Anti-Swatting Congresswoman Victim of Swatting Incident

Rep. Katherine Clark: Photo: Member

Rep. Katherine Clark: Photo: Member

A congresswoman sponsoring a bill to increase penalties associated to the act of “swatting,” whereby an individual calls police to report a fake emergency at a location in the hopes that police, or SWAT, officers will swarm the victim house, has herself been the victim of an act of “swatting.”

Congresswoman Katherine Clark (D-MA) was at home with her family on January 31 when Melrose police officers surrounded her house with “long guns.”

The situation was quickly defused but not before unnerving Rep. Clark and her family.

She believes the incident was likely tied to the legislation she is sponsoring but she insists she will not back down. “I think they have underestimated my commitment to making sure that we do stop this practice,” Clark said

The legislation, which enjoys bipartisan support and is cosponsored by Congressman Patrick Meehan (R-PA), would amend the current law aimed at criminalizing the use of telecommunications devices to report false crimes.

While federal law prohibits using the telecommunications system to falsely report a bomb threat hoax or a terrorist attack, falsely reporting other emergency situations is not currently prohibited. The Interstate Swatting Hoax Act would close this loophole by prohibiting the use of the interstate telecommunications system to knowingly transmit false information with the intent to cause an emergency law enforcement response.
— Nov. 18, 2015 Press Release

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