Toledo PD, FBI steal computers

Searches by police, FBI target bandits of bandwidth

Authorities investigating the theft of high-speed Internet cable service yesterday seized modems and other computer equipment from homes in Toledo and surrounding suburbs. [...] In all, they seized 23 computers, including three laptops; three hard drives, and 13 cable modems. No charges were filed and no arrests were made.

All this because these individuals had uncapped their cable modems to get higher bandwidth?

I’ve got a few problems with this. First, why the hell was the FBI called in for this? Is this a federal crime? I suppose it could be argued that the cable TV theft law could be applied to cable internet service as well, but isn’t a series of raids going a little overboard? Especially when thousands of dollars worth of computer equipment was taken, but no charges were filed.

The cable company, Buckeye CableSystem, claims a loss of $250,000 (which is obviously seriously inflated). This kind of bandwidth use doesn’t happen overnight. According to the article, they became aware of the problem back in February, but neglected to take steps to stop it. Cancelling the accounts responsible, for example, would have taken care of it nicely. The fact that they let this bandwidth use continue makes them responsible for part of that total amount. This should be treated as a violation of their acceptable use policies: cancel the accounts, maybe pursue civil action at the most extreme. Treating this as serious computer crime is just absurd.


raindrops says:

and people wonder why I sleep with weapons…

I suppose it will come out that they were promoting terrorism with the stolen bandwidth as well

(and Bart Beavers? heh, great name for a TV FBI agent)

raindrops says:

and wtf? thoughtcrime gets closer everyday…

Detective Beavers said the users under investigation are a mix of high school students and adults. Some of the users communicated with each other and shared their knowledge on how to hack the system to enhance their personal computer use, he said.

They communicated and shared knowledge? Put em under the jail, we can’t have that going on around here.