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oaklander
02-10-2010, 11:04 AM
While I do not think that what this person did was worthy of arrest, the following story does point out the fact the people need to be careful what they say online.

http://www.registercitizen.com/articles/2010/02/10/news/doc4b7224d001320577949655.txt

Web threat against Torrington police officer leads to arrest

By RONALD DEROSA

TORRINGTON — Torrington police arrested a New York man on a breach of peace charge for allegedly writing a threatening comment against one of its officers on The Register Citizen’s Web site.

Police are charging Brian E. Couse, 26, 1634 Route 199, Stanfordville, N.Y., with second-degree breach of peace in connection with a comment Couse allegedly wrote against Det. Richard Dowd in this newspaper’s online comment section. The comment was posted on a story about Dowd receiving a reprimand for an off-duty, verbal confrontation with a citizen at a Torrington Dunkin’ Donuts.

The comment, which was removed from the site minutes after being posted, stated that “Det. Richard Dowd needs a bullet between his eyes.” The story was posted on Jan. 20 and The Register Citizen reported the comment to police immediately.

Chief Michael Maniago said the department obtained a search warrant to investigate this comment. It is the first time the department has ever gotten a signed warrant to look into a case of this kind involving an online threat, Maniago said.

After police tracked the IP address, the investigation concluded that Couse was behind the comment, the department said. Maniago declined to reveal further details on how Couse was determined as the commenter.

In any situation, the Torrington police take threats against everyone very seriously, the chief said. When threats are made against officers they are also taken seriously as well, he said.

“I will utilize any resource in this department or available to me in the state of Connecticut to investigate any threat against one of my officers,” Maniago said, “and where appropriate and where we can establish the probable cause make an arrest.”

“My officers should enjoy the same safety and security in their personal lives that all other citizens have a right to enjoy,” the chief said. Comments like these can have a “chilling effect” on an officer’s peace of mind, and his family’s safety.

Despite the seeming anonymity of the online world, people who make comments that violate the law are committing crimes, Maniago said. It is not about infringing on a person’s free speech, rather keeping them accountable if they say something that could be criminal, he said.

“People are going to be held accountable for their words if they violate a law,” Maniago said.

“We took this very seriously and called police as soon as we saw this comment,” said Register Citizen Publisher Matt DeRienzo. “We urge readers to respect the rules of our story comment system - no hate, no abusive language, no threatening language - and to realize that you cannot commit a crime such as threatening a police officer and hide behind the anonymity of an IP address. That anonymity doesn’t truly exist when a crime has been committed.”

Couse turned himself in voluntarily to Torrington police on Tuesday and was processed without incident. He was released on a $2,500 non-surety bond and is scheduled to appear in Bantam Superior Court on Feb. 22.

Maniago said the department does not monitor this newspaper’s comments on a regular basis. But when items are brought to the department’s attention, it looks into whether there is any merit to allegations made, he said.

“We do not consume ourselves with the blogs,” Maniago said.

The chief thanked The Register Citizen for bringing this threat to the Torrington police’s attention, and for cooperating with the investigation.

Ronald DeRosa can be reached by e-mail at rderosa@registercitizen.com.

Grakken
02-10-2010, 11:15 AM
:lurk5:

ORLY?

MrPlutonium
02-10-2010, 11:15 AM
We can internet disturb the peace now? I thought it was just a series of tubes. Are they just misaligned now or maybe swaying around a bit in the internet realm? Can disturbing the peace charges really be used for everything/anything?

oaklander
02-10-2010, 11:17 AM
I think the arrest is taking it too far, and actually violated the First Amendment. Will be interesting to see what comes of this. . .

Also thought this story was ironic, given the Tuason thing. . .

I would be interested in reading discussion that politely compares and contrasts the two events. . .

CCWFacts
02-10-2010, 11:18 AM
ORLY?

http://www.o--rly.com/owl_orly.png

Unless the person making the threat is a police officer threatening to execute someone under his control using an assault weapon. When that happens, it:

http://www.culture-buzz.fr/IMG/jpg/why-so-serious-2.jpg

gtturborex
02-10-2010, 11:19 AM
It sounds like just the opposite of whats happening with EPA... Officers threats against public= no arrest.

kertong
02-10-2010, 11:21 AM
Wow - makes me rethink the whole det. tuason thing. If we are held liable to these standards, they should be too (especially considering they actually HAVE the power to shoot, and mask with a "furtive movement" catch all). Nothing angers me more than a person in power with the "do as I say, not as I do" attitude.

