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Robbery Suspect Cleared By Facebook Alibi

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the your-computer-is-broadcasting-an-ip-address dept.

Social Networks 160

postermmxvicom writes "Rodney Bradford has been cleared of robbery charges because of a Facebook update. The defense was able to prove that the update was made from his father's house, 13 miles away from the crime committed one minute earlier. Lawyer John G. Browning said, 'This is the first case that I’m aware of in which a Facebook update has been used as alibi evidence. We are going to see more of that because of how prevalent social networking has become.' Surely, this must be media hype, since it would not be a difficult alibi to fake."

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#gnaa irc.hardchats.com (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30097206)

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DEAD.

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Awesome! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30097210)

$ at now + 30 minutes
at> curl -d 'status=lol watching tv' http://www.facebook.com
at> <EOT>
job 1 at 2009-11-14 15:36

Now, who to murder first?

Re:Awesome! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30097610)

what exactly is that ment to do ?

Re:Awesome! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30098978)

"WHO to murder first"? Your grammar teacher.

Probably wasn't the case here.. (5, Interesting)

Anrego (830717) | more than 4 years ago | (#30097220)

But what happens when scripting becomes involved..

Write a script to make a "hey.. not out murdering my wife's lover" post then destroy/shred itself whilst you're out doing your chainsaw work.

Re:Probably wasn't the case here.. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30097232)

Or just SSH with your iPhone.

Re:Probably wasn't the case here.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30097554)

Or just you know, use the browser on the iPhone?

Re:Probably wasn't the case here.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30097594)

You must have missed one implicit step here...

Re:Probably wasn't the case here.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30097602)

And thus remove the part about being 13miles away at the time. Careful about your tactics, or you're going to get all of us Anonymous Cowards arrested for murder.

Re:Probably wasn't the case here.. (1)

binarylarry (1338699) | more than 4 years ago | (#30097596)

Hi, you must be new here!

You realize they could then TRACE your iphone location at a given time, right?

Re:Probably wasn't the case here.. (1)

_KiTA_ (241027) | more than 4 years ago | (#30097748)

Hi, you must be new here!

You realize they could then TRACE your iphone location at a given time, right?

Epic Fail, dude. SSH into your home linux box and do the update there. There are many remote desktop apps for the iPhone, and you could use Lynx on a Linux box in a pinch.

Re:Probably wasn't the case here.. (2, Insightful)

Nursie (632944) | more than 4 years ago | (#30097776)

Epic fail yourself, they can trace where your iPhone was, no need to care about where that facebook update appeared to come from then.

Re:Probably wasn't the case here.. (2, Informative)

Zerth (26112) | more than 4 years ago | (#30097808)

Epic Fail, dude. SSH into your home linux box and do the update there. There are many remote desktop apps for the iPhone, and you could use Lynx on a Linux box in a pinch.

And you'll have pre-scouted the area for an open wifi node, I assume? Because if your iphone's cell connection isn't off, the cops will wonder why your phone handshaked with a tower 13 miles from your house.

Re:Probably wasn't the case here.. (1)

TheLink (130905) | more than 4 years ago | (#30098142)

How do you turn off your iphone's cell connection and leave it still working in otherways? A phone doesn't have to be making calls or sending messages for the cellphone towers to know where it is - since the phone and towers are regularly working out which cell your phone should be with.

For most GSM phones the only way to not be traced is to switch the phone off, or remove the SIM.

But hey, the fewer crooks that know this the better.

Re:Probably wasn't the case here.. (1)

BewireNomali (618969) | more than 4 years ago | (#30098296)

removing the battery is the only sure way. but alas, iphone users....

Re:Probably wasn't the case here.. (2, Insightful)

amorsen (7485) | more than 4 years ago | (#30098554)

Flight mode. Very appropriately named, actually.

Re:Probably wasn't the case here.. (1)

Crazyswedishguy (1020008) | more than 4 years ago | (#30098596)

Flight mode. Very appropriately named, actually.

It would be, if it weren't named "airplane mode".

Re:Probably wasn't the case here.. (1)

Hybrid-brain (1478551) | more than 4 years ago | (#30098730)

Is there a flight mode for the Ipod Touch, or is that only available on the Iphone?

Re:Probably wasn't the case here.. (1)

RichardJenkins (1362463) | more than 4 years ago | (#30099206)

Only amateurs take their iPhone out robbing.

