Tag Archives: technology

Fargo, North Dakota, Police Use New Social Media App To Live-Stream Traffic Stops

Officer Schindeldecker with the Fargo Police Department explains the use of apps.
Officer Schindeldecker with the Fargo Police Department explains the use of apps.
Could someone be watching your traffic stop live on the internet? Fargo, North Dakota police are using Periscope, an app that lets you live-stream video.

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Victoria Police Scraps The Ranger Camera Aimed At Mobile Phone and Seatbelt Infractions

The Ranger system that was propsed for Victoria. Picture: David Caird.
The Ranger system that was propsed for Victoria. Picture: David Caird.
Victoria Police has scrapped plans to use futuristic new traffic cameras to nab motorists who text, talk or tweet on mobile phones while driving. Mobile phones have become extremely hazardous in relation to driving because nearly all focus has been planted on them and not the road. The issue of mobile phones does not end there either, it has been noted that they can give off harmful radiation and the use of anti-radiation phone cases may be needed. So mobile phones on our roads as well as just in our hands have become a danger, that is why implementing cameras such as these are a necessity.

The Ranger camera was also intended to be used to capture people not wearing seatbelts.

Road safety camera commissioner Gordon Lewis yesterday criticised the decision as a “disappointing backward step which will inevitably cost lives”.

Government figures reveal texting while driving increases the risk of a crash by up to 15 times and that wearing a seatbelt doubles the chances of surviving a serious crash.

Commenting on the Victoria Police decision to abandon the Ranger camera, Mr Lewis said he saw a more expensive and sophisticated vehicle-mounted version of it in action in England last year.

It was able to detect and nab about 60 offending motorists an hour – which is more than the inferior camera used by Victoria Police was able to catch in five months.

But the tripod-mounted camera tested by Victoria Police failed to live up to what it was anticipated it would do, which was enable thousands of more motorists to be caught using mobile phones and not wearing seat belts.

Read more in The Australian.

Using Emerging Internet Technologies to Strengthen Criminal Justice

Future World Wide Web technologies commonly labeled as being part of Web 3.0 and Web 4.0 could substantially change how the criminal justice enterprise operates. These notably include Semantic Web technologies, intelligent agents, and the Internet of Things.

Research Questions

1. How will web technologies that are just over the horizon, including semantic tagging, intelligent agents, and the Internet of Things (IoT), change how the criminal justice enterprise operates?
2. How can the criminal justice community take advantage of (and reduce the risks from) these emerging web technologies?

In September 2014, RAND conducted an expert panel for the National Institute of Justice to discuss how the criminal justice community can take advantage of (and reduce the risks from) these emerging technologies. The top unifying theme from the panel was to leverage web technologies to improve information-sharing and protection across the criminal justice enterprise, and to address challenges that the new technologies raise.

Another major theme was improving practitioners’ knowledge of web technologies. Priorities included general education on key web technologies, and model policies and procedures for using them.

A third theme was to improve the networking infrastructure needed to support web technologies (and other applications), especially for courts and corrections.

Fourth, several needs became apparent related to leveraging wearable and embedded sensors (part of the Internet of Things), with an emphasis on using sensors to improve officer health and safety.

Finally, panelists frequently noted the importance of civil rights, privacy rights, and cybersecurity protections in using the emerging technologies for criminal justice – you can check here to see which cybersecurity protections can be implemented to help aid these technologies. While there were few needs about these topics specifically, panelists noted that more than half of the needs raised security, privacy, or civil rights concerns, or had implied requirements on these topics.

Read the findings or download the entire paper published by RAND corporation.

Victoria Police Won’t Cop Ashley Madison Strife

Victorian police who used their work email addresses to access online dating site Ashley Madison won’t face disciplinary action. Ashley Madison is not an ordinary dating site as it markets itself as a site for cheaters. Earlier this week, hackers stole the details of the site’s users, including names, email addresses, credit cards and other very sensitive information.

