Selasa, 24 November 2009

In Venezuela criminals use Facebook to research targets. Cops use it too — but not always for scrupulous purposes.

CARACAS, Venezuela — It has taken Venezuela by storm, but it seems that Facebook and other social networking sites also come with their perils.
Police here revealed that a pair of students at a private university in Caracas had been robbing their virtual friends’ homes using information they had compiled using Facebook.
Police raided the apartment of one of two students who, working in tandem with another couple, had been using Facebook to befriend classmates. They then used the information their new “friends” posted on their profiles to find out where they lived, what they owned and when they were not at home.
"They observe the families’ movements, they study the residencies — the comings and goings, the security measures," said Wilmer Flores Trosel, director of the CICPC, Venezuela’s eqivalent of the FBI.
Security analysts in Venezuela say it is becoming increasingly frequent for criminals to use social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Sonico and Hi5 as a source of information for house robberies, fraud and kidnappings.
And it's not just the criminals capitalizing on this online data source, the police too are using it, to go after both hard-core criminals and political protesters. In a country with little tolerance for dissent, many fear the government has designs on controlling these sites. And the crimes aided by Facebook, might give them cause to do just that. [more]
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