Print 10 comment(s) - last by Jeffk464.. on Aug 12 at 1:26 PM

The NYPD plans to use online policing to find info about gang showdowns, murder cases, problematic house parties and other forms of commotion

Privacy is something most people worry about and try to protect, but on social networking giants like Facebook, it’s almost impossible to protect all of your information despite privacy settings. Now, the New York Police Department (NYPD) is data mining Facebook, Twitter and MySpace to track hooligans who have committed or are planning to commit crimes.

Kevin O’Connor, 23, assistant commissioner for the NYPD who is an online drug and gang expert, is now the head of a new juvenile justice unit. The new unit will operate under the Community Affairs Bureau and include outreach programs.

Known for his successful tactics of "online policing," which has nabbed criminals such as sexual predators trying to meet children on the internet, O’Connor and his staff will be using the Web in this particular unit as well. They plan to mine social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and MySpace in order to find criminals bragging about a crime they've committed or planning to commit a crime. 

This method has already proved to be successful. O'Connor successfully provided information on a number of shooting cases thanks to social networking. Also, the NYPD has caught other criminals who've bragged about their illegal activities online, such as Calvin Pietri, who killed Anthony Collao in an anti-gay attack at Woodhaven, Queens. Another Internet-related case consisted of a Facebook feud between Kayla Henriques and Kamisha Richards over a $20 loan for diapers, which ended in Richards' death. Henriques was a suspect due to the Facebook fight.

New York isn't the only city with positive results from data mining social networks. London's rioters and looters have used Twitter and BlackBerry messages this week to choose targets to burn or loot. Police have been able to use the social networks to find pictures of these criminals. 

The NYPD plans to use online policing to find info about gang showdowns, murder cases, problematic house parties and other forms of commotion. While it could be helpful in certain cases, as always, there is potential for abuse if a police officer were to misinterpret something on a social network.


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By BruceLeet on 8/11/2011 7:12:24 PM , Rating: 4
They are using Facebooks for personal information now including daily/social activitii.

You has my computer for teh botnets

teach me how to botnets, show me the ways of the dougie.

By shabby on 8/11/2011 10:43:35 PM , Rating: 2
How do they pull this off on FB?
By Rob94hawk on 8/12/2011 1:35:27 AM , Rating: 2
Someone splain this to me: If my privacy settings are in lockdown mode or if I'm communicating with someone through private messaging on FB how are they gonna get info off of me?

RE: How do they pull this off on FB?
By Gondor on 8/12/2011 4:16:39 AM , Rating: 2
There is no such thing as "private messaging". Somebody (Facebook at the very least) has access to your communications that took place via their service and it is trivial to store logs of these communications "just in case" for the time when they come handy, be it for sale (to agencies marketing products to specific groups, hiring specific cadre etc.) or straightforward extortion.

It's even better with Google's Google+ which is backed by in-house automatic translation tool (so data mining isn't limited to few world's major languages) and powerful data searching infrastructure ... Do you really think these corporations provide mindless drones with this "free service" just out of goodness of their hearts ? They needn't have CIA behind them, the vast amount of information is worth alot to private sector and there's still the option of selling it to the government(s).

RE: How do they pull this off on FB?
By AntiM on 8/12/2011 8:28:49 AM , Rating: 2
Law enforcement can easily get a warrant and FB will gladly turn over everything you've ever done on the site.

private vs open
By DrApop on 8/12/2011 10:50:33 AM , Rating: 2
This will likely only work if you have an open facebook account....unless they have a warrant or use the patriot act (which scares the hell out of me).

If your settings are relatively private, they won't/shouldn't have direct access to your info. But even if they do....why would you be stupid enough to brag on a public forum about your criminal activities. You do that then you deserve to be caught!

RE: private vs open
By mydogfarted on 8/12/2011 11:04:43 AM , Rating: 2
But even if they do....why would you be stupid enough to brag on a public forum about your criminal activities. You do that then you deserve to be caught!

Exactly. It's no different than standing on a street corner yelling "Hey! I killed someone!".

RE: private vs open
By Gondor on 8/12/2011 12:36:03 PM , Rating: 2
Yet people are like that - we've just seen few such cases reported online in the past few weeks.

Not only that, there are things that aren't illegal today which people brag about openly that might become illegal and shunned in the future: hanging out with your pot-smoking buddies at a party ? Sounds like fun so let's put some pictures online. 10 years later at a high profile job interview: "Ever taken any drugs or associated yourself with any other drug users ? No massa, not me ! Um, this photo we just happen to have here says you did, good luck at McDs downstairs son. D'oh !".

And there will be plenty more of these "D'oh !" moments for idjits of this generation who voluntarily provide information that can potentialy be used against them to an entity that has no intention of ever giving up all the data it has gathered.

I hope they do
By torpor on 8/12/2011 12:12:27 PM , Rating: 2
If you post something openly on Twitter/Facebook/Somewhere Online, you shouldn't be surprised at any use someone has for it.

Flash mobs are getting to be a problem - Wisconsin State Fair, Philedelphia, other places are seeing teens using online community tools to organize this stuff.

You'd be an idiot not to monitor it, or use it to find out who's organizing this stuff and get them.

police state
By Jeffk464 on 8/12/2011 1:26:54 PM , Rating: 2
The United States is quickly turning into a police state. People need to start voting on the issue before we end up with the Stasi.

"So, I think the same thing of the music industry. They can't say that they're losing money, you know what I'm saying. They just probably don't have the same surplus that they had." -- Wu-Tang Clan founder RZA
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