Federal Agents Maybe Checking Your Facebook

The Electronic Frontier Foundation has obtained an internal Justice Department document stating that U.S. law enforcement agents have been checking into social networking sites for crime fighting purposes.  They can gather valuable information from and about suspects through sites like Facebook , Twitter , MySpace , and LinkedIn .  These information include personal communications, location, and even establish motives, personal relationships, and criminal enterprise of suspects.  The agents could even look into social networking sites to prove and disprove alibis.

Undercover networking could be an issue for the Justice Department, who has prosecuted Lori Drew of Missouri in 2008 after creating a fake MySpace account to torment her daughter’s schoolmate.  After receiving a fake message from Lori’s fake account that the world would be a better place without her, the schoolmate committed suicide.  Drew received three misdemeanor charges, which were eventually dismissed by a judge.

The document has created questions about the legality of conducting undercover activities online, especially whether it violates the networking sites’ terms of service.  Undercover networking has also provided how the limits of traditional sleuthing has been broken, because in the real world the agents would not be able to impersonate a suspect’s best friend or spouse, but they can online.

Source:  PC World

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