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  (Source: nydailynews.com)
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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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).


"This week I got an iPhone. This weekend I got four chargers so I can keep it charged everywhere I go and a land line so I can actually make phone calls." -- Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg

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