Expert advice on cybersecurity, cybersafety and cybercrime. Using real incidents, I explain why cyber risks occur, what form they take, and how they affect cybercitizens as individuals, employees, citizens and parents. Opinions expressed in this blog represent my personal views
“I’m killing 200 people minimum at school. I will be on CNN” said Carlos
In a small US town, students mourned the untimely death of
two of their popular teenage schoolmates in a car crash. Condolences poured in
on an online memorial page for the two girls.
Within, twenty-four hours, a man named Carlos issued a dire
warning on the RIP page.
father has three guns. I'm planning on killing him first and putting him in a
I'm taking the motor and I'm going in fast. I'm gonna kill hopefully at least
200 before I kill myself. So you want to tell the deputy, I'm on my way.”
responded an indignant Miss Phillips, a school teacher.
To which Carlos replied “You have been chosen tomorrow at school to receive 1 of my
bullets. The doctors will have to unscrew the bullet from your skull !@$#.”
He added: “I'm killing
200 people minimum at school. I will be on CNN.”
The little town had never experienced dire threats before. Cell
phones rang noisily as worried parents called the school, police and other
parents fearing for the safety of their children. Local authorities rushed in reinforcements
and immediately locked down all the schools in the area. Half of the 6000
students stayed at home behind locked doors. Armed guards patrolled the corridors,
and checked the school bags of every pupil. There was muted conversation in the
hallway as children walked consciously to their classrooms. Nervous teachers
taught to sparsely populated classes. Everyone
was on the edge. Two months ago in another school not far away 20 children and
six adults were shot dead by another student.
Meanwhile, detectives contacted Facebook and tracked down
the writer of the post, 4000 miles away in England. Carlos was the fictitious
name of a 45 year old father of one, who trolled the net posting nasty remarks
on sites and RIP pages. He was hauled up by the British police, tried and
convicted for two years.
This true story is becoming more frequent each passing day.
The only difference is in the extent of nastiness and the impact on
RIP Trolls are a genuine nuisance on the Internet. Trolls
are individuals who under the mistaken belief that the net ensures anonymity
post offensive messages on social networks. Most derive sadistic pleasure from
their actions and are fully aware that their comments are extremely worrying
and distressing for the families or individuals involved and clearly cross the
line to criminal behavior.
Trolls are encouraged by responses to their comments either
from the victims or others.Trolls spread
nastiness wherever they see an opportunity. It is unwise to engage in counter
exchanges with trolls as it only results in a flurry of nasty posts. While the
victims emotionally suffer, the troll is entertained. Wisely, ignore or delete such
posts. If they cross the line of criminal behavior report them to the
authorities. New laws are committed to take action against those who cross the
line from their right to free speech to committing criminal offences.