Say the wrong thing on Twitter.......end up in jail?
The internet, and social media in particular, has become the new place where police will be monitoring for criminal activities and even advertised house parties.
Now the New York Police Department has decided to form a new unit with the explicit purpose of monitoring Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, and other social networks in an attempt to track down suspects.
Kind of like how they made a "Hip-Hop" unit to monitor rapper's songs...
But this time Assistant Commissioner Kevin O'Connor says they will be trawling social media networks trying to uncover chatter about crimes ranging from the seemingly insignificant house party to
"gang showdowns and other potential mayhem."Meantime, the British police have arrested several internet users as part of a broader clampdown on social networking sites under security excuses.
A man will appear before magistrates next month for allegedly trying to organise a mass water fight via his mobile phone.
The prime minister said last week that the government would investigate whether social networking platforms should be shut down if they helped to "plot" crime in the wake of the riots.
The 20-year-old from Colchester was arrested on Friday after Essex police discovered the alleged plans circulating on the BlackBerry Messenger service and Facebook.
The unnamed man has been charged with "encouraging or assisting in the commission of an offence" under the 2007 Serious Crime Act, police said.
Another group of people in Iran were charged with the same "crime" of organizing a water gun fight via Facebook just a few days ago.
A water gun fight? Seriously.
But look, the UK is seriously considering shutting down Twitter all together.
The Metropolitan Police considered shutting down Twitter at the height of the rioting in London but discovered they did not have the power do so...but they are trying!
British Prime Minister David Cameron believes that Facebook and Twitter contributed to what he called as the violence and chaos in London.
Cameron is attempting to eradicate free speech with the help of the aforementioned two social media behemoths.
He claims that social media helped organize the riots, and stated,
"Free flow of information can be used for good, but it can also be used for ill. So we are working with the police, the intelligence services and industry whether it will be right to stop people communicating via these websites and services."
Cameron is now unabashedly advocating the exact same control exerted over the web by corrupt leaders in Egypt and elsewhere.
Back to the U.S., they may not be shutting Twitter down....but they will be watching!
UPDATE Jan. 26, 2012:
The FBI is looking to develop a web application that can monitor social networks, including Facebook and Twitter, in order to gain better real-time intelligence about current or potential future security threats or situations.
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