Cartels Use Social Networking to Track Down Enemies

Cartels Use Social Networking to Track Down Enemies
Thursday, August 18, 2011 - 2:25pm

EL PASO- We share more information than we realize on social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter.
One political science professor at UTEP told Fox News that cartels are using the sites to gather information on people.

Today Local 4 News spoke with one student who is taking precautions to protect himself.

"Currently I don't have a Facebook, I don't have a Twitter account, LinkedIn, no social media networks," John said.

This student, who asked to just be called John, is staying offline to protect himself from his past.

"I was involved in the wrong people the wrong crowd, and that's behind me. I don't want my past to haunt me," John said

John says he's made a lot of changes to get away from Mexican gang life and being on Facebook would give them too much information about him.

"A while back I made that same transition where I basically moved to a different part of town, changed everything, all of that would have been lost if I would have started a Facebook because they would have known where I was at," John said.

He says it's tough to get a clean start and even though he's not associated with anyone that could do him any harm anymore, he would be risking a lot if he were to get on a social networking site.

"Anyone involved with any kind of gang activity or alcohol, drugs, is tied into the cartel and if something I did in the past, they want to look me up it's so easy for them to find me," John said.

UTEP professor Dr. Tony Payan told Fox News that cartels are using the sites to message each other quickly and find out information about people.
John says, that's exactly why he'd rather keep to himself.

"They'll study people's activities on there, they go to school or they go to work at this time or they go to this club they go to that club and it's so easy for them to target someone using that social media network," John said.

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