Feds Arrive In Force After Someone Googles Pressure Cookers

Do you have any bombs, they asked. Do you own a pressure cooker? My husband said no, but we have a rice cooker. Can you make a bomb with that? My husband said no, my wife uses it to make quinoa.

We are so fucked.


20 thoughts on “Feds Arrive In Force After Someone Googles Pressure Cookers

  1. Andrew says:

    This seems on the insane side. However, with the number of “leads” they are working on they are bound to mess up. Terrorism is huge w/ NO clear solution. The goal is to make the US safer. If the Gov’t has to piss people off (you, in this case) in the name of disruption so be it. I am not happy with all this NSA shit but I like knowing people are doing whatever they have to do in order to provide freedom and safety. Ironically, if something does happen, everyone would be screaming that the Gov’t is not doing their job. It’s time to give the Gov’t some credit, they are doing the best they can to protect this great country. I am from Boston. I get it and have much respect for US intelligence. You think building a startup is hard work. Try working for the US intelligence. NO EXITS HERE!

    • Michael Arrington says:

      “I am not happy with all this NSA shit but I like knowing people are doing whatever they have to do in order to provide freedom and safety”

      If I had to choose, I’d choose freedom over safety every time. But we’re not being presented with a choice. Instead the government takes action that kills freedom and has the side effect of killing safety as well. These policies create terrorists around the world (drones in particular). The government feeds on that, creating new polices that curtail freedom even further. The only real goal is to keep growing government, for the sake of growing government. We have no saftey and no freedom.

      • Robin says:

        This is a sliding scale with Anarchy on one end and Totalitarianism on the other. Surely some compromise is better than either of the extremes.

      • Edward says:

        so now, aren’t you happy you voted for Obama?

      • Amen to that michael arrington, with PRISM data the big brother government knows, everything including what underwear I wear , too much , Why don’t they just fucking Map and Reduce to the important data

    • Joseph Ratliff says:

      I think we chose to err on the side of Freedom when the our country was founded. I think we chose to accept the fact that yes, it is possible (however unlikely) that a person or group of people might organize a terrorist event similar to 09/11… and the result could mean Americans lose their lives.

      To me, that’s better than being told that security is job #1, and my Freedom is not even listed.

    • When our country was founded, I think we chose to err on the side of someone’s freedom. We also chose to accept the fact that yes, someone (or a group of people) COULD organize an event like 09/11. The result could be American’s losing their lives in that event.

      I think we chose that… freedom with an expectation that terrorist events could happen, but are unlikely to happen… when this country was founded.

      Personally, I choose that… rather than being told security is Job #1, and my Freedom isn’t even listed.

  2. Andrew, learn the wisdom of Ben Franklin, “They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”

    We’re Americans, not Soviets. Better the gov’t miss an attack than monitor us all like lemmings. Besides, before 9/11, finding good intel about upcoming attacks was extremely hard. For every 1 legitimate lead, there were 100 that meant nothing. Collecting more information will only make that worse. Now, with the Feds collecting phone records, google searches, e-mail and whatever else, they’ve got to find 1 needle in 1,000,000 haystacks instead of just one haystack. By collecting more info, they’re just making it harder to ID the real threats. Meanwhile they’re stomping on our rights.

    • Andrew says:

      Quotes from dead people rule. Fortune cookies are great but if Ben were around, I think he’d be like, I’m gonna have to edit my ridiculous quote from 1775 cause this new fangled world is fucked up!

      I don’t believe we are looking for temporary safety. The gov’t is not monitoring US ALL. Google monitors us ALL The feds are collecting data from suspicious groups. Terrorist don’t care about our freedom or safety and our govt is doing the best they can with this fucked up world.

      I don’t like politics but I do love this country. I have travelled and I have see a lot. Everyone has their own opinion and I respect everyones opinion. I believe more data is usful and I don’t think the govt needs to be transparent. This would hurt the cause. On a side – note, if telco wants to sell my data to (NSA) or whomever, I either want to opt out or I want a discount on my monthly phone bill. They are already making enough money off me so they should pay up if the want to increase profits.

