Items tagged with Police

Amazon says that customer data requests from law enforcement agencies around the United States increased significantly during the first half of 2020. Amazon unveiled statistics on the number of customer data requests from government agencies during its latest transparency report published late last week. The figures provided showed that it received 23% more subpoenas and search warrants, and a 29% increase in court orders this year than in the first half of 2019. Requests included data collected from the Amazon.com retail storefront, Echo devices, and tablets in the Kindle and Fire ranges. Amazon also notes that requests for data from the company's cloud services, Amazon Web Services, also increased... Read more...
You might think that a criminal planning a bank robbery would at least do a little research beforehand; rule numero uno is that you never rent the getaway vehicle in your own name. An alleged bank robber named Luca Mangiarano clearly didn't do his research. Police allege that 19-year-old Mangiarano robbed a BBVA Compas bank located in downtown Austin, Texas on December 18th. According to a bank teller, a young man in a black hoodie walked up to her station and handed her a note that demanded cash. She gave the man the money he asked for, and the man turned and walked out of the bank. Another bank employee saw a person fitting that description exit the bank and climb aboard an Uber Jump scooter... Read more...
It's out with the old and in with the new (sort of new, anyway) for police officers at Patrol Borough Manhattan South, a large area spanning Wall Street to 59th Street. Over the weekend, the officers assembled at an old police academy in Gramercy Park to pick up their newly issued iPhone 7 handsets, as the department switches over from Nokia devices running on Microsoft's Windows Phone platform. The shift from Windows Phones to iPhone hardware was announced last year, at the time just months after the last batch of Nokia devices were handed out to police. NYPD Deputy Commissioner for Information Technology Jessica Tisch had arranged the Windows Phone roll out to police two years prior when she... Read more...
According to the National Safety Council, one-quarter of all accidents in the United States are caused by texting and driving. Approximately 330,000 people a year are injured due to accidents involving texting and driving. In order to combat the problem, some police departments in the US are currently testing the “Textalyzer”, a device that can reveal whether or not a person was on their mobile device while driving. The Textalyzer is a tablet-like device and police officers will be able to connect the driver’s smartphone to it and download their activity data within a few seconds. The device records every click, tap or swipe, as well as the apps the driver was using at the time. Image credit: NBCThe... Read more...
You better think twice before speeding down the 405. Ford has just unveiled its first “pursuit-rated” hybrid patrol car, and the Los Angeles Police Department may be one of the first agencies to get its hands on the vehicles. Charlie Beck, Los Angeles Police Department Chief remarked, “Our mission to create safe and healthy communities in Los Angeles is achieved through sustainable approaches in community policing, and that includes embracing new technologies. Patrol vehicles are a police officer’s office, and we expect them to not only be economically and environmentally efficient, but also an effective tool for fighting crime in major metropolitan areas.” The Ford Police Responder Hybrid Sedan... Read more...
  It seems as though police body cameras are becoming the “new normal” for both police officers and everyday citizens across the United States. Body cameras have the ability to become an impartial eyewitness to police encounters with citizens and have the power to back up the story provided by an officer in a disputed altercation, or perhaps point to alleged misconduct by an officer. However, today’s body cameras are for the most part “dumb” units that simply record video and audio. But advances in technology could in the future bring live-streaming cameras and facial recognition to the cameras worn by police officers. This technology will of course add to acquisition costs for police departments,... Read more...
Our men and women in blue have one of the toughest and oftentimes thankless jobs in the world. It is a dangerous world out there and while police officers have taken on the mission of serving and protecting the public, they have to watch their own behinds as well. To help with that, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has teamed up with InterMotive Inc. of Auburn, California to equip 2017 Dodge Charger Pursuit law enforcement vehicles with rear-facing cameras and radars. These specially equipped cameras and radars can detect movement behind the vehicle, essentially giving police officers eyes in the back of their heads. "This technology is designed to prevent an officer from being ambushed from the rear... Read more...
