Tech | June 13, 2016 2:30 pm

How an Internet Mapping Glitch Became a Kansas Farm’s Nightmare

Blurred view of man in server room
(Monty Rakusen/ Getty Images Creative RF)

When an electronic device is connected to the internet, it is assigned what’s known as an Internet Protocol (IP) address. It’s essentially your device’s fingerprint, in that it is unique and can be used to trace the places you go. In a unique instance, a glitch led to someone’s IP address being associated with some nefarious activities. Fusion‘s Kashmir Hill talks about the glitch’s effect here:

“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.”

Read the full story on Fusion.