Police raid Kent State dorm room, confiscate computer

Kent State University police raided a dorm room in Verder Hall Thursday over what they suspect was a possible computer crime. They executed a search and confiscated a computer, CDs and computer games from Room 304. Kent State University police obtained a warrant after consulting with the prosecutor. Police arrived at 4:30 p.m. and continued combing through the room until 8 p.m.

Police raid Verder dorm room, confiscate computer

By Megan Battista

Daily Kent Stater

Kent State University police raided a dorm room in
Verder Hall Thursday over what they suspect was a possible computer
crime.

They executed a search and confiscated a computer, CDs
and computer games from Room 304. Kent State University police obtained
a warrant after consulting with the prosecutor.

Police arrived at 4:30 p.m. and continued combing
through the room until 8 p.m.

“They were looking for the fruits and
instrumentalities of a computer crime,” a spokesperson from Kent
State University Police Department said. “They were concerned with
possible improper use of a computer system.”

Friends of the student whose room was raided said the
police might have been concerned about a Web site where several Kent
State students set up a “war-like” game.

Police were alerted about the Web site when an
employee of Residence Services found some suspicious files on the
server.

The students said the game was not affiliated with the
Kent State University Web server at all and that the game was located on
an independent server.

The Web site, www.bledfordays.50megs.com*,
is the location of the student’s computer game. The site includes a list
of rules, rankings of members, allies and the enemies titled “the
shit list.”

Patrick Barnes, a sophomore computer science major, is
one of the “members” of the Web site. Barnes said the game was
harmless and compared it to a game of chess.

“It’s a strategic game,” Barnes said.
“It’s not like we were going to kill you or anything (speaking of
the game’s make-believe enemies).

The members of the game are known as the “bled
for days clan.” They said they got the name from a song title used
by the band Static X.

It was probably “the shit list” that first
grabbed Resident Services’ attention, said John Burke, the creator of
the site and a junior computer science major. Above the list, the site
said “wanted dead or alive.”

But Burke said he didn’t understand what all the fuss
was about.

“I think the main problem that Residential
Services had was with the supposed death threat,” Burke said.
“They have to understand it’s just a video game. There was nothing
against the people personally; we didn’t even know them because they
used their screen names.”

Burke added that it was all in fun and that the Web
site specifically explained in “the rules of the game” that
members are not allowed to start fights with other players.

The known users or members of the Web site were
identified by a resident assistant as: Adam Heckman, Matt Wilcox, Jenn
Lawrence, Burke, Joe Hiser, Lance Kennamer and Barnes.

Burke discussed how he thought it seemed like the
police were searching for something else, possibly drugs, because they
searched furniture as well.

“They shouldn’t be allowed to do that,” he
said. “It’s just not right, especially since they are keeping the
guy’s computer for a year.”

 

Copyright 2001 The Daily Kent Stater

Author: Megan Battista

News Service: Digital Stater

URL: http://www.stater.kent.edu/today/fristories/verder.html