The Oklahoma Department of Public Safety has purchased several devices capable of seizing funds loaded on prepaid debit cards. These devices will be in law enforcement vehicles, and enable troopers to freeze, seize, and return stolen cards. Troopers hope that these scanners will be useful in roadside seizures of suspected drug-trafficking proceeds.The scanners would also be capable of retrieving and storing limited account information from other cards as well, such as banking debit cards, credit cards and “payment account information from virtually any magnetic stripe card”. Law officers would be able to seize money from the financial institution which issued the prepaid debit card. That data,... Read more...
Everyone hates a backseat driver. You know, the person that’s looking over your shoulder, keeping an eye on your speed and pointing out everything “wrong” that you’re doing behind the wheel. Well, given how much technology that is being crammed into automobiles these days, it’s not human passengers that we have to worry about: it’s the HAL 9000 computers that are monitoring every important subsystem in your late model vehicle. Take the case of Cathy Bernstein, for example. The 57-year-old woman made an absolutely boneheaded play by rear-ending another vehicle and then fleeing the scene. Bernstein, perhaps thinking that she had gotten away with her act of recklessness, went about her business... Read more...
A new device from an MIT alumnus will soon be helping police assess dangerous situations from a safe distance. The softball-sized explorer triggers its six cameras when tossed into a room. It then sends the images back to police, where they are rapidly stitched into a panoramic image for tactical assessment. The alumnus’ new company, Bounce, is gearing up to launch the Explorer for both police and rescue services. Image credit: MIT The Explorer was initially designed in response to the earthquake in Haiti in 2010, after which rescuers had difficulty locating survivors trapped in the rubble. “I started looking into low-cost, very simple technologies to pair with your smartphone, so you wouldn’t... Read more...
Google announced today that its Waze app has graduated to the big leagues and has officially joined Google Mobile Services along with other “essential” apps like Gmail, YouTube, Chrome, and Google Maps. This move will give OEMs the option to preinstall Waze on their smartphones and tablets so users can enjoy the benefits of the app “straight out of the box.” "If a leading telecom preinstalls Waze in his handsets, a large percentage of the population would immediately have access to blocked roads, dangerous intersections traffic and more in real time," said Waze spokesperson Julie Mossler. "There's an enormous opportunity to improve city efficiency and civilian connectedness just by enhanced exposure... Read more...
A few weeks ago, we brought you a story about Google’s Waze app and how law enforcement agencies across the U.S. are becoming increasingly paranoid about how the app is being used. In a nutshell, Waze allows drivers to report on road hazards, traffic jams, accidents, and of course police activity. All of this information is reported in near-real-time, and with millions of drivers using the app, it provides a wealth of data to road warriors. But many police departments see the app as a threat. Late last month, Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck said that the Waze app can be “misused by those with criminal intent to endanger police officers and the community." He went on to add, "I am confident... Read more...
Ever heard of "predictive policing?" Your local police department might be savvy to the term. A company called PredPol is making a lot of money from its predictive policing software, which feeds historical crime data to a proprietary algorithm that then predicts the next dozen or so locations that are likely to see crime activity during an officer's upcoming shift."Using only three data points – past type, place and time of crime and a unique algorithm based on criminal behavior patterns, PredPol’s powerful software provides each law enforcement agency with customized crime predictions for the places and times that crimes are most likely to occur. PredPol pinpoints small areas, depicted in 500... Read more...
When we last gave you a status update on The Pirate Bay back in late December, we were given the impression that the site would make a full recovery. If you recall, earlier that month The Pirate Bay was the subject of a Swedish police raid that knocked the site offline. Since that time, the site’s operators have been working overtime to get the site fully operational (despite objections by Peter Sunde, one of The Pirate Bay’s co-founders). Well, they’re baaaaaaaaaaack! The Pirate Bay is officially back online and fully functional; one day ahead of schedule we might add. It honor of its resurrection, The Pirate Bay is proudly displaying the image of a phoenix on its homepage. As Torrent Freak... Read more...
As someone who does a lot of driving and depends greatly upon the Waze app (Waze has roughly 50 million users in over 200 countries around the world), this bit of news struck a nerve with me. Law enforcement agencies across the country are coming out against the app, saying that would-be cop killers could use it to stalk officers while they are doing their jobs. But before we get to the complaints, let’s talk a little bit about what Waze actually does. First and foremost, Waze operates like a traditional GPS app, giving you turn-by-turn directions to a destination, voice prompts with spoken street names, ETA, etc. This is typical stuff you’ll find in apps like Apple Maps or Google Maps. However,... Read more...
