Social nets could hold wealth of info on Boston bombers

As manhunt is on for surviving suspect, their social nets could hold critical clues

By , Computerworld |  Unified Communications

He added that social networks could help investigators figure out who knows who on the social network, the suspect's friends and possible places where he might be hiding. It also could give them ideas about who they interview to get more information on the suspects.

"In most cases, computer evidence isn't the smoking gun," Jones said. "What it is, though, is the complete picture behind the smoking gun."

Brooke Fisher Liu, an associate professor and researcher on social networks at the University of Maryland, said since there's a manhunt on for the younger Tsarnaev, his social network page may be particularly useful.

She explained that many young people are post on their favorite social networking site where they go on a daily basis. Investigators can look at this site and see where he's comfortable going and where he might have friends or groups that would take him in.

"If the information is out there, [law enforcement] is going to go look for it," Liu said. "

Olds also noted that Tsarnaev's VK.com page could give law enforcement a direction to search in.

"They'll look for relatives, friends, sympathizers, and even acquaintances, probably making contact with them and asking if they have any idea where this guy might be and who else might be involved," he added. "As the authorities track down their network, a fuller picture will emerge."

Dzhokar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the suspects in the Boston Marathon bombing, shown in this FBI image at the marathon on Monday. Tamerlan Tsarnaev died early Friday in a shootout with police.

Sharon Gaudin covers the Internet and Web 2.0, emerging technologies, and desktop and laptop chips for Computerworld. Follow Sharon on Twitter at @sgaudin, on Google+ or subscribe to Sharon's RSS feed. Her email address is sgaudin@computerworld.com.

See more by Sharon Gaudin on Computerworld.com.

Read more about social media in Computerworld's Social Media Topic Center.


Originally published on Computerworld |  Click here to read the original story.
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