When social scientists uncover crime through their research
Venkatesh was in terribly risky legal situations. Different countries have different laws concerning what it is necessary to disclose with respect to criminal activity, and in many places citizens have a responsibility to report a serious crime being planned. There is some legislation protecting lawyers, doctors and the clergy who decide to respect confidentiality of clients but there is none for social scientists. At the time of his project Venkatesh was a graduate student and had not been fully trained in considering ethical issues, when the academics in his department found out more about what he was doing they warned him that if he failed to report a drive-by shooting where someone was killed he would be an accessory to murder.