  3. joshdlindsay says:

    While the story is funny, I wouldn’t say were F@#! This reminds me of the kids in highschool who called in bomb threats inorder to force the school to close for the day, back in the 90′s.

    People over reacted, and freaked out, and resorted to the cliche slogan “we need to do something to protect our children”, so they ended up jumping on the band wagon, to ban guns; Which is F#@!ed. Why do people change the subject from bombs to banning guns, when someone announces they have a bomb? The bomb simply proves the point that anything can be used as a weapon, even a factious make believe bomb. For instance, if a student wanted to stab another student, they could just use the sharp end of their pencil. Should we ban pencil from schools? Should an FBI agent come to your house with a warrant to inspect your drawers for pencils, which may be used as a murder weapon? Obviously the answer is no; is this going to happen from time to time, sure; should you overreact probably not.

    My advice is be calm, this to shall pass. Keep in mind, our earth circles a massive never ending nuclear explosion all day, everyday, year round; And yet there is nothing nicer then a day at the beach soaking in the sun. JOsH


  4. James Dundon says:

    This seems to be false/faked. The picture is from the Boston bombing, source:


    Also the police departments and FBI are denying involvement. It’s quite possible it’s bogus…

  5. Bart Bartman says:


    So as soon as one of these morons decides to use a 6-pack cooler as a bomb housing, everyone who googles cooler or 6-pack cooler is going to be on the watchlist too? Heaven forbid they do any actual police work and check the background of people to identify actual threats. Stromtrooper gestapo tactics are so much more effective.

    The idiocy of big government knows no bounds.

  6. John Stokes says:

    Hi Mike

    In all fairness – according to the source (Atlantic Wire) you referenced:
    1. The search terms included the word “bombs”. So pressure cooker + bombs + backpack.
    2. The searcher’s employer noticed these search terms, and informed the local law enforcement agencies.
    So certainly another can of worms in the privacy pantry, but not exactly Big Brother stuff a la NSA, FBI reading our every email 🙂

  7. Jerry Stenson says:

    The Google searches happened on a work computer. The cops were called by the company. Chill the f out, people!

    • Kevin F says:

      Yeah, I think this post deserves an update. I’m all for defending our first amendment rights — but this specific case has a lot more details omitted.

  8. Erbo (@erbo) says:

    Word now is, it wasn’t Google that tipped off the cops, it was the husband’s (former) employer: http://techcrunch.com/2013/08/01/employer-tipped-off-police-in-pressure-cookerbackpack-gate-not-google/

    So blame the company for getting all hysterical and going to the cops. Or blame them, for doing their searches on a machine where they should have known everything they do could be monitored (as with ALL employers). Or blame Michele Catalano herself, for going out and writing about the experience without putting ALL the facts out there, and thus fueling the paranoia of the “oh noez! NSA is watching teh Googles!” crowd.

  9. CppThis says:

    “Everybody spies.” -Dr. House’s cousin in IT

    While I don’t like what the NSA is doing, the reality is all our private shit is just sitting around on dozens of people’s servers to be analyzed and used by whoever has access. And we willingly put it there via search engines, cloud services, free email accounts, etc. SV insiders like Arrington are right to be pissed off, but y’all need to spend less time hyperventilating and more time coming up with ways to deal with the monster that Big Data created.

  10. Richy says:

    Ok should this happen, no.

    Why did it happen, the guy’s ex boss had a grudge and thought he could land him in trouble. Throw on top of that the heat the intelligence agencies (rightly) copped for missing 9/11 & the boston bombers. So now they follow up every single damn petty moan. Lets’s be honest, while it is insane to upset law abiding citizens and place them under implied arrest (blocking in the car and surrounding the house) would you want to be the agent that said ‘nah lets leave this one, sounds harmless’.

    They would not have been questioned if the boss had not raised suspicion. We really do need to look at how we treat citizens, but we also need to deal with the curtain twitchers who malicously start crap like this.

  11. Haha! This is so scary! I bet even the incognito tab on google chrome couldn’t keep you safe from searching on Google these days.. 😉

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