Re:Probably wasn't the case here.. (1)

PenguinBob (1208204) | more than 4 years ago | (#30099626)

Facebook would never work on Lynx.

Re:Probably wasn't the case here.. (1)

hatemonger (1671340) | more than 4 years ago | (#30097612)

Doesn't facebook give the little mobile icon for updates made by phone? Perhaps a criminal could use a smart phone and reconfigure the browser to not call itself mobile, but criminals are self-selecting stupid. I don't see it happening.

Re:Probably wasn't the case here.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30097838)

*facepalm*

  It gives you the mobile icon because you added the app for your phone at some point. Slashdot users used to be much smarter than this.

You could always do a user agent test if you don't believe me. I can post from my computer with an iphone user agent string and it won't say "mobile".

Re:Probably wasn't the case here.. (2, Informative)

stevey (64018) | more than 4 years ago | (#30099300)

The difference is the site you go to:

  • Go to www.facebook.com and post an update - works as normal.
  • Go to x.facebook.com and post an update - shows up as mobile.

If think there's a mobile/touch subdomain too - but I know when I visit facebook from my palm pre I end up on http://x.facebook.com./ [x.facebook.com]

Re:Probably wasn't the case here.. (5, Informative)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#30097276)

Seems his facebook status update alibi is in connection with what witnesses said too;

Bradford and witnesses insisted he was innocent. They said he was at his father's Harlem apartment when the crime occurred.

So it's not only about the status update. Also, I would think a murder case would get more investigation than a robbery too.

Re:Probably wasn't the case here.. (1)

frosty_tsm (933163) | more than 4 years ago | (#30098082)

So it's not only about the status update. Also, I would think a murder case would get more investigation than a robbery too.

Agreed. Finger prints, DNA, blood stains, etc. This is just enough to get you off on "reasonable doubt" for a lighter crime as it will not be investigated as fully nor result in as much evidence (robber leaves finger prints, murder causes DNA to fly all over the place).

Re:Probably wasn't the case here.. (1)

at_slashdot (674436) | more than 4 years ago | (#30097920)

The point is that was a type of crime that was not likely to be premeditated, nor his status update looked like a way to construct an alibi, any crime that can assumed to be premeditated would not be excused by such an alibi.

Re:Probably wasn't the case here.. (1)

Planesdragon (210349) | more than 4 years ago | (#30099174)

any crime that can assumed to be premeditated would not be excused by such an alibi.

Truth is boolean, evidence is Bayesian.

Re:Probably wasn't the case here.. (1)

sorak (246725) | more than 4 years ago | (#30098258)

or he could just give his username and password to his father.

Sweet! (4, Insightful)

d3ac0n (715594) | more than 4 years ago | (#30097244)

So basically,

I can go commit any crime I want, as long as I use a remote desktop/VNC program to remote into my PC at home from my smart phone and post something to Facebook immediately afterward?

SWEET! Time to to rob that bank!

Re:Sweet! (5, Insightful)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#30097274)

Or, for a lower tech solution, just get someone else to do it.

Re:Sweet! (5, Funny)

d3ac0n (715594) | more than 4 years ago | (#30097284)

This is /. We don't DO "lower tech" solutions here bub.

;)

Re:Sweet! (2, Insightful)

lena_10326 (1100441) | more than 4 years ago | (#30097358)

Duct tape is lower tech. Are you saying you don't use duct tape?

Be careful with that answer.

Re:Sweet! (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30097536)

Only to keep my tinfoil hat together

Re:Sweet! (1)

tarius8105 (683929) | more than 4 years ago | (#30097542)

You misunderstand what duct tape is or its purpose. Its not a low tech solution, its the shit that binds the universe together. Three words....duct tape cannon.

Re:Sweet! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30098510)

He should have said that we don't do social solutions here bub.

That's why we're all living in our parents' basement, right?

Re:Sweet! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30099640)

Duck tape is not "lower tech". It is the most advanced solution to the simplest and most difficult of problems that any idiot with teeth and two fingers can apply. Shame on you for thinking otherwise!

Re:Sweet! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30097532)

And we don't have someone else to do it.

Re:Sweet! (1)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 4 years ago | (#30098880)

Actually it's extreme high tech:

You know what the most complex computer known to man is?
The human brain!

