your neighbor by any appreciable degree? Do you think there's much difference between looking at the business end of a .38 Special vs. an AR-15?

The militarization of the police is a worrisome trend that I've discussed before but I don't think it has anything to do with swatting. If the police think that someone is in the process of being murdered they're going to respond quickly and aggressively. There's really no good solution here; I don't think you want the police to discount such reports.

Weekend, where are you?