Article Courtesy of: KCBD
How Law Enforcement Tracks Down Social Media Threats
Local technology experts are warning the community about the dangers of anonymous apps after police arrested a juvenile who posted an online threat to Frenship ISD.
Posting in the “After School” social media app, the suspect claimed to have brought a gun to the campus and threatened to harm students and staff.
“In cases like this, where somebody’s health or danger is involved, they can go back and track through all the apps, through the internet, through the carriers,” said Brent Bloodworth, president of iOrchard. “There’s always a trail, just depends on how much trouble they want to go to, to get to it.”
That is exactly what local and federal investigators did, with cooperation from Facebook, Apple and the After School app administration, even though the app claims to never reveal users’ identities.
Bloodworth has a theory about the investigation prior to Wednesday’s arrest.
“When you log into the app it requires your Facebook info. That’s how they determine which school you’re in, so they need to know your location and your personal information – your email address, your friends and that kind of thing,” Bloodworth said.
“So they figure out which school you are in. When they went to Facebook with the threat and said, ‘Hey, someone is threatening to do this, we need to find out who did this ASAP’ Facebook said, ‘Here’s our policy: here’s the name of the user,’ and then they worked their way backward from there.”