back to article 'Blow it up': Plods pop round for chat with Commonwealth Games tweeter

Blundering Scottish cops have interrogated a prolific tweeter hours after he tweeted a few innocent comments about the Commonwealth Games. Neil Cooper, who tweets under the handle @DasBomber, wrote a number of tweets during the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games week that appeared to attract the attentions of the …

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FAIL

Perhaps-

some of them are practicing to jump ship to the Met if Scotland goes it alone?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Perhaps-

"jump ship to the Met "

You're not wrong there, starting with the bloke at the top, who missed out on the top Met job last time round.. My MSP has been raising questions about the fact that a lot of Scottish cops are now routinely armed, even in the Highlands where crime of any kind, let alone violent crime, is the lowest in the UK. Apparently armed cops have been turning up to deal with minor events, a de facto change in the consensual policing that in theory exists. Their response to MSP's questions? "None of your business, mate, we make those decisions." Yup, he seems to want to prove he can up the ante for the Met too.

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Well, Police Scotland is an entirely Scottish thing, and now that they, unlike the English plod, are armed and ready we can have some stories abotu SWAT teams breaking down tweeter's doors.

Alex Salmond will look smug and portly and claim "this is making SCOTLAND better!"

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Anonymous Coward

SSSR

A new definition of SSSR

Salmond's

Socialist

Scottish

Republic

and not the more normal "Site of Special Scientific Interest."

Can't have the local plebs saying anything derogatory about the elves who inhabit Holyrood now can we eh?

Still when Scotland vote Yes in September, the first thing that President Salmond will do is move the Parliament and everything to Govan. Then Rab C Nesbitt will become Speaker of the house.

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The Green Brigade

"The Green Brigade" is not a derogatory nickname for Celtic. It is the name used by a particular section of Celtic supporters. Ones who frequently make political statements regarding affairs with the Republic of Ireland from the stands of Celtic Park.

No doubt they were delighted to see the queen and a chorus of God Save her on their hallowed ground.

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Re: The Green Brigade

RANGERS!!!

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Re: The Green Brigade

<snip>

"No doubt they were delighted to see the queen and a chorus of God Save her on their hallowed ground."

Nice one. Surprisingly though, the IRA is a non sectarian and non racist organisation with strict policies to enforce this. There have been all sorts of people in it and in it's early days the leading luminaries were protestant. Of late the head of the nutting squad (1.) was an Italian who doubled as an English mole / grass. He was superbly placed to kill whoever he was asked to kill and also to kill any who were on to him and he did so with gay abandon.

But it is a funny old game. Adams is now a respected politician, McGuinness is Paisley's bezzer and attends luncheons with the Queen.

Who would have thought it? I wonder if Obama ever regrets not sitting down and having a pint and some craic with Osama?

1. Freddie Scappaticci

1.1 AKA Steak Knife

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Re: The Green Brigade

"RANGERS!!!"

I am afraid they can't come out to play as they are skint and currently at the job center.

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This post has been deleted by its author

Anonymous Coward

Plods really are dumb

Who was leading officer? PC Richard Head? PC Ivor Braincell

Anoymous so that the plods don't come round and arrest me

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Re: Plods really are dumb

It was going to be Sergeant Michael Hunt, but he went AWOL. His superior is asking everyone if they have seen Mike Hunt.

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Black Helicopters

Re: Plods really are dumb

Not too dumb to subpoena el reg for your IP address though, so unless you posted through TOR you could well still be stuffed.....

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Re: Plods really are dumb

So there is no such thing as free WiFi in coffee shops, bars, fast food outlets and a myriad of other places, many of which can be used from outside the premises, where one can anonymously use the internet?

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Anonymous Coward

In sect

> The Scottish administration have been clamping down on online sectarianism

Oh, so no pro-independence internet campaigns then?

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Expect nothing less

... when you have policing by keyword detection.

The basic problem is that there is such a hair-trigger approach and such a complete over-reaction. No doubt this will tick the counter for "the police service foiled X computer related terror plots". And since there is no such thing as a trivial cyber-crime incident, that this will be filed in the reports along with other "mastermind" and "criminal genius" (compared to the skills of yer avrige detective) records.

Though I suppose that in the land of the plod, the one-fingered typist is king.

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Pint

Re: Expect nothing less

Over-reaction? As compares to "...they gave me a 1 hour warning of their arrival by phoning me to find where I was."

I think it's so sweet the way they called ahead. Lovely. Have some tea ready.

In many other countries that are not actually free, they'd have kicked the door in without warning, and shot everyone. Years of pre-trial detention, and then a 550-year sentence.

