Here’s a tactic I hadn’t heard about before but which doesn’t surprise me.

SWATting is a particularly dangerous hoax in which a caller, generally a computer hacker, calls a police department to report a shooting at the home of his enemy. The caller will place this call to the police department’s business line, using Skype or a similar service, and hiding behind Internet proxies to make the call impossible to trace. Anxious police, believing they are responding to the home of an armed and dangerous man, show up at the front door pointing guns and screaming orders.

That is exactly what happened to me. It is a very dangerous hoax that could get the target killed.

Such systems should not be in place. No house should ever be raided by the police on the basis of a crank telephone call.


UPDATE: Patterico reports that blogger Eric Erickson has also been SWATTED. (More here.) Other bloggers like Glenn Reynolds and William A. Jacobson have already contacted their local law enforcement authorities ahead of time  to let them know that they may be targeted.

What kind of country do we live in that gives such scum the power to send in a SWAT team with a phony phone call?

That such awful people exist and will abuse process is to be expected.

But it has to be remembered that the bloggers who have been raided are not merely victims of the thugs who support this psychopath, but of the system which allows them to sic SWAT teams on innocent people.

MORE: I should add that this is a very serious situation, and it is not limited to the instant case. “SWATTING” is an evil idea that will probably spread.  The only way to nip it in the bud is either to rewrite police SWAT team deployment procedures to make it impossible, or else abolish SWAT teams altogether.