Continue reading Victoria Police Won’t Cop Ashley Madison Strife

Australian Federal Police Walk Away From $145 Million Israeli Crime-fighting Software Deal

The Australian Federal Police dumped a $145 million plan to fight crime using software developed in the Middle Eastern flashpoints of Gaza and the West Bank after an intervention by Finance Department boss Jane Halton.


It is unclear how much of the tens of millions of dollars spent on the contract can be retrieved and what the federal police will do about a replacement for the current obsolete system.

The AFP will not say how much money has been spent to date.

The move is a rare example of a federal government agency moving to cut its losses when a procurement project gets into difficulty.

Despite the setback, the force insists it can have a replacement in service by 2019.

Read more in Brisbane Times.

New South Wales Police Arrest 21 In Online Darknet Drug Crackdown

NSW police officers have arrested 21 people as part of an investigation into the supply of illicit drugs online, which the agency has admitted poses a unique challenge for law enforcement.

The state force today said the individuals had been arrested under a two-month operation and were charged with 45 drug-related offences in total.

The operation aims to crack down on the online supply of illicit drugs via classified advertising websites, social media platforms and the ‘dark web.’


Police said they had seized drugs including ice, cannabis, LSD, cocaine and MDMA worth around $32,000. They also said they found thousands of dollars in stolen case and property.

Drugs, assassinations, weapons and more on offer
Drugs, assassinations, weapons and more on offer

Redfern detective chief inspector Stuart Bell said technology had changed the way drugs are sold and bought and therefore how police respond.

Read more at IT News.

British Transport Police Investigate ‘Cyber-flashing’ Case

Police are investigating a “new” crime of cyber-flashing after a commuter received an indecent image on her phone as she travelled to work.

The victim received two pictures of an unknown man’s penis on her phone via Apple’s Airdrop sharing function. She explained: “I declined the image, instinctively, and another image appeared, at which [point] I realised someone nearby must be sending them, and that concerned me. I felt violated, it was a very unpleasant thing to have forced upon my screen”. She then called the British Transport Police (BTP) as she was worried about the motives of the perpetrator.

British Transport Police are running a campaign to encourage people to report unwanted sexual behaviour
British Transport Police are running a campaign to encourage people to report unwanted sexual behaviour

Supt Gill Murray said this particular crime was new to her force and urged people to report any other incidents. The force had dealt with cases involving Bluetooth but an incident via Airdrop was “new”.

“We have a dedicated Cyber Crime Unit who can analyse mobile phones and track data transfers back to suspects’ devices. By linking this to physical evidence, such as CCTV footage or witness statements, we can catch offenders and bring them to justice through the courts”, Supt Gill Murray said.

Configuring AirDrop

Related: Learn how to configure the AirDrop function (note: the linked web page automatically starts a video with sound).

Sources: BBC News, MacWorld.

Opinion: Calling for Standards and Code of Ethics to Govern Digital Forensics

Those involved with determining the relevance of digital evidence are sometimes ill-equipped to make such assessments.

Let me begin with a disclaimer: I am neither a digital forensics practitioner nor do I play one on television.

I am, however, a professor in, and former chair of, an academic department at a research university that houses a graduate program in computer (digital) forensics I helped design. In 2011, I co-founded a computer forensics research center at my university. Finally, for more than 10 years, I have taught undergraduate and graduate courses on professional ethics for criminal justice and digital forensics students.

These experiences helped me to identify a glaring issue in the field of digital forensics: a lack of professional and ethical standards governing practitioners. And as digital forensics gains prominence in the legal landscape, the lack of agreed-upon standards is a big problem.

What is digital forensics?

Digital or computer forensics involves the identification, recovery, analysis and presentation in court of relevant information taken from electronic devices such as computers and cellphones. There are numerous ediscovery companies out there whose services are on hand to those in need of delving into digitally stored information for the purposes of litigation.

That information becomes digital evidence presented in court and designed to tie together people and events in time and space to establish causality for crimes or civil wrongs.

