The Family (Or most of them)

The Family (Or most of them)
The Family

September 14, 2006

THE BLOG WORLD'S DARK SIDE


THE WACKO ABOVE CAUSED THE DEATH AND MAYHEM BELOW

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.

17 comments:

  1. Apparently he lived in his parents' house, I find it hard to believe they didn't have a clue what was going on. Also, as bloggers, especially after 9/11 and the world having changed to what it is, I think we all have a responsibility to see that irresponsible blogging does not go unnoticed. It makes me mad to think that there were so many people reading his blog and yet chose to do nothing about it.

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  2. The past posting of lotus reads just demonstrates that you people don't understand how people think. If you would give up your freedoms and be spied on and policed by your next-door neighbors, then lets go back to Nazi Germany. You might as well get measured up for your orange jump suit now.

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  3. I spent yesterday glued to the radio. It was freaky listening to the slow dissemination of information against the backdrop of terror and confusion.

    My question is: how many other marginalised, disaffected bloggers spew the same crap on a daily basis. Are there the resources to check them all out?

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  4. Lotus:

    Reasonable people -- those not on the outer fringes like this guy was -- don't frequent such blogs.

    So I confess, as a result, to being completely ignorant that such people even exist.

    But we know law enforcement types DO monitor such blogs. And my point was, assuming they did, this guy should have or would have set off alarm bells.

    As far as living with his parents goes, Columbine and many other examples have shown that NOT to be a factor.

    The parents see what their kid is becoming or has become and they can't face that reality and live in fear themselves or just turn the other way...

    NWOWatcher:

    What does NWO stand for, and what are you watching for?

    How DO people think, that I believe the great majority of us don't understand?

    You want it just to be a free-for-all and let rampaging gunmen spew out their venom on the Web and then just go shoot people down in the street?

    I don't want Nazi Germany either. But I do want to know I'm safe and my kids are safe.

    And if there's some deranged psycho out there who's about to boil over and others know about it, then he needs to be stopped. At any cost.

    Andrea:

    The governments and law enforcement know about sexual predator sites, they know about terrorism sites...how can they not already know about these hate sites?

    Sure there's other loonies out there. The Jew haters, the Muslim haters, the Christian haters, the white supremacists, you name it.

    If they don't have the resources to track such groups that live by this kind of hate, they should.

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  5. that is incredibly sad... and it re-inforces my rules around damien's internet use!

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  6. Such a tragic waste of life and potential. It is hard to take what you read in the blogging world seriously, a lot of blogs are just self destructive people griping about how terrible there life is and a cry for attention. He would have loked the same.

    I feel sorry for him, what kind of life must he had led to want to cause so much pain and suffering?

    There is also a censor ship issue with monitoring of blogs and private thought. Weither the rights of te individual out way the rights of teh collective. As NWOWAtcher elluded to.

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  7. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  8. Angel:

    Yup, and good on you for protecting Damien. But what's your thoughts on blogdom being monitored?

    Aidan:

    I've edited the post to include a Canadian Press story that more directly answers the question I was posing about the monitoring of blogs. If you get a chance, have a look-see.

    I understand the concern about freedom of thought and expression, but where does that stop and safety start?

    This guy's blog had him pointing guns at the camera and saying he was going to die in a hail of bullets.

    Surely that must be worth some form of concern in some way and at some point? What could be more of a red flag?

    I'm sorry, and I respect your opinion and your right to hold it.

    But my feeling is the collective is being endangered and our security destroyed just because of this attitude that the rights of the individual (translated: wackos and criminals and rapists) come first.

    Fed by political correctness, it's gone much too far the other way. It needs to come back.

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  9. Imagine if that guy, instead of publishing his thoughts in a blog, had instead sent his thoughts to a newspaper letters section? I'd sure like to think that someone would have stepped in to investigate the jerk. If we put anything out there for others to read we leave ourselves wide open(I'm waiting on a letter from Michael Palin's solicitor-haha).

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  10. My bit on censorship was more a side note, with no strongly expressed opinion. MY main thoughts where of the loss, villian and victim and those left behind.

    It is hard to find a balance between personal liberty and the rights of the collective.

    My concern is more the carry on effects, and where do you draw the line, being monitoring because it is not a huge step towards controll. Yes we need some fom of monitoring but we need safe guards and not to act purely out of fear. If we act rash the consequences will be even more dire... Orwelian future.

    If I post something and you wish to argue, please do not pull punches, you seem like a intelligent well spoken individual. As long as the actack is not personal feel free to say any criticism of my ideas. i prefer it to post in the vain of pale fire.

