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Cops Walking the MySpace Beat

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the hard-to-walk-that-particular-neighborhood dept.

278

theodp writes "Meet the point-and-click police. Newsweek reports that a growing number of ordinary officers are working a new beat, turning to MySpace to collect clues and crack offline cases. Most of the nabbed wrongdoers have been victims of their own hubris, like the two boys who uploaded video of themselves firebombing an abandoned airplane hangar earlier this month."

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Disappointment.. (4, Funny)

chrismcdirty (677039) | more than 7 years ago | (#15139804)

Most of the nabbed wrongdoers have been victims of their own hubris, like the two boys who uploaded video of themselves firebombing an abandoned airplane hangar earlier this month.

I was thoroughly disappointed when I clicked that link and saw that there was no video after the site had loaded.

Stupid to do something illegal and blog it (3, Insightful)

CRCulver (715279) | more than 7 years ago | (#15139814)

Most of the nabbed wrongdoers have been victims of their own hubris, like the two boys who uploaded video of themselves firebombing an abandoned airplane hangar earlier this month.

Seems like MySpace will not only help cops, but give fodder to Jay Leno's idiot criminals skit or people producing books like The World's Dumbest Criminals [amazon.com] .

Re:Stupid to do something illegal and blog it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15139972)

Burn you Amazon affiliate spammer. (Posting history anyone?)

Re:Stupid to do something illegal and blog it (1)

CRCulver (715279) | more than 8 years ago | (#15140031)

If I refer to a book or other media item in my post--as I do quite often since as a university student I guess I've come to appreciate citation--then there's no reason not to put a link to Amazon.com in there. It's not as if it costs the reader anything, unless he chooses to buy something (and then it wouldn't cost him any more than usual, since referrer links don't add to the price). If anything, the reviews for item may be helpful and pertinent.

Re:Stupid to do something illegal and blog it (0, Troll)

Gordonjcp (186804) | more than 8 years ago | (#15140064)

Dude, the person commenting is an AC. If what they said had any merit, they'd log in to say it.

Re:Stupid to do something illegal and blog it (1)

ottothecow (600101) | more than 8 years ago | (#15140146)

I totally agree with you. I happen to have a dreamhost refferal link as my slashdot url and its not like it costs anyone money to click on it or more than they would otherwise pay should they choose to purchase hosting. If they hadnt seen it, maybe they never would have found such a wonderful (from my experiance across 3 domains) host. Granted, at one time there was a code that gave you teh full year for one month's price and using my link would be worse but that deal has since died. Actually, you can enter the code 7BACKNOW and you basically get the first month free (at the lowest tier) since you get $7 back.

dumb crooks are online too (3, Informative)

wadiwood (601205) | more than 8 years ago | (#15140281)

http://dumbcrooks.com/ [dumbcrooks.com]

You don't have to fork out for the book if you don't want to.

And I got the ref from
http://www.darwinawards.com/ [darwinawards.com]

But people who get a darwin award are unlikely to blog about it.

idiotnet (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15139822)

Only a dumb ass would post things on the internet.

First cannibal post (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15139825)

Weblog [blogspot.com] of confessed murderer Kevin Underwood. The internet made him do it:
Underwood wrote that he rarely left his apartment for long stretches, except to go to work and to buy food. "I just sit here at the computer every minute of the day, when I'm not at work. A week or so ago, I spent my day off sitting here at the computer, barely moving from the chair, for 14 hours."

He said one of his main interests was the online role-playing game "Kingdom of Loathing," in which stick figures battle one another.
LOL

Why I post AC (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15139826)

I behave as though anything I do on the internet will be recorded and saved forever. I'd rather not have to explain something I posted today to a potential employer twenty years from now. Ditto for some nutcase prosecuter with a creative theory about how I caused the war in Viet Nam (I'm exagerating for emphasis).

Re:Why I post AC (4, Funny)

pedantic bore (740196) | more than 7 years ago | (#15139849)

I caused the war in Viet Nam...

Damn you!

Re:Why I post AC (1)

Teun (17872) | more than 7 years ago | (#15139867)

a creative theory about how I caused the war in Viet Nam (I'm exagerating for emphasis).

Are you sure?

Forget Future Employers (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 8 years ago | (#15140074)

The guys in the black van are more dangerous. Who knows what parts of what you say today will be outlawed tomorrow.

Posting AC may not get you anywhere however, your IP still is out there.

Re:Forget Future Employers (2, Funny)

RLiegh (247921) | more than 8 years ago | (#15140255)

No need to worry though; as long as you have the bases covered:

1)Don't do anything wrong
2)Make sure your computer isn't broadcasting an IP (I hear there are sites that can help you with that)
3)Cmdr Taco dumps all of the MD5ed /. IP Hashes on a regular basis (I've been told /. does; but I have no first hand idea how often or even or not if that's true).

Plain and Simple (4, Interesting)

PoitNarf (160194) | more than 7 years ago | (#15139830)

By now everyone should be wise enough not to post every single piece of information about them anywhere online, let alone in one place. Parents should be more diligent not with monitoring every single thing their kids do on the computer, but educating them what's ok and not ok to do on the Internet. Am I the only one getting tired of all this MySpace business? On the bright side I was amused reading TFA and seeing how these people were done in by their own sheer stupidity.

Re:Plain and Simple (4, Interesting)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 7 years ago | (#15139865)

People who normally, would have boasted about their mayhem/stupidity to their friends, now post it online.

It never fails to amuse me when people post pictures of their weed, bongs and/or them hitting the bong.

The only difference between then and now, is that like your friends, the police (or your school, boss, parents) can also go online to see your pictures and videos.

Re:Plain and Simple (2, Interesting)

ottothecow (600101) | more than 8 years ago | (#15140052)

Going to a school that is recruited heavily by i-banking firms, future employers really want to know the "other side of the story" on their applicants, the one that isnt told to them by the resume and interview process.

I know that they have been known to hire people with access to the schools facebook (either current employees who are alumni or simply "hey, we will pay you $x for y amount of time with access to your account"). Now that facebook has tagable pictures that are much more advanced than myspace's photos, it's not even what you put in your own profile that matters but what other people post pictures of you doing. They aren't going to care about the ubiquitous pictures of minors consuming alcohol (its college...) but there are people with profiles where 90% of the pictures show them with a bong/blowing out smoke/something else along the lines. All things being equal (or even not being equal), I'm going to take the applicant that has pictures showing them doing a variety of activities over the one where the majority of their photos show them smoking pot. Some of it is just simple common sense...the untag button is there for a reason.

