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Cops Bust Starcraft Clan 317

Posted by jamie
from the darkened-hearts dept.
Effugas writes "The mind boggles. Police have apparently raided a student's dorm room due to his participation in a heavy metal music inspired Starcraft clan, 'Bled For Days.'" The link above is to the university's student newspaper, the Kent Stater, which one of the students told me got the story completely wrong, though he wouldn't elaborate. That said, having spoken with another of the students, I think the essentials of the story are right: cops, confiscation, clan, and (absurd) worry about trash talk being death threats. A few comments below.

I spoke with Patrick Barnes, identified as the lead member of the clan. He's a Comp. Sci. major, and I can tell from the sound of his voice that he likes the material (he finds it easy).

The way Patrick described it to me, there was a technical glitch in uploading the website -- I'm still not sure exactly how this happened, but apparently they contacted the wrong server. Anyway, whatever happened, it got the attention of someone at Kent State. The students with their names on the clan site got letters in the mail saying they were to have a meeting with their Resident Director in two days.

On the day of that meeting, it was cancelled. Then, on Thursday, the cops (campus cops, apparently) came to one of their dorm rooms, and confiscated a computer and CDs. Everyone in the clan was taken to the station and individually questioned about what it was, what it meant, whether they were hackers, who was the "leader," and so on.

The confiscated computer is having its hard drive copied and analyzed for evidence. According to Patrick, it might be returned tomorrow, or, as the law allows, not for a year.

Patrick was the only one of the members I spoke with who was willing to talk at any length. He predicted the other members of the clan would be more worried than he, and he was right (their lawyer had told them not to talk about it). I hope in a few years they can look back on this as simply a surreal trip into the land of university cops who don't understand gaming.

I'll hand the conclusion over to this story's submitter, Effugas, who asks:

"Instead of simply laughing and moving on, what can we, as a community do to prevent these kind of occurances in the future? Would something as simple as a confidential 'reality check' group of experts, made available to law enforcement as consultants, be helpful? Would a set of guidelines, peer reviewed by the community, be useful? Instead of cursing the darkness, how can we praise the light?"

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Cops Break Up Starcraft Clan

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  • You live in a school dorm and use a school network. You expect to have some degree of privacy, but it appears if that is not the case.

    Why would you expect that? Every school TOS I've ever seen explicitly states that they will monitor your network traffic for anything illegal, immoral, or indecent, and will expell you if you do anything suspicious. Heck, half the time they schools are using hubs for each floor of a dorm room, so even your next door neighbor can snoop on your activity.

    Down that path lies madness. On the other hand, the road to hell is paved with melting snowballs.
  • To quote an exchange between the Confederate general Stonewall Jackson and an aide on seeing the really unwarrented vandelism inflicted on Fredricksburg during the Civil War:

    "How we gonna put an end to all this, General?"
    "Kill 'em. Kill 'em all."

    (Note: Skyshadow is joking. Suggestions are not to be taken literally. If you find yourself not finding this amusing given the context, you may be humor impared. If so, please shoot yourself between the eyes. No, wait! That was sarcasm! Aw, forget it.)

    ----

  • Yeah, you're right. That's why I'm going to turn myself in. See, when I was playing Risk last night, I invaded Poland. I deserve to go away for war crimes.

    ----

  • You are a funny monkey! FYI, my account has three figures - not six like yours - my income on the other hand, hehehehehehe. Anyway, lame-assed little boys like you are very late comers to /. and AC's have been around long before shitheads like you even knew about /. or the 'net. So, get off it, bug-boy. Your moniker is about as witty as your acne-studded asshole.
  • by jd (1658)
    A "neutral" watchdog that had teeth enough to prevent police abuse -and- enough savvy to actually recognise said abuse would be such a threat to the existing establishment that it'd never go through.

    Your best bet is a wireless network, IR keyboards/mice, and hiding the servers in the air conditioning vents.

  • by jd (1658)
    Let's consider Joe Q Public. Since they fund the establishment and vote into power those who run the establishment, they themselves -are- the establishment.

    Unfortunately, Joe Q Public is fond of hands-off Government, with tougher policing, and (above all else) Tax Cuts.

    Since a watchdog costs money, JQP will always be hostile to it, because it means tax raises, rather than tax cuts. And how can they afford their 3rd SUV that way?

    Sad, but that's the attitude that's out there. That's why Bush won.

  • Many of my friends and myself used to listen to a death metal band called Cannibal Corpse. They had songs with titles such as "Entrails ripped from a virgin's c**t". Sooooo what? We've all grown up to be normal people. That band even appeared in "Ace Ventura Pet Detective" performing a song called "Hammer Smashed Face". The most fun I've ever had was at a CC concert, where I climbed speaker stacks and stage dived several times and did excessive amounts of crowd surfing. It's all entertainment. There was also an element of rebellion too. The more ignoramus's such as yourself complained, the more extreme people would go. Like I said, we've all grown up to be normal people, and toned down to various extents so that we're no different from anybody else in society. Just because we listened to such things didn't make us criminals or murdering and raping psychos. I look at those lyrics and images now and would be horrified if any of that were real. All it was, was a form of entertainment. It didn't cross into the real world. You're proposing restricting people's freedoms just because you don't understand. Sorry, you're a conservative fool.
  • Hey, welcome to the new America where anything bad that happens to you is cause for a jury to award you a billion dollars from the nearest deep pockets. The school is in a tough position here -- if one of these students does turn out to be a psycho who kills his roommates, the media are going to be publishing the URL to their stupid page and demanding, "How could Kent State have overlooked such an obvious warning sign?"

    Either we're going to live in a giant kindergarten or we're not. Personally I'd rather smokers took their chances and accepted the consequences while I pay $20 for a lift ticket and ski OB terrain without risking arrest. But that's me...

  • "they didn't need a warrent?"

    Read the link. Third sentence of the linked story reads: "Kent State University police obtained a warrant after consulting with the prosecutor."

    Jamie McCarthy

  • Sometimes I see a story posted here that makes it hard for me to tell whether I'm reading Slashdot or Segfault. I think this qualifies as one.

    Zontar The Mindless,

  • I can now breathe easier, thanks to that crack force of Kent State campus police! [emphasis added]

    Uh...that was unintentional, right?

    Though it might explain things...

    [insert obligatory comment about Kent State campus police moderating slashdot here...]


    ---
    "They have strategic air commands, nuclear submarines, and John Wayne. We have this"
  • "Potential outrage", ok. That's fair. But given the standard police response as documented recently, and given normal human nature, I believe it "provisionally".

    Concentrations of authority are inherently dangerous. They are either bait for thieves (witness the recent heist of the power treasury from California) or locii of control that are seized by power-hungry individuals. Sometimes someone consistently refuse to make use of power that they control for their own interests over a period of time, but such events are so rare as to be newsworthy.

    Caution: Now approaching the (technological) singularity.
  • The point of the situation is that the students don't even dare sue the (expletive deleted). If they demand that their rights be respected, the (expletive deleted) university probably won't let them graduate. And they probably couldn't afford the lawyer anyway. Centralized power is evil.


    Caution: Now approaching the (technological) singularity.
  • Terrified of crime? Possibly. Possibly. But one may have suspicions that there is more going on than is obvious. This rigidity and centralization of control is something that tends to happen as civilations become moribund. I personally suspect that it's a big part of what caused the civilization to be moribund.

    The US isn't the first place that this has happened.

    Caution: Now approaching the (technological) singularity.
  • In the name of humanity I beg you to bust these clans too [efront.com].
    --Shoeboy
  • A semi-auto M-16 is an AR-15. Journalistic bias strikes again. Although, with Kent States history, I can understand how people could be upset.

    --
  • I honestly don't quite know what to say. Yeah, it is bad at Kent State for these guys, but this whole "Remember Columbine!" crap is spreading like wildfire.

    Today during lunch the TV was on one of the local "news" stations, WDAF [wdaftv.com]. I use that word "news" lightly - they spend most of the time doing stories about skiing squirrels.

    Their lead story was this [kcstar.com]. And of course they (along with the KC Star article I linked to) mentioned how "Columbine like" this was. WDAF TV went a step further though by mentioning that "police found three black trench coats"!

    sigh.

  • That wasn't a chicken wing, that was a fish finger. If you have any idea how toxic most fish is nowadays you'll understand that was a lethal weapon...
  • If I recall correctly from my college days (in the early-mid 80's), basically no. My understanding was that you pretty much gave up all your Constitutional rights in order to live in the dorms at a Virginia Tech in the U.S.

