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Tweets and Threats: Gangs Find New Home On the Net

Soulskill posted about 6 months ago | from the using-foursquare-to-check-into-your-crackhouse dept.

Social Networks 144

cold fjord send this quote from the Associated Press: "Social media has exploded among street gangs. ... They're turning to Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Instagram to flaunt guns and wads of cash, threaten rivals, intimidate informants ... sell weapons, drugs — even plot murder. 'What's taking place online is what's taking place in the streets,' says David Pyrooz, an assistant professor at Sam Houston State University. ... 'The Internet does more for a gang's brand or a gang member's identity than word-of-mouth could ever do. It really gives the gang a wide platform to promote their reputations. ... On the crime-fighting side ... this activity ... is transforming how police and prosecutors pursue gangs. Along with traditional investigative techniques, police monitor gangs online. [A] Cincinnati police officer who trains other law enforcement about social media says by the time gang members appear in court, authorities have a dossier of their words and videos online that challenge how they want to portray themselves. 'If a guy goes in and says, "I'm a good person. I've never held a gun," we can say, "Look at what he puts out about himself on social media. Here he is with a gun."'"

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144 comments

That's nice, but... (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45930015)

If a guy goes in and says, "I'm a good person. I've never held a gun," we can say, "Look at what he puts out about himself on social media. Here he is with a gun."

Why should it matter what he says? Shouldn't you have... evidence?

Re: That's nice, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45930053)

It can affect the severity of the sentence.

Re: That's nice, but... (0)

Opportunist (166417) | about 6 months ago | (#45930193)

Lying is a crime now?

Re: That's nice, but... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45930215)

Lying is a crime now?

It has to do with the sentencing guidelines.

However, if stupidity was a crime you'd be guilty as hell.

Re: That's nice, but... (2)

cold fjord (826450) | about 6 months ago | (#45930331)

It can be, depending on the circumstances. Among the possibilities are:

Perjury
Making False Statements
Giving False Information to a Police Officer
Fraud

There are no doubt others depending on the circumstances and jurisdiction.

Re: That's nice, but... (3, Interesting)

sumdumass (711423) | about 6 months ago | (#45930391)

It can be but that wasn't the point of "affecting the severity of the sentence". Presumably, someone would have already have been convicted of a crime before being sentences. The person has an opportunity to say something to the court before the sentence is passed down. Often people will plead for leniency by downplaying their actions as un-ordinary or a special case or something and describe themselves as otherwise upstanding citizens who pose a benefit to society or having them serve time would create an extreme hardship for an innocent party. Most of the time, the lawyer will make this case but sometimes the convicted do it themselves. It goes to the character of the accused and a judge can sometimes impose less of a sentence if you persuade them you are a good person who made a mistake. This is also often the difference between a lawyer and a good lawyer- how well they can convince a judge of your good character can often get you by with a slap on the wrist compared to the maximum penalties.

What this allows is the police or the prosecution to step in afterwards and say, this is not true, see from his face book page, he is around guns all the time and talks about participating in criminal activities either he or people his associates participated in. Most of this would already be included or summarized in a pre sentencing investigation report but instead of asking your neighbors, you are telling the police directly what kind of person you are or want to be seen as.

Re: That's nice, but... (5, Interesting)

hairyfeet (841228) | about 6 months ago | (#45930519)

No its called "impeaching the witness" and honestly? kinda hard to have a problem with it, really.

Imagine I'm brought in because the church down the street burns. they find me with a smell of gas and paint in my truck, people saw a truck matching mine in the area, etc. Now I go on the stand, under oath mind you, and say "Oh I never had a problem with that church, not a bit" are you gonna HONESTLY argue that nobody should be able to bring up the fact i was caught on video not a week before calling the members of that church every filthy name in the book and wishing it would burn down, really?

Because THAT is what these brain trusts are doing folks, they are broadcasting brags about their crimes in public and then are shocked! Shocked I say, that somebody actually notices they are posing with a bag of dope and an AK47? I got a friend in the state crime lab and believe me, not like the cops have to entrap these knuckle draggers, they ALL think they are fricking Tony Montana! I mean do you have ANY idea how many copies of the "scarface coke shot" he has seen? If it was less than 500 I'd be amazed. these bozos have this shit set to public, practically broadcast this shit to everyone that has ever said hi to them even because they WANT this shit to be seen, because they think they are "big pappa bad ass" that an do like some movie and just flip off the world.

So are we REALLY gonna bitch when cops bust somebody waving a pile of money in front of a mound of dope surrounded by guns and stolen shit and then tweeting that shit to the planet? Really? You might as well say the moron that gets busted at 3AM for driving 80 in a 30 with a half a pound and guns in his car should get a do over because "Well he was stoned, duh". I mean give me a break, if anything they should get an extra 5 years for being so fucking stupid, in the hopes of minimizing the risk to the gene pool!

Re: That's nice, but... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45930633)

In your Church example, if I was on the jury and that was the totality of the evidence, I would vote not to convict. That's because motive and means does not mean you did it. It suggests you did, but it is by no means "proof".

