Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Smash or Pass Facebook Pages Could Be Dangerous For Your Kids

Original Article

08/03/2011

By Reneé LaSalle

Charlotte - LaQwiesha Jackson is horrified by what she found online, “Just to know that somebody is putting pictures up and then everybody else is judging."

She's talking about the Smash or Pass pages on Facebook. People post a picture and others vote to smash (have sex) or pass based on the photograph.

Jackson says, “Majority of the ones that we've been going through are showing a lot of skin."

Many of the pictures appear to be of underage kids.
- Then people should report the pages and photos to the authorities.

Social media blogger Eric Frazier says, “That's a real serious danger."

Frazier's 17 year old daughter told him about the pages, “I've seen comments that are really cutting, nasty, mean."

He says beyond the emotional and developmental dangers these pages pose some big safety risks, “Somebody could have their privacy settings set more loosely than your child and that could let people in that your child would never on their own allow to watch what they're doing online."

There're more of these smash or pass pages than you might think. Some are exclusive to a particular school, others are community pages. One that Fox Charlotte found set an age limit of 15 to 21, another emphasized Teens Only.

Jackson's daughter Sydney and her friends say the online anonymity is scary.

14 year old Alexis Jackson says, “You don't know who's saying smash or pass and then they might try to get in contact with you."

Sydney chimes in, “You don't know who's looking because it's a page that everybody can see."

What's worse, they say often the pictures are posted by someone else.

Jackson's keeping an eye on her daughter's online moves. She's trying to keep her safe, “You're just giving out too much information and you don't know who's on the receiving end of it."

And wishes more parents knew about Smash or Pass.

Fraizer says you should have your child's passwords and talk openly with them about what they put on the internet.


CA - Instead of the government fixing their major security holes, they pass the buck off the Facebook!

Original Article

So why don't the injustice system install some software, on the computers in the prison, to block certain sites? And fix their major security issues? How does anything get "smuggled" into prisons in the first place, unless the guards aren't doing their job, or they are in on it? Facebook should have put the police in their place, and told them to fix their security holes and there would not be a problem, IMO!

08/08/2011

By DON THOMPSON

(Listen) Facebook has agreed to work with law enforcement agencies nationwide to remove accounts set up by inmates or posted on their behalf, in part because prisoners are using the social networking site to stalk victims and direct criminal activity, California prison officials said Monday.

It's the latest effort to combat a problem that has grown with the advent of smart phones and social networking sites.

Last year a convicted child molester used a cell phone smuggled into prison to search his victim's Facebook and MySpace web pages, the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation said in announcing the agreement with Facebook. The inmate then sent sketches to the 17-year-old victim's home.
- So tell me, how does stuff get "smuggled" into prisons in the first place? Seems like you need to fix your security protocols first, and weed out the corrupted guards. And if this persons victim would secure their Facebook profile, and not friend the person, then the offender could not do this.

Though he hadn't seen her in at least seven years, the inmate used photos from her social networking pages to accurately draw the clothes she wore and the way she styled her hair, the department said.

"Victims who fought hard to put their offenders behind bars are being re-victimized," said department spokeswoman Dana Toyama. "It's evolving as Facebook has become a huge social networking site and a place for gang members to talk and coordinate inside and outside prison. This is just one example of what they can do."
- And the crappy security protocols and corruption is what is allowing this.

Inmates are permitted to retain Facebook profiles that were created before they went to prison, according to the department. But Facebook will disable the account if it is used while the inmate is behind bars.
- And do the inmates know this? Also, many husband and wives share the same profile, so are you going to shut it down if the wife decides to use it to keep track of family and friends?

Prison officials said the problem has grown worse because of the growth in smuggled cell phones. Six years ago the department confiscated 261 devices, compared to 10,760 last year and 7,284 in the first half of this year.
- And like I said above, what are you doing to fix your crappy security to prevent stuff being smuggled in?

