Text-a-Tip programs allow tipsters to help police


I’ll try not to leap to conclusions about this because there might be protections in the small print. But the obvious weakness in this arrangement is the lack of accountability for the tipsters. If their identity is permanently protected, then the system is open to a very nasty form of abuse.

Want to really fuck up your ex’s home life? Why not drop an anonymous tip to the cops that he or she is a drug dealer? If they happen to be a recreational user, they’ll be just as fucked as if they really are a dealer.

And even if nothing’s found, the intimidation and threat of a typical US police raid can definitely spoil your whole day. Meanwhile the tipster is laughing all the way to their facebook page where they no doubt spill a rant or two about their failed relationship. And they are free to do it again.

Now, if it’s a well thought out system, the third party information stripper will at least keep a record of the ip source and associate it securely with the one time key they pass on to the police. Then, if they get feedback from the police (either positive or negative) they can start assigning a “Trust Score” to messages from that source, which will get passed along to the police along with future one time keys. That way the police will at least have a clue as to how seriously they should take tips from such a source.

In the event of multiple time wasting, the tips would just get ignored. In the event of mulitple malevolence, a jury would be approached for authority to reverse trace the ip so the miscreant could be nailed. This would take it close to the Trusted Surveillance model…

About Harry Stottle
Refugee from the Stumbleupon Blogicide of October 2011 Here you will find my "kneejerk" responses to the world and what I happen to bump into. For my more detailed considerations and proposals, please visit my website or my previous main blogging site.

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