It shouldn’t surprise you to learn that Facebook, Photobucket, Twitter and other social media companies are using advanced software and old-fashioned surveillance to catch sex predators on their companies’ sites. News reports indicate that the companies use technology and employees that search out questionable language and suspicious exchanges of personal info.
The concern I, and other criminal lawyers, have is that the software and the cyber snoops employed by these companies will get it wrong and innocent consumers will end up facing police detectives and the emotional trauma of false allegations of mixing social media and sex crimes.
How can someone sitting in a room in Silicon Valley, or central India, alerted by software of a possible thought crime, know the background of the offensive language? Without context, even a bad joke can look very, very bad. Who are the people making decisions about our private communications? What kind of training do they have? Can you even train someone to appropriately interpret a stranger’s conversation, or post?
As much as I’d like the different social media companies to screen their sites for perverts and predators, I’m concerned about the lack of privacy, and I hope I don’t type anything weird. Those of you with a twisted sense of humor, or unusual interests had better beware. An additional concern is that the average computer today frequently has a number of different users throughout the day. How does someone identify the person who engaged in the allegedly questionable online conduct?
If the police want to question you about a sex crime, you need to immediately contact an experience criminal lawyer. DO NOT SPEAK WITH POLICE. Things are even more serious if you have been charged with an internet sex crime. The police and prosecutors will stop at very little to prove that you are guilty, while ignoring every piece of information which would prove your innocence. An experienced Tacoma criminal defense attorney can position you for the best possible outcome.
~ James E. Oliver