One from the “Don’t send stupid emails” department

In a frankly bizarre incident, a young British teen has been banned (for life) from entering the USA, after sending an abusive and threatening email to the Whitehouse email account. The 17 year old escaped criminal prosecution, but will be denied the opportunity to ever visit the land of opportunity.

Though this lad probably just got a bit annoyed and did something silly, one thing this does show is that young people simply aren’t being taught how to act on the internet (though reading USENET would have shown you that not many people do, young or old). Surely citizenship classes should also include information on how to be a good netizen, and schools IT curricula should include at least a basic understanding of personal security and how email works.

Full report from the BBC News site is here

Andrew Lee
AVIEN CEO / CTO K7 Computing


4 thoughts on “One from the “Don’t send stupid emails” department

  1. Benjamin

    Being banned from the US for life is a typically paranoid American overreaction. The chap got pissed (drunk), pissed off (angry), but he’s a just a young tyke.

  2. Kevin

    Coming to the U.S. is a privlidge, not a right, for foreign nationals. If you write a nasty, threatening (and it was threatening, if you read the article) letter to the leader of the said country, odds are you won’t be allowed in country. If he had done this as a U.S. citizen, the Secret Service would likely have arrested him.

  3. ALee Post author

    I agree, with both points of view to a degree. He was clearly drunk or being pretty stupid, and sending threatening emails to anyone is a serious matter, but banning him for life _once you know the circumstances_ is perhaps a little bit of an overreaction. There is a difference between a serious and threatening malcontent and the stupid antics of a drunken teenager. However, we don’t know what was actually in the letter, and in these days, sending threatening letters to senior government officials in any country is going to get you into hot water.

  4. Andy H.

    Being a good cyber citizen is exactly what the National Cyber Security Alliance is promoting during October’s National Cyber Security Month.
    Focusing on all sectors of the online community, they have developed and published lesson plans for K-12 schools on cyber security, cyber ethics and cyber safety. Perhaps this young chap should be educated, not banned.
    Go to for more info.


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