And you know what social engineering is?
Hacking the human brain!

So by making a bum with suicidal tendencies do it for you (or make him get suicidal),
and then jumping off a bridge or something,
you actually are on the forefront of the hacker spirit. (Black hat. Definitely black hat! ^^)

That's as close to "indistinguishable to magic" as you can get nowadays.

Re:Sweet! (1)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#30097298)

Please hand over your geek card on the way out.

Re:Sweet! (4, Insightful)

MrP- (45616) | more than 4 years ago | (#30097344)

Not only is that not geeky, it also adds an accomplice to the mix who you'll have to trust and hope they don't squeal. VPN FTW!

Re:Sweet! (1)

sorak (246725) | more than 4 years ago | (#30098302)

Not only is that not geeky, it also adds an accomplice to the mix who you'll have to trust and hope they don't squeal. VPN FTW!

I phones have GPS which could be tracked in a murder investigation. I don't know if they would, but if they thought to check that, you would be completely utterly screwed.

Re:Sweet! (1)

beej (82035) | more than 4 years ago | (#30098834)

That's why it would need to be someone you trusted completely who themselves had an interest in you not going to jail. Someone who loves you. In short, your father.

Re:Sweet! (1)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 4 years ago | (#30098934)

Uuum, ever heard of social engineering? The new advanced human mind hacking?

Oh, and if you make him kill himself in the process, there is nobody to squeal. ^^

Re:Sweet! (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 4 years ago | (#30097468)

Like his dad.

Re:Sweet! (1)

HangingChad (677530) | more than 4 years ago | (#30097668)

Like his dad.

Who do you think was doing the robbery?

Re:Sweet! (1)

shentino (1139071) | more than 4 years ago | (#30097576)

Just hope they don't rat you out.

Re:Sweet! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30097646)

Or, for a lower tech solution, just get someone else to do it.

A hit man is far more expensive than remote shell...oh wait.

Re:Sweet! (1)

lukas84 (912874) | more than 4 years ago | (#30097674)

Then you'd need an automated post to get an alibi for killing the witness.

Re:Sweet! (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 4 years ago | (#30098976)

Actually, you would lose. That connection WILL be detected and recorded via the telcos.

TO really pull this off, What is needed is a 2 way conversation by different systems that give appearance of conversation. Just simply postings will now fail since a number of DAs are about to learn about system automation.

iPhone to the rescure (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30097252)

So now all halfwit crimial needs to get his alibi is: use his iPhone to RDP to daddy's computer and post to facebook?!

There's an app for that (4, Funny)

Powercntrl (458442) | more than 4 years ago | (#30097302)

Say you want to go burglarize someone's house, but you need to make it appear that you're posting on Facebook from your parents' basement? Well there's an app for that too!

Re:There's an app for that (5, Funny)

AndroidCat (229562) | more than 4 years ago | (#30097402)

Wave phone in officer's face. "These aren't the Droids you are looking for."

Re:iPhone to the rescure (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 4 years ago | (#30098580)

So now all halfwit crimial needs to get his alibi is: use his iPhone to RDP to daddy's computer and post to facebook?!

Well he'd also need to prevent the phone from talking to any of the cellular towers over there. You're actually better off using an iPod Touch but ONLY if you can get on wifi near there. :P

Facebook status: (4, Funny)

sakdoctor (1087155) | more than 4 years ago | (#30097260)

Not robbing

Re:Facebook status: (1)

sorak (246725) | more than 4 years ago | (#30098348)

I knew he was guilty when Mafia wars posted "Rodney Bradford has completed the mission: mug two people and ask for pancakes"

HTTP Proxy? VPN Tunnel? (1, Insightful)

Manip (656104) | more than 4 years ago | (#30097262)

I love how ignorant of technology the legal profession is.

Take this case for example, nobody stopped to consider that he might have setup a HTTP proxy, VPN tunnel, or some other routing service? Why? Because neither the defence nor prosecution understand what they're talking about.

I would really like to see legal reforms that create new "specialist" branches of experts who exist only to explain the significance of particular areas to the court without actually taking sides in cases (e.g. Technology, Science, High-End Accounting, etc).

It is kind of funny, the lawyers spend TONS of time worrying that the jury won't understand the law. But they never stop to consider that the lawyers won't understand the evidence.