Untamed1972
02-10-2010, 11:28 AM
Based on the quoted statement in the article......that doesn't sound like a threat to me.

However agreed.....the double standards need to stop. No more LEOs vs. civilians......only citizens. And it always seems like one of the aforementioned groups that should be held to the higher standard is consistently not.

radioburning
02-10-2010, 11:29 AM
So, if a detective says it towards UOC'ers, it's "I'm worried about people carrying guns" from the mayor. But, if it's said towards the police, it's "You're going to jail"? I don't condone what this guy did, how is it different if it's coming from a cop?

dfletcher
02-10-2010, 11:29 AM
So, some fellow who may or may not have the means and opportunity to carry through on his verbal threat is hooked up, while a sworn LE - who does have the means and opportunity (under color of authority to boot) is given ..?

loather
02-10-2010, 11:42 AM
While that comment was genuinely in poor taste (read: stupid) it in no way represents a threat to the officer. It's simply a more harsh way of saying, "I wish Officer X were dead." On the other hand, saying, "I'm going to kill Officer X," can (and should) be interpreted as a threat.

This is big brother overstepping his bounds. Clearly an intrusion into the freedom of speech.

This, however, brings up important parallels to the East Palo Alto officer. While the two comments are similar, it stands to reason that we *must* hold our police officers to higher standards than those not wearing the uniform. The eye of scrutiny must focus on those in positions of authority first in order to help prevent corruption. Yes, it is a double-standard. While equality under the law is paramount, this highlights an interesting conundrum.

However, my opinion remains that while this guy is an idiot for posting such things on public fora, he should not have been arrested. The fact that so much went on behind the scenes to make this arrest -- the electronic search warrants in particular (this means a judge thought the comments were threat-worthy!) -- means that this disregard for our rights is wide-spread.

Hate speech, while distasteful, has long been a protected class of speech under the First Amendment. I don't see how this is any different from, say, KKK comments to an article about black people replacing, "Det. Richard Dowd," with, "That Ni**er," in the comment above (I apologize in advance if my comments offend anyone; the racial slur is used only to strengthen my point).

Hearing things like this make me sigh in disappointment. Where is our country headed?

Nose Nuggets
02-10-2010, 11:53 AM
interesting that an IP would be enough information to make an arrest. as long as he kept his trap shut it should never be enough to convict. not only can you not prove it was me at my computer on said IP address, its extremely easy to spoof an IP address all together. if one was so inclined, they could manufacture posts that appears to come from anywhere they wanted.

putput
02-10-2010, 12:03 PM
Probably tracked it by IP and then found other evidence on the hard drive such as auto login in as user to that site... Of coarse the FBI has stuff that will make you burn your computer and buy a new one...daily...

Noel
02-10-2010, 12:20 PM
Get a rope! :cowboy: Will hang them both and let god sort it out.

BroncoBob
02-10-2010, 12:25 PM
Two sets of standards, life is wonderful

BigDogatPlay
02-10-2010, 12:28 PM
It could be argued that the dude in New York was advocating the murder of a peace officer with that post, and I am sure that's exactly how they are approaching it. I know of no 1A protection for advocating the murder of anyone. If that falls into a "breach of peace" in NY law, then so be it.

It's also possible that there may be some history that we aren't aware of from the article with that dude and the department.

The comments by the EPA detective on FB were no less chilling, although they were certainly a lot more veiled and hence are probably not necessarily being looked upon as criminal by his superiors. He is also, as I heard a million times in the academy way back when, one of "God's chosen few" so he gets judged based on a different standard.

Doesn't make the EPA detective's comments any less wrong whether he was joking, as he claims, or not. If I was his boss I'd seriously be considering giving him some "vacation" for conduct unbecoming at the very least.

GunNutz
02-10-2010, 12:28 PM
Arguably, that wasn't even a threat. He's quoted as saying “Det. Richard Dowd needs a bullet between his eyes.”