Re: That's nice, but... (2)

Demonoid-Penguin (1669014) | about 6 months ago | (#45931499)

In your Church example, if I was on the jury and that was the totality of the evidence, I would vote not to convict. That's because motive and means does not mean you did it. It suggests you did, but it is by no means "proof".

Brilliant logic. Unless.... what if, longshot, but, what if when the Church burns down the police come around to your house, and find you wearing smoke stained, petrol reeking clothes because your name came up in a web search of likely culprits?

Re: That's nice, but... (2, Interesting)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about 6 months ago | (#45931283)

So, I do a bit of computer security research. I hammer on programs and OSs and make my own. I've gone on and on about how we should disband the NSA, and how it's just pointless scaremongering to get funds to suppress freedom, not protect anyone. Say they trace a compromise of government systems to my IP address. I've clearly got the know-how, and motive. Yet I'd stand up in court and say, "I would NEVER take such action against the government." It's the truth. With great power comes great responsibility, and all that jazz. It's against my ethics to do that. So that's what this "brain trust" is doing. Broadcasting the fact that I'm not pleased with the state of things, and that I can operate a system like nobody's business.

Now, being that this data is online, and we know the NSA (who also works with the FBI) can potentially compromise any online or digital data to forge "evidence" if they want (and they've been known to manufacture stuff in the past) [wikipedia.org] how the hell can we trust anything they say? How can that IP log be trusted? -- They could just want to get rid of me. My own systems could be compromised (and a firmware dump shows at least one of my routers is). So, there's absolutely no online evidence that should be admissible in court nowdays, you see. I mean a judge? Hell they'll lie to congress in the name of "national security".

Video is one thing -- a bit harder to fake that, but not impossible given today's props and special effects. Digital mods to photographs can even evade detection if you know what characteristics they'll be looking for. But posting text online? Seriously? No, nothing said online should be taken seriously. I mean, I make games and stories involving aliens and cybernetic overlords, and make posts in such character. We can't just demonstrate selection bias here -- They want to include some of my online content, let's include it all, including the bit about being the sysop of a parallel Universe, the Corn Kernel Equality Activist, the Atlantian anthropologist studying breeding habits American hairless apes, the Disappointed Alien Overmind, and the parent's basement dwelling anti-socialite, and the sentient primordial ooze who's noticed some zany carbon based reactions going on in the aftermath of that one zit that popped with a big bang, etc. There's enough bullshit in there to make just about any kind of claim you want about me through quote-mining, you damned pop-culture supporting cornsagonist.

The defence doesn't get access to the real state level evidence to present their side of the story due to "national security", so parallel construction can be done in secret anyway. Yeah, let's subpoena the NSA's Ferret Cannon logs to see if it had any exploits targeting the clients? No? Well then quote mining online shit is ridiculous.

Hard evidence is an altogether different story. Perhaps online posts can be used for probable cause, but seriously? Scarface's Coke Shot? Prove it's not Anthrax or some other white powder. The AK47 and other guns could easily be fakes. Are they? What did the evidence turn up? Cash isn't illegal to have either, though the feds would like to make it that way.

You don't think kids don't do fake shots all the time to brag? You think they don't lie their asses off to 1up each other? Think they don't lie about kicking someone's ass, or telling off some parent, teacher, the convenience store clerk, or even about having GF's or BF's that are really just strangers or acquaintances in a photo with them, etc. You think I believe you get off to hairy fucking feet because that's what your online username says?

It's one thing to be driving over the speed limit and get caught. It's quite another to have silly shit folks post online influence jail time. You better wise the fuck up, idiot. They're arresting kids for saying shit in World of fucking Warcraft. [joystiq.com] These censorious cretins are crawling all over bogus Twitter death threats would just love to use their police state to crank down the thermostat for their chilling effect. That's why TFA exists: "Oh look, we've caught some legitimate criminals, our online dragnet is legitimate."

An extra 5 years for being stupid? Well, wish for it for yourself then, dumbass. Someone like me or a goon at any 3-letter-agency could follow your online activities, figure out when you won't have an alibi, and photo-shop you into some really compromising Facebook and twitter pics and make posts from your system to frame you for some shit someone else did. Maybe they'll think to snag a few hairs you left on a restaurant chair or some saliva from the disposable cup you tossed just to make sure it's an open and shut case + "extra years" in the pen for being stupid and leaving DNA in public and having an online presence.

In today's technical society we should be raising the standards of evidence, not lowering the bar, dipshit. "Why would he post evidence to incriminate himself your honour? Well, maybe it was a celebratory drunk-post, I mean they ALL think they're untouchable like 'Tony Montana', after all; The state seeks maximum punishment to teach this sick hair foot fetishist murderer a lesson." Minimizing the risk to the gene pool? How about you go swim a tar pit, you're hindering the herd.

Re: That's nice, but... (1)

dakohli (1442929) | about 6 months ago | (#45930527)

Lying is a crime now?

Just ask Martha Stewart.

Re: That's nice, but... (2)

Great Big Bird (1751616) | about 6 months ago | (#45930899)

Are you going to trust what she says?

Re: That's nice, but... (2)

AK Marc (707885) | about 6 months ago | (#45930631)

Lying to deprive someone of something is fraud. Lying to a law enforcement officer is often obstruction. Lying under oath is perjury. Proving a witness is lying discredits everything they say, and leads to convictions if that witness is a defendant.

