Sunday, November 29, 2009

Anonymous texts aid police, weary tipsters - The Boston Globe

Interesting times

Officer Michael Charbonnier, who oversees the program, said people who live in high-crime neighborhoods are often afraid that if they talk to police, they could be hurt or even killed by gang members, drug dealers, or other criminals.

“So when they have this option of texting us - knowing no one will know who they are - well, now, people give us license plate numbers, they give us names,’’ Charbonnier said.

People feared retaliation for talking to police, but with texting programs, police never see the tipster’s name or phone number.

The text messages are sent to a separate, third-party server, where identifying information is stripped out and they are assigned an encrypted alias before being sent to police.

Anonymous texts aid police, weary tipsters - The Boston Globe

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