Facebook spokesman Andrew Noyes said prison officials' best response is to keep smart phones and other Internet devices out of prisons.
- I agree 100%

"We will disable accounts reported to us that are violating relevant U.S. laws or regulations or inmate accounts that are updated by someone on the outside," he said in an e-mailed statement. "We will also take appropriate action against anyone who misuses Facebook to threaten or harass."
- Well, threatening and harassment has been going on for many years on Facebook, and those profiles/pages are still there. So Facebook is just saying this instead of doing it.

Noyes said Facebook has been cooperating with law enforcement for some time whenever it is notified of problems, but Toyama said California had previously asked Facebook to remove inmates' pages without success.

"We've really only been successful in taking down one account so far. After this, we're looking to be able to do this more," Toyama said.

She said the Federal Bureau of Prisons first announced Monday that Facebook had agreed to take down any account that prison officials can confirm has been updated while an inmate is in prison. The bureau's National Gang Intelligence Center also reported a growing problem of inmates with active Facebook accounts, Toyama said, but she could not provide a copy of the report because it is a confidential law enforcement bulletin.

The California corrections department's gang and victims' services investigators routinely monitor social networking sites for inmates' postings or communications on their behalf, Toyama said. The department said it has found numerous times when inmates threatened victims or made unwanted sexual advances.
- Again, wasting time and money on a never ending problem. If you would install software to restrict certain sites, other security measures, and stop stuff from being smuggled into prison, then you'd not have to sit around baby sitting offenders and monitor everything they do, now would you? What about porn sites, hate sites, and others? Do you contact them and ask them to remove accounts as well, or just install software to prevent people from visiting in the first place? Sounds like an easy fix to me.

Earlier this year, they reported investigating an inmate they suspected was posting messages to his mother and others from behind bars. They confirmed the inmate had a smuggled cell phone, but Toyama said they have not confirmed that he was using it to update his Facebook account.


TX - So why did this reporter INFLATE the numbers?

Original Article

So why does this reporters report, not jive with what the sheriff departments own web site is saying?

08/09/2011

By Daniel Borunda

El Paso police and sheriff's deputies arrested 23 men during a team operation checking the compliance of registered sex offenders.
- This is not true, see the sheriff offices report below.  Only 5 were arrested.

Police and sheriff officials said Monday that "Operation Fury" took place in two phases. The first phase, on July 13-15, checked the home verification of registered sex offenders in the Pebble Hills police region and outside the El Paso city limits.

Phase two took place citywide July 31-Aug. 2 and targeted sex offenders wanted on warrants. Nine of 10 arrests made by police were for traffic warrants.

During the operation, deputies also arrested two men who are not sex offenders on suspicion of possession of less than a gram of cocaine. The Sheriff's Office said there are about 300 registered sex offenders in El Paso County.



Original Article

And now for the real facts from the sheriff's office.  Just goes to show you, you cannot trust reporters, IMO.

EPCSO in conjunction with the EPPD, simultaneously execute a Sex Offender compliance check in two phases resulting in subsequent arrests.

PHASE I: JULY 13-15, 2011, PHASE II: JULY 31ST-AUGUST 2ND, 2011

The County of El Paso has approximately 300 Registered Sex Offenders with approximately 187 sex offenders currently residing within the County.

The mission of “Operation Fury” was to successfully execute a six day sex offender compliance blitz to ascertain the level of sex offender compliance in the County of El Paso. The compliance checks were executed in two phases in which participating sections verified 168 Registered Sex Offenders, not to include those incarcerated which make up the other approximate half.

Deputies accomplished this operation by initiating systematic checks of residences that “should” be occupied by the Registered Sex Offenders. Deputies worked a total of six days, 8 hr shifts, to accomplish this mission.
- What a waste of money.  And how many deputies were actually on the street investigating crime and patrolling to keep people safe?

The El Paso Police Department Pebble Hills Regional Command initiated a similar operation on the same dates in their perspective precinct within the City of El Paso also verifying an approximate 57 Registered Sex Offenders.

