It's the Cops!
Crime and Punishment
Some days it seems there’s a social network for everything: There’s Catmoji for sharing cat pics, for instance, and NextDoor for your block, so you can bitch about whoever it is keeps stealing your FedEx packages. And now, the AP reports, there’s BlueLine, a LinkedIn-like social network just for the police.
Surely this won’t get anyone into trouble!
You don’t get the feeling that when up-and-coming rapper Matthew Best was choosing the Rise filter for his pictures of illegally smuggled assault weapons, he fully intended on receiving anything more than a few faves. His social media trail assisted the New York Police Department yesterday in its biggest gun bust ever that led to the seizure of 250 firearms and 19 arrests.
Hack Hack Hack Hack It Apart
Today the NYPD will release harmless, odorless gases into several subway stations, to test how a real airborne event would unfold. What, you mean the piss smell isn’t some decades-long experiment? [New York Daily News]
The woman who oversees development of Google’s developer tools is a part-time vintner, single mom and apparent badass. (Don’t read the comments.) [Wired]
Did you know that there’s a company dedicated to making video games based on the apocalyptic Christian fiction series “Left Behind”? Apparently Satan’s been hard at work on their finances, because it’s not going to so well. [Quartz]
Pat Roberson would like a “vomit” button on Facebook, so he could accurately express his feelings about the gays. Conveniently, that would allow the rest of us to accurately express our feelings about Pat Roberston. [Huffington Post]
With the company’s ereader division losing major moola, Barnes and Noble’s digital wonderboy CEO William Lynch has resigned. You gave it your best shot, dude. [New York Times]
Data and the City
Well, here’s some not-particularly-reassuring news about one of New York’s finest: An NYPD detective named Edwin Vargas has been arrested for “computer hacking crimes.”
The feds say Mr. Vargas shelled out $4,000 to an email hacking service to get log-in credentials for at least 43 email accounts belonging to at least 30 different people (21 of them affiliated with the NYPD). He’s also alleged to have accessed the National Crime Information Center database.
Say what you will about the New York City Council, but the group really likes its open data. One thing the group isn’t in love with, however, is the New York Police Department’s lack of transparency. So in order to increase the accountability of police officers, yesterday the City Council unanimously approved a measure that will create a crime map and database that will allow citizens to view crime data and locations in their specific neighborhoods, according to the New York World.
There are limits on how much your social media presence should reflect your personal brand. For starters: It’s probably best not to brag about your highly illegal drug-dealing activities. On Friday, the NYPD announced it had arrested 41 alleged gang members after one of their higher ranking kingpins, Adrian Rivera, boasted online about his expansive door-to-door cocaine-dealing service.
Police began their investigation two years ago, when undercover officers began purchasing cocaine from Rivera. The only identifying information they had was his nickname, “Ace.” So, the force began trawling the Internet for his Facebook and Instagram accounts, where they discovered pictures of him living the high life of partying with strippers and flashing gang symbols.
Leave it to the NYPD to make an Android phone useful for more than countless Snapchats. More than 400 smartphones have been distributed to officers since last summer as part of a pilot program to make it easier for them to access police data on-the-go, reports the New York Times.
Gangs may soon join teens in the “totally over Facebook” collective. The NYPD announced yesterday that it has arrested 63 members from three East Harlem gangs, after they left a trail of evidence boasting about their exploints online.
Authorities said the members—all men, 16 to 25—are responsible for 30 non-fatal shootings in the neighborhood since 2009. When using Facebook to plan their hits, they often used slang words. For example, guns were identified as “biscuit” or “clickety,” while ammunition were often labeled as “sea shellz” and “gas.”
Crime and Punishment
Leaving iPads, iPhones, and other expensive iDevices in unattended vehicles is like presenting robbers with a big bow and note exclaiming “Please have me!” So, in an effort to crack down on a rash of car burglaries plaguing parts of Brooklyn, the police are going to shame you.
Yesterday a video of a 56-year-old woman being brutally mugged in the F train station in Brooklyn’s Borough Park neighborhood went viral. The video shows a woman descending the stairs into the station before she is pushed up against a door and hit and kicked. The assailant then empties her purse, grabs some items and chases after her through the station. Though the crime occurred on March 9th, the NYPD released the video with the hopes that viewers would be able to help them ID the perp.