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Gangs on the Internet 402

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the click-by-shootings dept.
mikesd81 writes "Apparently street gangs have gotten Web-savvy. Web Bangers are posting potentially incriminating photos and taunts on their websites. Police departments suddenly faced with gangs are looking for help on the gangs' own easy-to-find Web sites. The director of the National Gang Crime Research Center has stated "In order to understand any subculture, be it al-Qaida, witches, devil worshippers or gangs, you have to be able to know their own language.' Knox said it's important for police to learn how to read between the lines on gang Web sites and blogs. Just as time on the streets has given gang investigators the ability to read the hieroglyphics of wall graffiti, time on the Web helps them understand arcane Web clues. Gang identifiers, such as tattoos, graffiti tags, colors and clothing often are embedded in each site."
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Gangs on the Internet

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  • by MrChom (609572) on Friday July 07, 2006 @07:16AM (#15674153) Homepage
    Publish a Grand Theft Auto MMORPG and use google adsense to advertise it on gang blogs...take real world crime into virtual space....and make money....wonderful.
  • by aymanh (892834) on Friday July 07, 2006 @07:17AM (#15674157) Journal
    The tendency for gang members to brag about their exploits on Web pages such as the popular networking site Myspace.com has in some cases helped investigators make arrests.
    Are you telling me that future versions of GTA will involve browsing and posting to MySpace?!

    Nooooo!
    • It would be more like eXistenZ, posting to your blog from within a MMORPG subgame of GTA running on a virtual linux machine, that is being simulated within the holodeck of the Starship Enterprise that in turn is...
    • by Moraelin (679338) on Friday July 07, 2006 @09:00AM (#15674544) Journal
      GTA: Web Banger

      In which you play the role of a pale pimple-faced nerd with an inhaler, posing as a big bad nigga online. Spend days photoshopping a grand theft auto or grafitti, instead of actually doing it. Brag about your bad-mofo inner-city gangsta exploits, from the safety of your parents' basement in the suburbs. Spend hours playing CS and GTA while listening to wannabe wigger rappers, as material for those bad-mofo gangsta stories. Throw in some porn late at night, after your parents went to sleep, as material for some gangland rape story. Spend a couple of days trying to get the Audigy 2 you got for your birthday to make you sound like a bad-mofo gangsta on voice chat, then give up and revert to typing pseudo-ebonics. Etc.

      Yup, the high-tech law-breakin' game of the future. I can just see it.
      • And this is bad how? Seems like the exact opposite of what everyone on capital hill is crying about. Want to shoot people, sleep with hookers, steal cars, paint grafiti, run from the law? No reason to do it in real life when you can do it virtually, and remain within the limits of the real law.

        I see no problem with games being an outlet for a life that a person would otherwise shy away from. Nothing wrong with make-believe.
  • by a_greer2005 (863926) on Friday July 07, 2006 @07:19AM (#15674167)
    I got a bewolf cluster of guns, cross me and I will pop a cap in your boxen!
  • Oh no! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Bogtha (906264) on Friday July 07, 2006 @07:20AM (#15674171)

    How long until gangbangr.com 2.0 websites talking about the gangosphere?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 07, 2006 @07:21AM (#15674173)
    Looking for a G with html and 187 skillz
  • by coshx (687751) on Friday July 07, 2006 @07:22AM (#15674177)
    In order to understand any subculture, be it al-Qaida [sic], witches, devil worshippers or gangs, you have to be able to know their own language.

    I'm sorry, but comparing witches to Al-Quaeda is a bit of an ad absurdum. We all know witches are more powerful, which is why we dealt with these terrorists in the 1600's, and did not not deal with the latter terrorists in the 1980's when we could have.
    • by pieterh (196118)
      Well, obviously after the War on Terrr, we can expect a War on Witches (with televised burnings on Fox News), followed by a War on Evil (and I know my neighbour must be a devil worshipper), followed by a War on Youth, after which there will be no-one left to consume drugs, giving us a neat conclusion to the War on Drugs.

      When all those wars are complete, we can expect a War on Wars, which will involve the peaceful use of tactical nuclear weaponry on all those who remain after the subcultures have been elimin
    • by kjorn (687709)

      Round where I live we still have to deal with witches and their pagan rituals.

      Here is a recient story (last week) of a witch torturing her lover and dumping his body in the sea.

      http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/cornwall/5150 954.stm

      She was caught texting messages to her (dead) lovers other girlfriend, using his mobile...or something equally hi-tec and complicated.

      cool huh?