EPSO/ PHASE I & PHASE II RESULTS:

168 - SEX OFFENDERS VERIFIED
166 - COMPLIANT
2 - NON-COMPLIANT
- So you see, this info is a lot different that what the reporter reported.  Only two were in non-compliance.

TOTAL ARRESTS: 5

  • 2 - MISDEAMENOR ARREST (TRAFFIC WARRANTS)
  • 5 - FELONY ARRESTS
    • 2- POSSESSION OF C/S PG 1 u/1 g (cocaine)
    • 2-FAIL TO REGISTER AS A SEX OFFENDER
    • 1-CRIMINAL NON-SUPPORT

The Sex Offender Unit has once again shown the significant impact on the tracking and monitoring of all registered sex offenders in the county. The joint operation with the El Paso Police Department’s Sex Offender Registration and Tracking Unit, resulted in a quite successful operation, “OPERATION FURY”.
- And once again, the sheriff's taking credit for this, to justify the registry?  It's a known fact that most sex offenders comply, with or without these draconian raids, and it also shows that most do not re-offend.


DE - With nowhere to go, sex offenders file suit

Original Article

08/09/2011

By Esteban Parra

New school ousts nearby safe house residents

For nearly three years, 52-year-old [name withheld] has lived on Wilmington's East Side, sharing quarters with men recently released from prison who have nowhere else to live.

[name withheld], a former teacher, also works out of the home as a case manager trying to find jobs and permanent housing for the former offenders.

But by next week, [name withheld] and the other registered sex offenders living at the Harriet Tubmans Safe House -- one of the few places in the state that takes in homeless registered sex offenders -- must move out. That's because of a learning center and preschool that recently opened less than 500 feet from the safe house.
- They should be grandfathered in, just like anything else.  They were there first, so they should not be forced to leave.

"I understand the law, but there also should be like a pre-existing clause like in some other states," said [name withheld], who was convicted of two sexual offenses. "This program has been here first, and this program actually is respected by the community."

Under Delaware law, certain sex offenders are not permitted 500 feet from a school, even if the school opens after the registered sex offender began living there.

Harriet Tubmans Safe House, which consists of two homes less than a block away from each other, housed about 24 people at one time.

But since Wilmington police informed them of the coming evictions, 11 registered sex offenders have moved out. Five others remain there hoping a federal lawsuit will allow them to stay in at least one of the houses.

[name withheld] said they know they will not be able to stay at the house in the 900 block of E. Seventh St. because it is 365 feet from the learning center on the grounds of Old Swedes Church, which is leasing out the rooms. But they have filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court asking to be allowed to stay at the second safe house in the 700 block of Buttonwood St., which is 493 feet from the school -- or seven feet short of the 500 feet the law mandates.

"These people got nowhere to go," said Earl W. Woodlen Jr., owner of both homes and CEO of Tubmans Safe House. Woodlen, a convicted drug dealer, said he purchased the homes to help former offenders enter society.


CA - Prosecutor: Inmates believed beating victim was child molester

Original Article

08/09/2011

By VIK JOLLY

Prosecutors say five defendants acted as “judge, jury and executioner” when they killed [name withheld] at the Theo Lacy facility, while the defense tells jurors that a former sheriff’s deputy approved the attack.

SANTA ANA – The killing of an inmate identified as a child molester two days after he had been transferred into the Theo Lacy Jail began by fellow inmates first taking away his humanity, a prosecutor told an Orange County jury Monday.

"All those perverts look the same. He was like a little pig," said one of the five men charged, Senior Deputy District Attorney Ebrahim Baytieh told jurors during opening statements in the trial of five defendants in the killing of [name withheld], 41, who was in jail awaiting trial on a misdemeanor charge of possessing child pornography.

Baytieh showed jurors photos of [name withheld]'s face before and after the beating.

The latter showed him barely recognizable, tubes running in and out of his mouth, eyes swollen shut, a man the prosecutor said had suffered ribs broken and fractured 43 places in the assault, both physical and sexual.