It seems as though The Pirate Bay just can’t get a break these days. Over the weekend, Google started kicking out Pirate Bay-related apps from the Google Play Store, citing “[violations] of the intellectual property and impersonation or deceptive behavior provisions of the Content Policy.” This week, The Pirate Bay was knocked offline following a raid by Swedish police officers. This is obviously not the first time that The Pirate Bay has encountered rough seas, but users who rely on the site to download everything from network TV shows to a digital copy of Guardians of the Galaxy to pirated software are likely panicking just a bit today. Paul Pintér, Sweden’s IP enforcement coordinator, confirmed... Read more...
It should be common sense by now that you shouldn’t text and drive. Currently, 44 states in the U. S. have banned the practice and now police may be able to enforce the government’s harsh stance on texting and driving with a radar gun that will be able to tell if a driver is texting or not. The radar gun-like device is being developed by a company based in Virginia called ComSonics. ComSonics calibration service manager, who spoke to The Virginian-Pilot, explained that the device will detect the distinct radio frequencies that will emanate from a vehicle as someone uses their smartphone. When it comes to texting, making a phone call, or even a data transfer will emit various frequencies... Read more...
For a police officer, an injury can change your career. Get hurt, and you might not be able to complete the physically demanding tasks your job requires each day. Jeremy Robins, a lieutenant commander in the U.S. Navy Reserves, has figured out a way for disabled officers to bring their training and experience back to the job: telebots. As Robins sees it, a telebot, remotely controlled by a police officer, should be able to handle many duties the police officer used to be responsible for, such as writing tickets and patrolling neighborhoods. To get his idea off the ground, Robins secured a loan of two robots from the Institute for Human and Machine Cognition (IHMC) and convinced researchers... Read more...
It is cool enough that the authorities can match DNA or fingerprints in national databases, but here is something just as cool. Researchers at Michigan State University have developed a set of algorithms and software that can automatically match police sketches to mug shots in law enforcement databases. MSU doctoral student Brendan Klare, who was one of the leaders of the research team, said, “We’re dealing with the worst of the worst here. Police sketch artists aren’t called in because someone stole a pack of gum. A lot of time is spent generating these facial sketches so it only makes sense that they are matched with the available technology to catch these criminals.”... Read more...
The word on the street is that anonymous tips can play a critical role in police solving crimes. Often the anonymous tips actually alert the police to the existence of crimes in the first place. But how do the cops get those tips? The days of paid informants like Huggy Bear meeting Starsky & Hutch in the back of dark alleys is over, and modern technology is shepherding in a whole new way to narc on your neighbors. The Associated Press (AP) recently reported on how police departments are now starting to rely on text messaging for tips. "Since the beginning of the year, cities such as Tampa, San Francisco, Seattle, Denver, Indianapolis, New Orleans and Detroit have started their own text-based... Read more...
Federal financial aid is always an arm-twisting manuever used against colleges, and this is no different.  Colleges must, according to Congress, make more of an effort to police their students, or face the "music" (pun intended).New federal legislation says universities must agree to provide not just deterrents but also "alternatives" to peer-to-peer piracy, such as paying monthly subscription fees to the music industry for their students, on penalty of losing all financial aid for their students.The U.S. House of Representatives bill, which was introduced late Friday by top Democratic politicians, could give the movie and music industries a new revenue stream by pressuring schools into... Read more...
GPS has many uses, and its use has been expanded to include tracking of teens by parents.  Now it might just prove to get a teen out of trouble.The case represents the first time anyone has contested a speeding ticket in Sonoma County courts using a global positioning system, which pinpoints speed and location using lightning-fast calculations and satellites.All GPS systems installed in vehicles calculate speed and location, but the tracking device in Malone's 2000 Toyota Celica GTS downloads the information to his parent's computer.The family says, based on the data, that Malone was going the posted speed limit of 45 mph on Lakeville Highway the morning of July 4 at virtually the same time... Read more...
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