Law Enforcement Intelligence Report

Advanced Investigations of and
other Social Networking Sites

Sgt. Corey Macdonald, Esq. – the country's leading law enforcement expert on social networking sites demonstrates how to use these sites for investigations. Topics include saving digital evidence found on these sites, tracking conversations, Fourth Amendment issues, timeline issues and more.
Table of Contents
  1. Brief Background
  2. Getting Started
    1. My Space is the premier online social networking site. With Facebook, Xanga, Craigslist and others, myspace still holds the most appeal
    2. An online investigator may be a law enforcement officer, teacher, administrator, school counselor or parent
    3. Skill taught here will benefit a number of people
  3. Investigative Purposes
    1. Detect evidence of past or present crimes
    2. Identify at risk youth – 'Are you 29?'
    3. Monitor social behavior – inappropriate pics. Etc.
    4. Conduct counter intelligence
    5. Monitor gang and hate recruiting
    6. Monitor your own child's activities
    7. Proactive policing of pedophiles / prostitutes
  4. What Is draw to youth for online social networking
    1. A false perception of anonymity
    2. A chance to portray an image
    3. A chance to meet like-minded people
    4. Little to no supervision
    5. Perception that parents and law enforcement are in the dark on My Space and other social networks
  5. Some of the dangers
    1. On line predators, 1in 5 kids are approached online
    2. False sites, pornography, phishing for personal info for identity theft
    3. Gang and hate group recruitment
    4. Rampant prostitution and drug dealing
    5. Cyber bullying
  6. Parent's on the hook
    1. More and more parent's having their personal information disclosed online
    2. Underage party liability (facilitating)
    3. Marital problems
    4. Substance abuse
    5. Employment Secrets
  7. First Steps
    1. Take the time to develop a working knowledge of social networks sites; obtain school approval
    2. 10 minute email / dept email
    3. Myspace search demonstration
    4. Group demonstration
    5. Friend request (now requires confirmation)
    6. Internal email and external comments (4th amendment rights)
  8. Possible Tools
    1. Background Investigations / Criminal Activity
  9. Facebook
    1. No longer need school email address; Pictures; Email/Group; Events; Marketplace; Search capabilities (regions, college ); Must be at least 13 years old
  10. Gizmo
    1. Upload pictures; Must be at least 13 years old; Account settings; Email & IM; Friend requests; Search
  11. Craigslist
    1. Nationwide Community Bulletin Board
    2. Divided by State/City - Dating, Items for Sale, Jobs, Housing. Services, Events
    3. Prostitution and drug dealing
    4. Become familiar with terminology -Wikipedia
  12. Undercover Ops
    1. Know the laws for entrapment
    2. What constitutes soliciting in your location
    3. Generally money + act = probable cause
    4. Know whether you can record (visual/audio)
    5. Know the lingo
  13. Myspace
    1. 180 million users; upload pictures/videos; send IM and email; no registration for friend request; Most used site by young adults
    2. Set up account settings to screen call ins
  14. Open vs. Close Site Considerations
    1. Detail description of differences between Open vs. closed sites; Friend ID how you id someone
  15. Investigations
    1. Tracking conversations; print comments;
  16. Seizing Information
    1. Review of # of days you can retrieve messages
    2. Preservation of Record / Emergency Disclosure
    3. Introducing My Space Evidence
    4. My Space Resources; FAQ pages, hotline #
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