NYPD Teaches Criminals a New Way to Fool the Legal System: Facebook Updates!

“The toilets at a local police station have been stolen. Police say they have nothing to go on.” Ronnie Baker

Wild goose chases are constantly going on all over the place: criminals running away from justice and never being caught, criminals playing the law and pinning their crimes on someone else or even more so, criminals being offered the proper tools to commit “perfect” crimes! And here’s where Facebook status updates come in!

A recent article entitled: “His Facebook Status Now? Charges Dropped” describes how the charges on Mr. Bradford were dropped just because his lawyer used Mr. Bradford’s status update as part of the evidence that the defendant was at home the time the crime was committed!

The way I see it, this is ridiculous!

Criminals & Theft

Criminals & Theft

If you really take a moment to contemplate the elements of any crime, you are sure to find that any criminal, despite his/her “experience in the field” would be smart enough to have someone else change the status update in order to establish an alibi! It is as easy as going for a walk through the park for anyone to enter: “Where’s my pancakes” instead of Mr. Bradford!

What I wonder now is how could the judge, and the police, miss that point? Especially that “another robbery charge was already pending against Mr. Bradford”.

John Browning says, “We are going to see more of that because of how prevalent social networking has become.”

Therefore, what is even more intriguing to me at now is the following: Through the way this particular case has come to an end, would criminals have more ideas about how to manipulate the legal system through social media? Will the NY Times, the source of this piece of news, become more of a criminal reference for the tips and how to’s of committing crime rather than being your local newspaper?

Looking forward to hear your arguments about this serious issue.

Comments and Reactions

  • http://blog.thoughtpick.com M.Bamieh

    LOL it is absolutely ridiculous tech savvy or not the guy could have spoofed that alibi easily if he wasn't tech savvy he could have easily downloaded the coscripter plug-in for firefox and programmed it to do just that post or if he was really tech savvy or could have made a script just like what the praetorian perfect did … he made this script
    <?php

    $ch = curl_init();
    curl_setopt($ch, CURLOPT_POST, 1);
    curl_setopt($ch, CURLOPT_HEADER, 0);
    curl_setopt($ch, CURLOPT_USERAGENT, “Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en-US; rv:1.9.1.5)
    Gecko/20091102 Firefox/3.5.5 (.NET CLR 3.5.30729)”);

    curl_setopt($ch, CURLOPT_COOKIE, 'datr=; s_vsn_facebookpoc_1=; __utma=; __utmz=.utmccn=
    (referral)|utmcsr=|utmcct=|utmcmd=; s_vsn_facebookpocads_1=; locale=en_US; __qca=; x-referer=;
    cur_max_lag=; lsd=; h_user=; __utmc=; c_user=; lxe=; lxr=; sid=; xs=; presence=');

    curl_setopt($ch, CURLOPT_POSTFIELDS,'action=PROFILE_UPDATE&profile_id=&status=I said where are my
    pancakes!&target_id=&app_id=&&composer_id=&display_context=profile&post_form_id=&fb_dtsg=&
    _log_display_context=profile&ajax_log=1&post_form_id_source=AsyncRequest&__a=1');

    curl_setopt($ch, CURLOPT_URL, 'http://www.facebook.com:80/ajax/updatestatus.php');
    curl_exec($ch);
    ?>
    cheers for the perfect crime

  • http://blog.thoughtpick.com Amer Kawar

    LOL… geeky reply. I think you're going to scare readers away rather than encourage commenting :D

    And you don't even need to write a script to do that, just tell your little brother to post a couple of status updates while you're gone!

    Silly ruling. A Facebook status should not get someone off the hook!

  • http://blog.thoughtpick.com/ Beiruta

    I'm sure our readers don't need tips for committing the “perfect” crime! :) Yet, I'm incline to think, can scrpits like this help increase unsolved crime cases?

  • http://blog.thoughtpick.com/ FadiPick

    Well that script has definitely freaked ME out :P I would go for the little brother option, or maybe tweet later option of HootSuite!

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