US cop urges parents to hack their kids’ Facebook passwords

16 Feb 2011

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A police chief in New Jersey has urged parents to hack into their kids’ Facebook pages for their own good. He said that increasingly Facebook and other internet interactions are becoming factors in abduction and sexual assault cases.

According to a report on NBC New York, James Batelli, police chief of Mahwah, New Jersey, said he sees nothing wrong with parents using spyware to monitor their childrens’ every virtual move and to hack their Facebook passwords and other sites they spend time on.

“If you sugar coat it, parents just don’t get it,” Batelli said. “Read the paper any day of the week and you’ll see an abduction (or) a sexual assault that’s the result of an internet interaction or a Facebook comment.”

Batelli’s detectives provide parents with free seminars on how to install spyware on home computers.

Batelli said young people too need to be aware of posting pictures of themselves that could threaten or ruin college careers and job prospects.

Don’t be naive

He said parents wouldn’t be naive enough to think their kids couldn’t be tempted by peer pressure to consume drugs or alcohol and nor should they be naive about the internet in terms of child predators who troll popular websites.

“When it comes down to the safety and welfare of your children, I don’t think any parent would sacrifice anything to make sure nothing happens to their children. If it means buying an US$80 package of software and putting it on and seeing some inappropriate words you don’t want your child to say, then that’s part of society.”

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Editor John Kennedy is an award-winning technology journalist.

editorial@siliconrepublic.com