    The ironic thing about constitutional rights... they generally don't apply to non-governmental organizations.
  • They had a warranty.

    Oh thank GOD! For a minute there I thought they wouldn't be able to get a manufacturer's reimbursement should the equipment turn out to be defective!
  • by _J_ (30559)

    I telnetted into kent state. started a process. Then tried to kill it with kill -9. The process died. Kent State Homicide arrested me for murder.

    Guess I shouldn't have tried to kill something on their server.

    J:)
  • They had a warranty.
    "They executed a search and confiscated a computer, CDs and computer games from Room 304. Kent State University police obtained a warrant after consulting with the prosecutor."

  • by tbo (35008)
    OK, given the recent quality of Slashdot journalism, I don't know how accurate the information actually is. That said, if it is true, WTF?

    Aren't universities supposed to be the last bastion of free speech? Doesn't it now seem like they're the first to crumble any time something threatens individual rights (banning Napster, overzealous political correctness, busting "hackers", etc.)?

    We live in a sad world...
  • Gee, I wonder what they would have thought of our name for our little Quake group (I don't all it a clan). We fondling referred to ourselves as the CrackWhores. No, we don't do shit like that. I'm not sure who came up with it but it stuck. Funnier than shit too. Of course if we have that in our name, we must be users and since we display it so proudly we must be big time dealers dealing to little kids on the street corner, oh and providing them with guns, and and banging little sisters for admittance into the gang. Yeah right. You know shit like this pisses me off. If this were to happen to me, I'd exhaust every possible resource to sue the law enforcement agency that violated my civil rights, and to make it as public as can possibly be. I'd write letters to the media, put up posters, mass mail (wait, I'm not that sick), everything. I'd be certain to also list the names of the officers, DA, and judge involved in the violation for reference purposes. Can't say anything about that. Expressing my opinion is my first admendment right. Bastards.

    --

  • Yup. Very. ;-) Um, hello, McFly!

    --

  • Do it! A coworker of mine found the blueprints to our new workplace's office. He spent a month making a quake 2 map of about half of it. We were then killing each other aronud the cubicles(including the bathroom that had a stairway to the cieling). Fortunately, he hid a nice gun in the QA lab. It was fun.
  • >Read the fucking article. They had a warrant.

    Then the organization to sue is the one that employed the clueless prosecutor who asked for the warrant, which may well be the organization that employes the equally-clueless judge who signed it. BFD.

    Was the warrant legal? Yes. Were the cops serving the warrant doing the right thing? Yes; it was a signed warrant and they had to serve it.

    Go after the fux0rz who got the warrant in the first place, and do it in civil court.

    As always, IANAL, and knowing the courts, there's probably some fucked up "catch-22" that says you can't sue the DA's office even for unwarranted (ahem :) arrests. But if there were ever a case where the landsharks oughta be unleashed, this is it.

  • If anyone here considers the following a flame, they need to dislodge their head from their colon... I grew up in a cop-family.

    Police are often very excitable people. In an environment (such as a small town or an University) with little action, such a grossly hypothetical possible infraction as this clan-gamer site thing can easily lead to a few officers jumping the gun, leaving their supervisors in a position where they have to go ahead to save face ("umm.. yeah! that's what i, er, told my officers to do, sir!"), even after initial procedures and civil liberties have been violated.

    In such a small environment, there's rarely a proper procedure or infrastructure to investigate allegations of illegal activity. This leads to cops jumping up, getting some absolutely asinine warrant (thanks to the equally clueless judge or justice who approved the warrant!), and a clan-gamer gets their room raided.

    It's a matter of idiots, acting outside of their responsible authority. Idiots. lots of them. in unison and cheerful coordination.

    Heh, it's also humourous that the scheduled meeting to ask the kids about this website was just cancelled. I've had this happen to me before, regarding educational facilities and technical goings-on, and then just rashly cancel a program they don't understand that's already half-started (such as a high school starting an animation class and needing networking equipment). The intellectually out-of-touch often act rashly to 'protect' their perceived authorities and possible loss of authority.

    The police were idiots. they were poorly tamed and irresponsible idiots. they did a piss-poor job. they'll get slapped on the wrist and the whole cycle will repeat again somewhere else. The worst thing is that all of this confusion could so easily be solved with a minimal application of common sense.

    The other solution would have been for them to actually read the webpage, and perhaps do a Search-Engine search for terminology they didn't understand. Good luck getting people to read these days, though..
  • And Kent State having such a good reputation [cnn.com] for being accomodating of student free speach rights. Hey, at least they didn't shoot these guys.
    _____________
  • Kent State again... Has anyone notified Neil Young [kbapps.com]?
  • ...due to a fear of shadows without a warrant is a violation ...

    Read the fucking article. They had a warrant.

  • Not that I'm a big fan of litigation, but since you're talking about the police -- who are about as good at internal reform as, say, the CIA -- lawsuits may be your best in forcing changes in policy. I think it's quite fair to say that the threat of having your dorm room raided because you posted trash-talk online constitutes a pretty major violation to the First Amendment. It would be well within the jurisdiction of organizations like the ACLU or the EFF to take Kent State to court over this, and I hope they do so.
  • Nobody got killed at a midwestern college playing D&D. Some student who happened to play D&D once in awhile disappeared from the University of Michigan's campus but he later turned up and his disappearance had nothing to do with D&D (the kid had serious issues with his parents, his sexuality, and a whole lot of other things).
  • "Let's just switch our collective quantuum state over to a happy one!" eh?

    What you're suggesting is a process which begins with _you_ and _me_. It requires you to be strong enough for everyone around you, so you don't take your "rightful" revenge. Or else, any little tiny negative event will bring down humanity to the current level and below again.

    - Steeltoe
  • This over reaction by Kent State authorities is nothing new. 30 years ago, then Mayor of Kent, Leroy Satrom, declared a state of emergency, imposed a curfew on the city and college; then requested the Ohio National Guard protect the University from "radical activities." 3 days later: 4 students were dead and 9 wounded. It should not come as no surprise what lengths people in power will go to in order to assure their continued rule. If you don't think it can happen to you... it will. D
  • I came on to /. to see this link to the Daily Kent Stater. After reading the article, I am making the following comment:

    ResNet (network and Internet service provider for all of the KSU residence halls) has been having network problems due to someone on the network doing something suspicious. Whether or not that this student was the one responsible for the network problems is yet to be determined. I believe ResNet was doing their job in policing the activity on the network, although I feel that a further investigation would reveal that what was said here would warrant that the computer not be confiscated and all charges against the student be dropped.

    Special note to all other KSU students who read this: If you haven't taken Social and Ethical Issues in Computing, please take that class.
  • Everyone knows that any child can go on a killing spree with the guns he has stockpiled just from hearing the word 'Kill'. The lesson here is that you should always threaten people by saying you'll send them to another dimension.
    ----
  • Correct me if I'm wrong but isn't it:
    cs_prison (AKA the 'lets all fall off ladders' map)
    es_jail (one of the two maps in the 'failed' escape map type)
    ----
  • Then there is one of the many cases [freehenson.da.ru] of Keith Henson [sfsite.com], who at this moment is charged and facing criminal trial for trash talk on Usenet. The fun loving Scientologists convinced a DA in Hemet CA to treat it as a terrorist threat. (Their side here [parishioners.org], to meet the pretense of objectivity.)

    The point is that The Man has no sense of humour, and that trash talking can bring a world of hurt, even if it's technically protected and innocuous. You may get off eventually, but it can be very annoying and expensive.

    -dB

  • Hi,

    As reactionary as it sounds, I do believe that revolutions and massive civil disorders resulting in the overthrow of governments have been bred by actions such as this.

    Isn't the Bill of Rights supposed to prevent this type of storm trooper tactic? Or was I dreaming that federally-secured civil liberties exist in the United States? I mean, hell, this isn't North Korea or Red China.

    Shit. Did I spend 15 years in the military propping up a government that is screwed like some two-bit banana republic?

    It sure seems like it to me.
  • You guys realize that you'll be seeing ALOT more of this now that George 'double ya' Bush got elected.. tsk tsk
  • mongrolian mentality

    I know, spelling flames are lame and all, but I can't figure out what this was supposed to be. Mongolian? I'm missing the reference, apparently.

  • I'm not sure about you, but I certainly don't want to die in a geek compound surrounded by Federal Storm Troopers intent on killing us

    Geek compound?

    I'm having this sudden mental image of Perl Whirl 2002, a submarine, and some torpedos...

