BSO Uses Kiddie Porn Subpoena To Crack Political Blog

How easy is it for law enforcement agencies to find out who makes a comment on a blog?

It's a cinch, apparently, if they make like it involves child pornography.

That's a tactic the Broward Sheriff's Office employed in its investigation of an incendiary comment made on the Deerfield Beach Insider blog. To find out who made a comment saying that nothing would change at the city until someone "shoots up the whole place" and leaves "bodies laying all over the place" on the blog , BSO turned to its child porn task force for help.

The task force, Law Enforcement Against Child Harm (LEACH), is adept at getting sensitive information on the web. But when deputies subpoenaed Google for the IP address of the Deerfield Beach Insider commenter, the heading on the document indicated that the case was part of an ongoing child porn investigation. The Broward Times' Elgin Jone wrote about the apparent deception Friday after BSO, which had stalled me, finally released the documents.

BSO spokesman Elliot Cohen told me that all parties, from the State Attorney to the judge, were given accurate information on why the information was needed. The deputies' only mistake, he says, was using the standard LEACH form in a case that had nothing to do with child porn. "We need to create a new form for cases like this that we can use in the future," Cohen said.

This needs more investigation. It's incredibly sloppy police work at best and a horrible abuse of power at worst. And in the end our privacy is at stake, though we probably won't care until our names show up on that new form BSO is typing up.

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