‘Swatter’ Gets Five Years Jailtime

‘Swatter’ Gets Five Years Jailtime

Jason Allen Neff, who last year pleaded guilty to a variety of crimes related to his role in a group who thought “swatting/” was a fun time, has this month been sentenced for his crimes. He’ll be spending five years in a federal prison.

Neff was arrested back in 2011 (for crimes dating back a few years earlier), and has been in custody ever since. He was part of a group, along with six others, who spent years manipulating caller ID tech to call in swatting hoaxes. The other members were all arrested and sentenced between 2008-09.

CBSDFW reports that Neff – suspected of having been an online troublemaker since the 1990s – will also have to pay $US79,440 in restitution.


    • It might, but methinks until some one off douchebag gets 6 months jail and a $20k fine the trend will continue. There is currently tech being developed or implemented (forget which at the moment) to trace/acquire someones location the moment an emergency call gets placed to better respond to situations, if it goes through then it wont be too long before people calling in to swat others are found and dealt with.

  • While the US in general has a disturbingly high fondness for locking people up, there’s no doubt that this guy deserved it. At one end of a phone line it may seem like a prank, but given that they’re sending groups of very nervous, heavily armed men with effectively a licence to kill to the homes of complete innocents, he deserves whatever he gets.

    What I don’t understand is why they can’t run a simple check on whether a line is off-hook when one of these calls comes through. I can’t imagine it’s a hard thing to test, and would put an immediate red flag over quite a few hoax calls.

    • The mobile/landline ratio being what it is these days, that seems a bit outdated to be worth implementing.

      • No reason it wouldn’t also work for mobiles. The fail states are more complicated, but “this mobile is not reachable” is as informative as “this mobile is busy” when you’re trying to determine if a caller ID is active.

        – Mobile not reachable -> call is a hoax
        – Mobile is reachable and on a call -> call may be real
        – Mobile is reachable and not on a call -> call is a hoax
        – Landline is on-hook -> call is a hoax
        – Landline is off-hook -> call may be real

        This doesn’t have to be checked at the moment a call comes in. It could be checked in the background while the call runs.

        However, it probably won’t happen, because doing this sort of check for every emergency call would be relatively expensive, and it’s not the people implementing the system who get a rude awakening.

        Have there been any actual deaths from SWATting yet?

        • Ahh… You’re reaching.

          Life is more complicated than checking the status of a mobile phone.

          • I may be approaching it a bit too logically (and with a bit too much trust in our mobile networks). I have some background as a programmer, and one of the things you do when debugging a program is set up warnings and errors when two things seem to be inconsistent. Hacking sets up inconsistencies; looking for those inconsistencies can help to spot hacking attempts.

            It seems like a small cost to pay when the alternative may include people dying at the wrong end of an automatic rifle.

    • Maybe a bit high, but I guess you could justify it by saying it is attempted murder. It is similar to setting up a botched hitman job. Note: “similar” not equal.

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