Tags: Facebook privacy, facebook scam, Social Media privacy, social media safety
A federal agent impersonated a woman without her knowledge; he created a Facebook page in a woman named Sondra, and the Justice Department is defending him. In addition, he posted racy photos of her, from her cell phone, to the site. The site was being used to connect with suspected criminals.
Seems like he was simply doing what he had to do, because prior, Sondra had been arrested for suspicion of drug ring involvement. While she was awaiting trial (and ultimately was given probation), the agent created the Facebook account.
“The incident at issue in this case is under review by Justice Department officials,” states Brian Fallon, the Justice Department’s top spokesperson. Facebook’s terms of service do not exempt undercover agents from term violations, one of which is posing as another person.
Facebook removed the page once news broke. This case doesn’t compare to when detectives go undercover in person, posing as a fictitious character or a real person who authorizes the impersonation. Sondra is real, and she didn’t know about this.
The defense claims that Sondra indeed consented because she granted access to the data in her phone. A privacy expert points out, however, that this is parallel to granting detectives permission to search your house for drugs, but then they steal photos in your bedroom and post them online. Furthermore, the agent posted photos of Sondra’s minor son and niece.
But is Sondra any angel herself? She pled guilty to conspiracy to distribute cocaine in February 2011, but was slapped on the wrist because apparently, she wasn’t a key player in the ring. Really this shouldn’t matter.
It is necessary for law enforcement to use any means necessary and legal to capture bad guys. However there must be a better way to create a social profile, such as using a stock photo or even a computer generated one. The technology is readily available to make this happen.
ROBERT SICILIANO, CEO of IDTheftSecurity.com is fiercely committed to informing, educating, and empowering Americans so they can be protected from violence and crime in the physical and virtual worlds. His "tell it like it is" style is sought after by major media outlets, executives in the C-Suite of leading corporations, meeting planners, and community leaders to get the straight talk they need to stay safe in a world in which physical and virtual crime is commonplace. Siciliano is accessible, real, professional, and ready to weigh in and comment at a moment's notice on breaking news.
- Is Your Facebook Friend a Fed, or Sex Offender?
When you think about it, Facebook is weird. Where else in the world do you call people who you don’t know your friends? I probably have about 10-15 friends. Most are acquaintances and the others 400 are total strangers. There’s a lot of excessive trust in the Facebook world. People have
- What is Catphishing?
What is catphishing? It certainly isn’t Garfield lazily sitting in a canoe holding a fishing rod. Catphishing is when a fraudster fabricates an identity and tricks someone via cyber communication into a phony emotional or romantic relationship—usually for financial gain to the scammer—because eventually he’ll hit the victim up for money. But another reason for catphishing
- Catfishing Scammer tells all
Catfishing is when someone creates a phony online account—and not necessarily to scam someone for financial gain. An article on vice.com tells all about a person who’s been catfishing for eight years. She started in middle school by creating “Joey” on MySpace. She then commented, as “Joey,” on her real MySpace page to make herself appear
- Burglars busted bolstering Buffoonery
Social media makes dumb criminals look (and act) even dumber. Take the case of Damian and Rolando Lozano of Texas, who were suspected of stealing items from 17 cars in the town of Rosenberg. Damian was caught, but Rolando was still out there somewhere. The Rosenberg police posted Rolando’s photo on their Facebook page, hoping that
- 15 Facebook Fiascos to Watch Out For
The following 15 activities, all of which are facilitated by Facebook and other social networking websites, are causing lots of heartache and headaches: 1. Posting illegal activities. In the little town where I grew up, 30 kids recently faced the wrath of their parents, school officials, law enforcement, and the Boston media, all because someone posted