  • Well, I'm not going to get too upset if a couple of Racists get killed, in fact I enjoy it. That probably has a lot to do with the reaction to Waco and Ruby Ridge in comparison to Kent State, etc, since the victems were societal rejects (cult members, nazis) rather then Liberal collage students.

    Amber Yuan 2k A.D
  • You want to penalize someone for something they have said? Keep track of ip addresses (their all anon cowards anyway) and penalize them for speaking their mind and presenting another point of view (No matter how much you disagree) ? What exactly makes you different from the police who siezed this kids computer? Why don't you think for a minute before you open your mouth, because its statements like that and the mentality that they represent that has gotten us in the present stupid legal situations that we are in now.

    SealBeater
  • That must be pretty lonely though.
  • I tried this little piece of logic while I was a student in college. The University can, should it so choose, allow anyone into your residence (provided that they are your landlord), at any time, should proper University Officials (anyone they deem necessary), authorize entry. I own a rapier, it's a rather imposing piece of steel, but it is unsharpened, and remains in its scabbard, yet they decided it was a deadly weapon, and they could confiscate it without
    • Telling me.
    • Telling me when I could get it back.
    • Leaving a receipt to say they had it.
    Ridiculous. The Universities own their students, as long as they live in their dorms. What's worse is when you don't have a choice to live elsewhere (like where I went to school).
  • They were busted for posting threats, or something.. about a game who's main point is to kill the enemy.... the irony is simply delicious.

  • when people like this, people with moderate amount of power, yet dont understand what they should be using it for, get scared, strange things happen.

    about two years ago, a friend of mine was contacted, they wanted to ask him a few questions about a "recent security violation". apparently the isp he read his email from was setup ni an incredibly odd way, they had a couple of mail servers, pop.theirname.com and popp.thiername.com. pop was the standard mail server that this guy should have been using, however, being moderately slow, he was using popp (its one extra keystroke). apparently popp was reserved for the local rcmp branch (canadas version of the fbi) email, as well as the local police departmnet's email. fine, but apparently everyone else's login/pass works on this server.

    my analysis is that they read a log quickly, saw that he had repeatedly logged in successfully to this supposedly secure box, and the isp started thinking legal action. anyhow onto the story, after being called by a threatening sounding person, he got in touch with a friend of his, a lawyer. by the end of that day, pretty much every law enforcement official in the town had swarmed into his place (with a questionable warrant), and taken everything that resembled a peice of electronics. of course after analyzing the poor guys setup, the isp quickly realized what idiots they were, and quickly dropped everything. the local rcmp apparently kept everything for another 6 months out of paranoia. no body seemed to understand that what he was doing was based off of a simple error, the friend didnt even notice, as his email still came in a-o.k.

    had the tech reading the log thought for about three minutes, the entire situation could have been avoided. had the law agencies thought, hey, maybe we should get someone to take a second and third look at those logs, the entire situation could have been avoided. had someone spoken to him long enough to realize he didnt know what telnet, tracert, ping, ftp, or even pop stood for (let alone how any of them worked), the entire situation could have been avoided. what im basically saying, is most situations like my friends, and the one in the story could have been avoided. all people need is a bit of logic when dealing with computer security issues.

    .brad


    Drink more tea
    organicgreenteas.com [organicgreenteas.com]
  • But recently, KSU's security had made a purchase of M-16s. The administration claimed that it was necessary to help maintain order in case of any problems which may arise.

    The administration for nearly 30 years failed to closed the parking lot where the students from the massacre had fallen, even after protest of students and alumni. They finally, I believe in 1998, erected memorials for those who died at the spots where they had died.

    I guess their inability to comprehend just how horrible this act was is still apparent. They finally cancelled the orders for the M-16s, after it was pointed out to them often that there hasn't been a violent protest or affair where students had ever had guns in Kent State's history.

    And now they're confiscating computers of students who were playing a game. The administration feels that playing a fantasy game and having a page where you talk about defeating enemies in such a game is similar to those students back in 1970 who had those guns firing at the police. Oh, wait, it never happened that way.

    Excuse the rant, but since I live close to KSU, I often hear of the extremely asinine policies and decisions the administrators constantly make and saying they are to protect from things which never happened, on the possibility they may happen some day in the future.

    Dragon Magic [dragonmagic.net]
  • I posted this a while ago, and it's all but over by now. Check the date on the article.

    Great googly moogly, does Slashdot ever need a story moderation system.

  • I was the nerdy student.. being told to write the paper or die, being told i was going to die. It doesnt matter. Threats are not actions. Actions are what the courts should impose penalty for. Now as i mentioned some words are considered verbals acts - terrorizing, yelling fire, repeated harassment, etc etc.

  • lets get all the facts.
    If you read, Jamie writes...

    The way Patrick described it to me, there was a technical glitch in uploading the website -- I'm still not sure exactly how this happened, but apparently they contacted the wrong server

    Now it sounds like the boys just typed in the wrong IP address while FTP'ing up their web site. However, there could be more here that BfD is telling us. Suppose they're glossing over the fact that they were actually doing a port scan and found an older version of Bind running, and other scripts followed. Now I know not all University sys admins are the cream of the crop, but how many do you think would panic over an incoming ftp connection.

    My guess is these guys were attempting to hack something (maybe at the university, maybe not) and got caught at it. Let's face it, I think we the campus police have better things to do then bust somebody with a webpage that has a shitlist/Wanted Dead or Alive page.

  • These are the same campus cops that don't bat an eye when you smoke a joint in the field in front of the library, but theyre arresting people for talking smack in a video game?

    I guessing this will be hushed up once the parents start calling in and the school administration realizes what is going on.
  • ...would be education. Education of the law enforcement officials who carry out this kind of knee-jerk action because they truly do not understand the culture or the technology. Not that ignorance is a valid excuse, but you would be suprised how many cops, prosecuters, etc think all geeks are made from the templates in the movie Hackers. (How's that for scary?)
  • The story states that the "police" (campus or otherwise) legally obtained a warrant before searching the dorm room.

    Averye0
  • Oh shut up.

    If you're in Germany or England or Jerry Springer or Portland, and a bunch of shaven headed bootclad yoofs come down the road, chances aren't that they're S.H.A.R.Pies.

    I happen to be somewhat familiar with how it went from skinhead to bonehead; but the fact that it has means you mourn it and move on. The swastika was a sun symbol before it was corrupted by the Nazis: but you don't see me tattooing it on my forehead and then whining that no, it isn't Nazi, do some research, check out India, whine rant whine.

    If skinheadism is mostly SHARPs, with a few bad seeds thrown in, then why does 99% of the human race associate skinheads with fascism? Could it possibly be that the old skinheads died out and the ones that remain are the Zundelites?
  • They didn't arrest and confiscate because of suspected violence! They were not in compliance with DMCA for using copyrighted material in a digital form without license.

    ----------------------
  • I too like the philosophies of the libertarian party, but Bush is still a dumbass. The problem is that John McCain was the closest thing to libertarian we saw in any mainstream party. Unfortunately Bush is now the prez. Bush and the gang will take your freedoms as well. I know what mistakes the democrats made, however, I know that Bush is no better. How about the fact that he is a total hypocrite. As far as taking away our rights: Abortion, prayer in school, Christian bullshit from the hard right. We don't need a Christian version of Iran. These people would love nothing more than to shove religion down everybody's throat with gun in one hand and a bible in the other.

    Bush is also the antithesis of geek. He has an aversion to reading by his own admission. He is so inarticulate that even a fourth grader would notice his poor usage of grammer and his complete butchering of the English language. I can't imagine myself carrying on a descent conversation with the man. His appointment of John Ashcroft as attorney general leaves a lot to be desired. Ashcroft is a religious NUT! Both of these men are hypocrites. Both have lied, and both have an agenda that is tied to the hard right. We will lose certain freedoms if these people have their way.