One defense attorney in his opening salvo in Orange County Superior Court Judge James Stotler's courtroom used a baseball analogy to draw jurors' attention to the distance from the pitcher's mound to home plate – 60 feet, 6 inches – saying sheriff's personnel responsible for supervising the inmates were 7 feet, 3 inches farther than that distance when [name withheld] was attacked by waves of inmates Oct. 5, 2006.

The beating took place in a "very unhealthy environment" with a jailhouse inmate hierarchy in place, a structure condoned by and "utilized for the convenience of former Orange County Sheriff's Deputy Kevin Taylor," said Edward Munoz, the defense attorney for Miguel Guillen, 48.

Guillen of Santa Ana is facing murder charges in [name withheld]'s beating along with Garret Eugene Aguilar, 28, and Stephen Paul Carlstrom, 42, both of Anaheim, Jared Louis Petrovich, 27, of Tustin, and Raul Villafana, 24, also of Santa Ana.

If convicted, the men face possible sentences of 25 years to life in prison. Three other inmates charged in the slaying have pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter, and a fourth is expected to plead.

Prosecutors said the location of [name withheld]'s beating in Cube D of Barracks F West had a blind spot that could not be monitored by sheriff's personnel.
- So are they going to put a camera here to monitor this known blind spot now?

Fear and anxiety was part of the jailhouse culture, with inmates divided into groups and their leaders delegated authority by deputies, specifically Taylor, defense attorneys said.

Last week, Taylor invoked his Fifth Amendment right not to testify at the trial at which his then-Theo Lacy colleague Deputy Jason Chapluk is expected to take the stand.

Saying the defense will portray Taylor as being lazy and complicit in the attack and showing pictures of the Theo Lacy wall behind which the assault occurred, Baytieh told jurors the inmates charged acted as the "judge, jury and executioner" on the day of [name withheld]'s killing.

Punched, kicked and stomped on, [name withheld] was found unconscious. He was pronounced dead at a hospital.

Prosecutors say [name withheld] was beaten by 20 to 25 inmates, but they charged those who they could prove in court killed [name withheld].

His death triggered several investigations, with testimony before a special grand jury revealing an atmosphere of abuse and misconduct at the Theo Lacy jail, where some deputies slept on duty, neglected their rounds and recruited inmates to police one another, often by force.

The defendants are expected to mount their defense on a theory of a jailhouse culture in which inmates must follow the directives or mandates of jail employees or face consequences.

Former Deputy Taylor was more than derelict in his duties because he approved and is complicit in the attack on [name withheld], the defense said.

Allegations that deputies helped set up the attack on [name withheld] were never proved.


FBI releases app to assist in finding missing children

Original Article

08/08/2011

By Ed Oswald

Echoing a move made by other government agencies as of late, the FBI on Monday debuted its first in-house mobile application called Child ID. The iOS app aims to give parents a central location to store information about their children in the event they are lost or kidnapped.

The app will store information such as vital statistics and pictures of the child, which then can be easily e-mailed to law enforcement to aid in their investigations. The FBI has also included information on keeping children safe, as well as what to do if your child does indeed go missing.

The FBI stressed that while the app does collect information, it does not send the information to the agency. "All data resides solely on your mobile device unless you need to send it to authorities," it said.

Currently the app is only available for the iOS platform, and can be downloaded now in the App Store. The FBI said it has plans to release Child ID for other platforms, but in all cases it would not charge for it. It also plans to publicize the app through public service announcements to air in the near future.

Both the National Child Identification Program and the American Football Coaches Association would help to get the word out on the app. The AFCA is producing the PSA, but would also publicize its availability at football games around the country.


NY - Bronx Judge Finds Constitutional Defect in Sex Offender Law

Original Article

08/09/2011

By John Caher

A Bronx judge has ordered the state to release a potentially dangerous sex offender because of a constitutional defect in the Mental Health Law.