Had he said " I am going to put a bullet between his eyes.” it would have been a threat.

If he'd said that "Det. Richard Dowd needs an enema" would it still have been a threat?

Roadrunner
02-10-2010, 12:32 PM
Not exactly an appropriate compare and contrast because this incident and Tuason occurred in two different jurisdictions and on opposite sides of the country. However, it would certainly be interesting to see what the EPA police would think if a citizen suggested that Tuason should have a bullet in his head for his comments.

BigDogatPlay
02-10-2010, 12:33 PM
Arguably,

And that's the point, isn't it? It's arguable because of the language but I don't think there is much doubt as to what the guy was probably thinking.

It's also New York, not California, law. Could be an entirely different set of standards.

GuyW
02-10-2010, 12:40 PM
interesting that an IP would be enough information to make an arrest. as long as he kept his trap shut it should never be enough to convict. not only can you not prove it was me at my computer on said IP address, its extremely easy to spoof an IP address all together. if one was so inclined, they could manufacture posts that appears to come from anywhere they wanted.

....(not my skill set, but if it can be safely done)...there's a worthy project....
.

PEBKAC
02-10-2010, 12:44 PM
...okay man who posted that was an idiot, but seriously, he did have a right to say that, and furthermore how is this anymore of a breach of the peace than most of what goes on in the bowels of the interwebs. :confused:

Given todays ruling by the 11th circuit court of appeals, it looks like the 1st ammendment is taking a bit of a beating this week...

GunNutz
02-10-2010, 12:46 PM
And that's the point, isn't it? It's arguable because of the language but I don't think there is much doubt as to what the guy was probably thinking.

It's also New York, not California, law. Could be an entirely different set of standards.

I think there is a lot of doubt about what he was thinking. I think we can all agree that he did not like the detective in question, but the statement does not indicate that he had any intent to actually shoot him, or to have him shot, and he did not post as an authority figure (ie religious leader) in such a manner as it should be reasonably considered a command to subordinates.

Meplat
02-10-2010, 12:48 PM
Not much to say. "Some animals are more equal than others." (George Orwell in Animal Farm)

In my personal experience government animals are the most equal of all.:rolleyes:



I think the arrest is taking it too far, and actually violated the First Amendment. Will be interesting to see what comes of this. . .

Also thought this story was ironic, given the Tuason thing. . .

I would be interested in reading discussion that politely compares and contrasts the two events. . .

Patrick Aherne
02-10-2010, 12:52 PM
I think the arrest is taking it too far, and actually violated the First Amendment. Will be interesting to see what comes of this. . .

Also thought this story was ironic, given the Tuason thing. . .

I would be interested in reading discussion that politely compares and contrasts the two events. . .

This would never fly in California. I can't imagine a judge would sign a search warrant and I don't see how 69 PC or 422 PC apply. So, no, I don't think it's ironic, nor even applicable, given current California law.

I am not familiar with Connecticut State law.

I predict that the individual arrested will have a cause for action in Federal Court.

Meplat
02-10-2010, 12:53 PM
is given ..?

A pass.

Meplat
02-10-2010, 1:06 PM
If he'd said that "Det. Richard Dowd needs an enema" would it still have been a threat?

In SF it would be a pick-up line.:rofl2::rofl2::rofl2:

dantodd
02-10-2010, 1:11 PM
a threat against a specific individual is fundamentally different than a generic threat. I am not saying the what Tuason did is acceptable just different than this case.

Meety Peety
02-10-2010, 1:27 PM
The important statement in the article is this

"Maniago declined to reveal further details on how Couse was determined as the commenter."

Assuming the guy actually uses a static IP (Forum user, I doubt it) they still have very little way of proving that he was the one using the computer at the time the statement was made. These charges will be dropped or significantly reduced as soon as this comes up in court. The only way I could see them coming close to proving this is if he uses a static IP, lives in solitude, had a witness to the event and/or admitted to doing it. Even a decently knowledgable Administrator (Or hacker) of the forum could remotely implant whatever he/she wants under any name/IP on their forum and simply delete the log of it in the ACP. Forum = a million and one loopholes. All that matters is that when all is said and done, they cannot prove beyond a reasonable doubt that he was the sole person behind the statement.. far too many "X factors".

