Donald TrumpFeaturedMaineSecretary of StateShenna BellowsSWATting

Don’t Celebrate the Maine Secretary of State Being Swatted – HotAir

We learned on Friday that Maine Secretary of State Shenna Bellows had unilaterally decreed that Donald Trump could not have his name on the primary ballot in her state. The unelected official took the action without any legislative action or court challenge to support it. Less than a day later, her home was swatted, with state police showing up after false reports of a man breaking into Bellows’ home were received. Nothing was found to be amiss and the Secretary of State and her family were not home at the time, so the swatting attempt ended without incident. But that fortunate result doesn’t make this attack harmless or meaningless. (NY Post)

The home of Maine Secretary of State Shenna Bellows was “swatted” Friday evening, police confirmed Saturday.

Maine State Police responded after an unidentified man lied about having broken into the house.

Bellows and her family were away at the time of the hoax call.

The incident comes after Bellows disqualified former President Trump from the state’s 2024 Republican presidential primary ballot late Thursday, citing Section 3 of the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which bans from office those who “engaged in insurrection” over his alleged incitement of the Jan. 6 riot.

This isn’t any sort of case of “all’s well that ends well.” As horrendous as Bellows’ decision to remove Trump from the ballot was, she described the swatting attempt as “unacceptable” and she is correct. This has become an increasingly common trend and it needs to stop. The majority of recent swatting incidents have been against Republicans, including Marjorie Taylor Greene and Congressmen Brandon Wiliams and Kevin Miller. But that doesn’t legitimize a similar attack on a Democrat official.

Swatting is extremely dangerous and people have literally been killed or injured by the police accidentally during these attacks. Filing false reports to the police is a crime and calls intended to produce stressful SWAT Team responses are among the worst. Also, we’re living through a time where crime rates are surging and the police are already overwhelmed in many cities. They don’t need to be wasting their time chasing false reports when there are very real crimes taking place that they need to be responding to.

Simply claiming “but the liberals do it” doesn’t make this any more acceptable. The only correct response would be to track down the people making these calls and lock them up for a long time as an example to others. That’s happened in a few cases, but it’s unfortunately not as easy as it may sound. And as with so many other aspects of modern life, the problem has been caused by the internet and the way that telephone calls are routed in the modern era.

Oddly enough, “Swatting” is possible only because police have the ability to locate the source of a call (or what is listed as the source of the call being made). Swatting involves ‘spoofing’ the telephone number used to call the police and pretending the call is coming from the address the caller wants to be “Swatted”. This is possible only because instead of actual copper wires and relays at telephone central offices, the call is routed and rerouted through internet connections from computer to computer, essentially there is no physical connection to trace.

Sadly, there is software available today that can be readily found that will allow a caller to “impersonate” someone else’s phone if they just know the address of the target. The addresses of public officials are not difficult to find. Most of us have, by now, experienced this type of “spoofing.” Scammers frequently use this method to make it look as if an incoming call is coming from a number in your local exchange area, even if it’s actually coming from Nigeria, making many people more likely to answer even if they don’t recognize the number from their contact list. I was experiencing that myself for a while and I even attempted to call the number back a few times, only to reach a confused person who had made no attempt to call me or to find that the number wasn’t even in service.

This means that law enforcement needs to get a lot better at tracking social media accounts, particularly groups populated by liberal activists. Anyone who pulls off a swatting attempt like this one is very likely dumb enough to brag about it online to their friends. That’s probably the only way the police will be able to track them down, unfortunately.

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