GeoIP database issues and the real world consequences

Chris Boyd cboyd at
Mon Apr 11 16:55:11 UTC 2016

Interesting article.

An hour’s drive from Wichita, Kansas, in a little town called Potwin,
there is a 360-acre piece of land with a very big problem.

The plot has been owned by the Vogelman family for more than a hundred
years, though the current owner, Joyce Taylor née Vogelman, 82, now
rents it out. The acreage is quiet and remote: a farm, a pasture, an old
orchard, two barns, some hog shacks and a two-story house. It’s the kind
of place you move to if you want to get away from it all. The nearest
neighbor is a mile away, and the closest big town has just 13,000
people. It is real, rural America; in fact, it’s a two-hour drive from
the exact geographical center of the United States.

But instead of being a place of respite, the people who live on Joyce
Taylor’s land find themselves in a technological horror story.

For the last decade, Taylor and her renters have been visited by all
kinds of mysterious trouble. They’ve been accused of being identity
thieves, spammers, scammers and fraudsters. They’ve gotten visited by
FBI agents, federal marshals, IRS collectors, ambulances searching for
suicidal veterans, and police officers searching for runaway children.
They’ve found people scrounging around in their barn. The renters have
been doxxed, their names and addresses posted on the internet by
vigilantes. Once, someone left a broken toilet in the driveway as a
strange, indefinite threat.


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