The story of a 12-year-old girl's kidnapping fuels concerns about the dangers of the Internet—even as it demonstrates how today's devices can come to the rescue, Ars Technica reports. The Baltimore-area girl, identified in court as Jane Doe, communicated with several men via Xbox Live and social media. Earlier this month, she went missing, and a few days later, Microsoft produced a chilling transcript from one of her conversations with another contact, in which she said she was "going to live with some guy." She typed: "Im scared he said he was gonna kidnap me." After she was found, she said she had been raped twice.
Jane Doe's iPod Touch helped investigators track her down via what police called "digital forensics," officials said, as the Perry Hall Patch reports. Apple told authorities where the iPod had been used recently, including at a home in North Carolina. Further investigation there directed searchers to another home, where they found the girl a few days after she'd gone missing. Now, Victor Yanez Arroyo, 32, has been charged with kidnapping and rape, among other charges. So should we further crack down on kids' Internet use? Not necessarily, an expert tells Ars Technica. "More of crime, and of social life in general, is moving online. But that increase does not necessarily translate to increased risk. In fact, the Internet may increase the likelihood of some of these criminal acts being detected," he says. (Read more kidnapping stories.)