Canadian Man Accused Of Mass Twitch Spamming Faces Criminal Charges

A Canadian man is facing federal charges after allegedly flooding over 1000 Twitch channels with 150,000 spam messages early last year. The messages, which included racial and antisemitic slurs, spurred the British Columbian supreme court to issue a criminal charge for "mischief in relation to computer data" in early December, CBC reports. He could face up to 10 years in prison.

A screenshot from Twitch streamer Mstym's channel, which CBC reports was affected by the ChatSurge software

In February and March 2017, 20-year-old Brandan Apple allegedly used the Twitch spam service ChatSurge to send offensive messages to Twitch streamers. ChatSurge purports to "flood, destroy or simply demolish any Twitch.tv chatroom," a tutorial video explains.

After the attack, Twitch filed a court order to determine Apple's identity. The order details some of the egregious messages sent by the chatbot, including "Death to all jews Death to all jews," "Allah hates Gays KappaPride," and "We wanna see gameplay not those big jugs." Some messages linked to sexual content including children. Twitch's court filing alleges that, at points, Apple was sending up to 700 messages a minute.

Twitch found Apple after petitioning the British Columbian supreme court to put pressure on sites such as CloudFlare and Whois Privacy, which Apple is said to have used on his spamming sprees. Employees at Twitch had previously spent nearly 200 hours tracking him down, Twitch's court filing says.

CBC reports that Apple has not filed a defence or a plea. In addition to the criminal charge, the Canadian supreme court last year issued an order that prevents Apple from making or sharing bots, crawlers, robots or other harmful software intended to muck up Twitch channels.

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Comments

    I sincerely hope he goes to prison. Internet trolls are a special kind of scum. It would make others think twice.

      Internet trolls are mostly harmless.

      I wouldn't call racial abuse and slurs trolling (unless you work for Today Tonight). Just flat out abuse.

      Agreed. I’m glad we are finally seeing some traction in regards to actual consequences for behaving like a prick online.

    If he is convicted for this, it'll change a lot in the way legal entities view this kind of thing.
    It's essentially online vandalism. Like some idiot spray painting racist signs on people's fences.

      except the punishment is way over the top, Upto 10 years for online vandalism? rapists dont even get that kind of jail time.

        I didn't say I thought it was good or bad. I don't know enough about it to have a reasonable opinion.

        It's going to be a big deal if he's convicted because it'll change everything. Like the guy who Swatted someone and was then charged for murder when the police killed the poor guy who answered the door. If they convict him of murder for organising a police visit that went bad? Good or bad, that'll cause some serious ripples.

          yeh i completely agree, its more just a matter of if they go down that path they need to make sure the punishment fits the crime, not just smash the guy to make a point.

          Sure the guy sounds like a dick, but a possible 10 years for being a dick? that's wrong.

            The core problem is the scale. On one hand, it is essentially online vandalism, and if you look at it just as vandalism, the maximum penalty seems way harsher than the crime. On the other hand, its 150,000 incidents of vandalism.

            Does each act deserve the same consideration as one person vandalising a fence, or is it watered down because bots make it easy to create an impact potentially effecting millions? As you say, he's basically just being a dick. But he's put in the effort to do it on such a massive scale that there has to be some consequences to stop this sort of thing in its tracks.

            I really don't know where I stand on this myself.

        Up to 10 years. If it's a first offence he will get off with a slap on the wrist, but if he's got previous convictions/offences he may get some actual time.

        Actually the maximum penalty (in Victoria at least) for Rape is 25 years. And no, rapists, generally speaking, do not get 25 years for that offence, but this guy won't get 10 years for his offending either. It might interest you to know that Theft also has a maximum penalty of 10 years in Victoria, and in theory it's also possible for you to be sentenced to 10 years for stealing a single toothbrush.... In reality however, that's never happened. I'm sure you see my point now.

        Oh and the charge iss apparently something to do with "mischief in relation to computer data", which appears to me to be an offence which is extremely broad-ranging which means the penalties are likely to vary significantly according to that range.

        Entirely normal process.

    I don't think its over the top, besides jail sentences for rapists are too lenient anyway.

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