• Tweeting may help in disasters

    Social networks like Twitter cannot help prevent disasters, but can quickly correct misinformation resulting from false rumors, thus preventing possible further loss of lives

  • London police use smartphones, social network to identify rioters

    The rioters in London — and now, in other British cities — have been using Blackberries to outmaneuver the police; communicating via BlackBerry instant-message technology, as well as by social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, the rioters repeatedly signaled fresh target areas to those caught up in the mayhem; RIM has now agreed to cooperate with Scotland Yard to turn over protestors using the service to coordinate their assaults; the police is also releasing CCTV images of the rioters to a group using face recognition technology to identify and condemn rioters; the police is also using Flickr, Tublr, and Twitter to spot and identify participants in the riots

  • Russian bloggers fall victim to cyber attacks

    Earlier this month LiveJournal, a major Russian blogging site, was the victim of a large cyber attack; bloggers believe that it was a move meant to silence political dissent in advance of the country’s elections; the site was brought down by a distributed denial of service (DDos) attack; SUP, the owners of LiveJournal, said that the recent attacks were the worst in its company’s history and unprecedented in that it targeted the entire website rather than individual blogs; the majority of Russia’s opposition leaders and political activists maintain blogs on LiveJournal that they use as platforms to gain support and spread their message

  • Authorities scour social media for electronic evidence

    Suspects using e-mail, text messages, social networks, and other electronic means of communicating to plan illicit visitations or to brag about offenses committed or planned are unwittingly making cases for their own convictions; because of this, authorities are resorting more and more so to these outlets to support their criminal investigations

  • Police turning to Facebook to fight crime

    Local police departments across the United States have are beginning to use Facebook and Twitter to communicate with local residents and track down criminals and missing persons; departments have successfully apprehended suspects minutes after posting photos online; police have also received tips on the whereabouts of wanted criminals and Facebook has become a part of the investigative process; Facebook’s traditional functions of outreach and communication have helped departments keep residents informed and build trust; critics of police patrolling Facebook and Twitter for tips say that it is an invasion of privacy; police have been careful to only use publicly posted information that users choose to display

  • Police using text messages to fight crime

    In an increasing trend police departments across the United States are using text messages to help fight crime; various police departments have set up a text message service that allows citizens to report any crimes that they see; informants can stay anonymous while department officials can exchange texts with them to learn more; police departments have long had anonymous hotlines in place, and text messages are the technological upgrade to these hotlines; text message systems were first introduced in 2007 in Boston and Cincinnati; this year several smaller police departments will implement a text based tip system including those in Apex, North Carolina and Colorado Springs, Colorado

  • Western analysts, Israel: Egyptian regime will weather the storm

    Israeli and western analysts agree Egyptian regime will remain as popular uprising gains strength while government clamps down on protesters; little to no concern of Muslim Brotherhood takeover: government shuts down Internet access, cellular service, and other personal communications in an effort to contain the rebellion as turmoil spreads across Egypt; journalists under assault; former IAEA chief El-Barradai under house arrest; ruling party headquarters set ablaze

  • NATO networks vulnerable to cyber threat: U.S.

    U.S. says NATO’s military networks are not fully protected against cyber threats and the alliance must make good on a pledge to erect a virtual wall by 2012; U.S. Deputy Defence Secretary William Lynn warned at the end of a two-day visit to Brussels that the cyber threat was “maturing” from an espionage and disruption tool to a destructive force against vital infrastructure

  • U.S. gov't wants Google, Facebook to expand wiretaps of subscribers

    The U.S. government wants Silicon Valley companies such as Google and Facebook make it easier for law enforcement to wiretap the companies’ users; legislation under consideration would require cellphone carriers, Web sites, and other types of service providers to have a way to unscramble encrypted communications traveling over their networks

  • New Facebook app monitors users' social circle for danger

    How long will it be before it is impractical to use Facebook without a dedicated app to protect you from spammers and scammers? New app scans your wall, inbox, and any comments on your profile for malicious links that might lead to sites that try to install malware or hijack your account details. It also checks your privacy settings and offers reminders and tips on how much you are sharing and how to change those settings

  • Using Facebook to nab a Facebook killer

    Suffolk County police are using Facebook to solve a murder which appears to have been related to Facebook; a 31-year old woman was found dead; the police searched her Facebook page, and found two individuals with whom she had recently been in contact; one of them was using her credit cards after her death; the police has now created a page seeking information about the man, looking to arrest him

  • Law enforcement agencies dig deeper into applicants' digital past

    More and more police departments are digging deep into the social media accounts of applicants, requesting that candidates sign waivers allowing investigators access to their Facebook, MySpace, YouTube, Twitter, and other personal spaces; some agencies are demanding that applicants provide private passwords, Internet pseudonyms, text messages, and e-mail logs; of “particular concern” to law enforcement agencies is that defense lawyers could use officers’ posts to undercut their credibility in court

  • Boston police using Twitter to nab bad guys

    After a flasher on Boston T Red Line was caught thanks to a passenger’s tweet, the MBTA is showing a genuine commitment to using social media, creating an official Twitter home page to serve as a public tip line; the transit cops are also creating a system which will allow riders to send tips (and photos) via text messages directly to the authorities

  • Hamas: Israel using Facebook to recruit spies in Gaza

    Hamas claims Israeli intelligence uses information Palestinians from Gaza put in their profiles on Facebook to pressure them to become spies for Israel; it is not clear how someone can be blackmailed or coerced into a risky spying career using information in the public domain, and it seems more likely Israel is using social networking to map contact networks

  • Son files harassment charges against mother for Facebook posts

    A 16-year old sues his mother for tampering with his Facebook account; he filed charges against her last month and requested a no contact order after he claims she posted slanderous entries about him on the social networking site; he alleges she hacked his account, changed his password, and posted things that involve slander about his personal life