Saturday, September 17, 2005 at 11:01 am by Darryl
There are plenty of people who get paid to surf the internet—some are even government employees. The Oregonian tells the tale of how U.S. marshals tracked down a fugitive from Oregon last year by searching on Google. Gregory Sperow was a fugitive for eight years stemming from charges of dealing drugs and manufacturing meth. He was found in California.
This article got me thinking about an idea for Google Labs. Hmmmm….
Google should create a “Wanted Posters” tool to act in much the same way as the most wanted posters that hang in the post office. The tool would allow users to search by physical descriptions, type of crime, severity of crime, as well as by names and aliases. Hell, an “I feel random” button would be cool (perhaps with “Local” options). What a way to start your day—learn about another criminal that you might identify while holiday shopping in Bellevue Square!
I should mention that there are already electronic “wanted” posters. King County, for example, has a Meth Watch page. A blurb in the King County Journal (scroll down to “Meth Watch”), points out that ” [t]he first fugitive identified by [Meth Watch] was nabbed within 48 hours by lawmen acting on a tip received through the program.”
There might be centralized tools like this already. The big advantage of Google, of course, is that they would consolidate the electronic “wanted posters,” and instantly put ‘em at the finger tips of millions of people—many of whom spend way too much time searching for stuff on the internet. Imagine what would happen if millions of folks were walking around with factoids about and images of fugitives in their head.
Come to think of it, a similar tool for missing children and persons would be a helpful service, too!