Evolution in Action (1, Insightful)

Shivetya (243324) | more than 7 years ago | (#15139885)

It should not amaze us how stupid a great many people are. Yet at the same time we should be careful what we assign to the category of "stupid". There are many valid reasons to put what you think and do on the internet. The understanding is that there may be reprecussions and for that you must be willing to be subject to them.

While this deals with criminal activity or intent never forget that laws change and are abused and what may be alright one day may not be the next. Never forget what laws exist in countries you travel because it isn't far off that you may find yourself in trouble while traveling all because your name showed up in some database because of what you put on the net.

We always bemoan the government and even businesses getting into our personal existance and yet many will go out of their way to make it available on the internet and never once think about what they have done. Its no different than wandering the shady side of town at night but not as obvious to most.

Re:Evolution in Action (1, Insightful)

fosterNutrition (953798) | more than 8 years ago | (#15140166)

The way I see it, people are missing the real point here. It's not whether it is okay/wrong/justifiable/the greatest thing ever to have cops and bosses looking up your info online, it's about facing up to the consequences of your own actions.

It has always bothered me how people distinguish between the act of doing something, and the event of having a boss/cop/whatever find out about it. If you don't want people to know you've been doing drugs, then the answer isn't to make sure no photos are posted online; the answer is to not do it. Maybe I'm a little too hung up on the existentialist books I've been reading, but it seems to me that you should only do things you are willing to admit to doing. If you think it's okay to do drugs, then do them, and be frank about it. It is a strong form of hypocrisy to do them and then hope nobody finds out.

If you are a drug user, don't hide it. If you think it's the right way to be, don't lie about it. If you think it's wrong, if you're embarrassed and unwilling to put it out in the open... don't do it. You are the sum of your actions - don't become something to be ashamed of.

Re:Evolution in Action (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15140217)

In the case of drug users, they may be willing to admit they do it to most people but they know the consequences of letting certain people know are far too great.

They may even actively participate in campaigning for legalization or something but when it comes to actually DOING the drug, the risks are too great. You can call the cops and tell them you are going to give a speech on why the world needs more meth but you cant call the cops and tell them when and where you are going to be doing a bunch of meth because that would inhibit your ability to continue doing so.

In most ways, I agree with you that people shoudl be willing to do what they are willing to admit (like that cute girl I hooked up with last friday) but there are cases where they arent necissarily going to want to tell everyone like in the /. story a few days ago about the porn-guy who certainly wasnt personally ashamed of his business--he certainly told his mother--but didnt want everyone on his street knowing his profession. Note: this doesnt count for the ugly fat chick my roommate went home with. Despite the fact that he was getting quite desperate, he probobly was ashamed and somehowm everyone is still going to know about it...

(AC because I moderated)

How about right now? (1)

wadiwood (601205) | more than 8 years ago | (#15140242)

Never forget what laws exist in countries you travel because it isn't far off that you may find yourself in trouble while traveling all because your name showed up in some database because of what you put on the net.

"it isn't far off"?? How about right now in the USA? In fact, the USA has been like this for years. And if your name is David Nelson [slashdot.org] you don't even need to have an internet presence to be in trouble.

And anyone who believes "you have nothing to fear, if you have nothing to hide" [guardian.co.uk] should be locked up in a home for the deluded.

Re:Plain and Simple (4, Insightful)

vistic (556838) | more than 7 years ago | (#15139907)

"Parents should be more diligent not with monitoring every single thing their kids do on the computer, but educating them what's ok and not ok to do on the Internet."


The problem here, is that you assume that parents possess that sort of common sense any more than their kids do.

Re:Plain and Simple (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15140279)

The problem here, is that you assume that parents possess that sort of common sense any more than their kids do.
Yeah, you go to their website, and it's all "LOOK AT ME!!! I HAD A KID!!!11", with proof that they spawned, and everything.

Re:Plain and Simple (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15139914)

Teaching kids what not to do on the internet is not what I am concerned about here. Teaching kids not to go out firebombing old buildings is concern.

I'm going to need proof... (1)

Baseball_Fan (959550) | more than 8 years ago | (#15140320)

Teaching kids what not to do on the internet is not what I am concerned about here. Teaching kids not to go out firebombing old buildings is concern.

Show me the profiles of people that might be later used to screw them out of a job or used by over zelous prosecutors.

Lets see all those profiles with crime and pictures from spring break.

Re:Plain and Simple (2, Funny)

NiteShaed (315799) | more than 7 years ago | (#15139980)

Parents should be more diligent not with monitoring every single thing their kids do on the computer

Yeah, C'mon parents......teach your kids not to post video after they firebomb buildings. Make those nosey cops find the perpetrators the old fashioned way.

Re:Plain and Simple (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15140280)

Parents should be more diligent not with monitoring every single thing their kids do on the computer, but educating them what's ok and not ok to do on the Internet.

Well, duh. What does that have to do with the article? Should parents teach their kids to hide their pictures of drug use, weapons and petty vandalism better?

We're talking about kids who commit physical crimes and brag about it online. I don't see where internet education has anything to do with it-- in fact, it's kind of a good thing they were stupid enough to post to Myspace. Twenty years ago those kids who burnt down the hanger would have gotten away with it and probably done it again, possibly to a supposedly empty building with an innocent bystander inside.

Re:Plain and Simple (1)

Kuvter (882697) | more than 8 years ago | (#15140289)

Are you saying we should be smart enough, by now, to not post the wrongs we do online, but not smart enough to just flat out not do them offline?

What is there to get upset with MySpace for. MySpace just gives us a place to communicate. Blogs, e-mail systems, instant messengers, etc, all do the same thing on their own level. There is nothing wrong with MySpace. To me there is nothing wrong with allowing people to communicate.

People are sinful. We're all going to do stupid things, wrong things, and irrational things. Are you upset with MySpace because now you can see what people are doing now, instead of being ignorant of it? I'd really like to know what people have against MySpace. Would anyone please share this information with me?

This is common... (5, Informative)

spangineer (764167) | more than 7 years ago | (#15139836)

This has been going on for awhile, but primarily on Facebook to my knowledge. According to Wikipedia [wikipedia.org] , Facebook has been used in numerous investigations, including one last year at my university to catch students who rushed the field. Students had set up groups saying that they had rushed the field, and the police matched pictures from security cameras to student pictures. At least several of them were kicked out of school. Needless to say, this caused quite a scene on campus, but really, what do you expect when you put the information online yourself?