Supreme Court Justice Colleen Duffy held in State v. Enrique T., 2011 NY Slip Op 21269, that the law empowering New York to civilly manage sex offenders after they have completed a criminal sentence unconstitutionally requires confining them before there has been a trial to determine if civil confinement is even necessary.

Justice Duffy found that the law is rendered facially unconstitutional by the fact that it does not permit any less restrictive remedy. Her decision follows a federal court decision in March by Southern District Judge Deborah A. Batts that came to the same conclusion.

The rulings center on the 2007 Sex Offender Management and Treatment Act, which permits the "civil management" of sex offenders who have completed their criminal sentence but remain a danger to society. Under the law, if a court finds probable cause that a convicted sex offender remains a danger, the individual must be confined until a civil trial.

At trial, the attorney general has the burden of establishing by clear and convincing evidence that the offender suffers from a "mental abnormality" that predisposes him to commit sex crimes. If the attorney general prevails, the court then determines if the individual requires involuntarily confinement in a mental institution, or if the offender can safely be managed through strict, intensive community supervision.

In the case at hand, Justice Duffy in May found probable cause that Enrique T. was in need of civil management and issued an interim order holding that he is a danger to the public. Her decision last week addresses whether Enrique T. can be confined until trial, as required by Mental Hygiene Law §10.06(k).

Relying primarily on the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in United States v. Salerno, 481 U.S. 739 (1987)—and referencing Judge Batts' directly on point decision in Mental Hygiene Legal Service v. Cuomo (PDF), 07 Civ. 2935—Justice Duffy held §10.06(k) facially unconstitutional. Salerno held that pretrial detention is permissible under the Fifth and Fourteenth amendments only when the public safety interest would not be satisfied with less restrictive conditions.

In Mental Hygiene Legal Service v. Cuomo, Judge Batts found §10.06(k) facially unconstitutional and, in April, issued a permanent injunction barring the state from enforcing the mandatory confinement provision "in the absence of a specific, individualized judicial finding of probable cause to believe that the person is sufficiently dangerous to require confinement, and that lesser conditions of supervision will not suffice to protect the public during the pendency of the proceedings."

In Enrique T., Justice Duffy said that the attorney general failed to provide any evidence to show that less restrictive conditions than confinement—if such conditions were even authorized—would suffice to protect the public. The court noted that the Office of Mental Health has already determined that Enrique T., if he is found to suffer from a mental abnormality, is a good candidate for strict, intensive supervision rather than confinement.

"Thus, respondent is faced with a Morton's Fork—he must either choose to enforce his right to a jury trial and continue to be detained for an unknown period of time in a psychiatric facility awaiting trial on this matter or surrender his right to trial and consent to a finding of mental abnormality so that he may be immediately released back to the community under [strict and intensive supervision and treatment]," Justice Duffy said. "Due process cannot countenance a statute that mandates such a choice."

The judge held that there are no conditions under which §10.06(k) can be constitutionally applied "because there is no option to release a respondent if lesser conditions than confinement would suffice, and this Court is not empowered to re-write the statute to correct its unconstitutionality."

Assistant Attorney General Shelley Forde argued for the state.

Kimberly Tate-Brown of Mental Hygiene Legal Service represents Enrique T.

She said the ruling apparently marks the first time a state court has held §10.06(k) unconstitutional.

"It is a very significant decision," Ms. Tate-Brown said. "It calls into question the constitutionality of the statute. It is a grave deprivation of their liberty interest that [sex offenders] are held beyond their criminal sentence and years and years go by and they are still locked up."

Ms. Tate-Brown said the legislative remedy would be to simply give judges the option, in appropriate cases, of allowing sex offenders to remain under community supervision until their civil management trial is concluded.

Meanwhile, the Attorney General's Office is reviewing the decision and "considering our next steps," according to spokeswoman Jennifer Givner.

The state filed its notice to appeal Judge Batts' ruling on June 1.