Social networking extends reach for long arm of the law

Break the law and your new 'friend' may be the FBI

U.S. law enforcement agents are going undercover with false online profiles to communicate with suspects and gather evidence, according to an Associated Press report.

Federal agents are logging on surreptitiously to Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn and Twitter to exchange messages with suspects, identify a target's friends or relatives and browse private information such as postings, personal photographs and video clips, according to AP.

Social networking sites are enabling investigators to check suspects' alibis by comparing stories told to police with tweets sent at the same time about their whereabouts. Online photos from a suspicious spending spree—people posing with jewelry, guns or fancy cars—can link suspects or their friends to robberies or burglaries.

With federal agents going undercover, state and local police have begun coordinating their online activities with the Secret Service, the FBI and other federal agencies in a strategy known as "deconfliction" to keep out of each other's way.

To read the complete AP story, click here.

 

About the Author

Connect with the FCW staff on Twitter @FCWnow.

Featured

  • FCW Perspectives
    human machine interface

    Your agency isn’t ready for AI

    To truly take advantage, government must retool both its data and its infrastructure.

  • Cybersecurity
    secure network (bluebay/Shutterstock.com)

    Federal CISO floats potential for new supply chain regs

    The federal government's top IT security chief and canvassed industry for feedback on how to shape new rules of the road for federal acquisition and procurement.

  • People
    DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, shown here at her Nov. 8, 2017, confirmation hearing. DHS Photo by Jetta Disco

    DHS chief Nielsen resigns

    Kirstjen Nielsen, the first Homeland Security secretary with a background in cybersecurity, is being replaced on an acting basis by the Customs and Border Protection chief. Her last day is April 10.

Stay Connected

FCW INSIDER

Sign up for our newsletter.

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.