      • Round where I live we still have to deal with witches and their pagan rituals.

        Well, I lived in Cornwall (Connor Downs to be precise) for about 10 years, and saw no evidence of any witchcraft or related activities.

        Then again, I spent a fair amount of my time either drunk or stoned...
      • No. (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Rob T Firefly (844560)
        Round where I live we still have to deal with witches and their pagan rituals. Here is a recient story (last week) of a witch torturing her lover and dumping his body in the sea.
        That's not a pagan ritual, that's what they call "murder." If these people met via Christian church instead of the pagan community, nobody would be going on about "those murdering Christians" would they? *sigh*
    • by Rob T Firefly (844560) on Friday July 07, 2006 @09:01AM (#15674550) Homepage Journal
      I'm sorry, but comparing witches to Al-Quaeda is a bit of an ad absurdum. We all know witches are more powerful, which is why we dealt with these terrorists in the 1600's, and did not not deal with the latter terrorists in the 1980's when we could have.
      The witchhunts weren't anything to do with witches, it was all pretty much Christians killing Christians.

      It was a sweet deal, if you think about it... want someone's land? Turn them in for "witchcraft" and you and the government get to split their assets after they're roasted. Angry at a woman for rejecting your advances? No worries, she'll probably have a freckle - oops, I mean "devil's mark" - one can blame the world's problems on, and up in smoke she goes. Afraid of your wife because she knows how to read better than you do? Poof, and you get to look for someone younger and stupider next time.

      400 years ago it was "witches." 50 years ago it was "communists." These days it's those darn "terr'rists." People will always find a way to persecute other peoople they don't like for whatever reason.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 07, 2006 @07:22AM (#15674179)
    How did Wicca get lumped into a sentence with these other three groups?
        Hello... peaceful earth-based religion here. We don't go on Crusades to conquer someone else's Holy Land...
    • No no no...

      They mean the kind of witches with wart covered noses, flying brooms, and bubbling cauldrons..
      • I am not a witch. They dressed me like this. The mentality of someone (associated with the police) who compares terrirists to witches and devil worshipers cares me terribly. Leave the devil worshipers and witches alone and go after territorists and street gangs, eh? To count that's two groups that are actually dangerous and two groups whose existance is clearly protected by the costitution. I now return you to your regularly scheduled geekery.
    • by linvir (970218) * on Friday July 07, 2006 @07:43AM (#15674241)
      Well, if you're such a peaceful bunch, you've got nothing to fear from their god, now have you?
    • by RobotRunAmok (595286) on Friday July 07, 2006 @07:59AM (#15674284)
      Oh, Please. The article did not say "Wicca." It said "witches." Give it up.

      The "Witches are Happy Peaceful People" diatribe is even slighthly more annoying then the "Hackers are Happy Curious People" screed. Both words mean something else in popular parlance, and that's all there is to it. I have more sympathy for the "hackers-are-good" crowd, because they legitimately lost their word to a media gone suddenly cyber-melodramtic, but the Buckland and Gardner crew deliberately took an already negatively charged word, stuck it up there with all the other chips on their shoulders, and tried to win it back -- in the most irritating and condescending way possible -- from all us ignorant "mundanes." Sure, good luck with that...

      Oh, yeah, about those Crusades: many, many, centuries ago, my li'l crystal polisher. Better analogy would have been, "Hello... peaceful earth-based religion here. We don't crash airplanes into someone else's building in the name of our goddess..."

      oooooh, i'm gonna get modded down so-o-o-o-o fast.....!
      • Oh, yeah, about those Crusades: many, many, centuries ago, my li'l crystal polisher.

        OK, I'll bite.

        On Sunday, Bush warned Americans that "this crusade, this war on terrorism, is going to take awhile." [crescentlife.com]I'll leave it up to you to decide whether Bush really does want a Christian war in the Middle East or whether he's just stupid and ignorant.

      • Oh, Please. The article did not say "Wicca." It said "witches." Give it up.
        And if the article said "Christians" instead of specifying "Catholics," would that be fine by you?
      • You need get you head our of your ass and be more appreciative of the religious biases of this country, my friend. You would not, I believe, be talking this way if the author had mentioned Jews or Hindus in the same light. Witches (Wicca) and devil-worshipers (I assume he means either Lucifarians or Satanists here) are well-established religions with long histories and complex traditions and all have exactly as much right to dignity as Christians, Jews, and all of the other "main stream" religions.

        I wish
      • Both words mean something else in popular parlance, and that's all there is to it.