Re: That's nice, but... (1)

mosb1000 (710161) | about 6 months ago | (#45931073)

Lying in court has always been a crime.

Re:That's nice, but... (1)

AuMatar (183847) | about 6 months ago | (#45930221)

Yes. And in court the defendant will present counter-evidence, including an alibi which may or may not be true. Showing that the defendant is a habitual liar and has lied about facts pertinent to the case means a jury will find his defense less credible. Its not evidence that he committed the crime, but it can counter their arguments. It may also show circumstantial evidence, such as the same make of gun.

Re:That's nice, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45930477)

Character witness against oneself - don't be a dick. It might come up in court later.

Re:That's nice, but... (1)

JWSmythe (446288) | about 6 months ago | (#45930525)

If your testimony is "I've never held a gun", then a photo you posted of yourself with a gun is then evidence, showing that you lied. It's very easy for a judge or jury to assume one lie means anything you've said can be a lie. And as others have said, perjury.

Re:That's nice, but... (1)

Zumbs (1241138) | about 6 months ago | (#45931035)

Assuming that the gun on the image is a real gun and not a replica or believable toy.

Ass. Prof. is what exactly? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45930017)

Assists a real professor? Not tenured and never will be? Works-for-food?

Re:Ass. Prof. is what exactly? (1)

Seraphim1982 (813899) | about 6 months ago | (#45930365)

An assistant professor is usually non-tenured but is on the tenure track. Generally it means you have like 5 or fewer years of experience in the job.

Online footprints nearly reach fingerprint parity (4, Interesting)

DontScotty (978874) | about 6 months ago | (#45930019)

Online footprints nearly reach fingerprint parity

And, since the criminals won't stop at just one crime, they can even turn around and cyber-bully the officer who took them down

http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2013/02/alleged-gang-member-cyberbullies-cop-on-facebook.html [nymag.com]
 
-- just another casual observation on why gang members can sometime gather notoriety for being as dumb as regular social media users.

Re:Online footprints nearly reach fingerprint pari (2)

Paradise Pete (33184) | about 6 months ago | (#45930557)

the criminals won't stop at just one crime, they can even turn around and cyber-bully the officer who took them down

I know "bullying" is the new magic pass-phrase, but is that really bullying? He threatened the cop and got arrested for his trouble. Nobody seemed "bullied" to me.

Re:Online footprints nearly reach fingerprint pari (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about 6 months ago | (#45931233)

As a general rule, anything in which the word 'cyber' appears can be dismissed. This has been the case ever since popular misuse of the term 'cybernetics' caused its meaning to shift.

Re:Online footprints nearly reach fingerprint pari (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45930683)

Unless they've committed a crime other then bragging about what gang there in, or brandishing a weapon. I do not see this as "evidence" this is why they use social media, and if they get busted it only becomes a badge of honor among gangs. Even more so when they keep there mouths shut and do there time. Between the cops and media/press which has done wonders for free advertising of gangs, this is only going to help continue the appeal of joining or wanting to be in a gang.

This will become a SCOTUS issue at some point, unless there committing a crime that can be proven with witnesses, videos and social chat, shouldn't be evidence nor should it be used to build a "profile" by the already out of control police state, this is a blatant violation of rights.

More to the point someone can talk about killing and if that person ends up dead they're targeted as a suspect, that person had nothing to do with killing or hiring someone to kill them, his words were taken out of context and literally used as evidence. AKA he talked shit!!

This will apply to regular folks that do things they feel and aren't considered crimes. The "White Power" movement used the internet long before social media, and all you had to do was use a search engine to find the sites, posting all kinds videos, forums, not that far off from what is going on social sites, blatant talk of killings, beating and other crimes. And the police or government agencies cannot use this as evidence nor can they bust the groups or shut down the sites, under the Constitution they have rights [whether you or I find it right or wrong]

And using social sites you would still have to do some type of search to even notice the existence of these gangs. It is much better to just cause havoc get busted and wait for the media/press to boast about your gang.

Re:Online footprints nearly reach fingerprint pari (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45931471)

Online footprints nearly reach fingerprint parity

And, since the criminals won't stop at just one crime, they can even turn around and cyber-bully the officer who took them down

http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2013/02/alleged-gang-member-cyberbullies-cop-on-facebook.html [nymag.com]

-- just another casual observation on why gang members can sometime gather notoriety for being as dumb as regular social media users.

Just a casual observation about social media. The biggest crime going on there is 99% of the content, which is usually so idiotic it should be illegal. Don't expect actual criminals to act any more intelligent because of that moronic tool.

Laugh (2)

koan (80826) | about 6 months ago | (#45930025)

Not the sharpest tools in the shed are they.

Re:Laugh (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45930115)

Not the sharpest tools in the shed are they.

These are gangstas. Gangstas are poor, urban, uneducated, semiliterate, illmannered young black men who were raised by bitchy, morbidly obese single mothers, who think being a street thug is cool, and have terrible marksmanship. They don't wear belts and let their pants hang off their flabby asses because their homies in prison aren't allowed to have belts and they think prison is something to celebrate. They get teardrop tattoos to mourn the homies who got shot but it doesn't occur to them that a better solution would be to stop killing each other. Oh they also think their gutter street-slang dialect that they mostly got from the media is a sign of great sophistication.

