GoDaddy Silences Police-Watchdog Site RateMyCop.com By Kevin Poulsen March 11, 2008 | 8:42:42 PM Categories: Censorship, Cover-Ups
A new web service that lets users rate and comment on the uniformed police officers in their community is scrambling to restore service Tuesday, after hosting company GoDaddy unceremonious pulled-the-plug on the site in the wake of outrage from criticism-leery cops. (...)
Police departments became uneasy about RateMyCop's plans to watch the watchers in January, when the Culver City, California, startup began issuing public information requests for lists of uniformed officers.
Then the site went live on February 28th. It stores the names and, in some cases, badge numbers of over 140,000 cops in as many as 500 police departments, and allows users to post comments about police they've interacted with, and rate them. The site garnered media interest this week as cops around the country complained that they'd be put at risk if their names were on the internet. (...)
Since undercover officers aren't in the database, and the site has no personal information like home addresses, that fear seems unfounded. Chief Jerry Dyer, president of the California Police Chiefs Association, voices what sounds like a more honest concern: that officers will face "unfair maligning" by the citizens they serve. (...)
4. I'm uncomfortable with these "ratemy" type of sites
The idea that people who are by no means public figures can be criticize anonymously just doesn't sit well. I have two friends who are professors and have been listed in "ratemyprofessor." While both received generally positive reviews, it still made them feel uncomfortable that their names were out in cyberspace with no real way of defending themselves.
http://www.copwatch.net/forums/showthread.php?s=42bb310... <snip> HISTORY: Copwatch is an online project of a licensee of the official Copwatch organization, being the direct and only successor in interest of the initial Copwatch association, founded in Seattle, Washington amidst the anti-war and civil-rights activism of the mid-1960's. Included among our boardmembers is a founding member of that original Copwatch organization. Use of the official Copwatch trademark is licensed to Copwatch.c. Sub-licenses may be granted at the discretion of Copwatch.c upon request.
Copwatch has also been licensed to use the domains Copwatch.net and Copwatch.org.
This is the fourth incarnation of the COPWATCH FORUM. The three prior versions were forced offline by the machinations of disruptive police officers and their civilian accomplices. We have taken special precautions (partially described below) to ensure that the current Forum does not meet the same fate. <end>
"This site is dedicated with respect and gratitude to the honest, courteous, and brave men and women of law enforcement, wheresoever they may be found.
It is also dedicated to the untold thousands of innocent, law-abiding American citizens who have been mistreated, harassed, brutalized or killed by law enforcement officials who are corrupt, incompetent, stupid, petty, self-aggrandizing, abusive, vindictive, brutal, undisciplined, vicious, or any combination thereof.
Such government-sanctioned thugs harm not only the citizens whom they victimize, but also, (less directly), their fellow law enforcement officers, whose reputation and image is tarnished, if not completely ruined, by the misdeeds of their repugnant colleagues. In abusing their authority, bad cops dramatically exacerbate an "us vs. them" mentality, which endangers police and citizens alike."
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