Here's a good illustration of just how quickly information can be dispersed through the Internet
, and just how little privacy
actually exists online. On Friday, March 26th, a YouTube
user by the name of shiamuslimcantbestop
posted a video in which he made allusions to putting bullets in the heads of Eric Cantor
, congressman from Virginia's seventh district, and his family. By the following afternoon, the prolific YouTuber was in FBI
custody and answering questions.
Shiamuslimcantbestop, who was identified as Norman LeBoon, has taken to YouTube as his personal pulpit, having posted 515 messages of love
(though primarily hate and violence) over the past ten months. LeBoon claimed to be the messiah in some of the videos, offering condemnations of everything from Israel
itself, and even the movie 'Babe
.' The message Friday, which has since been removed, targeted Cantor for being "a liar... a lucifer... a pig... an abomination
The day after the video was posted, the FBI contacted Google
, and filed an "Emergency Disclosure Request" in order to obtain the IP address from whence the video had been uploaded. Law enforcement officials then took that address to Verizon
, and filed an "Emergency Situation Disclosure Request" in order to track down the physical location of the computer associated with that IP. That led authorities to Philadelphia, where they then went through an internal database and discovered an active warrant for Norman LeBoon due to charges of terrorist threats, assault and reckless endangerment. The photo from the arrest clearly matched the man seen in the YouTube videos, and, within hours of filing the initial request with Google, FBI agents were knocking at LeBoon's front door.
Thanks to the power of the Web, agents were able to identify, locate, and apprehend a potentially dangerous man within 24 hours of his illegal threat [Ed. Note: Threats and calls to harm are not constitutionally protected] against a serving member of the U.S. government. If convicted (and considering his admission
of guilt, we're sure he will be), LeBoon faces up to 15 years in jail and a fine of up to $500,000. Even after that, he'll like spend years under the strict supervision of psychologists. Just check out his prodigious collection
of YouTube rants to get an idea of why. [From: Ars Technica
Always Turn Off Stolen GPS Units
It was only a matter of time before some numbskull criminal stole a GPS-equipped car or phone, but we didn't expect someone to steal live GPS units. A group of crooks in Lindenhurst, NY swiped 14 functioning GPS devices from the Town of Babylon Public Works. Understandably, authorities had no trouble tracking them down.
Security Cam Catches Tattooed Thief
We're not going to pass judgement on the type of tattoo you get, but you might want to think about what it says before you start getting into crime. Aaron Evans, a 21-year-old U.K. repeat offender, was caught stealing a car's GPS unit because the nearby CCTV captured the tattoo on his neck. It revealed his birthday and name...
Laptop Auto-Uploads Photo of Thief to the Web
This guy may be the unluckiest thief ever. Several laptops disappeared from a Vancouver, BC company; fortunately, one particular laptop was loaded with software that snapped photos when opened. The images of this guy were uploaded to Flickr. As a result, the man became a mini-Internet sensation, and he turned himself in, claiming he bought the laptop from a friend, at a local police station.
Things Not to Do After Stealing a Cell Phone
Gary Walker, an Ohio resident, stole a woman's phone while she had temporarily stepped out of her car to check a street sign. He proceeded to snap a shot of himself with the hot phone's camera. Later, when the victim went online and downloaded her data to transfer it to a new phone, Gary's mug popped up. The rest, as they say, is history.
This 25-year-old Brit cultivator of cannabis decided to post videos -- under his real name -- of his cash crop on YouTube. English police saw the clips and he was soon tracked down and arrested.
Girl Recovers Stolen Mac By Remotely Activating Its Webcam
A White Plains, New York girl was the victim of burglary; over $5,000 worth of electronics, including iPods, a flatscreen TV, and a new Macintosh computer were stolen. A few days later, a friend noticed that the burglary victim appeared to be online, but called her to make sure. Because the stolen Mac was running Back to My Mac, the victim was able to log into the computer remotely and snap a picture of the thief. Turns out the thieves were "friends" who had visited the victim's apartment several weeks earlier.
Teen Arrested After Bragging About Arson on Security Cameras
A pregnant Los Angeles teen was arrested earlier after allegedly starting seven fires near her home. 19-year-old Amanda Gessner was caught after convenience store cameras caught her chanting, "The fire company is gonna be
mad at me!" She was certainly right about that!
Would-Be Voyeur Puts Spy Cam in Restroom, Leaves Video of Himself
An upstate New York man installed a camera in a unisex bathroom. The camera was discovered soon after installation, and police found he'd left a video of himself on the camera. Police are still looking for the man.
Forklift Tricks on YouTube
If you're going to show off your sweet forklift driving skills to your buddies, it's probably best to just do it in person. 20-year-old Australian Matthew Garry Ward uploaded a video of safety-violating forklift tricks to YouTube, and was reported to authorities after a coworker passed the video along to the boss.
Laser Pointer Shenanigans
Remember those time-sucking high school pep rallies where some loser would whip out a laser pointer and temporarily blind people in the bleachers? This 15-year-old genius from California, was arrested after shining his laser beam at a police helicopter.