Silvia Barrera: «The best way to humiliate someone is via social networks»

03/03/17
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Silvia Barrera, an Inspector in the National Police Force, presented her book entitled  Claves de la Investigación en Redes Sociales on 28 February at UIC Barcelona.  

Silvia Barrera: «The best way to humiliate someone is via social networks»

Silvia Barrera is an Inspector in the National Police Force and Head of the Technical Section for the Treatment of Digital Evidence in the Unit of Technological Research (UIT).  Her daily work consists of researching and studying new types of cybercrime.

In her book, published by Círculo Rojo, Barrera describes her research, the problems the police has to face, the types of crime committed on the internet, and also advises users on internet safety.

During the presentation, which took place in the Saló de Graus room in the university and was attended by more than fifty people, Barrera provided some real examples of crimes on the internet.  The policewoman asked questions like:  “Are all types of slander a crime”?  “Should this type of content be on Facebook”?  “Can a judge ask for it to be withdrawn”?  She also highlighted the fact that “The best way to humiliate someone is via social networks”. 

Barrera also complained of a lack of cooperation from certain platforms such as Facebook who do not always provide the information the police needs for their research on time or fully enough.  Along these lines, and in relation to the crime of supplanting someone else’s identity which “for a social network is not important, they don’t think about the fact that behind the profile there are individuals, for them we are just business”. 

The policewoman also gave some advice to users of social networks.  She said “Reporting people is no use, the culprit is only found in 1% of cases” and recommended that people try to “fix things by themselves and ensure that they get hold of the content”.

After her presentation, the floor was opened up to questions, which were handled by lawyer Andreu Van den Eynde and the coordinators of the Master’s degree in Cybercrime at UIC Barcelona, Eloi Font and Irene Montiel.  Among other issues, the inspector responded to questions about the difference between misappropriating and supplanting identity, the need for psychological reports on victims of internet crime, and how the police categorise the seriousness of these types of crimes.