Angel is getting ready to rob a convenience store

4 Aug

If I were a criminal, would I tweet? Maybe. Would I tweet about my evil plans? Probably not.

Bad boys and bad gals, the Web is not your haven. If you want to sound cool, spill the beans in a place where evidence is not a word and Print Screen does not exist. The Internet is not an online hideout.

Perhaps, it once was.

The Net exudes an aura of exclusivity, which is very appealing to the younger generation. As you rant in status updates and curse in Twitter, you assume that the oldies won’t find out. But that mindset is troublesome, especially if you’re hiding something (i.e. cursing, or stealing cars for God’s sake). I hope Ivan Padilla reads this blog post. But it’s too late.

It’s too late to put down what he and his gang have been posting online – their profiles, the exchange of wall posts and tweets while planning their operations. Deleting their accounts won’t do any good. Everything posted online leaves cyber fingerprints. And the government is watching every click – putting together all those imprints to finally put handcuffs on you.

Government agencies go online. Do not underestimate them.

This, now, makes me think: Does the Internet make criminal acts more normal? Is it desensitizing us? It is easier to find people who have the same “inclinations” online. This is collaboration at the extreme end.

Read: Gangs in New York talk Twitter: Use tweets to trash-talk rivals, plan fights

It’s old-school crime meets new technology: attacks being plotted – and thwarted – 140 characters at a time.

I could put this example, planning online and doing crimes offline, in my Gel-O typology but I chose not to. Friends, there’s a reason why companies don’t do executive meetings in Twitter. If it’s a battle plan, IM is the farthest it can go online. Stay underground and off the Wall. Not that I dream of being a consultant for gangs. But please, if you’re really unstoppable, leave the cyber world. We don’t want people telling the government to shut Twitter down, just like what happened to Formspring because of abusive users.

Sure, police officers use online social networks to track these criminals. But do we need to wait for their online plans to materialize before we do something about it? It’s a tedious task – searching for and cleaning dirt online. I just hope that the government is contemplating on how to bring crime prevention to the Web. Online worlds dominated by crime – not something I would like my children to see.

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4 Responses to “Angel is getting ready to rob a convenience store”

  1. slightlydillydallying August 5, 2010 at 4:49 pm #

    If a mastermind leaves crime-related information online, it’s stupidity at its finest. It’s a given that the Web is not so exclusive and not so secure. I cannot fathom the reasons for using Social Networking Sites to communicate a top secret plan. I guess, Ivan Padilla lived in an irony.

  2. Marie Valbuena August 8, 2010 at 9:05 pm #

    I agree with Diane. A lot of people, not only criminals, have been making stupid decisions online. Because of the anonymity that the net affords its users, many of us are lulled into a false sense of security. We’ve always looked upon “privacy settings” as one of the most foolproof ways we can keep unwanted people out. Sometimes, I guess some people just have to learn the hard way that privacy in the net isn’t guaranteed. We can’t always watch where we go online; but we can always watch what we leave there.

  3. morethanscribbles September 20, 2010 at 11:13 pm #

    A few days after this post one of the most gruesome hostage taking crisis in the Philippines happened. If it’s a no-no for criminals to post their plans and ramblings online, it’s a bigger no-no for agencies to “publish” their plans- especially that the hostage taker could watch their every move: LIVE. 😦

  4. niccy October 2, 2010 at 7:48 pm #

    Broadcasting to the world your evil plan before it is even executed is the best opportunity for an arrest.

    If the government is as vigilant as these tweeters, we could probably ambush these crimes from materializing. They should really look at this as an opportunity for crime rate reduction.

    Take advantage of the stupid ones.

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