Code as Detective

How many would you find with a software script that systematically went through those records and compared them all? We decided to find out. I wrote a series of Perl scripts and began sifting the data.

The technique was crude, like searching for a needle in a haystack. When I began checking ostensible matches by hand, false positives registered in the thousands.

Nevertheless, after several weeks of part-time work on the project, I was led to one suspect whose behavior was so disturbing I contacted New York’s Suffolk County Police Department for comment. The suspect, Andrew Lubrano, was arrested earlier this month on attempted child endangerment charges.

Read How to Catch a MySpace Creep and for background, MySpace Predator Caught by Code.  Both from WIRED.

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Filed under Anonymity, Cybercrime, Privacy, Technology, our Mirror, Virtual Communities

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