It came out of nowhere.
There I was, innocently checking blogs on my work computer when suddenly . . . BLAM. White screen.
What the . . . ?
My screen was completely blank and frozen. I couldn’t Esc my way out of it, couldn’t get to my desktop or taskbar, and had no idea what was happening.
And then, after a couple minutes of fruitlessly attempting to do something on my computer, my screen was filled with what appeared to be a legal document. A notice of some sort. From the FBI.
Ruh Roh, Raggy!!
As I began to peruse the document, which outlined certain violations of articles and subsections thereto, my heart began to beat faster and a cold sweat broke out on my brow.
They know. Oh god, they know. How could they? I didn’t think my work computer was monitored by the feds. How did this happen? But somehow, they found out. They know about . . . gulp . . . the blogging.
Your PC is blocked due at least one of the reasons specified below.
Violating Copyright or Related Rights Law. Illegally using or distributing copyrighted content. Yep, I am so guilty of that! That one blog post I did where I used the perfect meme, from which I did not know the source. Oh yes, I admit it. That was me. And then there was that video of Tesla’s Love Song I copied from YouTube and then sent to my friend via Facebook. Oh man, I’m a repeat offender. This is not good. They’ve totally got me on this one!
Viewing or distributing prohibited pornographic content (child porn/zoophilia, etc.) . . . The what now? I mean . . . oh no! I can’t believe they know about my predilection for downloading pictures of baby animals having sex. Oh the shame, the humiliation!
Violating the law on neglectful use of personal computer. Huh, well . . . you’ve kinda stumped me on this one. Because someone might have accessed my computer without my knowledge, thus enabling malware, I am responsible? Also, this isn’t a personal computer, it’s a work computer. Well, maybe this one just doesn’t apply to me. Huh.
Well, I guess it’s time to face the music. Now, I suppose I need to know what the repercussions are of my obviously illegal (and let’s face it, sinful) actions?
10 to 29 years of possible incarceration for all of those violations? And a picture of hands in cuffs right there on the screen? Wow, this must be serious. But I’m too pretty to go to jail! And prison orange is just not my color. I might be able to get away with more of a navy or black if that’s an option . . . wait! No, I will not be going to prison over this! Isn’t there something I can do to make up for my transgressions and avoid jail time?
This law infringement (if not repeated – first time) may be considered as conditional in case you pay the fine to the State. Wait, what’s this now? A fine, you say? I can pay a fine and make this all go away?
Fines may only be paid within 72 hours after the infringement. As soon as 72 hours elapse, the ability to pay the fine expires, and a criminal case is initiated against you. Phew! You mean no charges have been filed yet? What a relief! Well, I’ll just pay the fine then. I mean, I just got this notice, so I’m sure it’s within 72 hours of my infringement. But, how . . . where . . . when . . . how much? I need details! If only there was a helpful step by step explanation of how I can pay this fine and how much it will be.
Oh, look here at the bottom of the page. Helpful tips on how I can make this whole thing go away, and also have the FBI relinquish its hold on my computer. Hooray!
To unblock the computer, you must pay the fine through MoneyPak of $200. $200?? Whoa, that’s kinda steep. I mean, I don’t just have $200 lying around to pay government agencies that tap into my computer and threaten me with legal action! Who am I, Bernie Madoff?
But then again . . . being prosecuted for copyright infringement/pornography would probably jeopardize my employment status. I imagine my boss would not be very happy with me once he finds out what I’ve been doing on my office computer. I mean, blogging at work? That may even be a terminable offense! And then, no more paychecks for me. Plus, I would definitely need to hire a lawyer specializing in this field, as I really don’t practice in cyber law or copyright infringement. And you know what they say about lawyers representing themselves, right? And I ain’t no fool. No sir, not me.
So really, it would be cheaper to just pay the fine. I mean, as long as I pay them quickly, it shouldn’t take that long for them to unlock the computer, right? And maybe then no one will ever know about . . . about . . . the blogging.
When you pay the fine, your PC will get unlocked in 1 to 48 hours after the money is put into the State’s account. Well, there you go! As soon as I pay the money, they will go ahead and unlock my computer. I mean, at most it will take them 48 hours, but still. I’ll get my computer back, and no harm no foul.
Then again . . . what is this “State” they keep referring to? I mean, isn’t this the Federal Government? Which State are they talking about? And what is this part where they say a service fee of $4,95 will apply? Why the comma after the 4? Is that just a typo? And speaking of typos . . . what’s with the poorly written text of this letter? I mean, if I didn’t know better, I would think it was crafted by someone who’s primary language was not English.
But then again, there is that little warning there on the side about fraud. I mean, how ironic would it be if this was a fraudulent letter warning me of fraud? That just makes my head spin too much for it to be true!
Oh, but this must be legit. There. Right there at the bottom.
FBI.gov is an official site of the U.S. Federal Government, U.S. Department of Justice. Really, along with the very official looking seal up at the top of the page and all of the articles and subsections quoted in the text, this must be the real thing. Right?
Now, where did I put my credit card? I need to go to one of the listed establishments and find me a MoneyPak to load some cash onto, then send it off to these very helpful Federal Agents. Then I will just sit back and wait for my computer to be unlocked. What could go wrong?
And hey . . . let’s keep that little thing about the animals and watching their intimate relations just between us, mkay? Cool, thanks. I knew you’d understand. I mean, what with the things I’m sure you’ve download . . . yeah, I know all about it. I read your blogs, remember? And I’m pretty sure you don’t have any room to judge me, my friend. Don’t make me call the feds. I know how to contact them now, remember? Yeah, that’s what I thought. Shhhhhh!
Have you ever been
violated accused in such a horrible manner? What was your virus like?