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Meh

Re: Expect nothing less (@ JeffyPooh)

"..they'd have kicked the door in without warning, and shot everyone..."

There are lots of shades of grey*. The situation you describe would be pitch black, what the cops did was ~50% grey, and what they should have done -i.e. read (and understand) the entire fucking tweet, and don't bother the author of said tweet- would have been pure white.

*: Sorry

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Expect nothing less (@ JeffyPooh)

It is unlikely they were monitoring his feed or even doing some thing like keyword monitoring (thats the job of the spooks) which means that a member of the public probably reported it. Once something like this (alleged bomb threat) is reported to them they do not have the luxury of being able to just ignore it no matter how credible they think it is. They have to investigate. You can tell that they did not think much of it by the fact they rang him beforehand.

Jasper Hamill seems to have an issue with the police doing their job.

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@ AC (was Re: Expect nothing less (@ JeffyPooh))

"Once something like this (alleged bomb threat) is reported to them they do not have the luxury of being able to just ignore it no matter how credible they think it is"

Sorry to disagree, but if there was an easy way of checking the facts -e.g. reading the tweet- before bothering an innocent citizen, they should have done that. On top of that, why the heck did they have to 'interview' him for several hours? Stupidity? functional illiteracy? Incompetence? Sadism?

The cops who did this should be reprimanded, at the very least.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: @ AC (was Expect nothing less (@ JeffyPooh))

> Sorry to disagree, but if there was an easy way of checking the facts -e.g. reading the tweet- before bothering an innocent citizen, they should have done that.

And since only confirmed followers can read the tweets how do you propose the police checked the facts?

> On top of that, why the heck did they have to 'interview' him for several hours?

The article describes him as a "prolific tweeter" so presumably there was a lot of tweets to put into context. The phrase "several hours" is also ambiguous and open to interpretation. It usually means more than 2 which mean 2 hours 1 minute would qualify but it is also possible that some artistic license has been taken in relaying the story.

> The cops who did this should be reprimanded, at the very least.

The cops who did this did their job.

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Re: @ AC (was Expect nothing less (@ JeffyPooh))

"And since only confirmed followers can read the tweets how do you propose the police checked the facts?"

Easy peasy. They create a tweeter account, or use one they already had, then 'follow' DasBomber, then read the tweets at leisure. Five minutes work at most.

"so presumably there was a lot of tweets to put into context"

No, just a few of them. A one minute read, if the plod had chosen to go that way.

"The phrase "several hours" is also ambiguous and open to interpretation"

Yeah, at least two hours, beginning at 1 AM, for fuck's sake!

"The cops who did this did their job"...

... poorly.

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Re: Expect nothing less (@ JeffyPooh)

"There are lots of shades of grey*. The situation you describe would be pitch black, what the cops did was ~50% grey, and what they should have done -i.e. read (and understand) the entire fucking tweet, and don't bother the author of said tweet- would have been pure white."

From my understanding the original poster was not grey but red, white and blue with a distinct aversion to green.

What the cops did was react to a keyword and sally forth to slay the mighty dragon and give a prod some hassle to boot. Perhaps the cops were of a green persuasion and thought they would have some craic with the quare fellah.

Waste of police time, nice touch phoning ahead. I am not sure if that was not a sinister ploy rather than stupidity.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: @ AC (was Expect nothing less (@ JeffyPooh))

> Easy peasy. They create a tweeter account, or use one they already had, then 'follow' DasBomber

DasBomber has to actually confirm them as followers so simply following him will not give them access to his tweets.

> No, just a few of them. A one minute read, if the plod had chosen to go that way.

Plod couldn't read them unless DasBomber confirmed them as a follower and I suspect a prolific tweeter tweeted more than just a few.

> Yeah, at least two hours, beginning at 1 AM, for fuck's sake!

They phoned him and he agreed to the time.

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Re: @ AC (was Expect nothing less (@ JeffyPooh))

"DasBomber has to actually confirm them as followers so simply following him will not give them access to his tweets."

Or, alternatively, ask the 'concerned citizen' for a copy of the tweets in question, or a re-tweet.

"and I suspect a prolific tweeter tweeted more than just a few."

Disingenuous. They only needed to read the ones relevant to the issue, not his entire posting history.

"They phoned him and he agreed to the time"

If you think he was given any chance to disagree to the time, you may also be interested in purchasing this little bridge, really cheap...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: @ AC (was Expect nothing less (@ JeffyPooh))

> Or, alternatively, ask the 'concerned citizen' for a copy of the tweets in question, or a re-tweet.

