FBI goes hi tech in hunt for fugitives

FBIWashington, Mar 26 : The FBI has gone become high tech and is now using 21st-century upgrades like innovative, community-based technological advancements that get the word out in real time.

The 10 Most Wanted lists first appeared on the FBI''s Web site 13 years ago, and now the agency has been working to upgrade the site ever since. There are now more than 400 cases on the site, including wanted fugitives, suspected terrorists and missing persons.

The agency has begun to use some very cool high-tech tools to capture fugitives — and to find missing persons, too, FOX News reports.

The bureau recently upgraded its use of widgets — mini-applications that can be added to a Web page or a PC’s desktop and updated remotely by simply copying and pasting Web code.

It has designed interactive iPhone-looking posters that bloggers and MySpace and Facebook users can embed on their pages to showcase the bad guys.

There are weekly podcasts, e-mail alerts and digital billboards posted across the country that have directly led to the capture of at least 70 fugitives.

Since 1996, at least 50 people have been captured directly because of the information on the Web. But it’s hard to say exactly how many, said Christopher Allen, an FBI public-affairs specialist, because in order to get credit, the tipster would have to say that he saw the information on FBI.

The FBI''s widget can be updated in a matter of hours, making it much more efficient than the old wanted posters.

The FBI also has the potential of putting fugitives, missing persons and bank robbers in front of millions of eyes every day.

In a project that began in Philadelphia in December 2007, the FBI now uses free space on thousands of digital billboards in more than 40 states across the country. That effort has directly led to the capture of at least 18 fugitives.

There are also three weekly podcasts — on wanted criminals, looks inside the FBI and memorable cases — that can be listened to using Windows Media or on an mp3 player. (ANI)

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