    This country will not change until we get candidate who believes in your personal freedoms. That means your right to bear arms, your right to have an abortion, your right to speak freely and practice whatever loony religion you choose, and your right to do what you damn well please with your own body. Neither Republican nor Democrat are the answer to America's problems. Neither party respects the Bill of Rights. The first, second, fourth, and tenth amendments specifically have eroded. The fourth especially, is nothing more than words. Civil asset forfeiture has made the fourth a joke. Unless we change the government, the government won't change.
  • The subject title pretty much says it all. But I'll elaborate for the challenged. Multi User Dungeons, be it the old style text based or the newer graphical ala everquest, the players are not governed by any law from the real world since the players themselves do not exist inside the computer. The players have an avatar which being a figment of someones imagination do not have rights. Anything said or done in the game is considered role play. As in acting like on tv. it is not real therefore anyone taking something an actor says in a movie as context to the real world could be considered a false accusation since the event in question did not in actuallity happen due to the nature that the person who says the statement does not exist in the real sense of being a person. Yes the actor exists, but the acter is not really a nazi (at least we would hope actors aren't like the people they portray :P) Yes sometimes poeple in games will issue comments that are not "in character" and do apply to the real world. In that case perhaps the law does apply. But trying to discern which is and isn't IC and OOC is a little difficult at times. In terms of starcraft or any other strategy game, the player takes on the role of some commander. They really aren't a commander any more than the troops they command go out and die. Therefore anything said in the game against another "general" that pertains to the game cannot be construed as threatening in the real world sense. And I don't personally believe a mistyped ftp could be considered a hack attempt. Usually hackers try more than once. If a single connect could be construed as an attempt to illegally access information then I guess just about everyone is guilty. And I'm sorry to say it, but the politically correct nonsense has gone too far once again. You cannot possibly please everyone. What one person believes is obscene may not be obscene to someone else. Being able to call someone else by vulgar expressions is guaranteed (at least to americans) by the first ammendment. Whether or not you agree with it. Otherwise we'd have people finding offense at anything anyone else says or does, and we'd run out of prison space pretty quick. Not only that but unless we all lie in bed all day we're almost certain to be offending someone else. (of course lying in bed all day may be offensive to someone else.) My suggestion, live your life and let others live theirs. Mutual tolerance has done more for public relations than political correctness ever could.
  • No you are wrong...
    it would not be illegal to call anyone on the street a " slashdot-reading no-life asshole". It's not a nice thing to do, and in some parts of the country it may result in you getting an ass-wupping but it's far from illegal.

    What is illegal is knowingly telling a lie in order to destroy some ones credibility or standing in society. Saying "Dr. Jon eats babies I have proof, don't let Dr. Jon see your baby"... if you said that in order to do Dr. Jon harm that would be slander, and that would be illegal.
    As far as I know your free to call any one an asshole.
  • I posted this a while ago, and it's all but over by now. Check the date on the article.

    Great googly moogly, does Slashdot ever need a story moderation system.


    Yeah, a lot of us really wonder why we need three posts about the same story, just because the submit chain is overloaded.

    Luckily for me, I'm maxed out on karma, so I can afford to burn the karma to say this, but it's just getting worse and noone seems to be in control anymore.

    That aside, for the Starcraft web site confiscations - what ever happened to Freedom of Speech and the Right To Make Posts About Weapons of Mass Destruction that are guaranteed in the Constitution?

  • Ban Fiction in which murder is depicted! Ban wrestling, definitely. It's full of threats!

    Seriously, I think the police are using any tactic they can to search for anything they can, and to bust as many people as they can.

    Burke discussed how he thought it seemed like the police were searching for something else, possibly drugs, because they searched furniture as well. "They shouldn't be allowed to do that," he said. "It's just not right, especially since they are keeping the guy's computer for a year."

    Give everything that the police seize to charity, or to groups like NORML that they don't like. that should cut down on their seizing.
  • You can if they signed a agreement to. Most /.'ers forget that the dorm agreement does alow the school to come and and take anything out of the room whenever they wish.

    Some states and provinces (in Canada) have non-revokable landlord/tenant rights. These rights cannot be 'signed away' by agreement between the parties. One such right is search & seizure (although I'm not sure if this particular state holds these laws; probably, since they requested a warrant).

    Regardless of what is written into a contract, there are states in which entering a tenant's dwelling (dorm, in this case) without permission is both a criminal and civil offense.

    --
    All men are great
    before declaring war

  • Actually, if they live on campus, they're on the university's private property, and the university can search their room at will.

    If the University has entered into a landlord/tenant agreement with the individual for the exclusive use of said private property, then no, the University cannot search their room at will (regardless of what's written into the contract; although, this varies from state-to-state).

    --
    All men are great
    before declaring war

  • I fear that this harassment will worsen as 4/20 approaches. Student athletes and popular kids may increase their harasssment of geeks and nerds, and geeks and nerds will come under increased surveillance, one needs only to think about the copy cat crime committed on 4/18 (worst act of terrorism against Americans ever) to realize how serious law enforcement will be taking the threat of another Columbine.

    I see a few solutions, fighting the power, quietly drawing attention to oppressed geeks, or integrating into society.

    While fighting the power that is oppressing us geeks may seem the fun thing to do, let's not forget what happens to other oppressed groups that try to fight the entrenched powers that be, can we forget MOVE, WACO, Wounded Knee or Ruby Ridge? I'm not sure about you, but I certainly don't want to die in a geek compound surrounded by Federal Storm Troopers intent on killing us. True, we do have a second amendment, but you need a whole nation to support that, not just a few gun owning geeks, ESR not withstanding.

    A second option is quietly drawing attention to oppressed geeks. Since the rainbow is taken, perhaps we can think of another symbol for geek-pride, perhaps the Penguin? We can also convince the do-gooders at Amnesty Internaitional to write letters to various school administrators letting htem know that their oprression and silent co-operation in this geek pogrom will not go undetected, indeed, for some geeks, silence == death.

    The best option might be to integrate oneself with society at large, following the model of America's most successful minorities, the Jews. Perhaps we geeks can learn a little about American culture at large,a nd fit in better with our non-geek neighbors. LEt's appreciate football as examples of Newtonian physics, let's appreciate loud fast cars, and maybe we can all jsut get along.
  • Isn't this type of shit illegal? Don't we have a bill of rights to protect us from illegal search and seizure? What the hell happened to the fourth amendment?

    They probably legitimize this granting of a warrant by saying that there was a death threat. I wasn't there, but there's no way the University police looked at the names (allegedly just handles) and said "quick, we need to warn these people! Search the phonebook for a "5uP4_Ki114_666!" Just cause you have a warrant doesn't mean its not unreasonable search and seizure. You need probable cause (I doubt that the prosecutor elaborated on the death threats when asking the judge for a warrant). Just cause a judge gives you a warrant doesnt mean you can go stripsearch a supermodel.

    They students were not using University web space to run this website, and even if they were using the University ISP, it doesn't give them the rights to censor them and confiscate a PC. AOL can't break down doors of a user whos looking at porn, take his computer, and charge him with "misuse". (though they can kick him off the ISP, which Kent State SHOULD have done)

    What's that leave to charge these guys with? Profanity and running a Starcraft clan (neither of which are illegal though I believe the latter should be ;-))

    While what the University cops did SHOULD be illegal, it may not be. Lawmakers have been passing cybercrime laws that do more to make them look "tough on hackers" than to actually do anything. These laws often have provisions that could be unconstitutional, but since judges don't understand (many don't use computers at all, and still have their law clerks and secretaries type things) they can stand. These 'cybercrime' laws don't get much opposition by either the public, or the media, because, hey, who wants to stand up for a hacker, right?

    Bottom Line: The Internet is becoming a much less free place. Offending anyone in power (even if the offense is a misunderstanding) can now get your place searched and computer taken. Perhaps 2001 will end up being a little less Kubrick and little more Orwell.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 06, 2001 @06:02PM (#451817)
    May 4th, 1970 [kent.edu] - General Information

    Kent State University was placed in an international spotlight after a tragic end to a student demonstration against the Vietnam War and the National Guard on May 4, 1970. Shortly after noon on that Monday, 13 seconds of rifle fire by a contingent of 28 Ohio National Guardsmen left four students dead, one permanently paralyzed, and eight others wounded. Not every student was a demonstration participant or an observer. Some students were walking to and from class. The closest student wounded was 30 yards away from the Guard, while the farthest was nearly 250 yards away.

    The divisive effect of the Vietnam War on American society was especially evident on campuses throughout the country. At Kent, the day after the announcement to send U.S. troops into Cambodia marked the start of a weekend of anti-war protests that began on campus and spilled into the city of Kent's downtown. Broken windows and other damage to a number of downtown businesses prompted fear, rumors, and eventually a call by the city's mayor to the governor for assistance.