You're the retard here. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30097354)

You don't know what you're talking about, do you? Are you a prosecutor or defense attorney? Do you work for one routinely? You assume none of them read the news and noticed someone got off kiddie porn charges because a virus hijacked his computer? They can't make the leap from "virus did it randomly" to "computer genius made up evidence". You're the retard here.

Legal pad salesmen (2, Interesting)

Steve Franklin (142698) | more than 4 years ago | (#30097456)

If lawyers are anything like doctors, they get their information from legal pad salesmen and follow whatever the latest legal fad is, no matter how obviously stupid it is. Keep in mind that half the population has an IQ under 100 and that the civilization would collapse if half the population were excluded from gainful employment. In short, the world is being run by idiots.

Re:Legal pad salesmen (1)

ubrgeek (679399) | more than 4 years ago | (#30097676)

You must have a truly crappy doctor. All of the ones I've had continued reading up on (and contributed to) medical journals, attending conferences, etc. etc. Might I suggest dropping your Blue Cross/Blue Shield coverage? ;)

Re:Legal pad salesmen (2, Informative)

iminanalog (1678560) | more than 4 years ago | (#30097816)

Your case is the exception. Most doctors don't have the luxury of keeping up with, much less contributing to, medical journals or attend conferences. Especially Primary Care physicians.

Re:Legal pad salesmen (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30098012)

Most doctors are required to make a certain number of Continuing Medical Education hours each year in order to be re-certified.

Re:You're the retard here. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30098352)

Are you a prosecutor or defense attorney?
He responds to a story presenting reasonable doubt by saying the story might not have happened... I think he's a prosecutor.

Re:HTTP Proxy? VPN Tunnel? (4, Insightful)

autocracy (192714) | more than 4 years ago | (#30097372)

Most evidence, with enough effort, can be faked. We usually call those conspiracies.

It would be a great amount of effort for a small robbery to perform this task and to get the corroborating evidence. There is very reasonable doubt that he committed the crime.

Re:HTTP Proxy? VPN Tunnel? (1)

pdabbadabba (720526) | more than 4 years ago | (#30097420)

I would really like to see legal reforms that create new "specialist" branches of experts who exist only to explain the significance of particular areas to the court without actually taking sides in cases (e.g. Technology, Science, High-End Accounting, etc).

This sounds a lot like the expert witness system we have now. (They're not neutral, but both sides get to use them). The problem is that a lawyer still has to know that an expert is needed.

And, yes, it's too bad if the prosecution here did not think to ask the obvious questions you raise. (But remember, the defense doesn't have to prove that he didn't use a proxy, etc. The burden of proof is on the prosecution to show that he did.) But fear not, a new generation of lawyers is coming up through the law schools as we speak that is much more fluent in these issues. Take my word for it, I'm one of 'em.

Re:HTTP Proxy? VPN Tunnel? (1)

Mashiki (184564) | more than 4 years ago | (#30097496)

I've mentioned this before, but law enforcement doesn't really have the money to investigate this type of stuff. Even the guys in specialized divisions don't, the way you generally get there though is starting as a beat cop and working your way up with a shown interest. That leaves oh...99% of the people who know what they're doing, doing something else.

Those of you in the /. crowd besides myself going into law enforcement raise your hands. I'm going to guess the pickings will be slim. I'll hazard even after I'm hired, it will be around 4-6 years before I'm into that division at the service I'm applying at. I'm going there because we need to pick up the pace on stuff like this. Police are seriously falling behind because there's no one.

Re:HTTP Proxy? VPN Tunnel? (5, Insightful)

whoda (569082) | more than 4 years ago | (#30097500)

They did consider VPN's and Proxies and fairies too.
They also had witnesses, aka Real People, who also testified he was at his fathers house.
It was corroborating evidence, not the piece the case hinged on.

Once again, Facebook verified what multiple REAL PEOPLE were telling the cops. It wasn't the only piece of evidence.

You love how ignorant people are of the legal profession, I love how people like you are so pompous and know-it-all's they can't even read the article.

Re:HTTP Proxy? VPN Tunnel? (2, Informative)

Manip (656104) | more than 4 years ago | (#30097740)

You must be new to /. if you think people read the articles before responding...

Re:HTTP Proxy? VPN Tunnel? (1)

anyGould (1295481) | more than 4 years ago | (#30097956)

Once again, Facebook verified what multiple REAL PEOPLE were telling the cops. It wasn't the only piece of evidence.

