[LINK] Can social media compromise crime fighting?
kim at holburn.net
Thu Mar 31 22:03:23 EST 2011
The end of undercover police work? Spying?
> LEIGH SALES, PRESENTER: Australian governments have introduced laws to protect the privacy of individuals and there are also legal protections for those who need to conceal their identities as part of their job.
> But thanks to social media, it is difficult these days to prevent your image or your identity going further afield than you might expect or want.
> Now, two senior former police officers, one of them the former federal police boss Mick Keelty, are warning of the implications of social media for covert operations.
> Tracy Bowden reports.
> TRACY BOWDEN, REPORTER: These recruits are about to embark on a career in the police force, a career which could take many paths, including undercover work. Family and friends are here for the occasion, but who else is watching?
> MICK KEELTY, FORMER AFP COMMISSIONER: We've uncovered anecdotal evidence of at least one organised crime group having photographs taken at police graduation parades.
> TRACY BOWDEN: It's the ease with which these images can now be spread and stored, potentially forever, that poses an unforeseen threat.
> NICK O'BRIEN, COUNTER-TERRORISM, CHARLES STURT UNI: I think it's huge and I think it's possibly gonna stop any undercover policing happening in the future.
> At an expo in Sydney, Professor Brian Lovell from the National Information and Communications Technology Association is demonstrating the latest facial recognition techniques.
> BRIAN LOVELL, UNI. OF QLD: We can work with extremely low-quality images, the sort of images you'd collect from a mobile phone in a restaurant, for example, or the sort of things you'd get from a CCTV camera at an airport, and we can do fairly good recognition from that quality of photograph.
> MICK KEELTY: Professor Lovell has demonstrated to us that our thesis is correct. We believe that you can take a photographic image using a mobile phone and find that person, find out who that person is, anywhere. The internet images are your database.
> TRACY BOWDEN: So are your main concerns if this technology is used by the wrong kinds of people?
> MICK KEELTY: Organised crime. It's open to organised crime to actually start, you know, if you like, collating a data set now, if they haven't already.
> NICK O'BRIEN: It's very serious, a.) because we could lose undercover policing and undercover policing is a great resource. It cuts down investigation times and it cuts down court times. That's on one level, you could have a situation where an operation is blown because of it and the worst thing that could happen obviously is that people could be harmed or killed because of it.
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