Re:This is common... (4, Interesting)

mpathetiq (726625) | more than 7 years ago | (#15139866)

I work for a small municipality. The code enforcement officer uses Facebook and MySpace to determine if college kids are breaking various residency laws. It's amazing how many people put up actual information on these sites.

Re:This is common... (1)

oirtemed (849229) | more than 7 years ago | (#15139908)

residency laws? care to elaborate? Im assuming since the municipality is small there is nothing better to do than to seek out things, eh?

Re:This is common... (1)

robogun (466062) | more than 8 years ago | (#15140420)

If a kid puts he's from 90210 lol do they still run him? Seriously, Internet information is as often as not "disinformation."

Re:This is common... (1)

oirtemed (849229) | more than 7 years ago | (#15139917)

I'd expect not to be kicked out of school for rushing a field. Thats a little much.

Re:This is common... (1)

spangineer (764167) | more than 7 years ago | (#15139991)

The people who were expelled had done things like evade arrest and assault police officers. When you're getting mace fired into your face, I think you get a little irrational.

Re:This is common... (2, Insightful)

MikeFM (12491) | more than 8 years ago | (#15140148)

If the police are notified that this information is online at such and such place I'm okay with them using it but I don't like them spending time just searching random sites like Facebook and MySpace. To me that smacks of tax payer money being spent so that cops can look at porn and blogs all day just so that now and then they can catch some petty criminals. Let the cops spend their time doing real police work instead of hanging out and just watching for America's dumbest criminals.

From a privacy point of view I'm not sure what to think. On the one hand public forums are obviously in the public. On the other hand this is like sending someone undercover into a bar and having them sit there and wait for random people to brag about stupid things they've done. That's just a little bit underhanded (and still seems a waste of taxpayer dollars).

I've used the Internet to discuss mistakes I made in my earlier life with like minded people. I'd hate to think that all of that was going to be used against me. Usually I don't use my real name but a clever person, especially with the right legal force, could track down my real identity easily enough - especially as I've gotten older and started doing business online. I don't think that's a good reason for people to feel they can't talk about things on their blogs or in discussion forums.

So what, I can't run for President because on a blog when I was a kid I did usual teenage things and admitted to it. I guess smart kids have to plan ahead and keep all their skeletons well hidden.

Can the police use Facebook to bust people? (1)

Baseball_Fan (959550) | more than 8 years ago | (#15140303)

According to Wikipedia, Facebook has been used in numerous investigations

Facebook is a closed system, not just anyone can look. They require a valid college email address to join, and then limit whos profile you can see. How do the police get around those limits, and see ALL the profiles?

What good is facebook if a police officer graduated from Western Michigan University, but the profile with the incrimination evidence is posted under the profile of someone who went to Michigan State University?

Does Facebook sell accounts that the police and employers can purchase to view all profiles?

Re:Can the police use Facebook to bust people? (1)

EvanED (569694) | more than 8 years ago | (#15140325)

They can get people who DO have accounts to share it probably. Also, no doubt if they had reasonable suspicion of incriminating stuff online they could serve them with a subpoena.

Re:Can the police use Facebook to bust people? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15140327)

Well... I know at my school (Purdue University), the campus cops all have @purdue.edu email addresses. So they can view most everyone's (depending on how their privacy settings is configured) profile on campus.

On a completely different note, I'm also seeing different professors on there. Spaf's on there, for instance.

Re:Can the police use Facebook to bust people? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15140440)

Like, wow, I can't such delusions still exist. Campus police have valid .edu addresses. Through most of my adult life I have had valid college addresses, off and on. My mom still has a valid college email address. It is not like these are hard to come by.

Hiding behind technicalities will not keep you safe, and playing the fool will not protect you from the motivated cop.

And just a side note, while the information is stored in a somewhat closed way, it is presumable transmitted through school servers, which are owned by the school, and therefore all email, all web browsers, all activity, is suject to review my campus adminstration, police, and other staff. They at least have you username, which means they can link all criminal activity to you. After all, you probably have read email from your dorm room, or through the VPN loged in with the account assigned to you.

On a more serious note, ISP are increasingly just giving all data to homeland security. Though they have a three year backlog, and probably don't care about the stupid college student tricks, it is still far from private.

So, to summerize, at the very least the dean of students the campus police has access to everything on facebook. Either can give a email to the city police. In all probability, the dorks who work IT have you username and password, and can hack your account any time they wish. They probably spend sll their time perusing all the allegedly 'private phots'.

Re:This is common... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15140315)

This is becoming increasingly the case, especially for kids. Crime for many kids is beyond testing limits, it is a feeling of invunerability. I am underage, I am a athelete, I am too smart, they can't arrest us all, the cops can't run fast enough to catch us. So these posting are not merely stupidity, they are a symptom of the narcisistic reckless kid that does not care a whit about anyone else.

Now, schools who care will monitor the underground chat and try to apply consequences for the small things, in hopes of redirected a student to more constructive behavior. But what happnes more often, especially in the work place, is that they young person will be given enough rope until he or she hangs himself. For instance, the young person will be allowed to steal $20 a week, as the employer knows that at some point $20 will be $500, and the employee can be made an example of.

So I think that many kids are creating an online dossier of their criminal activity, and for the most part it is not worthwhile prosecuting. But at some point, when they are trying to get a job, or brought in for questioning, these activities could be used against them. What scares me as far as the kdis I work with is they put every fight, every deal, every negative activity online. The kids I grew up with, some of them were frequently questioned with circumstantial evidence, such as walking to school in the area that yound black man was seen stealing a car, but all them kept out trouble, so it was mostly just a nuscience. I can only imagine what the cops, desperate to attach blame to some, anyone, for a crime, might do with they petty things these kids put online. The parents don;t seem to have the sophistication to stop the kids, and we don't have the power.

Video? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15139842)

Does anyone have a link to a recording of the video?

YRO? (4, Insightful)

RyoShin (610051) | more than 7 years ago | (#15139854)

I'm not quite sure why this is under YRO; it's certainly news worth, in my opinion, but why YRO? Are we saying that the police are crossing a legal boundry by looking at MySpace pages? Maybe it's this line:
By conducting such surveillance, says Electronic Privacy Information Center senior counsel Chris Hoofnagle, an officer risks crossing "the line between crimes that have been committed and crimes that haven't. Next he'll be sucking down information just in case he needs it--and that's the type of action that upsets a user's rights."
If they were installing hidden cameras, taping phones, or installing keyloggers without cause, I really don't see the problems. If you can get a heads up about someone robbing a house tomorrow night because they were stupid enough to post it on MySpace, why should that be considered protected?