The part I found amusing/interesting is that while the police didn't want to believe him, his father, and all the various witnesses, but Facebook was apparently the clincher for his innocence.

(My personal suspicion is that the cops decided at that point that trying to prove "he robbed the store, and got all these people to be alibis, plus arranged a secure proxy and VPN to spoof a Facebook posting..." would stretch credibility. My personal thought is, if you've gone through all the effort, wouldn't you use it for more than a generic robbery?)

Re:HTTP Proxy? VPN Tunnel? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30099124)

Once again, Facebook verified what multiple REAL PEOPLE were telling the cops.

To quote Oscar Wilde: LOL WUT?

If the prosecution didn't trust these people, said people could have set the status for the suspect. If they did trust the people, the whole Facebook status "story" becomes irrelevant.

Either way it sounds like somebody just wants to get his 15 minutes, 'cause he used "teh interwebs".

Re:HTTP Proxy? VPN Tunnel? (1)

Planesdragon (210349) | more than 4 years ago | (#30099280)

If the prosecution didn't trust these people, said people could have set the status for the suspect.

If the prosecution trusted those people, they wouldn't have brought the case to a trial.

It's the JURY that has to decide if they trust those people, moron.

Re:HTTP Proxy? VPN Tunnel? (1)

Sepiraph (1162995) | more than 4 years ago | (#30097658)

If this was a million dollar heist or a premeditated murder case, I'd have agreed with you but considering that the case was some robbery in a public housing and the accused was a teenager, it seem extremely likely that he'd actually gone through all that trouble to setup all of that just to update his facebook (and the arguably remote chance that it was admitted as evidence).

Re:HTTP Proxy? VPN Tunnel? (4, Insightful)

bumburumbi (1047864) | more than 4 years ago | (#30097814)

Well, it is within the realm of the possible that somebody sat down and applied Occams razor to the possible scenarios: The first scenario involves this bloke (1) planning to rob somebody, (2) setting up a proxy or vpn service and (3) some people conspiring to give false evidence. The second scenario: The bloke was at home and nobody lied.

Re:HTTP Proxy? VPN Tunnel? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30097960)

Nobody lies?

If House taught me anything is that this guy was fucking a cow and the "witnesses" were well, witnessing it, which is why they are so adamant about his innocence.

He then went home and hacked into facebook servers to modify the times-tamp of a post he had written 2 hours before to cover all his bovine fornication.

Meanwhile the cow, angry because he didn't tell her when he was about to come, committed a robbery and tried to frame him.

Re:HTTP Proxy? VPN Tunnel? (2, Insightful)

at_slashdot (674436) | more than 4 years ago | (#30097942)

I posted this in another reply but I see a common misunderstanding: The point is that was a type of crime that was not likely to be premeditated, nor his status update looked like a way to construct an alibi, any crime that can assumed to be premeditated would not be excused by such an alibi.

There's no "lack of understanding of the technology" involved here, is your lack of understanding of the circumstances.

Re:HTTP Proxy? VPN Tunnel? (1)

moortak (1273582) | more than 4 years ago | (#30098090)

They are willing to take it at face value because he also had human witnesses who said he was home. That shifted the balance of the evidence from he said she said to he and some circumstantial evidence said she said. For a robbery checking it would be enough to make it hard to procede to trial.

Re:HTTP Proxy? VPN Tunnel? (1)

seebs (15766) | more than 4 years ago | (#30098932)

Read the guy's facebook.

Then tell me with a straight face that it is reasonable to imagine that he set up some such fakery in order to have an alibi for a trivial robbery.

Re:HTTP Proxy? VPN Tunnel? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30098942)

Did you even look at this guy's picture on the article? He's "Rell - Deuce Boys what up" Hardcore rapper. There isn't much of a chance that he knows what a VPN is, and a very unlikely chance that he would even know someone capable of doing it, while he went and "robbed" two people for $3.50 or whatever they had in their wallets.

Re:HTTP Proxy? VPN Tunnel? (1)

Planesdragon (210349) | more than 4 years ago | (#30099244)

Take this case for example, nobody stopped to consider that he might have setup a HTTP proxy, VPN tunnel, or some other routing service? Why? Because neither the defence nor prosecution understand what they're talking about.

