Police Stake Out Facebook

An article in The California Aggie discusses how campus police are using the popular social networking site to hunt criminals and cyberstalkers.

From the article —

Lt. Nader Oweis, a detective with the UC Davis Police Department, insisted the officers are not using their Facebook accounts for the purpose of staking out students or farming incriminating party evidence.

Oweis said the police are using their accounts in order to investigate campus cases of threats, harassment and cyberstalking – serious crimes that may become a dangerous part of the Facebook experience.

“It’s real simple,” Oweis said. “We have had some investigations where we have had victims receive threats and we had to log in.”

Oweis, however, admits the idea of the police logging onto a student-oriented website might be disturbing to some users.

“I can understand people being a little nervous,” Oweis said. “I can definitely see where they are coming from.”

He said the UCDPD simply doesn’t have the resources to try to evaluate the number of students online, and then try to surmise which of those students may be participating in illegal activity.

“Yes we are on the Facebook, and yes we are on some other sites out there,” Oweis said. “We are not Big Brother looking over your shoulder. We are on there to conduct investigations.”

You can read the entire article @ Policing the Facebook.