Archive for March 22nd, 2005

Who’s A Rat?

10

Sean Bucci hates narcs, and with good reason. He was turned in on
marijuana charges by a trusted "friend". So seven months ago he started
a web site to "Out" narcs and paid informants. He is especially incensed
by folks who turn in friends in order to curry favor with law enforcement
after getting in trouble themselves. Although redacted on the North Shore,
the site is hosted on a server in India.

This story raises so many legal,
ethical and psychological questions that
an entire
law
school
course
could be
based
around them. Is the site protected by Free Speech? Would posting untrue
information constitute libel? If something bad happens to one of the
outted narcs, can the site be held responsible? Does hosting it in
India make a difference? Who’s a Rat? Judge for yourself….

”We specifically ask people not to add any information that’s related
to violent crimes, because we don’t agree with violent crimes," Capone
said. ”But as far as drug problems, and people setting people up just
to get out of their own problems, that’s a no-no in our books."

The woman who posted information about the Tewksbury man said she believes
the website performs a service by warning others away from informants.

”This punk has bragged on several occasions about doing a controlled buy
to bust a known local dealer so he could get a lesser sentence for getting
caught with shrooms, ecstasy, steroids, and funny money," she posted
on the site about the man she believes had informed on her now ex-boyfriend
to the police. ”He has admitted to being a snitch to various people."

Law enforcement officials worry that the site will impede their ability
to use undercover agents and informants, who often provide information
critical to criminal cases, especially those involving drugs. And they
worry that criminals might use the site to find out the names of informants,
which could imperil the people whose information is posted there.

The Globe is not naming the website because it is impossible to verify
whether all the people listed there are informants, and because publicizing
access to their identities could jeopardize their safety.

Nice of them to be so conscientious, especially since they printed the
web site address in an article six months ago…

BOSTON, Aug. 17, 2004 — The Internet has some interesting uses, but
one new Web site proves we ain’t seen nothin’ yet. Unveiled today,
Who’s A Rat  http://www.whosarat.com) is the first site to allow users
around the country to post local, state and federal agents’ and informants’
names, pictures and related information.

The Dowbrigade has no such compunction. In our book informants, especially
those who turn in friends, family members or people who have helped them
in the past are the scum of the earth. Squeezing sleazebags who have
fallen into their clutches is a time-honored practice in law enforcement
circles, and although we would never advocate agression or retaliation,
open distribution of publically available information about these worms
seems only fair. Buster beware. So here’s a link to the website.

yesterday’s article from the
Boston Globe

Who’s A Rat web site

whozrat