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BBS post on suspect lands officer in controversy

A POLICE officer in Henan Province has sparked controversy by posting information about a wanted suspect on a BBS forum yesterday.
The officer asked the online community to provide clues on the suspect's whereabouts. He even included a picture of the suspect that was taken from a bank surveillance video.
Zhao Guanyang, the officer who posted the topic on, said the young man in the picture was part of several ATM cons, according to Henan Business Daily.
Zhao added the young man, who appeared no more than 20 in the picture, was very likely to be a member of a con group.
The controversy stems from whether Zhao had violated the legal rights of the suspect by posting his portrait on the Internet and whether it was proper for police to ask for help from the public online.
Lawyers said Zhao could have violated the man's rights. The suspect has not even been charged with a crime.
Zhao said he just wants to find the suspect and did not consider whether he violated any law. He also said that one of his bosses approved his plan.
Meanwhile, legislators in Xuzhou City, Jiangsu Province, passed a bill banning "human-flesh search engines" at the beginning of the year.
Human-flesh search engines refer to the online community offering, releasing or spreading the personal information of others via the Internet.
Some net users agree with what Zhao did. One person said Zhao's post was like a wanted list asking the public for help in resolving a case.
The case was not the country's first dispute over so-called human-flesh search engines. Net users have been concerned about the breach of personal privacy online.
Several officials were either sacked or punished due to misbehavior or wrongdoing that was exposed online, according to earlier reports.


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