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Archive for the ‘law enforcement’ category

May 20, 2019

Laser sensor sniffs out ‘fingerprint’ traces of chemicals

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, law enforcement

A new device could help law enforcement spot traces of drugs or bomb-making materials from more than 100 feet away.

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May 9, 2019

Denver Voters Support ‘Magic’ Mushrooms

Posted by in category: law enforcement

Voters in Denver, a city at the forefront of the widening national debate over legalizing marijuana, have become the first in the nation to effectively decriminalize another recreational drug: hallucinogenic mushrooms.

The local ballot measure did not quite legalize the mushrooms that contain psilocybin, a naturally occurring psychedelic compound. State and federal regulations would have to change to accomplish that.

But the measure made the possession, use or cultivation of the mushrooms by people aged 21 or older the lowest-priority crime for law enforcement in the city of Denver and Denver County. Arrests and prosecutions, already fairly rare, would all but disappear.

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Apr 2, 2019

China Is Installing “AI Guards” in Prison Cells

Posted by in categories: law enforcement, robotics/AI, surveillance

Inmates will be under surveillance 24 hours a day.

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Mar 30, 2019

A DNA Company Wants You to Help Catch Criminals

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, law enforcement

Family Tree DNA was criticized for secretly working with the FBI. Now it’s explicitly asking potential customers to help law enforcement.

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Feb 14, 2019

Hong Kong Has a Plan to Make All of Its Prisons “Smart”

Posted by in category: law enforcement

And it could violate inmates’ rights.

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Dec 30, 2018

What will be the biggest stories of 2019? | Part One | The Economist

Posted by in categories: economics, health, law enforcement, robotics/AI, sex, transportation, wearables

Power suits, robotaxis, Leonardo da Vinci mania—just a few of the things to look out for in 2019. But what else will make our top ten stories for the year ahead?

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Sep 29, 2018

How to know if you’re affected by Facebook’s massive data breach

Posted by in categories: cybercrime/malcode, law enforcement

Answer: Quite possibly because Facebook’s already forced you to log out and back into your account today.

The news: Facebook said hackers exploited a software flaw to access the records of almost 50 million customers. The firm said it had fixed the vulnerability and reported the breach to law enforcement.

The hack: The company said that the hackers had exploited a coding glitch that affected the service’s “View As” feature, which lets people see what their own profile looks like when someone else takes a look at it online. This allowed them to get hold of digital “tokens,” which are software keys that let people access their account without having to log back in every time.

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Aug 18, 2018

London police chief ‘completely comfortable’ using facial recognition with 98 percent error rate

Posted by in categories: law enforcement, robotics/AI

While facial recognition performs well in controlled environments (like photos taken at borders), they struggle to identify faces in the wild. According to data released under the UK’s Freedom of Information laws, the Metropolitan’s AFR system has a 98 percent false positive rate — meaning that 98 percent of the “matches” it makes are of innocent people.


The head of London’s Metropolitan Police force has defended the organization’s ongoing trials of automated facial recognition systems, despite legal challenges and criticisms that the technology is “almost entirely inaccurate.”

According to a report from The Register, UK Metropolitan Police commissioner Cressida Dick said on Wednesday that she did not expect the technology to lead to “lots of arrests,” but argued that the public “expect[s]” law enforcement to test such cutting-edge systems.

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Aug 18, 2018

Government seeks Facebook help to wiretap Messenger — sources

Posted by in categories: encryption, government, law enforcement, surveillance

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) — The U.S. government is trying to force Facebook Inc ( FB.O ) to break the encryption in its popular Messenger app so law enforcement may listen to a suspect’s voice conversations in a criminal probe, three people briefed on the case said, resurrecting the issue of whether companies can be compelled to alter their products to enable surveillance.

The previously unreported case in a federal court in California is proceeding under seal, so no filings are publicly available, but the three people told Reuters that Facebook is contesting the U.S. Department of Justice’s demand.

The judge in the Messenger case heard arguments on Tuesday on a government motion to hold Facebook in contempt of court for refusing to carry out the surveillance request, according to the sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

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Aug 10, 2018

Drone Assassination Attempt Foreshadows Future Events

Posted by in categories: drones, law enforcement, terrorism, weapons

Until this past year, consumer drones carried tiny ultralight cameras, but they just didn’t have the energy or the reserve to carry much else. They certainly could not deliver much of a product or payload. They flew for 15 minutes, lacked the capacity to carry excess weight, and had short range.

But market demand sparks innovation. Amazon and Domino’s Pizza are experimenting with drone delivery. The improvements needed to serve these needs are quickly bubbling down to unlicensed weekend pilots. Hexacopters with 4K cameras, gimbals and retracting landing gear are available for under $400. Tiny foldable drones with 720p cameras are available for $35. Some models don’t even need a pilot on a joystick. You can preprogram the flight path to reach any target using GPS, or you can guide them by making gestures with your hand. The drone actually looks back over its shoulder and responds to your hand-waving commands.

Lance Ulanoff is a cartoonist and robotics fantech expert. But he shares a lot in common with Wild Ducks. He is an eclectic journalist and social media commentator.

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