If someone painted a sign saying "I've stolen three cars from this street!" and wore it on said street, is there any reason the cops can't at least stop and question him (even if he denies anything vocally) and check up on him later?

As far as legal requirements for police goes, there's a "Plain View" clause (I'm sure there's a Latin term for it.) For the few who may not understand, it basically says that if the item is in plain view, it can be used. If the cops respond to a noise complaint at your house, look past you into the home, and see a meth lab, they can use that. They may not be able to bust in right away to arrest you (varies by state and circumstance), but they can call up a warrant PDQ. If they pushed their way into the house without cause, or just shoved you to the side to see it, it would most likely be inadmissable.

In the case of the meth lab and the robbery, both are due to horrible stupidity on the perpetrator's part, and there really is no reason they should be protected because of it. If the cop is stalking someone on their MySpace page because s/he doesn't like their choice in music, and wants to make sure they don't decide to steal a CD of it or something, then we might have cause for worry, but this is more likely something done by the common public than by the police, who hopefully are out catching badies and don't have enough time to track every movement on MySpace.

Now, as far as some smaller things go, like stealing CDs or smoking MJ, they can't just take the MySpace page and present that as conclusive evidence; they'd have to get other evidence (like the CD or MJ itself) to prosecute. Could it be enough for a warrant for the other evidence? Maybe. I think that's a legal battle that will come up, because you can't be sure if they actually did it or they're (erronously) trying to look cool for their interweb friends by posting it.

As with much of the internet (which has brought on a lot of problems really fast,) the law is still trying to catch up, and things like MySpace, LiveJournal, and perhaps even sites like Slashdot and Fark could play a role in some big trials in the next 5 or 10 years, especially how global information is received and used in criminal cases.

YRO?-Your Body Online (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15139882)

"As with much of the internet (which has brought on a lot of problems really fast,) the law is still trying to catch up, and things like MySpace, LiveJournal, and perhaps even sites like Slashdot and Fark could play a role in some big trials in the next 5 or 10 years, especially how global information is received and used in criminal cases."

I buried some bodies out back.

A slightly different take... (1)

Elemenope (905108) | more than 7 years ago | (#15139994)

Anything that happens in public space is potentially viewable by anyone, ergo it is in the public domain and there is no expectation fo privacy. So far, so good.

Now, how would you feel if every square inch of this public space was being constantly monitored by closed-circuit cameras whose feeds are reviewed by police officers? I know how I would feel. Not so hot about it, to say the least. Now is the monitoring technically invading the privacy of anyone? As far as the law is concerned, no. It is still a violation of the dignity of human beings? You bet. Psychologically, it is wearying to be constantly surveilled, and even though a police officer feasibly could not be looking at every camera all the time, the potential for active surveillance would likely cause the average human being to develop some serious nervous conditions.

It is a comparable (though not, admittedly, a completely analogous) situation where you have a public space that is intended to be social (facebook, myspace, etc.) that is being effectively surveilled by an official party, there is a powerful chilling effect and takes away some of the value of that space.

Now, admittedly, the examples so far were of idiots who were practically bragging about wrongdoing, but as these spaces are more effectively surveilled and being used for things they were not originally intended (such as employers looking for info about employees), the social value of the spaces will erode as people modulate their behavior to be less honest as they have their eye upon the possibility of other consequences for their career or for avoiding brushes with the law.

Re:A slightly different take... (2, Insightful)

RyoShin (610051) | more than 8 years ago | (#15140072)

Now, how would you feel if every square inch of this public space was being constantly monitored by closed-circuit cameras whose feeds are reviewed by police officers?

If it were the government setting up the cameras or website, I'd say that you'd have a dead-spot analogy.

However, this is more like someone else setting up the cameras, and the police just using them. Say, a mall installs cameras to satisfy those worried about safety. The cops think that someone is in the mall that they are looking for, or that someone might attempt to steal something, so they ask the mall guys "Hey, can we use your cameras?"

Well, the mall guys sure wouldn't hate the idea of having two cruisers parked in front of their mall; it would give regular citizens a more secure feeling because of the (apparent) police prescense. Plus, if the mall needs help, they could say "Hey, cops, we helped you here, mind giving us a minute?" It's the mall's property, so the only way that the customers could have any say is if they were able to succesfully picket or boycott to have the cameras removed (which is probably unlikely).

In any case, the cameras are already installed. The people at the mall are told the cameras are installed. Anyone that doesn't want to be on a camera doesn't have to go to the mall. And with the cruisers outside, a regular person could figure out that they might be looking at tapes or live camera feed.

In the same way, MySpace is a private company, it's already set up, and it's already there for the taking. Anyone who posts to MySpace (or LiveJournal, or Facebook) knows that millions of anonymous people on the internet can see their entries (unless they choose the privacy options). If they don't want people looking, they'll not make a public account.

And, in the same way, making this kind of thing public is helpful to MySpace- less parents will be worried about their child using it, and most regular users will have a better feeling that someone is trying to keep them safe.

Now, if the mall (or MySpace) was the only location in a given range to get a component necessary for life, then we could worry about the private/public fiasco.

Working the private/public part of this discussion, think about someone hanging a sign in the window of their (private) apartment saying that they murdered someone. Again, this is plain sight stuff, open to the public. Anyone can see it. There cannot be a reasonable expectation of privacy.

Re:A slightly different take... (1)

RobertLTux (260313) | more than 8 years ago | (#15140283)

heck at my mall you can fgiure that there is at least a couple police walking about and during Golden Quarter (christmas shoplifting season) there is a whole police substation parked outside (with a dozen or so police walking around)

Im mean really a climate controlled beat with a almost zero chance of seeing a gun: just what a guy needs to round out his 60 hours a week.

Re:A slightly different take... (2, Funny)

RLiegh (247921) | more than 8 years ago | (#15140241)

Now, how would you feel if every square inch of this public space was being constantly monitored by closed-circuit cameras whose feeds are reviewed by police officers?

Good question; I'm sure there's at least one brit who posts to this site; let's ask them how it feels.

Re:A slightly different take... (1)

AusIV (950840) | more than 8 years ago | (#15140311)

You think you're not already being surveiled most of the time? As a sibling post stated, most malls have surveilance cameras, as do banks. Grocery stores, drugs stores, gas stations, other convenience stores frequently have cameras at least monitoring who comes in. This is infrequent at restaurants (at least nicer ones), but in such cases your typically fairly close to other customers who might be watching your or listening to what you say. In cities, there are often cameras at stoplights and other intersections (not so much on the highway). My highschool had security cameras all over the halls. There were a few dead zones, and you weren't on camera in classrooms, but they could identify who was in what classroom at what time.

