lady-cop

Attention suspected gang members! That attractive stranger-lady trying to friend you on Facebook might be interested in you for reasons that go beyond your sexy profile pic and “single” relationship status.

According to reports by The Village Voice, The New York Daily News, and The New York TImes, the NYPD is turning to social media based tactics after “stop and frisk” was ripped away from them due to its unfortunate unconstitutionality. Specifically, they’re using Facebook and Twitter to spy on young men they suspect of being in gangs. Even more specifically, they’re making up fake profiles for comely young women in the hopes that their quarries will respect their friend requests, letting them into their salacious world of crime. Does anyone else smell catfish?

Long known as an untrustworthy keeper of our personal information, Facebook wouldn’t exactly surprise anyone if it came to light that they gave the cops permission to do this, but it seems from the non-response that they gave the Village Voice that it’s at least possible that the NYPD is doing this without Facebook’s knowledge (then again, if this is anything like PRISM, Facebook is legally barred from talking about it):

“We have nothing to share on this specific case. However, more generally on background it is a violation of our policies [see section 4: https://www.facebook.com/legal/terms] to use a fake name or operate under a false identity, and we encourage people to report anyone they think is doing this, either through the report links we provide on the site or through the contact forms in our Help Center.”

Well, I know what I’ll be doing with my Friday night. False profile reporting party at my house!

And maybe I’m just feeling emo today, but is there anything worse than finding out that, in addition to being charged with a crime—during which the burden of proof is now on you to show this type of surveillance to be unconstitutional—that big booty-ed ray of sunshine in your (allegedly) sad gangbanging life is actually a 50-year-old Irish-American police officer from Queens named Harvey McCallister? That fucking blows.

Then again, if this operation is anywhere as smooth as the one the Boston cops did to try to bust area DIY shows by posing as fans and asking people “what time is the punk rock concert?”, NYC-area youth have nothing to fear.

(Via The Village Voice)

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