There is not a single part of the internet that cannot be fairly simple translated into long established law. For example, to help establish your alibi defence of "I was at home", you would use all sorts of things that can help you clear that up. "I dialed a friend's house, and she didn't pick up" is the closest immediate parallel. The phone company can verify that the call was made, and while it doesn't prove that YOU did it, it does help make your case.

Could someone be faking it, technically? Yeah, probably. But it is reasonable to believe that they actually are? That's what juries are for.

It is kind of funny, the lawyers spend TONS of time worrying that the jury won't understand the law. But they never stop to consider that the lawyers won't understand the evidence.

Sheesh.

Juries don't decide one little bit of what the law is, and they don't need to understand it. All they do need to understand is what the JUDGE says -- the judge decides what the law does or does not say, and when she opens her mouth it's as good as written law for that case. Juries decide questions of fact -- like, "given the evidence presented, do we believe that $DEFENDANT was at home?"

Re:HTTP Proxy? VPN Tunnel? (1)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 4 years ago | (#30099470)

They did, you are just *much* more ignorant of the legal professions that they are of technology.

Evidence is weighed, you may note they didn't just release him when he said "but I was home and made a facebook update".

They verified it with facebook, got statement from other people providing collaboration, spent 2 weeks confirming things and checking other evidence. And decided that the available evidence supported his claim and so let him go.

Sure the "it was a facebook update" makes the news, but it's not the only piece of evidence. The testimonies from other people saying "he was with me" would have had more weight anyway.

Double-edged sword. (5, Interesting)

prakslash (681585) | more than 4 years ago | (#30097338)

This decision just gave the IP address sword its second edge.

On the one hand, they were using IP addresses to identify and prosecute people for 'illegal' downloading and accessing child porn. Now, someone was aquitted based on their IP address.

Interesting indeed. Probably now, the authorities will realize the futility of using IP addresses as evidence.

Re:Double-edged sword. (1)

autocracy (192714) | more than 4 years ago | (#30097418)

Well, not so much. The info from the posting, the IP address, and the witness statements corroborate to provide more than reasonable doubt that he did not commit the crime. That's very different from saying that the info from the IP address is beyond reasonable doubt.

Re:Double-edged sword. (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 4 years ago | (#30097458)

Futility? I think they just solidified it, even tho it defies logic that it was actually *you* doing the update ( or download ). An IP proves nothing other then where the crime/alibi occurred, but opens up a lot of people of false accusations, convictions and jail time for something they didn't actually do.

Re:Double-edged sword. (2, Insightful)

schon (31600) | more than 4 years ago | (#30097464)

Now, someone was aquitted based on their IP address.

No, someone was aquitted based on the IP address their account was used from. There is a distinct difference.

In this case, there is a username and password that is used to identify someone, not just an IP address.

It's distinctly possible that he gave his account information to someone else, but there were witnesses to corroborate the alibi as well.

Re:Double-edged sword. (1)

the_humeister (922869) | more than 4 years ago | (#30097660)

You know, there was also witness testimony that the suspect didn't commit the crime. It wasn't just the Facebook status that acquitted him. Now if the Facebook status was the only thing that showed he didn't do it and he was acquitted, then I'd say that's news. As it is, it's not news.

Re:Double-edged sword. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30097900)

Well, clearly if your IP address would exonerate you, it's unreliable evidence, but if it would convict you, it's totally reliable and unique to you.

Don't Call Me... (2, Funny)

balbord (447248) | more than 4 years ago | (#30097342)

Shirley!

Sorry. I am so sorry. I'll leave now. So sorry.

Re:Don't Call Me... (1)

BradyB (52090) | more than 4 years ago | (#30097852)

Shirley!

Sorry. I am so sorry. I'll leave now. So sorry.

Umm ok.

Thanks, awesome. (0, Redundant)

NoPantsJim (1149003) | more than 4 years ago | (#30097440)

Now I know how to not get convicted when I commit that crime I was planning for tonight.

(No, I am not planning a crime tonight, or ever)

MSNBC (1)

EgNagRah (1650283) | more than 4 years ago | (#30097474)

The super market tabloids for your TV!

VPN is too complicated (2, Insightful)

berlindx (1330521) | more than 4 years ago | (#30097540)

Couldn't you just have a friend login to your facebook profile and post a update while you're out committing crimes?