I typically assume any time I'm in public, I need to watch what I say or do. If a minor goes and gets smashed in a public place, there's a good chance they'll get caught. If someone is sitting at a table at a restaurant and talking about how their boss is a huge ass, there's a possibility, however remote, that someone at a nearby table could be the boss's daughter (seen the twixt commercial?). Anything that happens in private and stays private is another story, but I don't think anyone would present an argument that online social networks are private (with the exception of private or protected posts that some blogs allow). I keep a blog, and I don't put anything on it if there's anyone at all I wouldn't want reading it. I anticipate the possibility of my parents reading my blog, or a future employer, the cops, or anyone else who might take an interest in what I write. I don't consider this detrimental to the material of my blog, I just consider it an aspect of blogs.

Audi owners "busted" for ECU mods (5, Insightful)

SuperBanana (662181) | more than 7 years ago | (#15140017)

If you can get a heads up about someone robbing a house tomorrow night because they were stupid enough to post it on MySpace, why should that be considered protected?

Back in 1999 or 2000, Audi brought back the S-series of cars in the USA with a performance version of the A4 sedan- the S4. It was a twin-turbocharged V6, and it was faster than the BMW M3- the yardstick at the time. As with many turbocharged cars, manufacturers don't push the limits of these engines for a lot of different reasons; insurance categories, "gentleman's agreements" on speeds or horsepower levels, reliability, stepping on other model lines, room for "improvement" in next year's model, etc. There's plenty of room for a "tuner" to release revised "chips" (tables used for fuel, timing, and boost pressure levels stored in [E/EE/P]ROM memory) that increase horsepower levels. The S4 biturbo reliably makes slightly over 300HP with a chip (from 250); my '91 Audi makes almost 280 (from 217. And it has done so for about 100,000 miles with no problems. It was chipped at 110,000 miles, so yes, some chips are perfectly fine.)

Chip makers pushed the limits to offer the "best" chips- or did shoddy testing, rushing development, to be first-to-market. A few of the chips could overspin the turbos, and a couple people grenaded them.

Dealers were wise to "chips" and would look for them if a car with damaged turbos came in (and Audi implemented various controls to make ECU-swapping much more difficult, but they've all been circumvented.) US warranty law prohibits them from blaming a failure on an aftermarket component unless they can prove reasonably that the changed component caused the failure; a chip is a pretty damn clear-cut case. So these kids (and many of them were in fact kids- rich off internet dot-coms, or mummy and daddy) would borrow a friend's stock ECU, put it in the car, and have it towed to the dealer and say "gee, I dunno what happened."

Then the geniuses would go on Audiworld and brag about how they "tricked the dealer", complete with thumbs-up and grinning smiley icons, people congradulating them, etc. Someone at Audi Client Relations noticed (or was tipped off by people pissed at the scam), and ACR started surfing the forum regularly looking for fraud, and -completely- voiding the warranties of those they could find and in some cases going after owners for the cost of repairs, and postings in forums were cited as evidence. I don't remember if anyone was sued or not- I believe a few were.

That wasn't shocking; what was shocking was the reaction from the Audiworld users. They were absolutely livid that Audi Client Relations DARED to "snoop" on "their" forum.

It's not just the Internet- it has been my personal experience that few people take responsibility for their actions and many are infuriated when someone catches them doing something wrong, instead of being ashamed.

Re:YRO? (2, Informative)

Agent Green (231202) | more than 8 years ago | (#15140305)

It's easy why this is in YRO:

"You have the RIGHT to remain silent."

The best part is that you don't even need to be under arrest. You just need to learn when to shut up.

I've been thinking this for a while (2, Insightful)

Rooked_One (591287) | more than 7 years ago | (#15139856)

if you wanted to profile a group of people (ie people around the age of 15-30) it would be very easy to set up a free service, where you can post all kinds of neat stuff about yourself. You know - the pictures of your underage friends drinking, hitting a bowl, and who knows what else.

I guess it does fall under the free information clause, but IMVHO I don't think anything found on there should be admissable. After all, how hard is it to falsify a myspace account?

Re:I've been thinking this for a while (1)

spangineer (764167) | more than 7 years ago | (#15139872)

I guess it does fall under the free information clause, but IMVHO I don't think anything found on there should be admissable. After all, how hard is it to falsify a myspace account?

It's easy to falsify, sure, but it gives police clues. The evidence from myspace itself probably wouldn't be admissable, but police realize that getting information there can lead to new leads that are admissable. Or they just get the people to admit that they did it, which I suspect is more common.

Re:I've been thinking this for a while (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15139892)

After all, how hard is it to falsify a myspace account?


Easy, but that's not what they're admitting. They're admitting the video, which is a little bit harder to falsify. Myspace is just making it easier to put the content out there and find it.

Re:I've been thinking this for a while (2, Insightful)

iamdrscience (541136) | more than 7 years ago | (#15139897)

I don't think anything found on there should be admissable. After all, how hard is it to falsify a myspace account?
It's trivial to falsify a myspace account, but it's not like you can't find reasonable proof that an account is authentic if need be (friends' testimonials, logs of which IPs are used to sign into the account, etc).

Furthermore, in the case of video or photographic evidence (particularly video evidence) it would be difficult to frame somebody. Sure, photos can be altered, but it's not foolproof, i.e. what if the background of the picture is the bedroom of the suspect, editing mistakes (it's not hard to photoshop somebody into a picture so that it looks believable at a glance, but it's more difficult to make it stand up under intense scrutiny), etc. The case is similar for video, but it's even harder to forge it -- photoshopping an image is one thing, but seamlessly photoshopping somebody into a video can be quite another.

Re:I've been thinking this for a while (1)

Isotopian (942850) | more than 8 years ago | (#15140130)

Well, just to be precise, it's called Rotoscoping when it's in a video, and while doable, you need to make 60 completely convincing photoshop jobs just to get two altered seconds of footage. That's why generally, only huge production studios do it. And nobody on myspace (by nobody I mean all but like 5 people) would even know how to start doing that, much less execute it.

but officer, that wasn't "my" account (3, Insightful)

E8086 (698978) | more than 7 years ago | (#15139862)

If you're dumb enough to post incriminating material on the internets you deserve to get caught.

Next time in the land of the SIMs...I mean MySpace.
yes, there should be and probably will be more than enough investigation into tips/leads found there BUT you know there will be enough bored teenagers and even some others trying to "frame" the more/less popular kids and school yard rivals, that whole libel/slander/romour mill thing.

