This past Sunday night, US Representative Katherine Clark, who is sponsoring a bill that would make SWATting a federal crime, became the victim of a SWATting attack herself.
Someone using a recording of a computer-generated voice made an apparent hoax call to Clark’s local police force reporting an active shooter at her home. Thankfully, police officers responded to the call in person rather than sending a SWAT team, determined the call was a hoax, and left. No one was hurt. The police department is reportedly investigating the incident.
Clark believes she was the target of a SWATting attack, likely because she is the sponsor of the Interstate Swatting Hoax Act, which “would set up a regime of fines and punishments, including up to life in prison if death results from the swatting.”
SWATting – the practice of intentionally calling in a false report to police in order to send police or a SWAT team somewhere, usually to the home of a person maliciously targeted by the caller – has been getting more attention from lawmakers and law enforcement recently. Those caught doing it have been made an example of, such as the 22-year-old SWATter convicted last year.
If the idiot who called in the attack on Clark intended to scare her into backing down on her legislation, it’s backfired spectacularly. Clark has said that the experience will make her “double down” on her commitment to ending SWATting and other forms of online harassment.