Policing social media: Should law enforcement have more freedom to monitor online activity?

Posted at 6:33 PM, Jul 18, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-18 18:33:19-04

Stuart Kaplan says he knows it's a tough sell.

"The problem is that the general public does not want to embrace big brother spying on us," he says.

However, he former FBI agent believes it's time for law enforcement to have the power of social media on it's side.

"We don't want law enforcement to just be looking into our lives because they are curious," Kaplan says. "We want the agenda to be that they are looking into our lives because they are trying to protect us."

The social media history of Baton Rouge shooting suspect Gavin Long is getting a lot of attention.

Police say suspects in other recent police shooting cases left a social media trail.

Kaplan says officers should have the ability to dig deeper if something posted on social media raises suspicion.

"Congress has to get together and start to relax the restrictions that have been placed on law enforcement," he says.

John Kazanjian,  president of the Palm Beach County Police Benevolent association agrees that law enforcement should have the tools, but he also knows this presents challenges.

"Yeah I want to protect our people, but then we have the first amendment," he says. "I mean..when does it stop?" he said.