Aside from that, theres still the fact that no threat was made.. just an observation and opinion, neither of which is illegal, yet.

Nose Nuggets
02-10-2010, 3:45 PM
The important statement in the article is this

"Maniago declined to reveal further details on how Couse was determined as the commenter."

Assuming the guy actually uses a static IP (Forum user, I doubt it) they still have very little way of proving that he was the one using the computer at the time the statement was made. These charges will be dropped or significantly reduced as soon as this comes up in court. The only way I could see them coming close to proving this is if he uses a static IP, lives in solitude, had a witness to the event and/or admitted to doing it. Even a decently knowledgable Administrator (Or hacker) of the forum could remotely implant whatever he/she wants under any name/IP on their forum and simply delete the log of it in the ACP. Forum = a million and one loopholes. All that matters is that when all is said and done, they cannot prove beyond a reasonable doubt that he was the sole person behind the statement.. far too many "X factors".

Aside from that, theres still the fact that no threat was made.. just an observation and opinion, neither of which is illegal, yet.

The only argument he would need to make is this one

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IP_address_spoofing

or rather, the only argument he would need to make is that the prosecution could not prove it wasn't spoofed. unless of course he was an idiot and talked to the cops. then all bets are off.

Meety Peety
02-10-2010, 4:30 PM
You don't even have to spoof an IP.. most ISPs do it for you. There are two types of connections, static and dynamic. Static means you use the same IP address per every connection, this is becoming a thing of the past. Dynamic (Most connections) use a pool of generated (Temporary) IP addresses and assign the user a random one at each sign in. This helps cut down on data transfer, latency and delays in getting internet access. Also makes it impossible to track who used what IP and when. On a forum such as this one, more than 80% of the members will have a dynamic IP string, and when you search their connection history, they will actually have shared hundreds of IP addresses with possibly thousands of other forum members. This is why said its unlikely that any given user would actually have a static IP to begin with. It is, however, actually very possible to track if a person who uses a static IP has used a proxy, and in many cases the proxy server will have a log of IP addresses coming and going from their server DB. Most major ones might run a DB dump every 2-3 weeks at best.. it would all be a matter of sifting through hundreds of thousands of possible links between one and another IP that would then prove one thing: "Someone used this computer to do that." - Once again still not proving who was behind the computer screen.

B Strong
02-10-2010, 4:42 PM
Boy, I wish I could contribute to this thread anonymously, but not for the reason somebody might assume.

Let's just say that there are indeed two sets of rules: one for for LEO's and officers of the court, and one for us chickens.

My experience on the receiving end was a real life education on a couple of levels.

Nose Nuggets
02-10-2010, 5:02 PM
You don't even have to spoof an IP.. most ISPs do it for you. There are two types of connections, static and dynamic. Static means you use the same IP address per every connection, this is becoming a thing of the past. Dynamic (Most connections) use a pool of generated (Temporary) IP addresses and assign the user a random one at each sign in. This helps cut down on data transfer, latency and delays in getting internet access. Also makes it impossible to track who used what IP and when. On a forum such as this one, more than 80% of the members will have a dynamic IP string, and when you search their connection history, they will actually have shared hundreds of IP addresses with possibly thousands of other forum members. This is why said its unlikely that any given user would actually have a static IP to begin with. It is, however, actually very possible to track if a person who uses a static IP has used a proxy, and in many cases the proxy server will have a log of IP addresses coming and going from their server DB. Most major ones might run a DB dump every 2-3 weeks at best.. it would all be a matter of sifting through hundreds of thousands of possible links between one and another IP that would then prove one thing: "Someone used this computer to do that." - Once again still not proving who was behind the computer screen.

uuhhh, couple of points.

The dynamic ip pool is not generated, its an established range. typically, each isp customer is in a group and that group of customers cycle through a small pool of octets. octets are the numbers between the decimal places in the ip adress. so in 192.168.0.1, 192 is octet one and so on. the entire ip is almost never completely dynamic because no one isp typically own a wide range of #1 and #2 octets. so, typically a single home isp customer would (as an example) always have a 74.125.19.X or 74.125.X.Y.

