City’s Web Policy Hinders Some Police Investigations
The city of Venice, Fla., has imposed strict Internet controls for all city employee computers, blocking access to Web sites that have potentially offensive content, although one consequence of the policy has been to block certain detective work.
Venice Detective Eric Hill was investigating local Internet ads for prostitution when he discovered he could not access Craigslist, a popular classified Web site, because of the city’s Internet blocking policy.
Venice police officers have to call the city’s technology hub to get Web sites unblocked for investigative purposes, and Detective Sgt. Mike Treanor calls that “better than nothing.”
Nearby, Sarasota County Sheriff Chuck Lesaltato says such a policy would “tie our hands” in his department. Venice’s Internet restrictions have been in place since 2004. City manager Marty Black notes that the policy protects employees from Web surfing mistakes that could be construed as policy violations, and adds that before the employee ban, some officers were discovered to have looked at sports Web sites for fun while on the job.
Abstracted by the National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center(NLECTC) from the Sarasota Herald-Tribune (FL) (08/02/06) P. BV1; LaRoe, Ginny .