from the this-is-not-the-address-you-are-looking-for dept.
An hour's drive from Wichita, Kansas, in a little town called Potwin, there is a 360-acre piece of land with a very big problem. The acreage is quiet and remote: a farm, a pasture, an old orchard, two barns, some hog shacks and a two-story house. It's the kind of place you move to if you want to get away from it all.
But instead of being a place of respite, the people who live on Joyce Taylor's land find themselves in a technological horror story. 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 been 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.
All that and more because the farm's geographical coordinates where naively chosen as the default location in a widely used database of IP address to physical location mappings.