For example, imagine the police arrested a suspect on charges she murdered her husband by poisoning him. The police will seize and examine the suspect’s computer to uncover incriminating evidence such as the suspect’s history of visiting web pages that deal with poisons. Once retrieved, the prosecutor will likely introduce that evidence to gain a conviction.

Digital evidence is not trivial. If it leads to a conviction on criminal charges, the defendant may face prison time. In a civil case, it can lead to a defendant having to pay monetary damages. And the police officers, technicians and private contractors who testify in court about digital evidence can be the difference between justice served and justice denied.

Read more at Time.

San Francisco PD Finding Criminals On Instagram

Please, do continue posting incriminating evidence on Instagram. Thank you!
San Francisco Police Officer Eduard Ochoa is SFPD’s “Instagram Officer.”

“[Instagram] does help us tremendously in obtaining information from suspects,” said SFPD spokesman Officer Albie Esparza. “They post pictures of illegal activity. Some criminals even brag about it.”

That’s what led to the arrest of a 17-year-old who went by the Instagram username “40glock-” and was later charged with two counts of possessing firearms.

Officer Ochoa had been monitoring the minor’s Instagram account after becoming familiar with him as well as another man, Marquis Mendez, from prior investigations.

“I saw [the accused] and Marquis Mendez, all possessing a firearm at one point or another in these Instagram photographs. I knew [the 17-year-old] was on probation. I knew Mr. Mendez was a wanted felon and a prohibited person,” Ochoa said in a testimony that appeared in the court’s ruling.

The photos showed the teen with a gun tucked into the waistband of his pants. Maybe he just did this to get more instagram followers, but this would be the wrong way of going about it. It does, however, show exactly how careful you have to be when posting on social media platforms like Instagram. There is nothing wrong with posting lots of pictures and having lots of followers – in fact, according to in-depth reviews, it is possible to get even more followers by using a service like nitreo. Nevertheless, everybody needs to be aware that what they are posting can be seen by everyone and anyone, and tools like this need to be researched before using. As Mendez found out the hard way, it is made aware to read reviews about these tools, like this Upleap review, as an example of a tool, and to always be careful what you post and who might be able to see it. Social Media should be used in a positive way.

The two men in question obviously weren’t aware of this. Based on the Instagram pictures, the officers decided to perform a probation search, where the suspects were detained – still wearing the same clothes they had been wearing in the Instagram photographs that Ochoa had seen earlier that evening.

Instagram photos often end up being used as evidence in court.

Read more in The Daily Telegraph.

Interpol Training Police To Fight Crime On The ‘Darknet’


The ‘darknet’ is the ugly and dangerous underbelly of Internet. Hidden behind ‘Tor’ and similar networking software that provides nearly complete anonymity, the darknet websites offer child pornography, illicit drug trade (made almost as easy as eBay), prostitution and many other unsavoury “products”. Oftentimes the largest beneficiaries are international mafia chapters and all other kinds of organized crime elements.

One of the most popular websites, The Silk Road, was managed by individuals not directly connected to organized crime, yet still managed to pull total sales of $US200 million. Money that was effectively routed around legal channels to make the drug dealers, bootleggers and  other criminals richer.

The arrest, trial and conviction of Silk Road founder Ross Ulbricht — and his sentence of life in prison — was a stark reminder that 21st century policing is a different game and one that the police need to get better at. Given the decidedly global nature of online crime, it probably makes sense for police forces around the world to be learning from a similar playbook. 

FBI notice of seizure displayed to users
FBI notice of seizure displayed to users

Interpol is trying to help with preparing police forces for online crime by offering a training course in policing ‘the Darknet’. During the five-day course, officers from around the world got to play with a virtual online drug marketplace, acting as buyers, sellers and admins to get a better understanding of how Tor and Bitcoin, two fundamentals of illegal online marketplaces, actually function. They also got to practice seizing and taking down websites, a popular option for law enforcement trying to shut down online drug trades.