43 American Gang Members Arrested after Twitter Investigation
Posted on 7:21pm Friday 20th Jan 2012
The New York Police Department has arrested 43 feuding gang members on Thursday after they collected evidence from their Twitter and Facebook profiles. The 25 accused members of the Wave Gang and 18 accused members of rival Hoodstarz have been involved in three murders and the wounding of several others in the streets of Brooklyn.
NYPD commissioner Raymond Kelly has stated that the gang members, aged 15 to 21, bragged about the shootings on their social media sites, showing how the American ideology of Free Speech can backfire. This will be a case particularly interesting to the SOPA protestors, who will surely use this as a positive example of how censoring the internet will have negative consequences on not only America, but the world.
Reports state that the gang was monitored for over a year on their social networking sites, leading to their arrests. This is similar to the way some of the London Rioters were captured, as they were orchestrating the riots via Blackberry Messenger, which the police were able to hack and consequently track the user down through the signal in their Blackberry. This shows the positives of how technology used by criminals can be tracked down but it also demonstrates the chilling fact that everyone with a mobile phone which is turned on can be tracked down by the government if they so desire.
The 43 gang members were arrested on January 17 and 18, and 35 firearms were recovered upon the arrests for the crimes dating back to 2010. They were indicted on Thursday on charges including murder, assault, reckless endangerment, robbery and weapon possession, with potential sentences ranging from a year to life in prison.