In the midst of the ongoing violence in London and after what must be boatloads of crimes stemming from online activity, the NYPD has formed a unit dedicated to sifting through Twitter, Facebook and MySpace for information on dangerous activity.
Now, considering that Facebook and Twitter are both strangely attractive to bold, young criminals keen on bragging about what they've stolen and who they've harmed, police across the country already have a sizable presence online. But consigning an entire unit to the task takes things a step further, clearly because it's happening often enough to be taken that much more seriously. According to the NY Daily News:
Newly named Assistant Commissioner Kevin O'Connor, one of the department's online and gang gurus, has been put in charge of the new juvenile justice unit. He and his staff will mine social media, looking for info about troublesome house parties, gang showdowns and other potential mayhem, sources said.
An NYPD spokesperson couldn't be reached for this write-up.
Commissioner O'Connor has had success in the past making use of social networking to nab bad guys. This should be a step in the right direction. Assuming they don't screw something up, of course. [Daily News]