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Police prying into stars' data




Police prying into stars' data
Police prying into stars' data



http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2009/05/06/police_prying_into_stars_data/?s_campaign=8315 

By Andrea Estes and Peter Schworm
Boston Globe Staff 
May 6, 2009

Police from communities across the state have repeatedly tapped into the 
state's criminal records system to improperly access information on 
celebrities and "high-profile citizens," according to a scathing audit 
released yesterday that also branded the system as obsolete and flawed.

Law enforcement personnel looked up personal information on Patriots 
star Tom Brady 968 times - seeking anything from his driver's license 
photo and home address, to whether he had purchased a gun - and auditors 
discovered "repeated searches and queries" on dozens of other 
celebrities such as Matt Damon, James Taylor, Celtics star Paul Pierce, 
and Red Sox owner John Henry, said two state officials familiar with the 
audit.

The Criminal Offender Record Information system, with its massive 
databases of criminal records, driving histories, car ownership, and 
Social Security numbers, is intended to provide police and prosecutors 
with complete portraits of individuals who have been arrested or brought 
into the court system. Reports are available to other users such as 
landlords and some employers conducting background checks on prospective 
tenants and job seekers. Access is supposed to be restricted to 
authorized law enforcement users, who are specially trained.

But the yearlong review by state Auditor A. Joseph DeNucci depicts a 
system repeatedly accessed by users "without any apparent work-related 
justification."

Such unauthorized use could be considered fraud under federal law, and 
"disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal and/or criminal 
prosecution" could follow misuse of the system, DeNucci's audit said.

[...]


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