        "Witches" in common parlance refers to mythological people who sign a compact with the Christian Satan. Seeing as these people do not exist, it seems pretty ridiculous to talk about them. Furthermore, the Christian notion that there are a significant number of devil-worshippers who are in league with him to oppose the works of Christ is equally ludicrous. To talk of these groups as threats is to reveal one's ignorance. He mig

    • by the_womble (580291) on Friday July 07, 2006 @08:09AM (#15674319) Homepage Journal
      Witches !- Wicca. Traditionally in Europe it meant devil worshippers and possible followers of some fairly nasty practices. It also covers African witchcraft which frequently involves murder. You may wish to dissociate Wicca from that. Fair enough. However it is not reasonable for you to expect to redefine the meanings of the words involved in line with your beliefs. Wicca is essentially a modern invention (not one I have much sympathy with but that should not matter to you) and I would need a lot of convincing that it has any meaningful links to either ancient paganism or most old traditions of witchcraft so I do not see any reason to re-define the word witchcraft in line with Wicca. Ancient pagans fought wars, took slaves and slaughtered civilians and in all that thought the gods were backing them. If you claim any link with them you can not then disclaim their bad side.
      • "fought wars, took slaves and slaughtered civilians and in all that thought the gods were backing them"

        Replace slaves with captives held without reason or trial

        and how is this diffrent than the current US Administration?
      • Ancient pagans fought wars, took slaves and slaughtered civilians and in all that thought the gods were backing them. If you claim any link with them you can not then disclaim their bad side.

        You could say the same about Christians, if you study your history. Remember the Crusades, the Spanish Inquisition, slave owners in America and elsewhere? Does that mean that someone who claims to be a Christian today supports all of these activities?

    • If you look at the article, the poster isn't comparing witches to Al-Quaeda at all. Just because he uses them in the same group doesn't mean he's saying witches are like Al-Quaeda. He's merely listing them as a subculture, which they (you) are. I don't have a negative connotation of the word subculture. I am part of many subcultures. Doesn't automatically mean I fly planes into buildings or bathe in fish blood or eat only vegetables.
    • Yeah, I expect that comment to get quite a bit of..feedback.
      But it was the director of the National Gang Crime Research Center who said it,
      so direct all complaints thataway. I don't even practice Wicca, and find that
      sort of uninformed lumping-together fucking disgusting.

      And devil-worshippers? There aren't really many devil-worshippers, apart from
      various criminally insane cases. If he meant Satanism, it's more of an
      ego-centric religion. I got the impression that director has lived a very
      sheltered life.
  • by bobthesloth (981000) on Friday July 07, 2006 @07:27AM (#15674196)
    Interesting stuff. Targetting the idiots who are lower rank in gangs seems like a really good idea, given some of the spectacularily stupid stuff people admit on the internet. Can't help but feel this won't catch any of the serious gangsters though.
  • by 10Ghz (453478) on Friday July 07, 2006 @07:29AM (#15674205)
    "Web Bangers are posting potentially incriminating photos and taunts on their websites."

    You don't frighten us, Crips pig-dogs! Go and boil your bottom, sons of a silly person. I don't wanna talk to you no more, you empty headed animal food trough wiper! I fart in your general direction! Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries! Now, go away, or I shall taunt you a second time-a!
  • come on people, move along [brandishes knife]

    nah . . . it's not quite the same.

  • Tagging (Score:5, Funny)

    by writermike (57327) on Friday July 07, 2006 @07:34AM (#15674222)
    Oh, so this is why there's so much "tagging" on the Internets nowadays.
  • Witches? (Score:3, Funny)

    by ben0207 (845105) <ben DOT burton AT gmail DOT com> on Friday July 07, 2006 @07:34AM (#15674226) Homepage
    "In order to understand any subculture, be it al-Qaida, witches, devil worshippers or gangs, you have to be able to know their own language."

    Witches? Devil-worshippers?

    Is this from the Nation Gun Crime Research Centre or the Ordo Hereticus?
  • by Opportunist (166417) on Friday July 07, 2006 @07:42AM (#15674239)
    You almost made sense, Mr. NGCRC. Until the line In order to understand any subculture, be it al-Qaida, witches, devil worshippers or gangs, you have to be able to know their own language.

    Then I knew you're a loonie.

    Witches? Hello? Could you join us in the 21st century? If people want to believe in witchcraft, so be it. It's not like they mount their brooms and fly off to some mountain anymore. That's the fad of the past, it's been over for like 400 years by now.

