To Investigate Crimes, Police Turn to Facebook

Facebook and other social networking sites give people the opportunity to share information, links, videos, photos, and more with their friends and with the world at-large. Now police are logging on as well, in the hopes that people will share information that can lead to the arrest and charging of those suspected of criminal activity.

When Facebook was first launched, it allowed anyone with an email address ending in .edu to use the service, which included campus police officers. Many used the site to search for evidence of underage drinking and other misbehavior on the campuses where they worked. Today, Facebook allows users to restrict who can see their information. Some users believe that, because Facebook’s user agreement states that the site is for “personal” use, that law enforcement officers cannot use information posted to Facebook to investigate crimes or as a basis for an arrest. However, most courts accept that anything posted on Facebook without restrictions has been posted “in public” and is fair game for a criminal investigation.

Since Facebook allows users to control who can and cannot view the things they post, users would be wise to protect themselves from having strangers view their posts, pictures, and more by setting their Facebook privacy settings so that they allow only people the user has added as friends to see what they put up. Not only does this protect the information from becoming part of a criminal investigation, it also helps protect the user’s privacy, including decreasing the risk of identity theft.

As technology changes, so do the ways law enforcement tracks people’s behavior. If you have been charged with a felony or other crime in Colorado, the experienced criminal defense lawyers in Colorado Springs at The Bussey Law Firm, P.C. can help. Call us today at 719-475-2555 for a free and confidential consultation.

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