Kansas couple sues IP mapping firm for turning their life into a “digital hell”

From ArsTechnica:

Ever since James and Theresa Arnold moved into their rented 623-acre farm in Butler County, Kansas, in March 2011, they have seen “countless” law enforcement officials and individuals turning up at their farm day and night looking for links to alleged theft and other supposed crime. All of these people are arriving because of a rounding error on a GPS location, which wrongly points people to their farm.

In their lawsuit filed against MaxMind, the IP mapping firm, the Arnolds allege:

The following events appeared to originate at the residence and brought trespassers and/or law enforcement to the plaintiffs’ home at all hours of the night and day: stolen cars, fraud related to tax returns and bitcoin, stolen credit cards, suicide calls, private investigators, stolen social media accounts, fund raising events, and numerous other events.

James Arnold has even been “reported as holding girls at the residence for the purpose of making pornographic films.”

According to the suit, which was filed last Friday in Kansas federal court, all of these accusations were and continue to be false. Earlier this year, the news site Fusion revealed to the Arnold family and to the world why so many people continuously turn up at the Butler County farm.

As Fusion’s Kashmir Hill reported:

As any geography nerd knows, the precise center of the United States is in northern Kansas, near the Nebraska border. Technically, the latitudinal and longitudinal coordinates of the center spot are 39°50′N 98°35′W. In digital maps, that number is an ugly one: 39.8333333,-98.585522. So back in 2002, when MaxMind was first choosing the default point on its digital map for the center …

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