    No wonder that they spend their time puzzling what those tags could mean. I mean, if you can't get a clue after 400 years when it's hit you with a broomstick... MAN, some people are slow!
  • Made me immediately think of the gang [scifilm.org] from Clockwork Orange.

    "That was a real kick and good for laughs and lashings of the old ultraviolence. "
  • by Flaming Babies (904475) on Friday July 07, 2006 @07:45AM (#15674249)
    Knox and others fear gangs are using the Internet to recruit new members, who can be influenced by the secret handshakes
    Secret handshakes?
    Seriously...secret handshakes?
    That's the dumbest thing I've ever heard.
    "Yeah man...those 18th street guys are badass. They have secret handshakes and everything..."
    • by rlp (11898) on Friday July 07, 2006 @08:22AM (#15674378)
      Knox and others fear gangs are using the Internet to recruit new members, who can be influenced by the secret handshakes

      You mean stuff like 'HELO', 'GET', and 'POST' secured by SSL.
    • Look out for the Jones Stret boys.. they just got decoder rings!!
    • by elrous0 (869638) *
      Actually, I get the wonderful privilege of working around gang members every day. And, pathetic as it sounds, they do indeed have secret handshakes along with gang signs, insignia, etc.

      Hard to believe, but these pathetic creatures actually think anyone outside of their shitty neighborhoods gives a rat's ass about their symbols. They don't even realize that, even in their shitty neighborhood, their gang won't even be remembered in 20 years. But that's how things seem to people whose "world" doesn't extend

  • On YouTube. (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward
    I have actually seen footage on youtube of crime being showed of as if it is something to be proud of.
    http://youtube.com/watch?v=bMJjIFZYq3I [youtube.com]
    http://youtube.com/watch?v=bhNuETvjakw [youtube.com]
    http://youtube.com/watch?v=w2G_PwKwK7Y [youtube.com]
    • Not a gang but.. (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Jakhel (808204)
      There was actually a video of a guy (supposed rapper from philly) named Joey Jihad (don't ask.. I don't know either) posted on youtube a while ago. Long story short, a few of the street thugs standing on the corner told waved him down out of his car, had him come over and start freestyling on camera, then one ran up and knocked him out (sucker punched).. then stole his car.

      The video was posted online. The guy who sucker punched Jihad is now dead.

      Moral of the story: People do stupid shit and post it on the i
  • Shocking (Score:5, Funny)

    by linvir (970218) * on Friday July 07, 2006 @07:48AM (#15674258)
    In order to understand any subculture, be it al-Qaida, witches, devil worshippers or gangs
    They left out communists and paedophiles! The fools!

  • Go and easily be part of one of the coolest gangs in your town... You'll have a GF (yeah, a *real* one, not a real-doll) a convertible, some guns, everyone's gonna treat you respectful...

    Go and f*cking build a website, the stuff you do best :-)

  • hmmm.... that sounds like it has different connotations
  • I am starting the 'Broken Windows' Gang on the internet.

    The gang's activities will primarily consist of breaking Windows, online and off.

    No pre-requisites for joining except for 1337 hacking sk177z and good aim.
  • Bad Grammer (Score:3, Funny)

    by protobion (870000) on Friday July 07, 2006 @08:06AM (#15674307) Homepage
    Police departments suddenly faced gangs are looking for help on the gangs' own easy-to-find Web sites.
    What the hell does that mean?
  • witch hunts? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by m874t232 (973431) on Friday July 07, 2006 @08:09AM (#15674318)
    If public web sites help the police track down perpertrators of illegal activities, that's a good thing. But I worry about statements like these:

    "In order to understand any subculture, be it al-Qaida, witches, devil worshippers or gangs, you have to be able to know their own language," Knox said.

    Devil worship and witchcraft aren't illegal in the US and are rarely linked to illegal activities; the police has no business getting involved in that "subculture" at all.

    Furthermore, even when it comes to al Quaeda and gangs, they should be careful: after all, if we can get al Quaeda and gangs to limit their activities to free speech on the Internet, then that's a good thing. We should encourage these groups to use the Internet, not drive them away.
    • Re:witch hunts? (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      The police officer didn't say "involved", he said "understand". Having understanding of cultures is an important part of effective policing and ensures that those in authority at least try to comprehend the morals and practices of different cultures. This leads to better policing when they are called upon to investigate an incident that is directly or indirectly related to a particular culture. Saying that the police should try to understand devil worshippers doesn't necessarily mean they are trying to stop
  • by SvetBeard (922070) on Friday July 07, 2006 @08:11AM (#15674327)
    A new addition to the Law and Order family: Law and Order: Gangs Unit. Watch Ice T surf myspace for an hour. Every mouse click is accompanied by a "Doom Doom."
    It's must see TV!
    • That would be a hit considering they give Ice T the best dialogue on the show. One line I remember in an episode where a pedophile arranges to meet an underage boy in a coffee shop but have the police lying in wait instead:

      Ice T: Condoms, wine coolers, what, are you gettin' freaky with the Hamburglar?
  • I had a link at the bottom that said:

    "Gangs of America - Browse a huge selection. Find exactly what you want today."

