LJWorld.com weblogs The Yellow Tape

MySpace proves to be useful investigative technique


Law enforcement Tuesday traced a missing 15-year-old Texas girl to Lawrence using information from her MySpace account. In working with security personnel from the Web site, police were able to trace her last log-in to an IP address in Lawrence. [You can see the full story here.][1]While it's awesome the girl was found and that she was safe, it raises the question of Internet privacy.Every time you enter personal information and log on to a Web site, information about where you are can be tracked. Even when people post comments on this Web site, an IP address is logged. The number shows what computer network you're accessing the Internet from.Is that a good or a bad thing?Without the technology, the missing Texas girl may still be wandering around with the 33-year-old man police found her with. When police found the two, the man was arrested on charges including aggravated indecent liberties with a child and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.But at the same time, do you take comfort in knowing that police have the ability to track you down when you log on to a similar site? [1]: http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2008/jul...


Charles L. Bloss, Jr. 9 years, 11 months ago

I am not comfortable with it, but I can't do anything about it. Isn't there a constitutional amendment, in the bill of rights, that guarantees our right to privacy? I will have to research that. This ability to trace people through their IP address is no different than tracing an unlisted phone number, etc. Some of those things require a court order, and a court order can require probable cause. I do not like it, nevertheless. Thank you, Lynn

alm77 9 years, 11 months ago

I don't think it would be any different than police tracing phone calls. If they had set up a tracing device at her parents' home and found her when she called there, that wouldn't be a problem. If there was another place that she frequented and were to call there and have the call traced, that wouldn't be a problem either, providing the party being contacted had agreed to the trace. The way I see it, in my analogy, is that she contacted myspace. Myspace agreed to allow the police to trace her location.

fu7il3 9 years, 11 months ago

I have no problem with it. You sign on to MySpace by your own free will and post personal information. That information belongs to MySpace. If police ask MySpace for it and they think they should have it, they have a right to give it to them.

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