Of course these are not the sharpest tools in the shed. Hell, it's a miracle their daddy was smart enough to get Tab A into Slot B! That's what gangstas are good at of course: breeding. Every babymomma is a trophy! 'Sides that means more SNAP, WIC and EBT payments yo!

Gotta love the ivory tower, smug liberal Slashdotters that are so numerous lately. Never actually being in a real ghetto and seeing real gangbangers, they can comfortably sit on their cozy little Lazy Boy and bitch about me because they honestly don't know what the fuck they're talking about. The only young black men they know about are the doctors and lawyers on TV. But whatever you do, don't question your conditioning.

Re:Laugh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45930181)

Not the sharpest tools in the shed are they.

These are gangstas. Gangstas are poor, urban, uneducated, semiliterate, illmannered young black men who were raised by bitchy, morbidly obese single mothers, who think being a street thug is cool, and have terrible marksmanship. They don't wear belts and let their pants hang off their flabby asses because their homies in prison aren't allowed to have belts and they think prison is something to celebrate. They get teardrop tattoos to mourn the homies who got shot but it doesn't occur to them that a better solution would be to stop killing each other. Oh they also think their gutter street-slang dialect that they mostly got from the media is a sign of great sophistication.

Of course these are not the sharpest tools in the shed. Hell, it's a miracle their daddy was smart enough to get Tab A into Slot B! That's what gangstas are good at of course: breeding. Every babymomma is a trophy! 'Sides that means more SNAP, WIC and EBT payments yo!

Gotta love the ivory tower, smug liberal Slashdotters that are so numerous lately. Never actually being in a real ghetto and seeing real gangbangers, they can comfortably sit on their cozy little Lazy Boy and bitch about me because they honestly don't know what the fuck they're talking about. The only young black men they know about are the doctors and lawyers on TV. But whatever you do, don't question your conditioning.

Gangs are for losers that can't do anything for themselves.

Re:Laugh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45930219)

Nice troll :)

Re:Laugh (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45930263)

Doesn't make it any less true

Re:Laugh (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45930341)

Sounds like someone is bitter he's not getting any Slot B action.

Re:Laugh (1)

Z00L00K (682162) | about 6 months ago | (#45930653)

That's what the military calls "gun fodder".

Re:Laugh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45930759)

But whatever you do, don't question your conditioning.

At least you're one to take your own advice.

Re:Laugh (3, Informative)

sfcat (872532) | about 6 months ago | (#45931203)

They get teardrop tattoos to mourn the homies who got shot

I was going to mod you down but then you had to go and make that comment about teardrop tattoos. Those mean you killed someone in prison and are not about their friends/hommies. Bangers pour out 40s and graffitti names to remember their homies.

What was that about liberals who don't know about the real world again?

PS Programs like SNAP, WIC and EBT generally reduce crime and you fools just cut it. Hope you have a good home security system...cause you might be meeting some of these fine upstanding citizens in the near future if you get your way too much longer...

Re:Laugh (2)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about 6 months ago | (#45931241)

Is there an agreed upon tattoo code? I'd imagine there is a lot of national and even regional variation.

Re:Laugh (1)

mikael (484) | about 6 months ago | (#45931427)

There are some conventions over what various symbols mean. The tear drop means either they killed someone or someone they knew was killed.

http://www.ehow.com/how_2363815_identify-gang-tattoos-symbols.html [ehow.com]

Gangs and Their Tattoos: Identifying Gangbangers on the Street and in Prison [Paperback]
Bill Valentine (Author), Robert Schober (Illustrator)

Re:Laugh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45930385)

I love how they prance around, boasting about how manly they are while hiding behind guns like little punks.

Re:Laugh (1)

Z00L00K (682162) | about 6 months ago | (#45930665)

The problem here is that those show-offs draws the attention of the law enforcement from the ones working silently. Some of the silent ones can be even more dangerous because you don't know who they are and where they will strike.

And if you have a show-off gang in an area it's easy to put down evidence that at least circumstantially indicates that gang.

Re:Laugh (1)

Threni (635302) | about 6 months ago | (#45931445)

> The problem here is that those show-offs draws the attention of the law enforcement
> from the ones working silently. Some of the silent ones can be even more
> dangerous because you don't know who they are and where they will strike.

So...there's no problem then. The silent ones aren't drawing any attention because no-one knows they're doing it. The police won't know about it until, typically, someone tells them about it, at which point they'll know about it. Then again, the police are largely concerned with manipulation of crime figures, making people feel safe, protecting - typically - the rich from - typically - the poor. These show-offs are just a free ride for the police; they might as well turn up at the police station and hand themselves in.

Re:Laugh (1)

mikael (484) | about 6 months ago | (#45931409)

As one detective said: "Every dumb criminal is a failure of the education system"

There was something like 75% illiteracy in the prisons. These guys couldn't read or write, never mind actually figure out that CCTV cameras could record past events and replay them in the future. When the police used predictive analysis to determine future crime scenes, and staked out the joint, the caught criminals would claim they had been "set up".

