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Myspace.com enables police in Massachusetts

January 16, 2006

Stoughton Graffiti by Sean Browne
Recently in Massachusetts police used the networking website Myspace.com to find 3 graffiti artists that are suspected to have caused $75,000 worth of “damage.” Stoughton Police Officers “spent more than two months surfing the popular website Myspace.com for Stoughton youths who were active in the graffiti artist community.” According to the Boston Globe.Officers turned to the website after attempts to identify the “perpetrators” in the local high school were unsuccessful.

Myspace, a free website, allows users to form networking groups based on shared interests. All three of the teenagers charged were members of a group called ”Graffiti Artists,” which features artists from all over the world.

Police used photographs, of the graffiti, and the list of “interests,” tagging, found on the website as probable cause to bring the three teenagers in for questioning.
CBS4 in Boston reports in their news clip:

(one) 18-year-old has been charged with 28 counts of tagging property and 11 counts of malicious damage of more than $250; , (another) 17(years old), has been charged with 17 counts of tagging and 11 counts of malicious damage of more than $250; and (another) 18 year old, has been charged with 14 counts of tagging.

They were charged according to each “tag” on every building and vehicle, which accounts for the numerous counts. The Stoughton Journal reports that they face “felony”criminal charges and the possibility of paying restitution.
As graffiti artists and websites proliferate it is assumed that police and detectives will use them as an aid, much like this example and what happened recently in Dallas.

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5 comments on “Myspace.com enables police in Massachusetts”

i think that the fact that the authorityes can now use websites to charge artists its worrying
we now will have to be more carefull with the info we give on the internet

Most folks involved in “political” organizing, Left and Right, have known that the Internet is an incredibly unsecure place. And that’s with more private things like email, communication, and just visiting websites with “alarming” content.
So posting sensitive material in a PUBLIC place, which is what the internet is, can be a dangerous thing indeed.
The authorities aren’t using the website to “charge” them. It was used as a form of probable cause to interrogate these kids. Meaning the images and information the police found on these kids myspace profiles was enough for them to be suspects. Then if the articles are reporting correctly, it was the teenagers that are cooperating with the police, for whatever reasonj.

thats real fucked up that the pigs can stoop that low and find GRAFFITI ARTIST on
myspace. isnt that a sight for teens. ok so what the hell are they doin on it. the
police is a sorry excuse for protection if they tryn to spend most of their time trying
to find artist on the internet instead of finding killers. graffiti is a art here to stay and
they cant lock all of us up can they……….

YOU KNOW WHAT FUCK THE PIGS…. TO ME GRAFFITI IS MORE THAN ART…
ITS A WAY OF LIFE… AND THE ONLY REAL GRAPH ARTIST THE PIGS WILL
EVER GET ARE THE TOYZ.

Yo…if pigs can really find u on myspace and shit like that then all vandals should do what the more knowing of us have done. Block ur face use a fake name and shit like that…there’s no reason to fear these fukin cops. We just gotta play this shit smarter…

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