    The National Guard arrived Saturday night. That day some students assisted with the downtown cleanup. That night some other students set fire to the campus headquarters of the Army Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC). Sunday morning the governor came to Kent and in the city's firehouse held a press conference saying the University would remain open. After a Sunday of relative calm, an anti-war rally at noon on Monday brought 2,000 to 3,000 people to the University Commons area. When the Guard gave the order to disperse, some in the crowd responded with verbal epithets and stones. The Guard answered with tear gas, but when the spring winds altered its effect, the Guard attempted to enforce the Ohio Riot Act with raised bayonets, forcing demonstrators to retreat. The Guard then changed formation. As the Guard approached the crest of Blanket Hill, some Guardsmen turned toward the Taylor Hall parking lot and between 61 and 67 shots were fired. Four students were killed and nine wounded. That afternoon, University President Robert I. White ordered the University closed.

    History, sorrow and healing remain a part of Kent State University. The University Library has dedicated a Memorial Room containing books, papers, studies, and other materials relating to the events. In addition, the University has established an academic program [kent.edu] designed to help students and others employ peaceful conflict resolution to resolve disputes. On May 4, 1990, the University community dedicated a permanent memorial. Each year, the May 4 Task Force student organization holds a candlelight vigil and commemoration program to enable the University, the Kent community, and others to privately and publicly express their feelings. In observance of the 25th anniversary in 1995, a series of commemorative programs and events were held throughout the Spring Semester at Kent, highlighted by two-day scholarly symposium titled "Legacies of Protest" which examined political and civil unrest.

    The University will continue to remember the four students who died -- Allison Krause, Jeffrey Miller, Sandra Scheuer, and William Schroeder -- through scholarships in their names and in the words inscribed on the May 4 Memorial: "Inquire. Learn. Reflect." The Memorial site is next to Taylor Hall, on a hill overlooking the Commons, near the site of the shootings. Pamphlets are available at the site.

    To learn more about annual commemorative activities on compus, such as the candlelight walk and vigil, please contact the May 4 Task Force student organization at (330) 672-3096.

    For general information about the events of May 4, 1970, contact the May 4 Task Force, the Kent Alumni Association at (330) 672-KENT, or the Office of University News and Information at (330) 672-2727. You may also e-mail margaret@ksunews.kent.edu [mailto] for more information.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 06, 2001 @11:40AM (#451818)
    1) That was the National Guard, not the campus police.

    2) Apparently this was not as amusing as you had hoped it would be because nobody on /. is old enough to remember the Kent State massacre.

    3) The students that were shot WERE actually threatening someone (by throwing rocks and bottles) unlike these gamers, who were just indulging in testosterone-tinged trash talk.

    4) Why stop at online games? Why not arrest the students at football games carrying banners threatening the opposing team? Oh wait -- those are school sanctioned death threats, so that's ok!

  • by jafac (1449) on Tuesday February 06, 2001 @03:58PM (#451819) Homepage
    Seeing as how most of the shooting sprees I've read about over the past several years - the shooters have mostly been driven by revenge; they got fucked over by somebody, and were willing to kill and die to set things right - perhaps if people stopped being assholes, stopped screwing eachother over, other people wouldn't get so upset that their only option in life would be to go on a shooting spree. . .

    No wait. That's wrong. lets just ban the guns, video games, books, tv, movies, abberant thought. . .
  • by Effugas (2378) on Tuesday February 06, 2001 @09:23PM (#451820) Homepage
    Kudos to Jamie for investigating this further; the following was my original submission on this topic:

    =======

    The mind boggles. Police have apparently raided a student's dorm room [kent.edu] due to his participation in a heavy metal music inspired gaming clan, "Bled For Days." The article goes to some length not to mention the exact game, including ominous references to a "war-like" "game of chess" where "it's not like we were going to kill you or anything". The game in question, of course, is the seminal Humans [battle.net] vs. Bugs [battle.net] vs. Yellow Psychic Aliens [battle.net] wargame, [hasbro.com]Starcraft [blizzard.com]. The presence of a web page [50megs.com] listing in-game rivalries was apparently taken for death threats. For all the talk of "children" being unable to differentiate fake violence from the real thing, it seems to me that "adults" were the ones breaking into someone else's home, carrying loaded weapons, confiscating expensive goods while availing themselves of the opportunity to search for anything more valuable(i.e. drugs).

    As hilariously pitiful as this seems, there's a real problem here. The tragedy is that, sooner or later, the credibility of authorities trying to fight real computer crime will be so stretched that even when society desperately requires their intervention, the police will find themselves unable to get even the slightest shreds of voluntary cooperation. A bizarre and ultimately truly dangerous attitude, the apathetic chuckle, has spawned over recent years by Zero Tolerance(and apparently, Intelligence, Accountability, or Political Responsibility) policies; the exact policies that have lead to first graders being suspended for pointing chicken at eachother and being expelled for kissing a girl on the cheek. People are willing to quickly accept these ridiculous and flagrantly neglectful abuse of power because "it's funny to laugh at...but I can't do something about it, isn't that someone else's job?"

    This threatens the core legitimacy of what really are genuinely critical services; the police, the school, and the administrators all become jokes, not to be taken seriously. The immediate reaction my friends had to this incident at Kent State was, "The last time police at Kent State didn't understand what the students were up to, somebody won a Pulitzer Prize". Since the most damaging effect of any computer security violation is the long term degradation of trust in a given service, the ignorance these busts show eventually makes it harder to actually control and address genuine security issues, such as DDoS attacks. Instead of simply laughing and moving on, what can we, as a community do to prevent these kind of occurances in the future? Would something as simple as a confidential "reality check" group of experts, made available to law enforcement as consultants, be helpful? Would a set of guidelines, peer reviewed by the community, be useful? Instead of cursing the darkness, how can we praise the light?
  • by unitron (5733) on Tuesday February 06, 2001 @10:38PM (#451821) Homepage Journal
    Actually, the body count was 5 but the 5th was a young man who wasn't politically savvy enough to die right away and get counted during the 15 minutes that anyone was paying any attention to the story, but rather lingered for a day or three before succumbing to his wounds.
  • by Dr.Dubious DDQ (11968) on Tuesday February 06, 2001 @11:28AM (#451822) Homepage

    ...but I'm wondering if whoever is running the "wrong server" they accidentally contacted and uploaded to saw the page, thought they'd been cracked (perhaps the pages being uploaded were about to be used to "deface" whatever was supposed to be there, the sysadmin may have thought), and made a panicked call to the cops saying somebody was "hacking" his system.

    We all know how rational US law enforcement/government is about anything involving computers, and perhaps they looked at the pages uploaded in the supposed "hacking", saw the "death threats" [in the game] and did their usual ridiculous overreaction.

    Mind you, this is all wild speculation on my part. The article doesn't really say much.


    ---
    "They have strategic air commands, nuclear submarines, and John Wayne. We have this"
  • by Ronin75 (21473) on Tuesday February 06, 2001 @04:11PM (#451823)
    I'm sure that the university would like to allow free speech, but this isn't about that. The university sees potential fault on their part. If one of the kids snaps, and they have evidence that he was making threatening statements, and the threats were posted on their computers, don't you think they'd be sued? This is the headline that the university sees in the future:

    "Kent allows group of kids to post death threats on their own servers, even after being alerted to their presence. This 'hate board' was a key factor in the organization of actions that led to the murder of Joe Smith, a fellow game player 25 miles from Kent State. The Smith family is suing the university for not forcing the students to take the hate messages off their computer system."

    I'm no journalist, but you can imagine a (better worded) message with that content in the news. Whether they "did wrong" or not, they got sued. Bad press doesn't wash away with a not guilty. Which is why they're trying to cover their ass prematurely.

    I'm not saying that the university is right in cracking down on l33t starcrafters, it's just a sucky situation all around. The nation's tense over all these stupid mass murders, and companies are so afraid of these rampant, frivolous lawsuits, so everything is getting more paranoid.

    I offer no solution, just trying to shed some light on the problem.
  • by Restil (31903) on Tuesday February 06, 2001 @11:52AM (#451824) Homepage
    I couldn't quite tell if the cops involved were campus cops or municipal cops. Since in some areas campus cops at state universities are effectively state troopers, I suppose it doesn't really make any difference. The point here is an issue of jurisdiction. You live in a school dorm and use a school network. You expect to have some degree of privacy, but it appears if that is not the case. You can be monitored, and while a warrant was obtained, it was probably rather easy to obtain due to the extra fine print that is inserted all over university documents with regards to use of the school's network and what is considered acceptable behavior in dorms.

    There are extenuating circumstances here that create extra problems. If these students lived in their own house and paid for their own isolated internet connection that had no connection to the university, the "evidence" collecting methods that caused the problems in the first place wouldn't exist and nobody would ever have obtained a warrant against them, let alone ever found out about the website in the first place.

