Effugas writes "The mind boggles. Police have apparently raided a student's dorm room due to his participation in a heavy metal music inspired Starcraft clan, 'Bled For Days.'" The link above is to the university's student newspaper, the Kent Stater, which one of the students told me got the story completely wrong, though he wouldn't elaborate. That said, having spoken with another of the students, I think the essentials of the story are right: cops, confiscation, clan, and (absurd) worry about trash talk being death threats. A few comments below.
I spoke with Patrick Barnes, identified as the lead member of the clan. He's a Comp. Sci. major, and I can tell from the sound of his voice that he likes the material (he finds it easy).
The way Patrick described it to me, there was a technical glitch in uploading the website -- I'm still not sure exactly how this happened, but apparently they contacted the wrong server. Anyway, whatever happened, it got the attention of someone at Kent State. The students with their names on the clan site got letters in the mail saying they were to have a meeting with their Resident Director in two days.
On the day of that meeting, it was cancelled. Then, on Thursday, the cops (campus cops, apparently) came to one of their dorm rooms, and confiscated a computer and CDs. Everyone in the clan was taken to the station and individually questioned about what it was, what it meant, whether they were hackers, who was the "leader," and so on.
The confiscated computer is having its hard drive copied and analyzed for evidence. According to Patrick, it might be returned tomorrow, or, as the law allows, not for a year.
Patrick was the only one of the members I spoke with who was willing to talk at any length. He predicted the other members of the clan would be more worried than he, and he was right (their lawyer had told them not to talk about it). I hope in a few years they can look back on this as simply a surreal trip into the land of university cops who don't understand gaming.
I'll hand the conclusion over to this story's submitter, Effugas, who asks:
"Instead of simply laughing and moving on, what can we, as a community do to prevent these kind of occurances in the future? Would something as simple as a confidential 'reality check' group of experts, made available to law enforcement as consultants, be helpful? Would a set of guidelines, peer reviewed by the community, be useful? Instead of cursing the darkness, how can we praise the light?"