That makes sense actually. (1)

dyingtolive (1393037) | about 6 months ago | (#45930027)

We make the world such an ugly place. Makes sense it would spread to places where there's an absence.

Re:That makes sense actually. (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45930153)

We make the world such an ugly place.

But when I squeeze yo mama's titties it's suddenly a much more beautiful place.

Re:That makes sense actually. (1)

dyingtolive (1393037) | about 6 months ago | (#45930163)

I saw my mom for the first time in years just a couple weeks ago. If that's the best you can do, well, I'm really sorry for you.

I suppose the lack of teeth might be considered an asset, for some.

The President's Son flashed guns on the Internet (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45930041)

The President's Son flashed guns and gang signs on the Internet. And when people brought this up, they were called "racist."

See http://www.cnn.com/2013/05/23/justice/florida-zimmerman-defense/

Re:The President's Son flashed guns on the Interne (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45930125)

The President has 2 daughters. What the hell are you jabbering on about?

Re:The President's Son flashed guns on the Interne (1)

sumdumass (711423) | about 6 months ago | (#45930139)

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/obama-if-i-had-a-son-hed-look-like-trayvon/ [cbsnews.com]

He is referencing a comment Obama made and taking it to an extreme.

Re:The President's Son flashed guns on the Interne (2)

Mashiki (184564) | about 6 months ago | (#45930149)

He is referencing a comment Obama made and taking it to an extreme.

Nah, he's referencing a comment that Obama made, which the race baiters took to extremes, and those who are tired of it have flipped back on them.

Re:The President's Son flashed guns on the Interne (1)

sumdumass (711423) | about 6 months ago | (#45930281)

So are you trying to say there was a point to his idiocy other then making an ass of himself?

I mean otherwise, we are saying the same things, you just attempted to sugar coat it with some sort of admiration or something mixed with a bit of racism. Please explain your point a little more.

Is this really any surprise? (3, Interesting)

mendax (114116) | about 6 months ago | (#45930045)

Well, is it? The Mafia used all the tools of legitimate business such double-entry accounting techniques and computers long ago to run their businesses. Just because these thugs are less classy than the Mafia doesn't make them any less willing to use modern tools.

But my concerns go beyond how the gangs are using these tools to do their dirty business. In the past, courts have outlawed gangs and ordered gang members to not associate with each other. Are these restrictions, restrictions which are constitutionally iffy, going to soon extend into cyberspace? Yes, they are criminal organizations and those who join them criminals, but does that necessarily mean that these people can never use cyberspace?

Re:Is this really any surprise? (1)

Concerned Onlooker (473481) | about 6 months ago | (#45930213)

"...less classy than the Mafiaâ¦"

Wow, that's saying something. I didn't think it was even possible to be less classy than the mafia.

Re: Is this really any surprise? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45930363)

Well mafia thugs have suits, gangstas have shirts and jeans that are way too big with basketball shoes that costs more than their guns.

Re:Is this really any surprise? (2)

mendax (114116) | about 6 months ago | (#45930479)

Mafia dons wear better suits and more tasteful bling than the "gangsta" wastes of skin.

Re:Is this really any surprise? (1)

wbr1 (2538558) | about 6 months ago | (#45930869)

You are just as dead if killed by a crip for your car and shoes as you are by some low level mafia puke for not paying protection.

Re:Is this really any surprise? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45931431)

They are banned from using computers or even using cellphones. But that doesn't stop them from sneaking in smartphones and other devices into prison.

Re:Is this really any surprise? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45931475)

Well, is it? The Mafia used all the tools of legitimate business such double-entry accounting techniques and computers long ago to run their businesses. Just because these thugs are less classy than the Mafia doesn't make them any less willing to use modern tools.

But my concerns go beyond how the gangs are using these tools to do their dirty business. In the past, courts have outlawed gangs and ordered gang members to not associate with each other. Are these restrictions, restrictions which are constitutionally iffy, going to soon extend into cyberspace? Yes, they are criminal organizations and those who join them criminals, but does that necessarily mean that these people can never use cyberspace?

No, it means gang members should never be allowed to talk to bankers.

Unfortunately, in our society, we only see one of those groups as criminal.

Translation: (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45930047)

This just in: niggers talk shit, news at 11

Re:Translation: (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45930177)

This just in: niggers talk shit, news at 11

I understand now why the Slashdot summaries have so many grammatical and editorial errors. The Slashdot "editors" can't be bothered to do anything their job title would imply. They're much too busy loading and reloading comments, frantically using their browser's text search and trying to find instances of the word "nigger".

They can't manage to run a spell checker, but By God any post with "nigger" in it gets modded down in about four seconds flat! That's what you call PRIORITIES.

These people must be terminally stupid.... (1, Insightful)

gweihir (88907) | about 6 months ago | (#45930119)

Post-Snowden, even the most clueless moron must know that social media are under constant surveillance and that all said there is being recorded.

Re:These people must be terminally stupid.... (4, Insightful)

The_Star_Child (2660919) | about 6 months ago | (#45930161)

Street thugs don't strike me as particularly conscientious.

