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FBI investigate German teen over planned shooting spree

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A
13-year-old boy from southern Germany was investigated by the FBI and local
police after he threatened to go on a shooting spree at a California-based
video game developer. Police tracked him down using an IP address.

The
investigation by the US-based Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) was
launched against a 13-year-old boy following threats he made online
of carrying out a shooting spree at “League of Legends”
developer Riot Games, US company. 

Employees at
the Los Angeles-based company alerted the FBI after they discovered comments
made online. The FBI worked with the German police tracing the boy to the
south German town of Hassfurt, in Bayern, using only an IP-address.

“The
boy had very concretely announced plans for a killing spree” a police
spokesman from the southern town of Hassfurt said in a statement on Saturday.

Speaking on
how they managed to track down the child they stated, “it wasn’t really
very easy as we only had the IP-address.” However, after a short
investigation the authorities managed to trace the name and address. An IP
address is the unique address attached to each computer. 

A bad
joke

Following a
conversation with the boy and his parents, prosecutors decided to drop the
case after it was realized that the boy had made the comments as a joke.

Despite
this “his name has been saved in the FBI database which could, for
example, lead to a travel ban to the USA” stated the authorities.

Lacking
humour?

This is not
the first time that the FBI or other authorities have misinterpreted the
severity of comments made online.

It
highlights the notorious difficulty in gauging the tone of a
written comment, which is further confused by internet culture often having
a humour of its own.

In Germany
the introduction of a controversial upload filter in 2018 sparked
outrage. People feared that the filter would not be able to
differentiate between visual internet jokes, known as memes
and actual copyright infringement. Memes rely on the recycling of
images and are a key tenet of much online content. 

However, on
it’s website the FBI makes its serious approach to internet humour very clear
“hoax threats are not a joke, and they can have devastating
consequences.”

The post FBI investigate German teen over planned shooting spree appeared first on maltawinds.com.

Original article found on Malta Winds

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