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Tag Archives for " law enforcement "

IRS Could Search Warrantless Location Database Over 10,000 Times

The IRS was able to query a database of location data quietly harvested from ordinary smartphone apps over 10,000 times, according to a copy of the contract between IRS and the data provider obtained by Motherboard.

The document provides more insight into what exactly the IRS wanted to do with a tool purchased from Venntel, a government contractor that sells clients access to a database of smartphone movements. The Inspector General is currently investigating the IRS for using the data without a warrant to try to track the location of Americans.

Source: IRS Could Search Warrantless Location Database Over 10,000 Times

LAPD Bans Use Of Commercial Facial Recognition

The Los Angeles Police Department has banned the use of commercial facial recognition systems.

The LAPD, the third-largest police department in the United States, issued a moratorium on the use of third-party facial recognition software on Nov. 13

News showed that its officers were using Clearview AI, a facial recognition platform that has taken data from Facebook and other social media platforms.

Source: LAPD Bans Use Of Commercial Facial Recognition

Microsoft promises to challenge all government requests for customer data

Microsoft has vowed to challenge all requests that any government or security agency makes to access its customers’ data, and will even compensate firms where it’s forced to legally grant access.

The firm will challenge every government request for public sector or enterprise customer data, from any government, where there’s a lawful basis for doing so. Where customer data is handed to authorities in violation of GDPR, Microsoft will provide financial compensation to affected customers, it has said.

Source: Microsoft promises to challenge all government requests for customer data | IT PRO

How the NYPD gets people’s personal data with no oversight

The NYPD has used tens of thousands of questionable subpoenas over the last decade to intimidate private companies into handing over the personal information of cops and civilians alike — all with no oversight from the city or the courts.

While most of the subpoenas are believed to target cops, some have also gone after journalists in an attempt to uncover their sources — and the four orders obtained by The Post reveal they can be sweeping in nature, potentially creating a trove of personal data on cops and those in their orbit.

Source: How the NYPD gets people’s personal data with no oversight

Police stream live video from Ring doorbells using third-party tech

A handful of police departments across the US are using software that lets them register the locations of people’s home security cameras including Amazon Ring doorbells and get residents’ permission to stream live video from the cameras.

Amazon distanced itself from the practice, saying that Ring “is not working with any of the companies” making the tech that police are using.

The software is sold by Fusus — a Georgia-based tech firm with no connection to Amazon — that builds dashboards for police departments that combine feeds from public and private security cameras in one place. Fusus also has contracts with police departments in Minnesota, Georgia, California, and Illinois, according to its marketing materials.

Source: Police stream live video from Ring doorbells using third-party tech – Business Insider

Police Are Tapping Into Ring Cameras to Expand Surveillance Network In Mississippi

The police department in Jackson, Mississippi is partnering with two companies to stream surveillance footage from Ring cameras in a 45-day pilot program.

This may come as a surprise to those who remember that just a few months ago, Jackson was the first city in the South to ban police from using facial recognition technology. Amazon’s Ring subsidiary has made numerous successful inroads with police across the U.S., however, and police are continuing to warm up to the technology.

Source: Police Are Tapping Into Ring Cameras to Expand Surveillance Network In Mississippi

Border officer provides device passwords to police

A Canadian border officer who dealt with Meng Wanzhou at Vancouver’s airport in the hours before her arrest said he made an “embarrassing” and “heart-wrenching” mistake, when his handwritten note with the passwords of Meng’s electronic devices ended up in police hands, breaching privacy laws.

Meng’s lawyers say it was part of a covert plot by the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), to gather evidence for the American FBI.

Source: Canada border officer says giving police Meng Wanzhou’s device passwords was ‘embarrassing, heart-wrenching’ blunder

Game Trains Police To Get Facebook Data Fast

Many investigators don’t know how to request help from the likes of Facebook, Apple and Google at speed when an emergency hits. Europol thinks its new game will help.

The game, hopes to make sure police know the answers to those when an emergency happens. It looks much like Who Wants To Be A Millionaire but crossed with a create your own adventure game and without the options of phoning a friend or asking the audience.

Full article: ‘Who Wants To Be A Millionaire’ But For Terror Attacks: Game Trains Police To Get Facebook Data Fast

The Police Can Probably Break Into Your Phone

At least 2,000 law enforcement agencies have tools to get into encrypted smartphones, according to new research, and they are using them far more than previously known.

At least 49 of the 50 largest U.S. police departments have the tools, according to the records, as do the police and sheriffs in small towns and counties across the country. And local law enforcement agencies that don’t have such tools can often send a locked phone to a state or federal crime lab that does.

With more tools in their arsenal, the authorities have used them in an increasing range of cases, from homicides and rapes to drugs and shoplifting, according to the records.

Source: The Police Can Probably Break Into Your Phone – The New York Times

Activists Turn Facial Recognition Tools Against the Police

Mr. Howell is a lifelong protester and self-taught coder. He had begun researching how to build a facial recognition product that could defeat officers’ attempts to shield their identity.

Mr. Howell is not alone in his pursuit. Law enforcement has used facial recognition to identify criminals, using photos from government databases or, through a company called Clearview AI, from the public internet. But now activists around the world are turning the process around and developing tools that can unmask law enforcement in cases of misconduct.

Full article: Activists Turn Facial Recognition Tools Against the Police – The New York Times

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