Re:These people must be terminally stupid.... (1)

sumdumass (711423) | about 6 months ago | (#45930171)

I'm not sure these people even care about Snowden or even heard of him or the details of his exploits. They aren't the type of people to pick up a news paper or watch the evening news unless someone they know is in it. I'm not sure if that makes them morons, but it certainly doesn't help them not be one. But remember, many times in life it is better to be more on then off- especially when near the edge of a cliff.

Re:These people must be terminally stupid.... (4, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | about 6 months ago | (#45930239)

Anyone who ever had some fingers in the organized crime, on either side of the fence, knows that there are things to avoid. Being the guy to pick up the money from a money laundering deal is not where you want to be, since it's the point where the police can actually get busy. Likewise, being the guy selling the drugs on the street ain't the best position in the drug train since that's where you're easy to grab.

And it's unlikely that being the social media guy for gangs is a very popular position unless you're planning to be a vital part to the federal prison system and job security for wardens. But someone's gotta do it, and some poor idiot will be doing it. Just like there's always some poor idiot willing to sell drugs or be the money mule.

Re:These people must be terminally stupid.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45930259)

Do you really think half of these guys would have even heard the name Snowden?

If you're not in their neighborhood, not part of a local gang, or not a target, you're unknown to them.

They only care about guns, drugs, and money - Snowden has nothing to do with any of that, in relation to them.

Do you think most people who aren't at all related to IT or under 30 have heard of Snowden? I could go and ask half the people down at my local grocery store, and they would have no idea.

Do you realise what the real world out there is actually like? far out.

Re:These people must be terminally stupid.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45930301)

score
ego 1
common sense 0

unfortunately, this is not the only battle common sense loses in today's world.

Re:These people must be terminally stupid.... (1, Interesting)

fermion (181285) | about 6 months ago | (#45930349)

People are not clueless, they just sometimes don't get that the laws and regulations are context sensitive. For example, when some people play with a gun in the street it is assumed that they are responsible gun owners [huffingtonpost.com] and will only use it to shoot vermin and people they think are criminals or people they think they can shoot and claim self defense.

Other if they have a gun are assumed to be criminals and be shot on sight, or brought up on charges for nothing more than having a gun. And this is silly because the NRA has clearly indicated that the problem with our society is there are too few gun owners, that gun owners should not have to register, that private sales, such as those that happen on instagram, should be legal and unregulated, and that only in certain extreme cases should gun ownership be regulated at all.

Such cases are very confusing to kids. Here is another one that is a pet of Rand Paul. A convicted drug dealer [wikipedia.org] is serving a life sentence because he was caught several times over six years of so selling drugs. Now, I know that this kid had divorced parents, was abused, and is depressed, but I wondered how many people in jail do not have a similar set of circumstances. I don't agree with the drug laws, and think they need to be changed, but I do think that sometimes if someone is convicted of a crime several times something needs to be done. If nothing else they are a very stupid criminal and someone is going to get hurt. But Paul just says in this case we should forgive and forget.

Again, it is very confusing to kids. This guy rapes a girl, posts the rape on the internet and gets a year of probation, and you tell me that there are consequences. Adolescents, and developmentally challenged adults, which includes a large part of the population, think they are invincible and will tend to over estimate the odds that they will get away with stuff. If we are not sending every kid to jail for a few days who tries to buy alcohol with a fake ID, then what gets out on Twitrer is not that fake IDs are dangerous, but that you probably won't have any consequences so the risk is worth it.

It is the same thing with guns and dangerous products carried onto airplanes. In most cases, the TSA will just confiscate or destroy. There are no real consequences. Therefore if a terrorist organization wanted to destroy a plane, all they would have to do is setup multiple agents to go to multiple airports until one eventually got through. There is nothing the TSA does to keep this from happening. If you are a licensed gun owner, just say you forgot it was there. The harmless compenents to make a strong acid that can eat away the skin of the plane stored in your shampoo, will just be thrown away.

Re:These people must be terminally stupid.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45930371)

Violent criminals are basically by definition terminally stupid, this includes many many cops. That's why police forces are so pissy about being filmed, leaking emails, etc. They know their actions are basically criminal

Re:These people must be terminally stupid.... (0)

cold fjord (826450) | about 6 months ago | (#45930635)

These people must be terminally stupid.... Post-Snowden, even the most clueless moron must know that social media are under constant surveillance and that all said there is being recorded.

Let us now compare two bodies of knowledge G and T, for which G = gweihir, T = local thug, in which we define

Knowledge of Snowden as S where high S = 100
Knowledge of Rap, crime, and the 'hood' as RCH where high RCH = 100

Making some broad assumptions, we now have:

G = S/1 + 15/RCH
T = RCH/1 + 1/S

By incorporating knowledge of the Koran K, where high K = 100, for extremists E into the scheme we can extend this to terrorism.

G = S/1 + 5/K
E = S/15 + K/1

From this we can conclude that local thugs will still go to jail since they pay no attention to Snowden, fewer terrorists will be caught since they do pay attention to Snowden, and Gweihir's music tastes will be criticized by T and knowledge of the Koran by E, but he will remain out of prison and free to mock E & T for ignoring Snowden.

