Police Concern Over Web Site that Exposes Informants

A web site whose purpose is to expose police informants and undercover agents online has law enforcement authorities concerned. WhosaRat.com claims to expose over 4,000 of these people , possibly hampering numerous investigations.

From an AP story on MyWay.com —

Police and prosecutors are worried that a Web site claiming to identify more than 4,000 informants and undercover agents will cripple investigations and hang targets on witnesses.

The Web site, WhosaRat.com, first caught the attention of authorities after a Massachusetts man put it online and named a few dozen people as turncoats in 2004. Since then, it has grown into a clearinghouse for mug shots, court papers and rumors.

Federal prosecutors say the site was set up to encourage violence, and federal judges around the country were recently warned that witnesses in their courtrooms may be profiled online.

“My concern is making sure cooperators are adequately protected from retaliation,” said Chief Judge Thomas Hogan, who alerted other judges in Washington’s federal courthouse. He said he learned about the site from a federal judge in Maine.

The Web site is the latest unabashedly public effort to identify witnesses or discourage helping police. “Stop Snitching” T-shirts have been sold in cities around the country and popular hip-hop lyrics disparage or threaten people who help police.

Source: Police Decry Web Site on Informants