Cyber Crimes Investigator Chris Duque – a 30-year veteran of the Honolulu Police Department and now with the White Collar Crime Section at the City & County of Honolulu Department of the Prosecuting Attorney – shared what he has seen as he continues to focus on investigations through social media.
For example, sites such as eBay may be used as a fencing operation. The challenge is finding the person who actually committed the crime. In addition to tracking electronic footprints to find the people behind the user name, social media used in combination with what the criminal investigator knows about certain associates can be used as a tool to determine connections among various people.
Thus, real life crimes can be traced in the virtual world, then brought back to real life, leading to real prosecutions. For those in law enforcement, subpoenas can be used to find the actual people behind user IDs. Mr. Duque noted that the subpoena should not only include the person using the account, but also who is paying the bill. He noted that because technology allows multiple logins into the same account from various devices, one should be cautious about concluding who is actually posting information at specific times.
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