Stupid is as Stupid does (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45930731)

Post-Snowden, even the most clueless moron must know that social media are under constant surveillance and that all said there is being recorded.

Like that one famous philosopher said:

Stupid is as Stupid does

Re:These people must be terminally stupid.... (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about 6 months ago | (#45931251)

The NSA isn't concerned with street crime. Or crime in general. They can't use their vast powers for law enforcement, as that would mean revealing sources in court. Classified sources. At most they may take part in some 'parallel construction' techniques - sending a bit of off-the-record information to police that can't be used in court, but can be used to more easily obtain evidence that can, like telling them which car to stop for a 'random' drug search.

More Reasons (1)

The_Star_Child (2660919) | about 6 months ago | (#45930155)

We'll be giving up our liberties. You don't want these murderous thugs getting away now, do you?

Re:More Reasons (1)

cold fjord (826450) | about 6 months ago | (#45930299)

Could you expand on that claim a bit? The only people I can see "losing their liberties" over this are the thugs providing evidence by advertising their crimes on Youtube. You'll losing their liberties by conviction for their crimes and going to jail. You seem to think there is more to it than that. Could you provide some details?

Re:More Reasons (1)

sumdumass (711423) | about 6 months ago | (#45930305)

You won't need to give up any liberties. In order for these new found thug tactics to be effective, they have to be in the open which is about like taking an ad out in the news paper, placing a sign in your front yard or someone else's yard or something. There is nothing wrong with the cops reading the news paper or looking at billboards or even looking at your public postings on social media.

And the typical UK response will be... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45930307)

Think of the children!

Oh won't someone please think of the children!

Legal question (3, Interesting)

Okian Warrior (537106) | about 6 months ago | (#45930321)

One thing I've wondered about of late is the reliability of evidence collected on the internet.

We've heard cases where someone was arrested because they admitted to something on Twitter [huffingtonpost.com] , or had a picture of themselves doing something wrong on Facebook [about.com] , and so on.

Absent any other evidence, is admission of guilt on the internet sufficient to convict someone in ideal circumstances?

Does anyone here with legal knowledge know the answer?

(I understand that you can get convicted of anything for any reason, and even for no reason, but I'm wondering about theory here. What's the situation, given an honest judge and correct representation?)

(And no, I'm not seeking legal advice on the internet since I'm not accused of a crime.)

Some examples of late: picture of teenager holding a beer (or holding a joint) leads to alcohol/drug charges, tweeting that you were driving drunk [ninemsn.com.au] , and so on.

Re:Legal question (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45930409)

Being a resident of Toronto, and having a mayor that has admitted in real life to smoking crack with known gangsters, no I would say admission of guilt alone is not enough. There has to be more specific evidence. Heck the police have a video of him smoking crack taken from a gang raid, and he's still running our city.

*I would point out that I have no issue with his crack use, just the lying about it, and his "zero tolerance" regarding gangs.

Re:Legal question (1)

Guest316 (3014867) | about 6 months ago | (#45930581)

Probably depends on how expensive a legal team you can hire.

Re:Legal question (1)

cold fjord (826450) | about 6 months ago | (#45930587)

INAL, but I do have some knowledge. As always you should seek the advice of a lawyer for sound legal advice.

The answer is, it depends. Having a video tape of yourself committing a crime, or that contains photographic proof that you are involved in some way (e.g. possessing stolen goods) will almost certainly be enough to provide probable cause for an arrest and investigation, and even an indictment. It may or may not be enough evidence to get you convicted depending on the circumstances and body of law. In some cases it may make the trial a slam dunk for the prosecution. In others the evidence may not be enough to get to the standard of "beyond a reasonable doubt," if it applies in that case. You should generally assume that making such a video or statement won't be much different than finding yourself on a security camera performing those actions, except you provided the camera. It will be a hard sell to explain that away to a jury, especially if there is other evidence of your participation. If you've pulled off a hoax, you better hope you can prove it, and that the hoax doesn't match a real crime. If you've falsely stated in some way (twitter, blog, etc.) that you committed a crime, you better find an alibi or some kind of proof that your statement was false, otherwise you could be stuck. Also, keep in mind that the standards of proof and available punishments vary depending upon the authority you may be subject to. Schools versus the city versus the state versus the Federal government could potentially all have an interest in a particular set of actions, but have very different reactions to it. Colleges have become notorious for disciplinary codes that are almost as fair as kangaroo courts, for example.

The Politics of Campus Sexual Assault [reason.com]

The old advice of, "Don't do the crime if you can't do the time." applies. I would also recommend caution about hoaxes and exaggerations to make yourself look like a "bad ass." Always save the receipt, have an alibi, and proof your hoax was a hoax. I won't recommend that criminals stop filming their highly entertaining and informative videos of their exploits. ;)

We'll save discussions of the affect of videos and social media on insurance claims or employment prospects for another time.

Re:Legal question (1)

cold fjord (826450) | about 6 months ago | (#45930615)

To expand on my previous comment....

I don't think you would want to have to explain away a video like these. They are well into slam dunk prosecution territory.