Sure there's a chance of a good hit once in a while, just watch out for the false positive. Especially all those energetic prosecutors wanting to make a name for themselves even at the cost of a questionable guilty verdict and an innocent kid's freedom.

Near worst case, but possible

You get back what you put out. (3, Insightful)

RunFatBoy.net (960072) | more than 7 years ago | (#15139863)

If you're sad enough to not realize the implications of making the wrong that you caused publicly viewable, you deserve whatever punishment received.

Jim http://www.runfatboy.net/ [runfatboy.net] -- A workout plan that doesn't feel like homework.

Re:You get back what you put out. (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15139938)

stop spamming, lardass.

Re:You get back what you put out. (1)

tregetour (903016) | more than 7 years ago | (#15139965)

How about: realizing the implication of the wrong. Period.

Re:You get back what you put out. (1)

RunFatBoy.net (960072) | more than 7 years ago | (#15140016)

Well said. I did a bad job at conveying my message in the parent post.

Re:You get back what you put out. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15140366)

take your fat sig and put it in the signature field, so people who dont want to see your spam dont have to.

asshole. Welcome to my foe list.

Idiots suck. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15139864)

MySpace gives me a bad vibe. It did months/years ago as well. Which is why i shun it at every opportunity...which is 100% of the time. Its just vaccuous to me, and it borders on lame, immature and intellectualy barren.
Ive been called an hopeless optimist before and I still believe that online access comes a responsibility much like one of gun ownership, or driving. Of being a GOOD global citizen, and using the net to LEARN about things. To try to get involved with something. To do something constructive.
These idiots with bigotry, hate, malice, and too few brain cycles really make me sick.
Not to mention that they are really quite stupid if they think that posting about crimes, potential crimes, luring children somehow is "OK:
I would hope that most folks realize this, and im sure that most do. But these idiots should really be offline already.. They suck, and I hope they rot in hell.

Re:Idiots suck. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15139891)

most of the people on there are flakes trying to market themselves as second rate fashion models to their own friends.

Re:Idiots suck. (3, Insightful)

DeadChobi (740395) | more than 7 years ago | (#15139975)

I dont have a MySpace account because it's frequented by scenesters and goths who have no real other method of networking. The real nerds use IRC and multiplayer games to network, and do it quite successfully. A lot of my friends from college have Myspace accounts because they're trendy and you can get hooked up with people really easily on there. One of my friends solicits hook-ups on there. There's nothing wrong with it, but I'm not enough of a scenester to want to use that place. If I'm really hard-up for a date or some companionship, I could always join a social club like my dad did. I just dont belong to the same cultural set that produced the Myspace movement. I hang out with them though.

are they going to prosecute? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15139883)

Gee. Sounds like a couple of young kids decided to do their chemistry experiments where nobody could get hurt instead of blowing up the family basement. Looks like its getting harder to be a geek...

What's illegal offline is illegal online, too? (4, Funny)

gearmonger (672422) | more than 7 years ago | (#15139939)

So you're suggesting that my recent investment in the social networking sites BankHeistSpace.com and WillTradeKiddiePornVids.net is a bad move?

Re:What's illegal offline is illegal online, too? (2, Insightful)

Xemu (50595) | more than 8 years ago | (#15140326)

So you're suggesting that my recent investment in the social networking sites BankHeistSpace.com and WillTradeKiddiePornVids.net is a bad move?

Actually, the ad revenue you'll get from ads if you target them at law enforcment should be enough to feed a family of four and the dogs.

Mr. Obvious notes... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15139943)

"That was very lucky," Laveroni said. "Anytime you are using an explosive you can cause harm to yourself, harm to witnesses, harm to the person who videotaped it and harm to the structure you are throwing at or setting aflame."

Isn't that the point?

That's like saying anytime you use a gun to shoot someone you may end up doing harm to them.

Too Much Time? (1)

Philomathie (937829) | more than 7 years ago | (#15139984)

There are some people with way too much free time... Ive found myspace friends networks of completely fabricated myspace accounts of all world leader, most of the US government, and celebrities and odditities like severely obese people. e.g. http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=us er.viewprofile&friendid=6432557 [myspace.com] There are some really immature people with wayyyy too much free time on their hands.

Just another day on the job (4, Insightful)

buvic2 (539634) | more than 7 years ago | (#15139989)

"Next he'll be sucking down information just in case he needs it--and that's the type of action that upsets a user's rights."

Maybe forgotten, but that's part of what police work is about. You walk the beat, get to know the population, learn the patterns, and when something happens you probably have some idea already of where to look or who to talk to. It's the whole idea behind having regular community / school / campus officers rather than having patrols by whatever unit happens to be around.

Having been on the inside of digital police work, we should be damn happy that people leak information and hubris, and are generally clueless as far as digital security is concerned. People get caught through their own sloppyness and boasting, and hours of hard work from officers, rather than from the police being particularly technologically advanced. The referenced article is another example of this: regular officers spending time going through lots of potential evidence rather than advanced technoly.

pretty neat (1)

recharged95 (782975) | more than 7 years ago | (#15139995)

This IMO is the great experiement about free Internet and F/OSS. Basically, the creators of the Internet have looked for free and trustworthy usage such that non-abusive practices will never prevail due to the standards and protocol developed and used on the internet.

From the looks of this, myspace is really pushing the limits of 'stupid is what stupid does' and that the abuse (i.e.lack of education about usage?) is being exploited and now the other extreme (i.e. the cops) are essentially doing the same thing... to counter that usage.

Unfortunately, this could make the case for tier internet much more compelling.

Re:pretty neat (1)

rmadmin (532701) | more than 8 years ago | (#15140219)

Its all about balance. The universe has a way of balancing things out. Sure it takes a long time in some cases and can get to an extreme... but it all balances in the end. If it didn't.. none of us would be here. :)

This kind of news exposes the bigger problem... (0, Flamebait)

HellYeahAutomaton (815542) | more than 7 years ago | (#15140003)

The problem isn't just that all of the derelicts and sex offenders are attracted to MySpace like bugs to a light, it is that gratuitous adolescent self-promotion is fostered there.

Sites like MySpace are effectively amplifiers for your garden variety attention whores.

The common Confusion (1)

mazerin (615150) | more than 8 years ago | (#15140042)

Most of the time people find mainly two major interests on the internet, Entertainment and Information. The common confusion is that the people posting often enough can't determine the difference to what they are posting, what they think is entertainment for all, is information for the few. The article above is a great example of this.

