As fake ‘active shooter’ calls occur with greater frequency across the US, there is increasing evidence that they represent coordinated acts of domestic terrorism that should be prosecuted as such.

A far cry from the the old bomb threats and other telephonic mischief, today’s swatting-as-a-service is commercially available on the dark web and often used to terrorize schools and municipalities.

Aside from the crisis situations swatting inevitably creates – and the false flag operations they might be obscuring – these types of cybercrime present very real harms including the potential for injury from accidental firearm discharges and the long-term trauma inflicted upon victims.

VPN providers, anonymous telephony services, AI voice changers, and law enforcement are all reviewing their cyber emergency response processes to better detect, correct, prevent and hopefully investigate and prosecute this malicious real-world criminal activity.

Hoax school shootings: inside America's epidemic