Wednesday, December 9, 2009

First courtesy training, now this

The PLCB, fresh from blowing millions of your tax dollars out of their butts* with the Courtesy Contract and the Great Table Leaf Re-Branding, is now going to spend even more PA police officers how to use Facebook.

It's not that simple -- it never is -- but it's close. As you probably know, underaged drinkers are often dumb enough to post their drunking (intentional misspelling) pix on social networking sites. Hell, everyone knows it, and has known it, as this story about it from 2006 shows. The Bensalem PD is already using it for their own horny purposes. But that's not going to stop the PLCB from spending more bux to jump on this.

Here's the syllabus for the 8 hour course:
According to Leslie Coombe, director of the Liquor Control Board's Bureau of Alcohol Education, the Navigating Cyberspace training will cover:

•Social networking sites and how young people use them;
•What distinguishes social networking sites from one another;
•How to navigate social networking sites; and
•How to develop information from social networking sites into evidence.
So that would be:
  • Facebook, MySpace, craigslist, Twitter -- Farmville; pix of chix and crappy music; all beer u can drunkk $5 dude; LOL RT LOL!
  • Your mom's on FB too, MySpace looks like a cat threw it up, craigslist is about the bux, Twitter s shrt lol.
  • Create a false identity. Login. Start friending/following like mad; lie when necessary. Click on links. Txt. Google site for "beers" "crunk" and "funnel". Call it a day, go get a beer.
  • Lie to some kid about who you are, get an invite to a party. Show up with the squad, arrest all the kids you can catch, bust the owners of the house, too.
  • And one more thing: Entrapment Is Something That Happens to Other Cops.
Hey, officer, just kidding about that last one, really. But I'd love to see what the folks at the Chambersburg Public Opinion would have done with this one. We're sending police officers to school for a day to learn how to Facebook? Are you kidding? My mechanic told me his small-town PD has a cyber-enforcement unit. Cops are up to speed already, and if they aren't, a one-day course ain't gonna do it. God, this reminds me of the narc convention in Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas.

I did say it wasn't quite as simple as the others, and here's another reason. The money comes from a grant...from the National Alcohol Beverage Control Association, the "business association" of control states' liquor monopolies. Where does their money come from? To tell the truth, I don't know (I do now; see below). Google has, for now, failed me. But I do have a call in to them, asking that very question, and I'm hoping for an answer (because I'm writing a piece about this, too). But if NABCA is funded by the control states' booze agencies...guess what that means? Give you a hint: those aren't monkeys flying out of your butt.

Update: I did get back with the National Alcohol Beverage Control Association, and it turns out that they get only a small amount of money from the states, less than a third of their operating budget. Most of their funds come from selling reports to investment analysis firms, the booze industry, and importers/wholesalers; they have solid, gilt-edged data from the states (it's every sale from every store in the state, as opposed to the patchwork reports from private-sale states), and it's valuable. Good idea, actually. fear, the PLCB's wasting someone else's money this time. Whew.

*Paraphrasing a great line from one of my fave movies, "The Iron Giant," where Gen. Rogard says "You realize how much hardware I brought out here? You just blew millions of Uncle Sam's dollars out of your butt!" I know just how he feels...and yeah, Joe "CEO" Conti, it was our tax dollars, because if you hadn't wasted it on this project, it would have gone into the general fund, where it would have become fungible revenue. PLCB revenue wasted is the same as taxes to cover the hole.

1 comment:

TC said...

I remember reading a story a few months ago about cops in High Point, NC using Facebook et al to figure out which local kids were in what gang. They'd figure out one or two, and then use the Series of Tubes to see who their suspects were Facebook friends with, who they talked about, etc. Once they figured out who was doing what, they used some very creative law enforcing to deal with the problems. Here's a link to where I heard about it:

Also interesting, I think, is that Facebook just sent out a big notice about how much easier it is going to be to keep your info away from prying eyes and all that. I suspect those kids are going to figure out how to keep their parents and, more relevantly, the cops and the PLCB away from their Drankin' Pics.