Feeds

Police slap cuffs on Punk SMSer

Clash lyrics intercepted, collar felt

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

A tech worker was arrested yesterday after a text message he sent was intercepted and traced back to his phone.

In a scene reminiscent of Neo's first escape from Agent Smith, Special Branch officers slapped the cuffs on Mike Devine at his office in Bristol yesterday, and took him away for questioning.

Devine, who plays in a Clash tribute band in his spare time, had sent a message containing lyrics from The Clash's Tommy Gun to his lead singer who had forgotten the words to the song.

According to The Sun, the message read:

"How about this for Tommy Gun? OK - SO LET'S AGREE ABOUT THE PRICE AND MAKE IT ONE JET AIRLINER AND TEN PRISONERS"

The arrest has prompted speculation about how the message was intercepted. Police maintain that Devine's message went astray. They say he actually sent it to a woman in Bristol by mistake and it was she who alerted police to the content.

However, The Sun also quotes Chris Dobson, a terrorism expert, as saying that the interception clearly shows that GCHQ is monitoring all vocal and textual mobile phone traffic.

Devine himself is slightly bemused by the incident. He said: "It hadn't even occurred to me that it might look a bit dodgy. It was quite nerve wracking for Special Branch to come looking for you at work. I was thinking, Oh God, what have I done?"

The police questioned Devine about his phone, and asked if he had used it to send texts at the end of April. They showed him a print out of the text and asked him to confirm that he had sent it. "I said, 'That's the lyrics from Tommy Gun. I'm in a tribute band'," Devine said.

Fortunately, once he explained that the message was not part of a terrorist plot, the police accepted his explanation and let him go, but not before suggesting to Devine that he be careful about where he sent such messages in future. ®

Related stories

TIA lives? Report lists US gov 'dataveillance' activities
FBI apology for Madrid bomb fingerprint fiasco
'Spot the terrorist' system was pitched to Cheney by Jeb Bush

Top three mobile application threats

More from The Register

next story
Och aye! It's the Loch Ness Monster – but only Apple fanbois can see it
Fondleslab-friendly beastie's wake spotted... OR WAS IT?
Spanish village called 'Kill the Jews' mulls rebranding exercise
Not exactly attractive to the Israeli tourist demographic
Sleuths find nosy NORKS drones on the Chinternet
UAVs likely to have been made in the Middle Kingdom
Dorian Nakamoto gets $23,000 payout over Bitcoin invention saga
Maintains he didn't create cryptocurrency, but will join community
Oz bank in comedy Heartbleed blog FAIL
Bank: 'We are now safely patched.' Customers: 'You were using OpenSSL?'
Japanese boffin EYES up big bucks with strap-on digi-glasses
AgencyGlass saddles user with creepy OLED display
Pirate Bay's 10 millionth upload: Colour us shocked, a SMUT FLICK
P2P badboys show online piracy is alive and humping
Forget the beach 'n' boardwalk, check out the Santa Cruz STEVE JOBS FOUNTAIN
Reg reader snaps shot of touching tribute to Apple icon
Happy 40th Playmobil: Reg looks back at small, rude world of our favourite tiny toys
Little men straddle LOHAN, attend tiny G20 Summit... ah, sweet memories...
prev story

Whitepapers

Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.