Police Spying Backfires As Criminals Use Facebook/Twitter For Surveillance

0 Shares

Recently, there has been a lot of public outcry against police officers using social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter to spy on supposed criminals. Now, it looks like the criminals are giving the police a taste of their own medicine.

According to a Foxnews.com articlepolice officials are worried that social networking is putting officers at risk.

The article stated: “Criminals are using [social networking] sites to identify and investigate law-enforcement officers, including undercover police. In addition, hostage-takers and suspects who barricade themselves in buildings are monitoring social media to track police movements in real time, and gang members are launching their own surveillance operations targeting police.”

The criminals likely got the idea to use social networking to this end from police, though.

According to iNews880.com, this practice is extremely commonplace, and police from different precincts are sharing the secrets of online surveillance with other officers. “Gang expert George Chavez, a police detective in Wisconsin, said today in an interview that gang members feel secure in putting up information on the Web. But he says police are using tactics to gain access to their sites to gather pictures of suspected gang members and find out about proposed meeting places and activities.”

But an editorial on PCMag.com argues that social network spying has become commonplace — not just for police and criminals, but for everyone.

“To get the details you want, you can look over people’s Facebook pages and LinkedIn pages to get a reasonable amount of background info. You can then check if they have a Twitter account. If so, what do they harp on? Do they use a goofy name? If they have a blog, they’ll probably link it on one of these services. If they do, what is it about?” the editorial said.

“But people should at least be aware that they might be scrutinized based on their online information, even when it is supposedly ‘private.’ While I cannot view people’s private postings, you can be sure the government can.”

Personal Liberty

Special To Personal Liberty

You Sound Off! is written by our readers and appears the last Wednesday of each month. If you would like to submit an article or letter to the editor for consideration for You Sound Off!, send it to yousoundoff@personalliberty.com by the Friday before the last Wednesday of the month. To be considered, a submission should be 750 words or less and must include the writer's name, address and a telephone number. Only the writer's name will be published. Anonymous submissions will not be considered.

Join the Discussion

Comment Policy: We encourage an open discussion with a wide range of viewpoints, even extreme ones, but we will not tolerate racism, profanity or slanderous comments toward the author(s) or comment participants. Make your case passionately, but civilly. Please don't stoop to name calling. We use filters for spam protection. If your comment does not appear, it is likely because it violates the above policy or contains links or language typical of spam. We reserve the right to remove comments at our discretion.