Excerpt from Police Report (4, Funny)

Giant Ape Skeleton (638834) | more than 8 years ago | (#15140047)

...the perps apparently escaped on what they called "LOLerskates".

Re:Excerpt from Police Report (1)

HTL2001 (836298) | more than 8 years ago | (#15140268)

The police will use ROFLcopters from now on to catch people trying to escape using this method.

Re:Excerpt from Police Report (1)

TeacherOfHeroes (892498) | more than 8 years ago | (#15140273)

Pfft...low tech n00bs, I usually take a roflcopter

Re:Excerpt from Police Report (1)

chris_eineke (634570) | more than 8 years ago | (#15140339)

and fled to a flying machine called the ROFLcopter...

LA Times Article (3, Interesting)

ScottCooperDotNet (929575) | more than 8 years ago | (#15140115)

Here's an LA Times article from a paranoid MySpace Mom who spies on her daughter for fear of those pedophiles the idiot box keeps talking about. [latimes.com] Best parts are the Mom doesn't understand private profiles, and asks her friends about the site before looking at it herself. And then she bans her daughter from the one form of Internet activity she can easily track. Now her daughter is banned from MySpace but we're all sure she won't be using IM and web-mail, right?

Re:LA Times Article (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15140209)

Theres a certain amount of snooping all parents must do, but by far, trust is the better way. My parents went so far as to get an FBI friend to poke into my server and who knows what else. I lost all trust for my parents at that point and our relationship has been rocky ever since.

Aggressively snooping parents only make things worse. Parenting should be incentive based, not authority/fear based.

My mom was such a horrible snoop, when she was coming to visit me at college, and even though I had nothing to hide, I switched out my drawers with a friend whose were empty and I set up tripwires all over the place so that I'd know she'd been snooping. Sure enough, every single one of my markers was disturbed. There's no worse feeling than having your parents not trust you.

I never did anything truly bad, but every time something even remotely bad happened (failing a test, whatever) I'd get screamed at. My mom wanted my whereabouts accounted for every second and every minute of hanging out with my friends planned out. I got to the point where I just was going to go over to one of my long time (several years) friends houses and we may end up at another long time friends house or whatever without a real plan, but so I just started lying about our 'plan' so I could actually have a dynamic evening for once. Again, never did anything bad or went somewhere I shouldn't (I was 18 anyway).. But my point is, my mom was one of those overly snooping sorts and it ruined our relationship. If she'd not blown up over the tiniest stuff and trusted me from the beginning, things would be very different now and they would know their grandson- which they've only seen once in two years.

and someone's watching where the cops.. (3, Interesting)

ehrichweiss (706417) | more than 8 years ago | (#15140152)

are walking... Some of the cops in my town got busted for posting inappropriate material [newsbank.com] , like discussing a high profile case. The link isn't the original story as they charge $2.95 to view anything older than 7 days(lame, I know) but it does have some interesting facts.

So Barney Fife and Roscoe P. Coltrain if you're listening...some of us are watching.

MySpace cost a friend of mine a job (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15140164)

He doesn't think that it was an altogether bad thing:

"Something very good and something very bad happened today.

Yesterday I noticed on XXXXXXXXXX that there was a posting for a "computer writer" for YYYYYYYYYY - a fairly well-known name connected with AM radio talk shows, newspaper columns, and computer books along the lines of those aimed at "dummies". She's a big time franchise, and she's based in ZZZZZZZ.

So I sent a writing sample and a resume and BANG! Today I got a call from her producer. We scheduled an interview for Monday morning and I was ready to knock it out of the park.

That was the good thing that happened.

Fifteen minutes later, I got a call from the same producer. It seems that YYY was uncomfortable having me come in for an interview based on some of the photos on my myspace page. So the interview was cancelled.

That was the bad thing.

I was probably lucky. I mean, if I had started working for YYYYYY and THEN they decided I wasn't moral enough to continue, I'd be fucked: out of work AND humiliated. As it is, I just continue with my dead end job no worse for the wear.

But the really cool thing is I GOT AN INTERVIEW with a nationally syndicated team based on nothing more than a writing sample. That's totally the shit!

I mean, hey... my writing is good enough to bag me an interview at a fairly high level in the mainstream media. And if the interview had actually happened, I am certain it would have lead to a job offer.

Now all I have to do is find a media personality who is more comfortable with individual expression. I wonder if Al Franken is looking for a writer...

So as much as it sucks to be told my art is unfit for some hyper-image sensitive folks, I still feel some vindication, in an odd sort of way."


I asked him in an email if he volunteered the information about his MySpace account, he did not. Apparently they searched it and found his email address. The photos in question were not sexually explicit in that they did not depict sex acts, if they were the ones that I've seen in the past, they were of naked women covered in UV paint photographed under a black light. They're very cool.

Is anyone getting this (1)

no-body (127863) | more than 8 years ago | (#15140172)

Besides the usual: "they asked for it by doing it and posting" yada yada?

From the MSNBS article:
A searchable, public scrapbook of images, affiliations and written exchanges, it offers detectives raw data on 70 million potential suspects, witnesses or victims (Facebook.com has also served as a source of info, though it is limited to users on college campuses). MySpace has good reason to cooperate with the cops.

Seems that police is getting some kind of back-door to get "raw" data.

If police uses the normal frontend on the web publicly accessable it's ok, but if they get more than that from the provider without a court order or subpoena, I think it's questionable and an intrusion of privacy. If your provider is giving your information automatically to the police without you knowing about it, it's time to go elsewhere.

Who cares? BB is everywhere with thousands of cameras [cnn.com]

Re:Is anyone getting this (2, Insightful)

stubear (130454) | more than 8 years ago | (#15140381)

This is no different than any other cop going undercover to bust a car theft ring or the mob. As long as they do not encourage others to act in a criminal manner or partake in criminal behavior themselves then I see nothing wring with this.

Want Privacy? (1)

Temujin_12 (832986) | more than 8 years ago | (#15140194)

I've avoided the whole MySpace scene completely. I think it is simply irresponsible and naive to think that it is safe to make public the level of information that the MySpace culture asks for. Besides, I'm about a decade too old for the demographic they're going after, which I am very glad for.

If any of you want to enjoy a private and safe online social network (or want to set one up so your kids and their friends get off of MySpace), here's how to do it, if you or someone you know/trust has a moderate level of understanding about computers.

1- set up a server on a spare computer (LAMP [wikipedia.org] is pretty easy with a package based disro)

2- install a SVPN [hamachi.cc] on the server and anyone's computer that will connect to it

3- install a BB, like phpBB [phpbb.com] on the server.