    Reading a bit furtehr into it i think that this is possibly the most balanced news article i have read especially on violent media (a completely different can of worms). Our media jumped on video game and goth aspect. (personal issue)

    Thanks for the thought provoking comments.

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  11. Lee:

    Yeah, exactly the same thing. But I wonder if people like this don't see the Web as this gigantic, infinite place as big as the universe where they can say and do whatever they want?

    The amazing thing is that the media latched on to this guy's blog almost immediately.

    And the cops and others seemed to know about it too. And now we've got 20 people shot. What went wrong?

    Aidan:

    Thanks for your very thoughtful insight. I agree with the need for balance and not to overreact in panic and that the rights of the individual need to be protected.

    I'm not into argument, necessarily, as much as intelligent debate. And you have offered that here and I thank you for it and for our exchange of ideas and opinions.

    I've seen you posting on HE's blog for quite a while and have admired and respected the things you've said. HE talks very highly of you too. And I can see why.

    Thanks for visiting and contributing more than intelligently to the discussion.

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  12. We could start by charging some of the other bloggers as co-conspirators. They should be held accountable if they encouraged him.

    The law enforcement agencies do not have the manpower to monitor all of the crap that gets said in the blogosphere. 99% of it is just harmless bullsh*t anyway. People say outrageous things to get noticed and increase their blog cred.

    It is nearly impossible to predict if and when a suspect will snap and act out his fantasy. A sudden setback in their personal life could trigger it but how and who is going to decide that Orwellien decree????

    The grief counsellors at the College are asking students to monitor the vulnerable withdrawn loners..reach out to them and make them feel included in the campus life. Isolation is certainly one of the hallmark traits of these sociopaths.

    Unable to distinguish between reality and their fantasy world provides a disconnect that allows them to engage in the destruction of others who have become mere objects, conveniently dehumanised.

    I have no doubt that the American Security Agencies red flag every mention of Bush/Dubya and Osama Bin Laden etc ...by now there is probably a list of 200 key words and phrases that automatically trigger a blogtap. Even they do not have the resources to follow up on all of the dark corners of the blogosphere.

    Personally I am glad that the new procedure for Police no longer involves securing a perimeter and waiting for the SWAT Team. Now the orders are to neutralize the assailant at the first opportunity.

    Which brings me to my final thought which is that these events can certainly be labelled as Suicides;Death By Police. This monster, who got off far too easy and took a cowards path to oblivion, knew exactly how this would end...

    the ultimate selfish act of a disturbed egof*ckingmaniac.

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  13. WW I saw this on the news yday and I was thinking abt both of u...HE and u. Its so sad. But ppl should not own guns...its scary. Where there r guns there's bound to be bloodshed. o.w. why would someone need a gun?

    and yeah I know he was a blogger too...a goth and looked so freaky! some ppl r so insane that they choose to take someone else's life to fulfil their crazy wishes.

    HOW SAD!

    Keshi.

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  14. Homo Corpuscle:

    I agree on most every level and have now moved on, posting a goofy passport photo on a new post that will hopefully transition me into the weekend.

    Two things, though:

    We don't have the cop resources? Spend some f*****n' money and get some.

    And yeah, 99 per cent of these guys are just bored or plain losers, not lunatics.

    But you could say that about any criminal element: rapists, child molesters, thieves, mass murderers.

    If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck and waddles like a duck, it's a duck.

    It's the casual attitude about this kind of thing that invites it in and lets it build up.

    We always know after the fact that there were signs that people ignored, everything from 9-11 to the creep who was let out for the zillionth time and raped that 10-year-old boy recently.

    We let it happen, but we don't have to let it happen.

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  15. Hi Keshi...

    Amazing, isn't it, that this news reaches Australia but CNN isn't even reporting it in the U.S.

    When something like this happens in Canada, it's THE news. I guess we're just not used to it...

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  16. WW, I watched the news in horror as this whole thing unraveled.

    My heart goes out to your countrymen and women who died or were injured, for their stark terror at the hands of such a monster.

    It just makes no sense to me....none. It never will. They arrested a boy at my daughter's highschool last year because he had posted on his blog that he was going to go shoot random people at school the following day. I'm so thankful they got him before he did what he was planning. Other kids turned him in.

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  17. Thanks, Pam.

    I wonder how many people saw this guy's rantings for days, maybe weeks on end, and did nothing...

    If he had any friends, how many saw him becoming a darker person every day, yet did nothing.

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