This usage of a dynamic IP is in no way related to spoofing. the ISP does not spoof anything.

furthermore, this trust in the anonymity of a dynamic IP is misplaced. a record of who has what dynamic IP is always recorded by the ISP and can be quickly and easily gathered from the customers modem.

i think there are also companies that supply anonymous proxy or VPN hosting that will not give out your information. im sure this changes depending on where you are.

GrizzlyGuy
02-10-2010, 5:44 PM
<geekinfo>

Tor (http://www.torproject.org/) is a good choice for someone who really needs to mask their IP address. But as they point out here (http://www.torproject.org/overview.html.en#stayinganonymous), it is not a perfect solution. And, a web browser can leave a signature (although not entirely unique) even if cookies are disabled. Related to that, here is a quick test (http://panopticlick.eff.org/) that will show you how unique your current configuration is.

</geekinfo>

Telperion
02-10-2010, 6:12 PM
You don't even have to spoof an IP.. most ISPs do it for you. There are two types of connections, static and dynamic. Static means you use the same IP address per every connection, this is becoming a thing of the past. Dynamic (Most connections) use a pool of generated (Temporary) IP addresses and assign the user a random one at each sign in. This helps cut down on data transfer, latency and delays in getting internet access. Also makes it impossible to track who used what IP and when.

...



Every ISP keeps DHCP logs. Dynamic IPs mean jack for privacy. I bet some ISPs will sing to the police without even a subpoena. If you really need anonymity, use tor, and learn what it can and can't do for you.

dantodd
02-10-2010, 6:16 PM
<geekinfo>

Tor (http://www.torproject.org/) is a good choice for someone who really needs to mask their IP address. But as they point out here (http://www.torproject.org/overview.html.en#stayinganonymous), it is not a perfect solution. And, a web browser can leave a signature (although not entirely unique) even if cookies are disabled. Related to that, here is a quick test (http://panopticlick.eff.org/) that will show you how unique your current configuration is.

</geekinfo>

it is sooooo slow as to be essentially useless, except for extreme, one-off circumstances.

PEBKAC
02-10-2010, 7:07 PM
<geekinfo>

Tor (http://www.torproject.org/) is a good choice for someone who really needs to mask their IP address. But as they point out here (http://www.torproject.org/overview.html.en#stayinganonymous), it is not a perfect solution. And, a web browser can leave a signature (although not entirely unique) even if cookies are disabled. Related to that, here is a quick test (http://panopticlick.eff.org/) that will show you how unique your current configuration is.

</geekinfo>
Sockschain and a good diverse list of public proxies can do something similar if somewhat more controllable on your side. Make a big enough chain and eventually one of the proxies won't be logging right or long enough to be able to trace you back.

Do it right and it can be faster than tor. ;)

Nose Nuggets
02-10-2010, 7:48 PM
This might work better for the day to day.

http://vyprvpn.goldenfrog.com/

sreiter
02-10-2010, 8:19 PM
you can find anonymous proxies on the web, then run a ip checker to see if you're being seen. you can find them residing in other countries...not so easy to get records from russia, etc. as said before, if you can chain proxies even better.

tor is slow because there isnt even tor agents....for it to work successfully even one needs to let tor traffic run through your box...way to high of a risk imo - if you run tor, you should run foxyproxy too

run evidence eliminator on your own box. run as user without admin rights so nothing gets written to your box as like carnivore...surf the net inside sandboxie.....

btw - your dynamic ip isnt. everytime you boot up, run a ipconfig and check your ip. write it down...i had the same ip for 6 months

Meety Peety
02-10-2010, 9:04 PM
OOO well I stand corrected :ban:

loather
02-11-2010, 10:18 AM
Every ISP keeps DHCP logs. Dynamic IPs mean jack for privacy. I bet some ISPs will sing to the police without even a subpoena. If you really need anonymity, use tor, and learn what it can and can't do for you.

If you really need anonymity, stay off the Internet.

wash
02-11-2010, 11:51 AM
Who cares about leaving tracks, just make sure they don't lead anywhere.

Buy a computer with cash, not credit, never use personal information and always borrow an unsecured wi-fi Internet connection.

The tracks will all lead to dead ends.

That's what I would do if I knew I was going to ruffle some feathers. Just like crooks use pre-paid cell phones to avoid wiretaps.