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[ NNSquad ] Portland Police using Facebook to try shame and suppress Occupy Protesters

Portland Police using Facebook to try shame and suppress Occupy Protesters

http://j.mp/rxftux  (BoingBong)

   "As inadvisable police tactics around Occupy Wall Street go, this feels
    like it's right up there with tear gassing people in wheelchairs: The
    Portland, Oregon police department is posting mugshots to Facebook of
    people arrested at Occupy Portland.  @newyorkist has been dogging them
    about it on Twitter, and the Portland Police replied publicly via
    Twitter and Facebook that they do this with any "arrests in cases of a
    significant public or media interest," as part of the department's
    "efforts to be continually transparent." "

 - - -

It's completely "transparent" what's going on here.  Portland cops are
trying to use Facebook as the equivalent of an electronic "perp walk"
to try shame protesters and create a "this could happen to you" fear.
(Perp walks are the parading of arrested but not yet tried or
convicted persons in handcuffs and/or other shackles before the media -- 
a practice largely unique to the U.S. and some traditionally 
totalitarian regimes.)

There's obviously no legitimate public safety interest served by this
Facebook display (or even such a display on their own Web site).  But
the cops know that Facebook gives wider exposure, so (they hope) will
be more embarrassing. 

Meanwhile, during the same period, how many arrests were made related
to serious crimes?  Why aren't those faces and names listed on
Facebook?  You know why -- the police know that the lawyers in those
cases might go ballistic, but that the protesters are unlikely to be
in a position to raise a similar stink.  The arbitrary nature of
the selections being displayed itself stinks to high heaven.

This may actually backfire on the Portland cops though.  Comments are
piling up on that Facebook page, overwhelmingly in support of the
protesters and against police having posted those materials.

My guess is that the Portland cops may start "editing" that page
shortly, so I've saved a screenshot of its current state.  I wouldn't
be surprised if they start  posting anti-protester,
pro-police comments as well.

Have you noticed that since 9/11, police forces in this country are
behaving more and more like Keystone Cop versions of the Stasi - the
old East German secret police?  Unfortunately, they're dangerous,
not funny.

Lauren Weinstein (lauren@vortex.com): http://www.vortex.com/lauren 
Co-Founder: People For Internet Responsibility: http://www.pfir.org 
 - Network Neutrality Squad: http://www.nnsquad.org 
 - Global Coalition for Transparent Internet Performance: http://www.gctip.org
 - PRIVACY Forum: http://www.vortex.com 
Member: ACM Committee on Computers and Public Policy
Blog: http://lauren.vortex.com 
Google+: http://vortex.com/g+lauren 
Twitter: https://twitter.com/laurenweinstein 
Tel: +1 (818) 225-2800 / Skype: vortex.com