NYPD Releases Guidelines for Social Media Use in Investigations: Report

Commissioner Raymond Kelly released the five-page memo last week,

Friday, Sep 14, 2012  |  Updated 11:00 AM EDT
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NYPD Releases Social Media Guidelines in Investigations

The NYPD has released a memo that lays out rules for using social media during investigations, but critics say the new guidelines raise questions about privacy issues, according to a report.

Police Commissioner Ray Kelly released the five-page memo last week, saying police officers involved in investigations using social media can use aliases, and register those aliases with the department.
 
The officers can also conduct their investigation on an NYPD-issued laptop that cannot be traced back to them.
 
But an associate legal director for the New York Civil Liberties Union, Christopher Dunn, told the Daily News "police work on the Internet is ripe for abuse."
 
"Police infiltration of social media should be closely regulated," Dunn said.
 
The NYPD's ability to use aliases online, and to interact under these aliases, may violate the Handschu agreement, which is a set of guidelines that can regulate NYPD behavior in regards to policitcal activity.
 
The guidelines were setup in 1971 after 21 members of the Black Panther Party were tried and later acquitted for conspiracy to blow up buildings, including police stations.
 
The agreement was reached after the trial, and set up a special committee to investigate suspected criminal activity on the part of political groups. 
 

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