Norway is considering introducing “uniformed police profiles” which would patrol Facebook looking for criminal activity.
Kripos, Norway’s National Criminal Investigation Service, is reportedly examining the legal aspects of how police accounts could be given access to areas of Facebook that are not open to the public.
It would mean police gaining access to closed groups and interacting with members as they search for evidence of criminal activity, the Norwegian newspaper Dagens Naeringsliv reported.
Wilhelm Due, a communications officer for Kripos, told the newspaper: “We have looked into the possibility of creating uniformed accounts. But we have not decided whether it is something we should do.”
According to the newspaper Släger Kommunikasjon, a public relations firm for Facebook in Norway, said it did not want to comment on police profiles.
Police in Norway and elsewhere have previously used fake Facebook profiles to investigate crimes including smuggling alcohol and tobacco.
Facebook has not given police profiles with enhanced access to private groups but they can apply for access to them in connection with criminal cases, Dagens Næringsliv reported.
Police superintendent Emil Jenssen of Kripos told Norwegian broadcaster NRK: “We get lots of tips on areas where it is sold bootleg, drugs or other illegal things. Then we go inside these groups to preserve evidence for criminal cases.
“If there is a criminal case we can go to court and get an injunction and send it to Facebook. They send us so the information we need.