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Public safety sees opportunity, pitfalls in social media

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#1 TheSentinel


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Posted 18 March 2012 - 03:28 PM

Public safety sees opportunity, pitfalls in social media
Social media can prove useful in investigations, but the use of Twitter and other tools by authorities has backfired at times
By Nancy Gohring
March 15, 2012 03:26 PM ET

IDG News Service - Law enforcement agencies are looking for ways to mine social media to look for threats, but those speaking at a conference on Wednesday suggested that an equally important issue might be trying to control authorities who are causing problems by their use of Twitter, Facebook and other such applications.

Those public safety groups that have started trying to tap social media to do their jobs haven't yet figured out how to sift through the massive amounts of data they collect, said speakers at the Microsoft Public Safety Symposium, held at the software giant's Redmond, Wash., headquarters.

For instance, in preparation for the Rugby World Cup, New Zealand police set up a system that scrapes YouTube, Twitter and Flickr, plotting the message, photo and video uploads on a map. Hovering over an icon with a mouse let an officer see the tweet, photo or still image from the video.

Officers could filter results to look for items posted from homes of known "folks who want to take out your mum," said Neil Macrae, senior sergeant with the New Zealand Police.

Details: http://www.computerw...in_social_media