Mightier Than The Pen

Making The World A Bitter Place

Report: Lousy WiFi Connections A Leading Cause Of Murder

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angry wifiNewport News, VA (AP) – A national upswing in violent crime can be attributed to the occurrence of inadequate wireless internet service, according to a recent study.

Sociologists at Wireless Research And Technology Heuristics (WRATH) write in this month’s issue of the law enforcement journal CrimeTracker that a steady increase in murders and other violent crimes can be causally linked to outages in wireless service or improperly functioning wireless equipment. The article also noted that it took several attempts to submit the article to the journal online as a result of Verizon’s crappy FIOS connectivity in their area, resulting the the stabbing deaths of eight people.

“The frustration generated by inconsistent wireless service surpasses driving in its propensity to cause people to kill,” the article noted, demonstrating that, statistically, WiFi accounts for a far larger share of violent crime than even the notorious phenomenon of Road Rage. The WRATH study found that 1 of every 4 frequent users of wireless devices – with “frequent” defined as using the device’s internet connection at least three hours per day – has been driven to murderous rage by lost, slow, or inconsistent connections.

The study’s findings have the potential to change the way law enforcement, federal and local governments handle certain types of violent crime, according to FBI Agent Stark Ravenmadd, a member of the Bureau’s cybercrime division. “The emerging data indicate that treating each incident as an isolated case is going to demand of lot of resources, ” he noted. “The state or federal government will have to step in with a top-down solution, preferably one that involves a better guarantee of wireless service.”

“Just yesterday I was thanking my lucky stars that my gun wasn’t loaded,” he recalled, “when my laptop suddenly lost its connection while I was trying to set up a Skype call with four different field offices.” One of his fellow agents in Cleveland suffered minor injuries from a ricochet, however.

In fact, the article notes, a group of crimes previously classified under domestic violence might actually have at their root the lousy internet connection from which that couple or family suffers. A review of such cases from the last six years showed that about 33% of them had a slow internet connection as a trigger for the violence, raising troubling questions about the way in which police and prosecutors handle that class of crimes.

Additionally, courts have begun to take notice of the phenomenon, and judges have been seeing inconsistent WiFi service as a mitigating factor in sentencing. In July, Florida Judge Dee Essel overruled a jury that had imposed capital punishment on B.P. Ess, changing the sentence to life imprisonment. She explained that although Ess had bludgeoned a bystander to death, he had done so only after repeatedly refreshing his browser window to no avail.

The same month, a Texas jury also refused to impose the death penalty on Forro Fornott-Found, after his defense attorney successfully conveyed to the panel the emotional state his client was in when he hacked four people to pieces with a machete after repeatedly trying in vain to post a blog entry on WordPress.


Written by Thag

October 17, 2013 at 4:44 pm

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