    I'm quite certain these types of issues have been going on for quite some time, but before Columbine people generally turned a blind eye to the activity since it wasn't on their radar screen. I had my account canceled on a university computer back in 1992 because I telnet'ed into the system from another university when I was visiting there and was accused of unauthorized access as a result. They apparrenly watch things like that pretty closely and I don't doubt they have stepped up their surveillance in past years as computers have gotten more powerful and networks have been used more.

    I don't suppose there's an easy solution to this problem. Part of the advantage of living in a dorm room is unfettered access to the university's often ample internet bandwidth, and in many cases you don't curtail any activities based soley on what someone else might think of them. But the network is not public. There are restrictions in place and like it or not, the university has probably gone to great lengths to assure they they will have the means to "protect" themselves and others from any "dangerous" students, no matter how they go about discovering this information.

    The solution isn't really simple. The solution to this problem is to isolate yourself from the university. Don't use a university network and don't live in dorms. Rent a local house with your roommates and pick up a dsl or cable connection for your bandwidth. It might cost more (in some cases it might not), but that is sometimes the price of freedom. On a separate network, this wouldn't have happened. On a separate network, the student who had his equipment confiscated for "hacking" a website by running some dns tests on it after it was cracked would not have heard a peep about it.

    -Restil
    restil@alignment.net
  • by adjensen (58676) on Tuesday February 06, 2001 @11:23AM (#451825)
    Welcome to the new America, where you're guilty until proven innocent, at least in some regards. The proliferation of kooks who go on a tear and wipe out a bunch of people (witness Illinois yesterday, Edgewater Technology recently, etc) you should expect that people will tend to go a bit over the top where random violence (real or perceived) is concerned.

    That's not necessarily a bad thing, but watch the civil liberties, boys! It's the sort of thing that can come back to snap you in the ass if you're not careful.
  • by donutello (88309) on Tuesday February 06, 2001 @11:54AM (#451826) Homepage

    They had a warranty.

    I think I got one of those with my toaster oven. I'm going to go serve it up to those annoying kids that live in the apartment below.

  • by Sir_Winston (107378) on Tuesday February 06, 2001 @09:23PM (#451827)
    No, I shouldn't expect an irrational, dangerous reaction to the proliferation of kooks who kill. You see, there is *no* proliferation of kooks who kill. Nothing is happening today that didn't happen fifty years ago, or a hundred for that matter. There is just a mistaken popular perception that violence is on the rise, when in fact it is on the decline. And the kooks--well, they were around way back when--they aren't new. Watching the History Channel recently, they were talking about a kook who made headlines in the late 40s by going into a school full of preteens and opening fire, killing several. There were disgruntled office workers back then, too. And children also went nuts and murdered other children for bizarre reasons--remember Leopold and Loeb, anyone? So, what's the difference between then and now? Well, now we have CNN, FoxNN, MSNBC, HNN, CNBC, and your local news all blaring about these incidents, presenting so-called experts who convince us that there must be something wrong with our society, that it's unprecedented when so and so kills such and such over whatever it is. Horseshit. Violence, random or otherwise, is nothing new, and no amount of ill informed backlash will diminish it. But I guarantee that all these measures we're putting in place to curb violence will only make it worse, because the worse you treat people, the more you take away their rights and sense of worth, the more likely it is that they'll explode and try to take as many overbearing bastards with them as they can. Example: a few unbalanced kids feel picked on and pressured by school admins and especially fellow students; taunted and made to feel worthless, they take their own lives after indiscriminately killing as many students and teachers as they can--except, curiosly, for the one boy one of the gunmen warned to stay away because he'd treated the gunman right in school. Example 2: a man watches the TV news day after day and is angered at the U.S. government's mishandling of an investigation into the leader of a religious community in Waco, Texas, during which they trample all of the suspect's rights one by one and try to villify him with false allegations of child abuse, which have no place in a raid which was actually based on the selling of a single sawed-off shotgun by the partner of a licensed gun dealer--in fact, it would have been a routine arrest and fine, except that when the ATF decided that their suspect's congregation was a "cult", ignoring the religious freedom which founded this country, they decided to "take him down" on live TV as a media stunt. The man watching this is so angered when ATF and FBI bungling first ignores rights and then kills people by accidentally starting a fire, that he and a friend decide to pay the government back in kind by bombing a large government building.

    So, let me slightly amend what I said about there being no more kooks or violence now than there's ever been. If there are more kooks and violence now, it's a direct result of the media causing hysteria by constantly harping on the few incidents which do occur and will always occur by nature, causing the people and government to become vengeful idiots who strip away the fundamental rights of the people, some of whom are prone to react violently to having their rights and human dignity stripped away.

  • by dcollins (135727) on Tuesday February 06, 2001 @12:51PM (#451828) Homepage
    The most distressing part of this, to me (I mean, maybe I'm jaded towards stories about cops busting in on college students now) is how poorly-written the news article linked above from the Daily Kent Stater is. Now, I know, it's a student paper. I'm already familiar with how wildly divergent a news story can be if the journalist doesn't give a crap (or is pressed for time, etc.) But...

    The news story doesn't ONCE even mention the name "Starcraft"! It's pretty obvious to us from the group's web site... but in the Stater article all it says is "a possible computer crime", "students set up a 'war-like' game", "the site includes a list of rules, rankings of members, allies and the enemies...", etc. Come on, couldn't they spare a single sentence to say "It's a game of STARCRAFT, one of the most popular online games since 1998 by industry juggernaut Blizzard"?

    Cruddy media like that only serve to distort issues and panic people. Budding journalists: you've got to at least give a shit when you apply pen to paper.

  • by Cinematique (167333) on Wednesday February 07, 2001 @12:17PM (#451829)
    I posted this a while back... but seeing that Kent's PR is in the toilet, I thought I'd add an extra turd or two.... seeing that what happened to me is complete bullshit...

    I go to school at Kent State University, and one night in October, I was trying to meet new people and I came across a room in my hall which was occupied by several individuals. The door was wide open, with the guys inside sitting around playing or watching Tony Hawk on the TV in the far corner of the room. I peeked in and said "wazzup" and found myself sitting there with them.

    No more than fifteen minutes later, a police officer came to the door, saying we were being too loud, something which I can't contest since it it was quite late at night. The officer asked us why we were still up, and why we were being so loud. The kid whom the room belonged to appologized for the noise and assured the officer that we were just getting a little carried away in a conversation. The officer didn't exactly take that too well, and then asked to do a room search. Why he felt compelled to do a room search is still beyond me, my guess is that if you are up past a certain point at night, you must do drugs, being considered "suspicious"... but whatever... my story continues.

    The kid said it would be alright if the cop looked around, and quite matter-of-factly stated he had nothing to hide. As soon as the cop turned around, he found several marijuana seeds sitting on the desk behind the door.

    I'm now fucked.

    The officer then asked to see anything else in the room that may be of illegal nature, and the kid pointed out that there was probably (!!) naddy light in the fridge.

    Fucked x 2.

    So for the record, since I was simply in the room, I was charged with not only violating my dorms quiet hours policy (low volume levels between 8pm-11am) but was in "possession" of both alcohol and marijuana under Kent State's "Joint Responsibily" clause.

    The schools policy on the matter is stated very clearly in the student handbook: First marijuana violation = $100 fine. Nowhere in the book was I able to find a punishment for an alcohol violation. When I went to the schools proprietary court system called Judicial Affairs for an intake hearing, I was told that the pressing punishment was to be kicked out of Kent State.

    Let me recap: I was at the wrong place at the wrong time and I am now being told that I face being kicked out of college little over a month after starting. I had no prior offenses.

    Paranoid that the school would actually kick me out, I had gone, two days after the late-night incident, to the local health clinic on my own free will, hoping to help clear the charges. I paid $85 for a drug test, which came up negative of all "street drugs," weed included. Armed with the knowladge of both my clean drug screening, and the fact that the school never gave me a sobriety test, I felt a little comfortable going into my hearing.

    My parents were there, two KSUPD officers representing the officer which was there that night, my RD, the RA of the floor this happened on, and finally the judge.

    Soon after the actual trial started, which was a full month after the incident, I began to feel very cornered and nervous. The judge attacked me for the fact that I was around the guys at all, would not accept that I did not know them before that night, that I did not know the seeds and beer were in the room, and that my grades were low enough (2.0GPA, and this wasn't even at midterms yet, what the fuck...) to warrant my being shoved out the door.

