This one may make some people a little uneasy, and not just because it's over half a week old. The "Kokomo Perspective" news site ('about us' page left vacant) has written up a interesting story about how cops tracked down a fugitive who had fled the US to Canada.
The interesting part: they caught the chap because he played World of Warcraft. The uneasy part: upon receiving an out-of-jurisdiction subpoena, Blizzard supplied the information which allowed the cops to track him down.
“We received information that this guy was a regular player of an online game, which was referred to as ‘some warlock and witches’ game,” said Roberson. “None of that information was sound enough to pursue on its own, but putting everything we had together gave me enough evidence to send a subpoena to Blizzard Entertainment. I knew exactly what he was playing — World of Warcraft. I used to play it. It’s one of the largest online games in the world.”
“They don’t have to respond to us, and I was under the assumption that they wouldn’t,” said Roberson. “It had been three or four months since I had sent the subpoena. I just put it in the back of my mind and went on to do other things. Then I finally got a response from them. They sent me a package of information. They were very cooperative. It was nice that they were that willing to provide information.”
Blizzard did more than cooperate. It gave Roberson everything he needed to track down Hightower, including his IP address, his account information and history, his billing address, and even his online screen name and preferred server. From there it was a simple matter to zero in on the suspect’s location.
“I did a search off the IP address to locate him,” said Roberson. “I got a longitude and latitude. Then I went to Google Earth. It works wonders. It uses longitude and latitude. Boom! I had an address. I was not able to go streetside at the location, but I had him.”
The heinous crime that sparked a cross-country hunt? Marijuana dealing, from the look. Mischievious folks with a love of irony might take the opportunity to ponder the (oft debated) non-addictive nature of weed at this point and compare it to WoW, for instance.
Long arm of law reaches into WOrld of Warcraft