Posted: 5/29/2002 7:01:17 AM EST
Over the years i've gotten pretty heavily involved in gun boards and political discussion groups. As I usually take a pro-police stance on these things I tend to receive the occasional obscene responses at home. These range from simple profanity, porno, and dead officer photos, to (very long and boring) manifestos and detailed descriptions of what the militia will do to my "JBT" family when the "time" comes. Received one yesterday, apparently because of a posting on a cop bashing thread that is almost 4 months old. Brings the total over the past four years to about 30.
Now, I don't really take these jerks all that seriously, figuring that anyone that threatens from the internet is a gutless coward, and precautions in place for the sort of folks you run into at work are sufficient. However, it gets pretty wearying to get these things from supposed fellow gun owners, almost all from Hotmail type accounts.
To compound the problem, I correspond and meet with a great many gun collectors/shooters through the internet, and constantly changing my email or dropping it all together would really throw a wrench into my hobbies.
What would be the best way to deal with this? proxy accounts and multiple addresses? some sort of filter? Or should I just drop off the email all together except for those on a "prior approved" list? How would you guys approach this?
First if you get a death threat report it.
Get a Hotmail or Yahoo mail account for posting and only give out you primary e-mail address to people you want to have it.
You always take Death Threats serious. Print them out and go to the Police(keep copies for yourself). Be very aware of your surroundings, and make sure your house is secure and love ones know whats going on. Most likely these are threats from punk 14 year olds, but you never know. always be alert.
take my word for this, never blow these off.
Depends on where you live. If you live just to the north of Austin, in a certain conservative county, they will file Harassment charges and sometimes extradite out of state, even if it is just a Class B...I have also seen them use the state's old "hate crimes" enhancement and Felony 3 Retaliation for threats against Peace Officers. They take a real dim view of that kind of crap around here.
Also, after you have opened the offensive e-mail, don't do anything else with it, including opening it again. There are some pretty strict standards emerging on electronic evidence. If it really bothers you, report it just like any other concerned citizen. Let the High-Tech Crimes guys handle it from there. Just bear in mind that you will probably get scrutinized by your Department's own IA mechanism (which I seem to recall you are familar with) for your presence on these boards. There is also a lot of emerging case law on computers that says if you have ever done anything work-related on your computer, your employer has a right to make a warrantless seizure of your computer to examine it.
Myself, I don't give out my e-mail or make any direct connections to where I work. It just seems simpler that way, although I also haven't done anything here or anywhere else that would reflect unfavorably upon my agency, either.
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