    I Fired back stating that they broke their own policies for room search seing that the cop had already entered the room before he asked to search. The punishment being pressed upon me was not in accordance with the printed university handbook. The fact that I had no previous criminal nor Kent State record. The fact that my grades were in the toilet because I had missed a test in Algebra and still needed to make it up, thus giving me an F in the class. (FYI, before the test, I had an "A" and ended up with an "A" as a final grade...)

    Finally, the hearing officer told me that I was being both irresponsible for own actions, and being arrogant. He then proceded to actually YELL at me, telling me that I "NEED TO GROW UP AND ACCEPT RESPONSIBLITY" for something which I had no responsiblity for. I didn't see the weed seeds(!) in the room, and I sure as hell don't have x-ray vision to see through refrigerator doors.

    I waited till the very end to show him my drug test results. This enfuriated him even more.

    The Resident Assistant ( a student ) tried pleading for my case, but to no luck. My Resident Director ( the Kent state employee who is hired to watch after a whole dorm building ) sided with my judge. The cops was obviously clueless, since they weren't there that night.

    The judge finally left, came back, and said that he really wanted to remove me from Kent State, but would instead be "lenient" and give me a $100 fine plus 12 months of strict diciplinary probation. In this time, I can not violate any rules, including another noise violation, or even simply locking my keys inside my room. The drug thing was my warning card, I guess. Perfect.

    The appeal I had was answered by the school in a rejection stating that the punishment was fair due to the "overwhelming perponderance of evidence against [me]." Evidence which was never hashed out during the trial.

    Oh the joys of being a Kent State Student...

    * The M-16 Fiasco

    * The "War-Games" and computer confiscation blunder

    *Constant reminder of our great 1970 year

    *Foreign speaking English teachers...

  • by danheskett (178529) <danheskett AT gmail DOT com> on Tuesday February 06, 2001 @08:59PM (#451830)
    I have to disgree. I believe that no one should ever be held criminal responsible for a crime that hasnt happened yet.

    My feeling on this matter, however silly it is, is that a shit list is worthless. It is a list of names (in this case, fake). Now, if you act on the list, attempt to act on the list, etc, then thats obviously different. Punishing people for saying that they want to kill or maime is silly. Speech is not an overt act, and shouldn't be treated as one.

    My feelings on this go along way, as well. I don't think abusive wives should be held for domestic abuse simply for shouting or screaming threats at their husbands. Nerdy high-school students talking about killing jock classmates shouldn't be suspended, expelled, or impisoned. Planning a mass-bombing on the Internet should not be illegal - constructing the bomb, attempting to construct the bobm, delievering the bomb, killing people, etc - those are crimes, and should rightly be illegal.

    I think its a shame, when in a traditionally free country, we erode our own rights by allowing verbal and non-physical acts to be construed as assualt, attempted murder, etc.

    Regardless of how this case pans out, we see that more and more our rights are eroded in the name of safety or prevention of tragedy. True, bad things happen and we ought to try to minimize the frequenecy and severity - but not at the expense of liberty - and certainly not at the expesne of free speech.

    Today, in our free society, we are limited and our acts restricted - we cede our rights to certain overt acts in the same of civilization. But as time progresses, it has become more restrictive. We are seeing the regulation of not only acts, but also thoughts. Essentially what happened here is that some students expressed their thoughts, and transcribed them so that all could see. Regardless of the content of the thoughts - they should not be considered criminals. Even if the "shit list" had been a systematic, detailed description of a proposed murder, or the depicition of illegal sexual acts, they are still thoughts, and not acts. These thoughts translated to words deserve full protection.

    A final point, this line of thinking applies in many ways to our current struggles with digital content. Poking around encryption, port scanning, these are not overt acts, but yet are largly considered. Not only can you not legally break the encryption on DVD's, you can't even look at it, or attempt to break it. This is an extension of a bad trend - the act of breaking encryption is not only illegal, but even attempting to break it is illegal. A crime is an act - plain and simple. Words, except for in a few narrowly defined cases, should not be criminal.


  • by The Tyro (247333) on Tuesday February 06, 2001 @01:20PM (#451831)
    We asked for this, you know... we really did.

    The Zero tolerance stuff is fine for 4yr olds who can't think and reason. It's perfectly appropriate to tell a kid that of age range "We don't hit, now kiss your brother and say you're sorry."

    For ADULTS and even adolescents, we are doing them an intellectual disservice by teaching them that all violence is wrong. All violence is NOT wrong (step off me, you pacifists... I'm just warming up...) Self defense is a perfectly legitmate scenario for violence. You can also make a strong argument for the existance of a legitimate WAR (OK, you pacifists... take your best shot).

    We are robbing people of the ability to reason and evaluate for themselves their moral justifications for their actions. I'm not just talking about simple rationalization here... a 6yo kid can do that.

    We've done this to ourselves by caving into our fear, and promoting simple-minded drivel like this... sheesh.

  • by mikethegeek (257172) <blair@@@NOwcmifm...comSPAM> on Tuesday February 06, 2001 @12:04PM (#451832) Homepage
    You are wrong about the Kent State Massacre. The students that were shot were ones that were merely walking between classes. They were not participating in the protests.

    Their only crime was being in the way of the bullets of some government jack booted thugs.

    It seems that we as citizens have learned NOTHING from that event. Though the public reaction to the Kent State Massacre was outrage, the 1990's saw more American citizens than ever massacred by government stormtrooper "mistakes". I'm referring to Waco and Ruby Ridge. And there wasn't the outrage that was seen in 1970. For one thing, the news media in 1970 was NOT the establishment's puppet as it is today. Waco and Ruby Ridge were both reported incorrectly with a pro-government slant.


  • by Faulty Dreamer (259659) <dreamer&faultydreams,org> on Tuesday February 06, 2001 @12:13PM (#451833) Homepage
    Yep, god knows that listening to heavy metal, much like watching a horror movie, is proof of guilt.

    If I hear one more person say that I should be a good little boy and put my evil, vile, disgusting guitars away for good I'm gonna puke. I'm a 27 year old that plays and listens to heavy metal. While I probably wouldn't listen to music where the lyrics are what you are claiming, if the music was cool enough I might. Does that make me a terribly evil man? If you even heard this (which is doubtful), it was probably a song about the evils of pedophilia (just like people thought the song about how evil and terrible rape is done by Dark Angel was thought to be a diatribe about how good it feels to rape someone by the elite christian idiots).

    Grow up. People express themselves in different ways. The violent music is a way to work out your agressions without hurting anyone. If I were forced to stop playing violent music, who knows what evil things I would actually do. I feel pent up enough if I don't play for a couple of weeks to do something um, not very nice. If I was told I could never play again, I don't even want to think about where that would lead.

    Some people have a violent nature, or need to blow off some steam every now and then due to stress in their life. Some of us have found constructive ways of dealing with our violent tendencies, or the stress that causes serious mental problems for us otherwise. People that claim this is proof of just how fucked up we are are the fucked up ones in my mind. What kind of shit are you holding back? You've never watched a horror movie? You've never had an evil thought? You've never written a naughty poem? Come on, dude. Nobody would believe that of even the most tight-laced anal son-of-a-****. People are guilty of nothing just for creating or listening to music, writing or reading a story, or creating or watching a movie which depicts terrible acts. Unless you want to start arresting Stephen King and all the other good horror writers? Ah, just as well go ahead. It won't be long before that will be on the governmental "policing" efforts radar anyway.

  • by moz25 (262020) on Tuesday February 06, 2001 @12:00PM (#451834) Homepage
    Heh, these guys don't seem to be the smartest, no. They seem to be stupid kids or whatever to whom 'sex' is still a big deal, heh.. fun. No biggie.. move along now.

    I'm a tad bit jealous of Adam, though (read the part about the female member) ;-)

    Moz.
  • by Behrooz (302401) on Tuesday February 06, 2001 @11:49AM (#451835)
    Wow! Not only does their page look horrible, they also created a whole NEW web design sin just for their page:

    Giving their real names *and* listing that their interests include pot smoking, sex, and underage drinking.
    Man, that has to be the easiest "computer crime" search warrant those cops have ever gotten!

    BfD member page (with self-incriminating statements) [50megs.com]
  • by Skyshadow (508) on Tuesday February 06, 2001 @11:32AM (#451836) Homepage
    What should scare you is that they did get a warrent.