4- configure your BB This way, not only is access to the server private (since it doesn't have a static IP) but when it is accessed via the SVPN, that access is password protected and encrypted end-to-end.

Despite this, don't go uploading how you firebomb airplane hangers (you should be that stupid to firebomb one in the first place, let alone record it). But it is reassuring to know that even if you did it would be private and secure [hamachi.cc] .

5-0! 5-0! (4, Funny)

AndyLandrews (954055) | more than 8 years ago | (#15140201)

Well, crap. Now I gotta go change my MySpace profile. Are the cops checking Blogger, too? I hope not. What's the usual sentence for third-degree yoinking and aggravated shenanigans?

MyDeathSpace!!! (1)

tyrnight (633534) | more than 8 years ago | (#15140214)

Im sure you all cant forget this strange site. http://www.mydeathspace.com/ [mydeathspace.com] Trust me, you will never forget this site.

favorite background color #800000?? (1)

RobertLTux (260313) | more than 8 years ago | (#15140228)

gee folks whodda thunk that the police would use Myspace for this.

Like a certain book has stated police like BBs because they are crammed full of evidence unhidden clear as day evidence

(note look at the named html color list for the joke)

Should we change the phraze (1)

eriedicatorX (967489) | more than 8 years ago | (#15140234)

Maybe now it should be "Don't do the crime if your gonna post it online."

Re:Should we change the phraze (2, Insightful)

MooUK (905450) | more than 8 years ago | (#15140341)

Maybe it should just be "Don't do the crime"?

Solves all these problems.

Patrolling, or Trolling (0)

Bios_Hakr (68586) | more than 8 years ago | (#15140254)

I have no problems with police patrolling a beat. If they see someone doing something illegal, they should intervene.

However, I don't thing cops should be allowed to troll for crimes in a public space.

If you are lawfully walking down the street, should a cop be able to come up to you and give you a "white glove" inspection? Take your ID, call in to check for any warrants, call your ISP to check for bittorrent traffic, ask your boss if any equipment has come up missing, call the DMV to make sure your car is properly licensed, and check with the IRS to ensure you don't owe taxes?

When they pull up your blog, how many bad things will they find?

Also, what seperates truth from fiction? How do they know that I didn't read about a recent arson attack and decide to write some fiction placing myself at the scene?

There is an old adage: IRC. Where the men are men, the women are men, and the 14 year-old girls are FBI agents.

My point? Not everyone is completely honest online.

So, is my blogging about doing a 13yo Thai ladyboy truth? Is it sufficent grounds to start an investigation?

If you threaten to investigate everything that everyone says that *might* be illegal, then how is that different from placing restrictions on my First Amendment rights?

Re:Patrolling, or Trolling (4, Insightful)

grasshoppa (657393) | more than 8 years ago | (#15140302)

If you confess to a crime in a public place, then yes, the cops have every right to open a case against you.

This isn't rocket science, nor an infringment of your rights. It's simply common sense.

Myspace is like walmart ( only I'd rather visit a walmart than myspace ). If you walk into walmart, and say in a loud voice over and over again how you had sex with an underage child, you can bet your ass you will be investigated. To do anything otherwise would be incomptence on the part of the cops.

Myspace and Facebook investigations (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15140307)

As a police officer (Just a regular patrol officer, not a detective) I have made great use of facebook and myspace to help solve crimes. I don't know that I would ever base an entire case just on what I read on someone's profile or blog, but it gives me a great place to start an investigation where I have few or no leads.

It never ceases to amaze me, though...the videos, outright confessions, explanations, and methods that people will post online about crimes they committed.

It's all public information. Some people say that it's a violation of privacy, but as far as I'm concerned, it's no different than writing an article in the local or national paper detailing the elements of the crime that you thought you got away with. Everyone has access to what you've written so just be weary of your audience. In this day in age, law enforcement would be just plain ignorant to overlook this wealth of information.

I have a few cases pending trial in the courts that use a small amount of evidence from facebook. I also have a recent case which uses a lot of evidence from various blogs. I'm very interested to see how the courts respond to this evidence.

This is good stuff (4, Insightful)

frostoftheblack (955294) | more than 8 years ago | (#15140317)

I do not feel the least bit threatened by this at all.

This is just yet another reason why I refuse to get a MySpace account. People need to learn their lesson that whatever they post on the Internet is public. Even if it's labelled "private", it's still public. MySpacers have the "look at my page now" attitude whenever it comes to their friends, but when it's someone they don't like, it's a "get away from me, you're trespassing on my privacy" attitude.

As for police investigations, I'm all for it. Personally I'm sick of people posting illegal material on their MySpace, glorifying it, and getting the respect of every other junkie who is lucky enough to see it. Illegal things should be investigated and prosecuted.

As for the legality of searching on MySpace, I pull up this quote from my government textbook (Government By The People, by Burns). I hope it's relevant: "Police may make warrantless searches in public places if the offers have probable cause, or at least a reasonable suspicion, that the persons in question have committed or are about to committ crimes. No later than two days after making such an arrest the police must take the arrested person to a magistrate so that the magistrate, not just the police, can decide whether probable cause existed to justify the warrantless arrest. Probable cause however does not except in extreme emergencies justify a warrantless arrest of people in their own homes...Not every time the police stop a person to ask questions or to seek that person's consent to search is there seizure or detention requiring probable cause or warrant. If the police just ask questions or even seek consent to search an individuals person or possessions in a noncoercive atmoshpere, there is no detention".

Once the average person realizes that everyone watches everything on the Internet, then we won't have problems like this. The amount of information one can glean on someone or about a certain event through MySpace and through various search engines is astounding. But most people don't have the common sense to know that.

I love that.... (1)

ShyGuy91284 (701108) | more than 8 years ago | (#15140356)

There's a certain special thing about people getting caught for openly bragging about what they did.... Has prevented a lot of school shootings probably....

Re:I love that.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15140398)

ha thats how i got cought. there's nothing special in it, it just fucking sux. but im glad i was cought, it taught me a lesson... but only a little bit :)

Hubris (0, Troll)

fm6 (162816) | more than 8 years ago | (#15140419)

Most of the nabbed wrongdoers have been victims of their own hubris, like the two boys who uploaded video of themselves firebombing an abandoned airplane hangar.
"Hubris" is kind of pretentious for this kind of fuckup. The Bush White House thinking it can architect the political future of the Middle East is "hubris". Distributing evidence of your own criminal activity on the web is just plain stupid.
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