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Your New "Friend" Could Be a Federal Agent

SOCIAL NETWORKING—U.S.

March 18, 2010

U.S. law enforcement officials are regular visitors to social networking sites, the Associated Press reports, so that new "friend request" you received might just be from an undercover agent. A Justice Department document obtained in a Freedom of Information Act suit "makes clear that U.S. agents are already logging on surreptitiously to exchange messages with suspects, identify a target's friends or relatives and browse private information such as postings, personal photographs and video clips," the report states. The document also includes recommendations for government attorneys, including advising trial lawyers to look up defense witnesses on social networking sites while telling their own witnesses to "think carefully about what they post."
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