    This implies that at least one other supposedly intelligent adult (the judge) looked at this case and decided it had enough merit to send in the storm troopers. Of course, this really shouldn't surprise you too badly -- America has become so terrified of crime that civil rights fell along the wayside a decade ago; getting a warrent to deprive an individual of their civil rights is little more than a formality these days. And hey, why not? If you don't have anything to hide, you shouldn't mind the police searching your house, right? God Bless America.

    ----

  • by latneM (7876) on Tuesday February 06, 2001 @11:41AM (#451837)
    Ah yes, Campus Police investigating computer crimes. I was a student Admin at the University I was attending. A friend was in the middle of getting busted for hacking into ISPs for free access. I tried to convince him the risk wasn't worth $20 a month, but some lessons you have to learn yourself.

    Anyways, being an Admin I would leave myself logged into a Sparc and just use screen to resume the session. This friend would log onto the same Sparc and then telnet out to the ISPs using his hacked accounts. This was all the proof they needed, I was brought in for questioning.

    "I have a printout of a log that shows that every time 'slow learner' used this computer for illegal activity, you were also logged in. How do you explain that? Why won't you tell us how you were helping him?"

    "Uh, I can show you a log that shows that I have been logged in for about 5 months straight."

    This went on for a while.

    A large group of us (mostly locals) would hang out on IRC and even get together every so often for a party. I attended a majority of these parties, so did "slow learner". Unfortunately, so did my gf (now wife). So she was brought in for questioning.

    "So you would attend these 'Hacker Parties'? What went on there? Why are you getting yourself into computer crimes? Who was the leader of this 'Hacker Party'".

    "Uh, we just got together a lot."

    Again, this went on for quite a while. A large number of us were just good friends at school and used IRC to keep in touch while some of us were out co-op'ing and such. We'd throw a party after finals and such and just do stupid, but not yet illegal, stuff. Drinking, music, standard party stuff really.

    This guy kept threatening to drag me downtown (the *real* cops) if I kept refusing to cooperate. The worse part was my boss had to sit there and listen to this guy, pretty much powerless to make him stop pestering me. And threatening to take my computers.

  • by HardCase (14757) on Tuesday February 06, 2001 @10:09PM (#451838)
    OK, let me set the record straight:

    Without getting lost in the details, here is the deal on the dead kid in the midwest:

    On August 15, 1979, James Dallas Egbert disappeared from the campus of Michigan State University. A gazillion rumors churned up, most of them centered around the idea that he was a D&D player who got so involved with the game that he ended up in the steam tunnels under the university and died. In fact, that wasn't the case...he committed suicide in his apartment almost exactly a year later.

    The astute reader will notice that I didn't say that Dungeons and Dragons killed him. In fact, Egbert had a whole lot of other problems that were much more serious that a role playing game. But an awful lot of other people, including the major news services latched onto the evils of the game and that's all that it took for the players to find themselves on the outside of societal norms.

    -h-

  • by Covener (32114) on Tuesday February 06, 2001 @11:26AM (#451839)
    30 Years ago they'd have teargassed and shot!
  • by Tackhead (54550) on Tuesday February 06, 2001 @12:20PM (#451840)
    >I am guessing that either they were seriously harrasing people over the net, email bombs or some DOS attacks, or they were trying to crack someones system. We need to get the whole story before damning the cops on this one.

    Yup. If the kids are as innocent as most /.ers appear to believe (i.e. if the warrant was for the "threats" implicit in the shitlist, and the "threat" was that players on the list would be blown up in the game), a civil suit will likely show by a preponderance of evidence that whoever demanded the warrant was an idjit.

    If they were involved in cracking, or if there was evidence to suggest that the "shitlist" was a list of, say, players to be harassed in real life, or have their machines DOSsed, or what-not, then any civil case they launch will fail.

    I'm filing this case under "potential outrage", not "confirmed outrage" until I see more evidence.

  • by jeffsenter (95083) on Tuesday February 06, 2001 @12:02PM (#451841) Homepage
    I hope some of the moderators understand the reference of the comment. Any misuse of force at Kent State brings to mind the massacre of Vietnam protesters by the National Guard in 1970, in which four students were killed. Here's a CNN story [cnn.com] on it.
  • by FortKnox (169099) on Tuesday February 06, 2001 @11:48AM (#451842) Homepage Journal
    Two teenagers were just picked up by the kent state campus police department for being 'lamers', and 'campers' in Quake.
    They will be attempting for the death penalty for such disasterous crimes.

    --
  • by Skyshadow (508) on Tuesday February 06, 2001 @11:28AM (#451843) Homepage
    Yep. Got to give them something for trying, though: Kent State has gone from outright shooting students exercising their civil liberties to simply harrassing them.

    ----

  • by Joseph Vigneau (514) on Tuesday February 06, 2001 @11:26AM (#451844)
    Phew! My biggest fear about walking across the Kent State campus was walking around a dark corner and being accosted by metal-listening Starcraft players yelling "Die, terran scum!".

    I can now breathe easier, thanks to that crack force of Kent State campus police!

  • by Quikah (14419) on Tuesday February 06, 2001 @11:43AM (#451845)
    The cops supposedly raid the dorm room because of the website. Yet the website is still up. Then one of the students say they somehow contacted the wrong server when uploading the website? Uhh, OK.

    I am guessing that either they were seriously harrasing people over the net, email bombs or some DOS attacks, or they were trying to crack someones system. We need to get the whole story before damning the cops on this one.
  • by HardCase (14757) on Tuesday February 06, 2001 @11:34AM (#451846)
    When I went to college, it was Dungeons and Dragons. Remember? A few people went to extremes and somebody got killed at a midwestern college, then suddenly everybody who played the game was some kind of mentally deranged lunatic.

    What is the problem? I think that it's a combination of hysteria and lack of communication. Take a look at the clan's web site. Looks scary, doesn't it. But in the context of the game, it's just in character. But since we're (I mean the collective "we're") gripped in a panic over the possibility of another Columbine, sites like these get special scrutiny. Do these guys deserve their treatment? Of course not. And in the end, the police will give back their stuff, the administration will issue some sort of press release praising the police for protecting the rest of the student body, implicitly suggest that the members of the clan are some kind of social deviants and then give a great sigh of relief that a potential disaster was averted.

    Can we stop it? Probably not. Social inertia is a powerful force. This kind of thing has been going on for about as long as there have been universities.

    On the other hand, over time, what was perceived as revolutionary becomes commonplace...it's just that the revolutionaries eventually forget just what is revolutionary.

    =h=

  • by Hard_Code (49548) on Tuesday February 06, 2001 @11:38AM (#451847)
    This could easily be mis-interpreted as a hacker attack.

    Oh yeah, uploading via FTP to a mistyped ip address. REAL hacker attack there!

    They are living on University property, the campus cops can do what they like.

    No, cops cannot do what they like. We have people called judges who are supposed to use their wisdom to determine whether police can enter and search people's quarters. Unfortunately the police in their overreactionary stupidity probably blew this "threat" out of proportion to the judge who was probably all to willing to comply.

    If anything bad had really happened, if this country were going into totalitarian meltdown as the /. editors would have us believe, we wouldn't hear about it in the first place.

    But if we were, you'd be ignoring it right?

    Nobody knows what real problems are anymore.

    I consider steady erosion of rights by incompetents in power "real".
  • by British (51765) <british1500@gmail.com> on Tuesday February 06, 2001 @11:33AM (#451848) Homepage Journal
    Several years from now, campus police or real police will raid Counterstrike/Quake/Firearms matches. No, they won't raid the students' dorms, but will show up as actual players in the game(complete with police skins). Any of the clans attempt to shoot one of these Police players will be charged with assaulting an officer and be taken to cs_jail.

    They can then spraypaint their warrants somewhere on the map's walls.

    Okay I made that up since I'm dyin for a cigarette.
  • by mdb31 (132237) on Tuesday February 06, 2001 @11:27AM (#451849)
    Given the national hysteria over violence in schools, this is hardly surprising: the guy was using the Internet (gasp!) as well as using words like 'kill' (double gasp!) and thus must have been about to pop the entire population of his dorm anytime...

    Disturbing? Yes. Surprising? No: if suspending children over pointing at a teacher with a chicken wing (potential deadly weapon!) and going 'bang' is OK, this makes sense as well.

    This all is a result of this 'zero tolerance' thing that people seem to want (or at least don't protest against -- pretty much the same). When 'zero tolerance' towards drugs was new, students got suspended for keeping Tylenol in their lockers. But I guess it was worth it, since our schools are now 100% drug free and we're about to achieve the same for violence!

    (exits stage left, laughing hysterically)

Entropy requires no maintenance. -- Markoff Chaney

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