2nd Video of Baltimore Tourist being Stripped and Beaten [youtube.com]
Crazy Vandals destroy house but get their comeuppance! [youtube.com]

Re:Legal question (1)

KingOfBLASH (620432) | about 6 months ago | (#45931387)

More importantly, can the pictures be trusted in a world of Photoshop.

If it's one picture, it should be taken with a grain of salt.

My sister affectionately refers to my niece as "the little monkey." So I photoshopped giant monkey ears and some hair on her and sent it to my sister. Everyone laughed. But if you found it on my facebook, believe me, it wouldn't be evidence my niece is the missing link.

I could see it being "cool" to photoshop the equivalent of a scar face photo.

And maybe if someone was out to get you, it would make sense to do all the photoshopping necessary to create this evidence.

Re:Legal question (1)

mikael (484) | about 6 months ago | (#45931447)

There has to be physical evidence. Having a video someone snort white powder up their snozzle, isn't going to be enough. You'd need a sample of that white powder to put in an evidence bag Then you have to prove that the evidence bag hasn't been tampered with. The only way to achieve that chain of events is to stake out a place with concealed cameras, have officers ready to make arrests and forensic technicians to gather all the evidence. Even then, all that work can be undone when the crime lab goofs up the testing or the files "go missing".

Fuck you (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45930369)

Im so badass I show my gunz and bitchez on utube. And if u insult be in the comments u is a dead nigga. West side fo lyfe homiez

Sequel to the movie 'Gangs of New York'... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45930441)

is 'Gangs of Facebook'.

Just doesn't have quite the same impact.

This just in... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45930495)

criminals are still stupid, and its spreading.

Film at 11.

No, not all criminals are stupid (2)

knorthern knight (513660) | about 6 months ago | (#45930647)

We only catch the dumb ones, the low-hanging fruit. The smart criminals, by definition are smart enough not to get caught.

time to ban groups with mob or gang in there name (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about 6 months ago | (#45930529)

time to ban groups with mob or gang in there name from the web and if so groups useing names with them in part will get banned even if they are not even a law breaking group.

Tr07l (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45930589)

[theos.com] on his Of businees and was

Canadian version (1)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about 6 months ago | (#45930619)

Look at what he puts out about himself on social media. Here he is with a spork.

Old and not news (3, Informative)

edibobb (113989) | about 6 months ago | (#45930655)

This has been used on slow news days for years. 2012 [cnet.com] , 2011 [techdirt.com] , and 2006 [seattlepi.com] , for example.

Re:Old and not news (2)

lxs (131946) | about 6 months ago | (#45930925)

It does have poor people with guns and that newfangled internet thingy in it. Perfect for preying on suburban fears and getting pageviews.

As Dr Johnson would have said: (1)

gidds (56397) | about 6 months ago | (#45930839)

"When a man is tired of the Internet, he is tired of life; for there is on the Internet all that life can afford."

'on the internet' (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45930995)

more non-news FUD filler from the AP. Could even be a feeble attempt to drum up support for war-on-the-internet aka 'cyberwar'.

"Criminals commit crime - on the internet! {cue gasps} News at 11."

Give it a rest, slashdot.

Are WHITE people doing this? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45931015)

Who, exactly, is in these gangs? Who is ruining YOUR country by their very presence?

Why, it's the unwanted non-whites, isn't it. The ones who can't stand living around THEIR OWN KIND, so they thought they'd FORCE themselves onto white people and ruin OUR lives... Aren't we lucky.

Still, mustn't be 'racist', must we... the Jew-TV said so...

Good (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45931067)

Let them scream at people on the net instead of lambasting, stabbing, mugging and beating people on the streets. Wait, it does not work that way?

Great News !! - dumb criminals = easy catch (1)

burni2 (1643061) | about 6 months ago | (#45931187)

Have no criminals learned from D(r)ead Pirate Roberts ?

The more you conspire in the open and don't cover your tracks(which is extremly hard) ONE link between you and your secret identity is busted.

Re:Great News !! - dumb criminals = easy catch (2)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about 6 months ago | (#45931255)

He had a good run though. Ran the internet's premier public drugs trading website for years before the law finally caught up with him. I think that's quite impressive. He should have quit once he was wealthy enough to never have to work again - taken his millions, destroyed the site and all evidence, emigrated and disappeared. He didn't know when to quit.

Easy solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45931311)

Everybody post pictures of themselves, lightly photoshopped, with a baggie of something and something that looks like a firearm.

Post pictures of all your friends, and tag them. Post pictures of all the prosecutors, all the judges, and all the senators, representatives, governors, and presidents, all with a gun and a baggie. Tag them all.

AC for obvious reasons...

Jury Selection (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45931361)

Another thing - If they can use it in court, they can use it in jury selection.

Or dismissal.

AC

good person with gun (1)

fche (36607) | about 6 months ago | (#45931453)

"I'm a good person. I've never held a gun,"

That juxtaposition suggests the speaker cannot imagine that good people can hold guns.

All well and good.... (2)

TheCarp (96830) | about 6 months ago | (#45931463)

but... it seems to me a more effective strategy would involve...I dunno...maybe they should stop funding the gangs by providing them with the profitable drug market to draw from and buy their guns in the first place?

The police and their politician masters created the gangs....again. Just like they did back in the 20s.

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