A man from Oklahoma has been arrested for wild threats made against the authorities on Twitter.
Daniel Knight Hayden, 52, was arrested by FBI agents who identified him as the Twitter user CitizenQuasar. In a series of tweets beginning April 11, CitizenQuasar vowed to start a “war” against the government on the steps of the Oklahoma City Capitol building, the site of that city’s version of the national “Tea Party” protests promoted by the conservative-leaning Fox News.
His challenge to the authorities was: “Send the cops around. I will cut their heads off the[ir] heads and throw the[m] on the State Capitol steps.” Hayden’s MySpace page is filled with conspiracy and surveillance links - not in itself a crime given that so many governments are on the path of control by stealth.
Hayden was arrested at his home on the 15th April. He was arraigned on the 16th, and ordered released to a halfway house pending trial — a move that suggests the magistrate judge does not consider him a genuine threat. At least a judge showed some sanity as Hayden's rants have all the signs of mental instability.
But what is important here is that the authorities really do track the stream of words that are the internet. For anybody who thinks this is pure paranoia this is incontrovertible proof. When I wrote on flash mob techniques used by demonstrators - again using Twitter - I voiced my scepticism that this would be but a minor irritation to security forces as they too would be tracking the public messages. Keeping secrets secret needs to be a bit more ingenious.
The FBI have successfully added another non-entity to their War on Ghosts. But make sure you keep idle threats to yourself rather than blabbing them on the net - unless a visit from the feds will brighten up an otherwise dull day.