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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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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.




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