twitter infographic imageTwitter and other social media outlets have made it easier than ever to track the real-time response to current events and controversies. We did just that, and the results are about as unsurprising as they are unfortunate. Looking at important international events side-by-side with celebrity controversies, we found out a bit about where people’s priorities lie.

 
Read More →

Criminals are always on the lookout for how they can use modern technology to make crime easier and more efficient. Their latest tool is one that we all know and use on a daily basis: the Google search engine. But instead of looking up random facts and links to websites, the criminals use the search engine to research potential kidnapping victims, and if valuable enough, hold them as hostages until a ransom is paid.

Read More →

twiiter-superheroFor everyone who said Twitter was useless – we’ve got news for you. Rather than the chatter you sometimes see on the social networking site, this time Twitter was used for some serious good. Twitter was used to tell the world that a missing man wasn’t dead, but was being secretly held hostage in a jail in Afghanistan. 

Read More →

main_cyberbullyingOne of the highest priorities parents have is keeping their children safe. They can walk them to school and back, make sure they’re hanging out with the ‘right crowd’, and keep their bodies healthy by feeding them nutritional food. But even the watchful eyes of a mother can’t always protect children from the animosity and danger of the Internet.

That is why the U.K. based Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre, or CEOP, have urged Facebook to install a “panic button”. Such a feature would enable children who feel victimized or threatened to report abuse, directing reports immediately to a child protection specialist who would assess the situation, presumably to decide if it warrants intervention.

Read More →
google-earth_2jpg1 Finally having had enough of his one-ton boat, and not wanting to pay for getting rid of it the legal way, a man decided to just dump it and let someone else take care of it. He figured that if he removed the vehicle identification number and registration that there would be no way of tracing it back to him, and in the days before Google Earth, he’d probably be right.
Read More →

screenshot_01If you’re a wanted criminal, choose your Farmville neighbors wisely. Instead of peeking over a picket fence at the strawberry patch belonging to the mysterious red-head who just friended you on Facebook, you could be looking through steel bars straight at the FBI agent that caught you.

According to an FBI document redacted by Electronic Frontier Foundation, a digital rights advocacy group, the FBI is using social networking sites to gather information on those suspected of illicit activity, known witnesses to crimes, and people who are targets of crime.

But the FBI is able to access a bit more information on a person than the average Tweeter. Under the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, the FBI agents can prompt a social networking site like Facebook, Myspace, or LinkedIn to send a request in order to view confidential information such as private inbox messages.

The FBI document states that such information can be helpful in proving or disproving alibis, locating a suspect, discovering connections and relationships between people, and detecting the existence of a crime or a crime in the making.

Should your welfare ever depend on a criminal being caught using MySpace or Twitter, you’re probably out of luck. According to the document, MySpace requires a search warrant to view private inbox messages less than 181 days old.  Though Twitter also requires a subpoena or search warrant, it gives no contact information for law enforcement officials to use in order to demand information and retains only the IP address of the latest login. Facebook, on the other hand, usually cooperates with law enforcement officials.

So if you’re running from the law, maybe collecting cyber friends isn’t such a good idea–you might end up with a federal agent on your tail.

Read More →

the-jointThis certainly isn’t the first time that Facebook has been used to catch a crook, and we’re pretty sure that it won’t be the last.

After two men broke into a head shop in Boston, the store owner posted a surveillance video of the break-in on the store’s Facebook page. One of the thieves can be seen in the video stealing a $4K glass tube.

Within a few days, the video had 6,000 views and the store’s online community managed to recognize one of the thieves. The police made an arrest soon after. Meanwhile, the police are still working on identifying the second suspect.

(Via Technorati Lifestyle)

Read More →

i_love_facebook_heart_t_shirt-p235755814861152274stvj_400Since Facebook released their privacy changes last week, the reception to the new changes has been overwhelmingly positive. This is in high contrast to some of Facebook’s previous changes to the system, like their controversial Beacon feature which broadcasted information about a user’s activities on the web. This feature was very quickly removed and it resulted in a whopping $9.5 million settlement for some lucky Facebook members.

This time around Facebook was much more careful before they went ahead and implemented any radical new changes pertaining to user’s privacy. Facebook started testing out the changes as far back as June, when they announced a limited beta release which involved more than 1 million testers. Additionally, the company even took the extra steps to consult advocacy groups and offered them in-advance briefings through a non disclosure agreement.

Read More →