Monday, February 1, 2010

Who's A Rat - Website Identifies Informants

Many state and Federal law enforcement agencies are concerned about the existence and the use of web sites that identify informants and law enforcement officers. One such website is WhosARat was created in 2004 to identify informants who provide information to law enforcement agencies. The site publishes the names of confidential informants, along with the names and photographs of law enforcement officers. It is also believed that this site captures and displays information about everyone who visits it.

When accessing this website from an IP address associated with a government or law enforcement agency and performing a search for an informant or a law enforcement officer, the informant’s or officer’s identity can be automatically cross-referenced to the agency initiating the inquiry. Searching or viewing any site content can give the impression that the informant or officer is involved in an active case. The assumption may or may not be correct but the implication could impede an active investigation. The Department of Homeland Security has warned its employees to stay away from the site, because visiting it could provide website administrators information about government computer networks.

No comments: