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Cyber crimes laws could be roadblock in Plainfield threats investigation

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PLAINFIELD, Ind. (December 22, 2015) - Plainfield police continue to investigate threats targeting students and the community. A legal and cyber crimes expert is weighing in on the investigation and why five days after the first threat, there are still no solid leads.

Expert Peter Beering explained how Indiana has strict laws when it comes to online privacy. Those same laws can potentially protect people like the suspect who is continuing to post threatening and violent images on Facebook.

“We have certain legal restrictions with how an investigation is to be conducted," Beering explained.

Beering said while it may seem like the investigation is taking a long time, there are many aspects that may prevent police from doing their job efficiently. That includes the difficulty of tracking posts on social media.

"This stuff can bounce quite a bit before it ever lands and that makes the investigation very difficult.”

Plainfield police have not released many details in the investigation. Beering said even if police knew exactly who was making the threats, getting to them could be difficult because of legal restrictions. Those could include access to search warrants for cyber data like IP addresses.

Beering said the threats cross the line of freedom of speech and will result in serious charges once the suspect is caught.

“It’s illegal to make these kinds of threats, regardless of whether or not you have the capability to pull it off," he said.

Plainfield Police are asking residents to continue to report suspicious activity to their non-emergency number at  317-839-2566.


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