FBI seeks public’s help via Times Square billboard

Posted: January 18, 2010 in Technology
Tags: , , , , , , ,

From the article:

Tawan Hines has his name in lights on Broadway. Instead of bringing him fame, it could get him arrested.

The drug-trafficking suspect is among the first fugitives to have their names and mug shots on a digital billboard in the heart of Times Square. The FBI unveiled the equivalent of giant, flashing wanted posters there for the first time Friday, hoping to generate tips from tourists and others who flood the “crossroads of the world” each day.

“We hope we’ll get a few calls about him,” Belle Chen, head of the criminal division of the FBI’s New York office, said as Hines’ face filled the screen.

Clear Channel Outdoors offered the space to the FBI following a pilot program in Philadelphia that led to two arrests. The billboard sits above the entrance to the W Hotel, surrounded by lower-tech billboards advertising Broadway musicals.

Under the agreement with Clear Channel, the FBI has access to 430 other digital billboards in 33 cities. It can use them to publicize fugitives and missing children it believes might still might be in the area, and to make public safety announcements.

If this isn’t a cyberpunk news story I don’t know what is and a pretty scary one at that.

It might be used for good but it could also turn into a witch-hunt on the suspect and he might be innocent of his/her crime.

Worth thinking about.

Original site.

WOG out.

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