    It was sponsored by eBay.
    • I reloaded the page and it got cooler. It said:

      "Gang Violence - Browse a huge selection. Find exactly what you want today."

      But then I reloaded again and it only said:

      "Books - Browse a huge selection. Find exactly what you want today."

      Not always cool, I guess.
  • Create a "Legal" topic.

    This no more belongs in YRO than would an article about the latest Linux kernel release.

  • Life ain't nothin' but packets and money.
  • For all the gang-bangers that read /.

    I found the translator at http://www.psyclops.com/translator/ [psyclops.com].

    Gangs Use Internet to Showcase Exploits

    Jul 6, 4:08 PM (ET)

    By ANDREW GLAZER

    LOS ANGELES (AP) - Some of da country's most notorious street gangs has gotten Web-savvy, showcasin' illegal exploits, makin' threats, 'n honorin' killed 'n jailed members on digital turf.

    Crips, Bloods, MS-13, 18th Street 'n others has staked claims on various corners of cyberspace n' shit. "Web bangers" be postin' potentially incriminat
  • DKP? (Score:5, Funny)

    by hpavc (129350) on Friday July 07, 2006 @08:34AM (#15674424)
    Are there any good gangs in my timezone that use DKP?
  • by Dr_Bootygrabber (982849) on Friday July 07, 2006 @08:44AM (#15674470)
    'Oh, yeah, about those Crusades: many, many, centuries ago, my li'l crystal polisher. Better analogy would have been, "Hello... peaceful earth-based religion here. We don't crash airplanes into someone else's building in the name of our goddess..." oooooh, i'm gonna get modded down so-o-o-o-o fast.....!' how's this one: ""Hello... peaceful earth-based religion here; we don't spend billions of dollars to shelter thousands of child molesters from justice" or "Hello... peaceful earth-based religion here; we don't tell an entire continent riddled with HIV to not use condoms" or ""Hello... peaceful earth-based religion here; we don't take taxpayers money and give it to fundamentalists" or "Hello... peaceful earth-based religion here; we don't gloat over the destruction of a city saying they had it coming for being wicked" or "Hello... peaceful earth-based religion here; we don't think the world is going to end any minute in a blazing mess of fire but that's ok cause Jesus is going to miracle me up to the sky before I can get crisped" or "Hello... peaceful earth-based religion here; at least we understand that Jesus was a liberal Jew who had much more in common with Abby Hoffman than G.W.Bush" this is pretty fun actually! I love the "modded down" part too. The "wow, playing the persecuted christian card is so politically incorrect" is awesome! Do it again!
  • Gangs of Bathurst? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by SteveWhitty (950075)
    The other day I was driving through Bathurst [wikipedia.org] and saw "CRIP 4 LIFE" spray-painted on a mailbox.

    Seemed a bit pathetic at first, really, some kid from small town Canada pretending he's a member of a gang he probably saw on TV and thought looked cool. But I have to wonder if these sites aren't more of a recruitment tool than anything else, an attempt to start branches of these gangs in places where they would normally would have no reach.

    Having small local gangs with national and international affiliations
  • In the late eighties, I was called into the principal's office and accused of devil worship by my math teacher (Church of Christ) and principal (Seventh Day Adventist.) Grown people of average sanity considered it a real threat back then. Are we stupid again?
  • by Jerk City Troll (661616) on Friday July 07, 2006 @09:43AM (#15674813) Homepage

    Wow, does this guy have an ax to grind. What does an imaginary network of terrorists, practitioners of a polytheistic nature religion [wikipedia.org], angst-filled teenagers, and small cliques of violent street thugs have in common? None of them are a threat to society but provide a convenient fantasy for people obsessed with some silly notion of an epic battle of Good versus Evil. People like this scare me more than a few scattered street gangs.

It is not for me to attempt to fathom the inscrutable workings of Providence. -- The Earl of Birkenhead

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