AND HE BLOGGED ABOUT IT, REPEATEDLY, FOR DAYS OR MAYBE WEEKS ON END BEFORE YESTERDAY'S TRAGEDY AT A MONTREAL COLLEGE THAT HAS KILLED ONE WOMAN AND LEFT ABOUT 20 INJURED...
...ON A SITE FOR GOTHS AND DEATH METAL, WITH A BLOGGER ID OF "fatality666." HE PROFESSED TO HATE MOST PEOPLE AND THREATENED TO GO OUT IN A BLAZE OF BULLETS AS A MANGLED CORPSE.
THERE WERE SOME 50 PICTURES OF HIM ON HIS SITE, INCLUDING THE ONE AT THE TOP OF THIS POST, POINTING AN ALMOST CERTAINLY ILLEGAL FIREARM AT THE CAMERA!
MY QUESTION...HOW COULD INTELLIGENCE AGENCIES NOT HAVE SEEN THIS, BEEN MONITORING IT, AND PROCEEDED TO TRACK THE GUY DOWN AND LOCK HIM AWAY?
OUR LENIENT LEGAL SYSTEM, I'M GUESSING, OUR SO-CALLED CHARTER OF RIGHTS AND FREEDOMS THAT ALLOW ANYONE TO SAY ANYTHING THEY WANT...
AND THEN FUMBLES FOR AN EXPLANATION WHEN THEY ACTUALLY GO OUT AND DO EXACTLY WHAT THEY'VE BEEN SAYING THEY'RE GOING TO DO?
Our political correctness is killing us all.
My question to fellow bloggers, though...
Should this crazy have been found out long before he killed yesterday? As a blogger, do you think you're being monitored and regardless, do you think government authorities SHOULD be monitoring the Web for crazies like this?
One of the many stories is below (this is an updated Canadian Press story from Thursday afternoon that addresses the monitoring of blogs and the Web by authorities).
OTTAWA -- Canada’s police forces employ 61,000 but only 245 officers track criminals online, which has experts wondering how police can catch murderers online before they kill.
Kimveer Gill, 25, posted several disturbing messages in an online blog, including his desire to die in a “hail of bullets,” which has prompted a number of questions about how much police forces should invest in cybercrime units.
Gill is believed to have stormed into Montreal’s Dawson College on Wednesday, shooting indiscriminately at horrified students. When his rampage was over, one woman was dead and a dozen others were rushed to a nearby hospital, many in critical condition.
Ian Helms, president of the Canadian Association of Police Boards, said senior law enforcement officials are pushing for the creation of a national cybercrime strategy.
Helms said police need to have the ability to monitor a suspect’s Internet activity in a way similar to a telephone tap. Officials expect the Conservative government to reintroduce the so-called lawful access bill that would allow police to have more leeway to track people online.
Although a number of Internet service providers stirred controversy when they warned their customers that they may soon be subject to this surveillance, police stress the law would simply allow officers to catch up with online criminals.
“Let me put it this way - it’s about 80-0 for the bad guys right now,” Helms said. “We’re trying to find a different route to find the same criminals.”
University of Ottawa Prof. Michael Geist, an Internet law expert, said Canada already has laws that allow police to effectively prosecute online troublemakers. The problem, he said, is that there aren’t enough officers dedicated to working on the Web to catch them.
“The numbers are very small, so I don’t think there are adequate resources,” he said.
At the Internet crime conference in Toronto, police officials said most of the 245 online officers are dedicated to tracking pedophiles.
John Pungente, president of the Canadian Association of Media Education Organizations, said working to catch criminals online is further complicated by the many bogus claims people make on the Internet.
“The problem is you don’t know if someone’s just being a teenager,” he said.
Gill posted dozens of photos of himself on the VampireFreaks.com website brandishing guns and knives. On his blog, Gill stated that he was filled with hatred and obsessed with guns.
He also said people would soon come to know him as the Angel of Death.
Helms said there is something police and youth can do to help prevent tragedies like the Dawson College shootings.
“If the gentleman was on the Web, then he was obviously talking to people,” Helms said. “We need to educate people about the proper way to contact the authorities about this.”
In Britain, Helms said, police officials have set up an online network that young people can use to report crimes anonymously without having to tell their parents. The tactic has worked well in catching pedophiles, Helms said.
Meanwhile, a disturbing video game that recreates the horrific Columbine school shootings in Colorado should not be blamed for the Dawson College shootings in Montreal, experts say.
The game, “Super Columbine Massacre”, allows users to enter Columbine High School and recreate the massacre that left 13 dead in 1999.
Gill boasted in an Internet posting to have frequently played the violent game.
But experts say the reasons for Gill’s rampage are far more complicated than the influence of a single video game, an expert said.
“The world, as usual, is more complex than we’d like it to be,” said Ian Bogost, a professor at the Georgia Institute of Technology, in Atlanta, Ga.
Bogost, who designs video games and operates a video game blog, said the Columbine game is becoming a convenient scapegoat. The Montreal shooting, he said, is likely rooted in much deeper problems.
“Certainly, Gill was using media of all kinds to culture his antisocial fantasies,” he said. “Should we hold (this game) responsible?
“Clearly, these are overly simplistic explanations.”
Bogost points out that Gill also listed dozens of other video games among his favourites, some of which are far more detailed and graphic than the Columbine game.
“Super Columbine Massacre” features simplistic, cartoonish graphics where users can enter the school’s cafeteria and begin shooting students.
The game has circulated exclusively through the Internet based on underground channels. The creator has claimed that the game has been downloaded 40,000 times.
John Pungente of the Association for Media Literacy, based in Toronto, said each generation has fought battles over the issue of violence in the media. Parents once thought comic books too violent, he said, and there have been clashes over violent cartoons and movies.
“You can’t blame the media,” Pungente said. “People have been doing these violent things since before there was even media.”
Parents need to teach their children to distinguish between what they see on video screens how they should behave in real life, he said.
“Parents certainly have to be more aware of what their children are seeing.”
Pungente’s organization has lobbied to have media literacy included in all school curriculums across Canada.
Those who blame violent video games also need to explain why only a tiny minority of players behave violently when away from their computer screen, he said.