Thursday, April 18, 2013

Will Social Media Crowdsourcing Catch The Boston Marathon Terrorists?

The Boston Marathon terrorist bombing was a cowardly act that killed at least 3 people, caused at least 13 people to lose limbs, and hospitalized 183.  This terrorist act should remind us that post 9/11 there are still threats to democracy and our way of life. 

While our nation mourns this terrible tragedy, law enforcement officials are hard at work trying to capture the perpetrators of this dastardly act.  One of the tools that the police are utilizing in their hunt for the terrorists is social media crowdsourcing. According to Wikipedia, crowdsourcing "is the practice of obtaining needed services, ideas, or content by soliciting contributions from a large group of people, and especially from an online community".  Will social media be able to quicken the pace to identity and then capture the perpetrators of this tragedy? 

Facebook, Google, and Microsoft have each been fined and/or forced to change their practices because some of their activities have been found to violate state and/or federal law/regulations.  While some of these practices have raised the angst of regulators and/or privacy advocates the technology of these companies may also help catch the Boston Marathon Terrorists.

Facebook has been utilized by Massachusetts authorities to catch criminals.  Google Earth has been used to solve various crimes.  Microsoft worked with the New York City Police Department to develop a counter-terrorism and crime prevention system.  While some of these technologies may be leading us closer to a surveillance state they may also help prevent terrorism and catch criminals. 

To learn more about these issues you may contact me at

Copyright 2013 by the Law Office of Bradley S. Shear, LLC All rights reserved. 

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