Slashdot Alibi... (4, Funny)

qpawn (1507885) | more than 4 years ago | (#30097670)

I could have been cleared, but I posted as an Anonymous Coward.

Presumption of innocence (3, Insightful)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 4 years ago | (#30097774)

One thing that some folks have forgotten here is that the guy was presumed innocent until the prosecution could prove him guilty. If there's evidence from Facebook indicating that he updated his status, then the prosecution would need to show that the guy was using a proxy/tunnel/whatever, or that he had someone else post for him, etc. Otherwise, it provides a reasonable doubt as to whether he was even at the scene of the crime.

Re:Presumption of innocence (1)

Pete Venkman (1659965) | more than 4 years ago | (#30097870)

..innocent until proven guilty? Too bad that in real life it doesn't always play out that way.

Re:Presumption of innocence (2, Insightful)

hazem (472289) | more than 4 years ago | (#30097886)

This really just shows how weak the prosecution's case was. I suspect they locked him up in Rikers for 12 days to hopefully get him to just give up and plead guilty to a lesser charge. That way they get a conviction, the city is "tough on crime", and they didn't actually have to make the effort of putting together an actual case in front of a judge and jury.

When they can make your life miserable until you confess, there's no need for a presumption of innocence. This guy got lucky that he had eye witnesses and technological records that supported his innocence.

Not how evidence works (1)

SuperBanana (662181) | more than 4 years ago | (#30097944)

. If there's evidence from Facebook indicating that he updated his status, then the prosecution would need to show that the guy was using a proxy/tunnel/whatever, or that he had someone else post for him, etc.

You have a fundamental misunderstanding of how evidence works. Even if it's evidence in your favor, it has to still be valid.

This case is ridiculous; the prosecutor should be fired for gross incompetence. All the prosecution would have to do is ask "could a login from his computer only be done by him?" and the answer would be "no, anyone with his password."

Re:Not how evidence works (2, Insightful)

canajin56 (660655) | more than 4 years ago | (#30098292)

The prosecutors job is to prove beyond all reasonable doubt. If he contends a piece of evidence is invalid, he has to prove it is so beyond all reasonable doubt. You're the one who doesn't understand. He would have had to go up there and contend that "All of the other guests lied about him being there, and on top of that, he had one of them leave a facebook message in order to exonerate him, and yes, that seems to me a reasonable setup prior to a fucking MUGGING." To repeat. If you're charged with a crime, and your father and other family members all swear you were with them, that's a tenuous alibi, they might by lying to cover you. If somebody from your father's house was updating facebook just minutes prior to the crime, that means either he's not lying, or it means he was engaged with a conspiracy prior to the crime. That is, the accused planned it all out prior to mugging some fucking strangers in his own apartment complex! That's absurd. On top of this...the prosecutor refuses to comment on what evidence there was. There probably wasn't any, they just grabbed the guy who "looked most guilty" when they were canvasing the neighbors, and hoped he'd be too poor to fight it. He lived in the projects, after all. "He's guilty of something, might as well be this."

Original Status Message was... (1)

iminanalog (1678560) | more than 4 years ago | (#30097856)

"WHERE MY IHOP? robbin fools make me hungery."

Crime of Opportunity (2, Informative)

pgn674 (995941) | more than 4 years ago | (#30098306)

There are a lot of posts saying it'd be pretty easy to fake the Facebook post. It wouldn't even have to be technical: Just call your father and ask him to log on to Facebook under your account and post what you tell him to.

The article doesn't say, but what if this was a crime of opportunity? What if the evidence at the scene and witness's testimonies painted a motive that indicated it was a crime of opportunity, and not a pre-planned crime? If that was a case, then accepting a Facebook posting made at the time of the crime seems pretty reasonable. Maybe he called his father just after the crime, but one minute after an unplanned crime? That feels unlikely to me, too. And anyways, the court had testimonies and other evidence hinting that he wasn't the guy, so I don't think this will set a precedent that Facebook postings should be accepted without question in court.

so... (1)

old and new again (985238) | more than 4 years ago | (#30098960)

so i can ask anyone to press share on my facebook (or script it) and get away with anything wow, some judges are pretty stupid or what?

Icing on the cake (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30099446)

If you read elsewhere he had other secure alibis its just this was the icing on the cake for his defense

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