The concerned citizen would have only given the tweets (s)he was concerned with so there would be no context. The concerned citizen might not have been contactable. The concerned citizen might have reported it anonymously.

> Disingenuous. They only needed to read the ones relevant to the issue, not his entire posting history.

And over the period of time in question he may have tweeted a couple of hundred times plus they never had access to his tweets.

> If you think he was given any chance to disagree to the time, you may also be interested in purchasing this little bridge, really cheap...

It was a voluntary interview so he could have refused it, insisted it took place at a reasonable time or insisted that legal counsel was present.

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Re: @ AC (was Expect nothing less (@ JeffyPooh))

El Reg managed to read them somehow...?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: @ AC (was Expect nothing less (@ JeffyPooh))

> El Reg managed to read them somehow...?

El Reg also found out about it. I doubt the police gave out a press release about it so that means either one of DasBomber followers told El Reg and sent them the tweets or DasBomber told El Reg and gave them access to the tweets or both.

Oh look, Jasper Hamill, the author of the article, is a follower of DasBomber https://twitter.com/jasperhamill/following

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Anonymous Coward

Here is a hypothetical for you

Neil Cooper (DasBomber) has a closed twitter feed, This means he has to approve anybody following him and only those who follow him can see his tweets.

Somebody who follows DasBomber must have either re-tweeted one of the "bomb" tweets (can you find it?) or reported the tweet to the police.

Since his followers should know both his style of tweeting and the context of the tweet, there must have been some other motivation behind reporting the tweets out of context.

Jasper Hamill, the author of the register article, is one of Neil's followers and has been since late June.

Here's the hypothetical for you.

An El Reg reporter, who has previously written articles ridiculing the police, sees tweets from one of the people he is following that could be miss-interpreted if presented in the right way. He then anonymously reports the tweets, in the right way, and waits for the expected outcome. Once the desired outcome occurs (police pay tweeter a visit) he now has another story ridiculing the police that he can publish in El Reg and get paid for.

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(Written by Reg staff)

Re: Here is a hypothetical for you

It's not often I feel driven to say this with my work hat on...

You, sir, are talking complete horseshit. Kindly do not accuse Reg staffers of fabricating stories again.

In the interests of transparency, I spotted the tweets and tipped off Jasper myself. He then did all the legwork, contacted Neil Cooper and wrote the story. The "bomb" tweet is very clearly screencapped in the article itself. Cooper seems to have protected his account just after we published the story.

Enjoy permanent pre-moderation, by the way. You don't get away with making accusations like that about us in our own house.

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Plus ca change

Back in the early 1970s, a wholly-innocent and unsuspecting player in a play-by-mail game of the classic game of negotiation and backstabbing, Diplomacy, received unwanted, extended attention from the Manchester police on the back of a telegram from another player, reading "Attack on Liverpool agreed".

I remember being at a games con shortly afterwards, when the UK Diplomacy crowd were having great fun chatting and laughing about it. But the lesson has to be that it has always paid to be aware that you're communicating over open channels.

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Re: Plus ca change

I heard a great anecdote from someone years ago who was investigated by Interpol and more after his house was burgled while on holiday (on a chartered yacht) in Spain - they turned up to investigate and found lists of wholesale prices for vast quantities of drugs, a result of our hapless hero being unable to remember the prices in the "Drugs Kingpin" game he was playing online.

Queue mysterious spanish holidaymakers who were planning on chartering the same yacht and wondered if they could look around it before he left; odd comings and goings in the night when he got back to blighty, his car alarm going off and things being mysteriously rearranged in the boot overnight; some impossibly helpful and curious PCs to assist with his burglary case and finally what turned out to be a high-speed chase down the motorway, which he didn't realise was underway until after he'd taken his intended offramp and wondered why all the rozzers were in such chaos on the motorway below him. Less amusingly they'd also had a word with his boss, but fortunately that amounted to nothing.

When they finally pulled him in they danced around it for a few hours before informing him he was bang to rights and presenting their evidence. Apparently his response (bemusement then laughter) didn't go down so well.

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Mushroom

He must be a Rangers Fan!!!

Title says it all!!

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ah... the one thing missing in this world...

Context. The plods and the security agencies seem to seize on one word or one phrase without checking what the context is.

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Windows

Following noise on Twitter

MADNESS!

Anyone remember the old one about "fortune" being used in a Perl list context and I put the shotgun in an Adidas bag and padded it out with four pairs of tennis socks, not my style at all, but that was what I was aiming for: If

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Unhappy

Depressing

If anyone is in any doubt, this won't get better.

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