• MassacresSatellite technology detects, and may prevent, genocide

    Many of the world’s worst human rights abuses, including genocides, occur in areas that are difficult to observe. “Smallsat” — short for small satellite — technology can detect human rights abuses and violations. The information collected by this technology provides evidence that can be used to corroborate refugee accounts of atrocities in international courts.

  • CyberforensicsCyber toolkit for criminal investigations

    cybercrimes reached a six-year high in 2017, when more than 300,000 people in the United States fell victim to such crimes. Losses topped $1.2 billion. Cybercriminals can run, but they cannot hide from their digital fingerprints.

  • ForensicsNew periodic table of droplets could help in solving crimes

    Liquid droplets assume complex shapes and behave in different ways, each with a distinct resonance – like a drum head or a violin string – depending on the intricate interrelationship of the liquid, the solid it lands on and the gas surrounding it. Researchers have created a periodic table of droplet motions, inspired in part by parallels between the symmetries of atomic orbitals. Better understanding of droplets behavior may help solve crimes.

  • ForensicsCold-case investigation is helped by forensic artist

    remains on an unidentified person. “Without knowing who the victim is, it is nearly impossible to find a suspect,” said Lance Krout, lead investigator in the case. “I’ve spent several years working on this and it’s kept me up some nights because we’re not able to move into the next phase of the investigation if we don’t identify this victim.” Penn State 3D experts say they can help the police.

  • Airport securityDrone jamming system to protect European airports, public spaces

    Airports could be equipped with technology capable of detecting and bringing down drones that stray into their air space, according to Dan Hermansen, chief technology officer of Danish anti-drone firm MyDefence. The company has developed a drone alarm and protection system that is being installed at a number of prominent sites around Europe, including an airport. It has the potential to prevent the kind of costly disruption that hit London’s Gatwick and Heathrow airports recently.

  • PoliceCarrying Tasers increases police use of force

    Cambridge University experiment with City of London police found that, while rarely deployed, just the presence of electroshock devices led to greater overall hostility in police-public interactions – an example of what researchers call the “weapons effect.”

  • SurveillanceTSA’s roadmap for airport surveillance moves in a dangerous direction

    By India McKinney

    The Transportation Security Administration has set out an alarming vision of pervasive biometric surveillance at airports, which cuts against the right to privacy, the “right to travel,” and the right to anonymous association with others.

  • EncryptionNew Australian law would compel tech firms to hand over encrypted data

    Australia’s parliament earlier today (Thursday) passed a controversial measure which will force tech firms to give police access to the encrypted communications of suspected terrorists and criminals. The law, fiercely opposed by big tech firms, has engendered heated debate over national security and privacy at a time law enforcement agencies are struggling with how to access encrypted information to monitor illegal activities. The passage of the law may have global implications for encrypted communications. Critics say the law may unleash unintended consequences.

  • BiometricsMachine learning masters the fingerprint to fool biometric systems

    Fingerprint authentication systems are a widely trusted, ubiquitous form of biometric authentication, deployed on billions of smartphones and other devices worldwide. Yet a new study reveals a surprising level of vulnerability in these systems.

  • AI & crimeAI could help crack unsolvable murder cases

    Some of history’s most notorious unsolved murder crimes could be laid bare thanks to new forensic research. Researches have shown that machine learning – a field of artificial intelligence – could be used to determine which ammunition, and ultimately which firearm, was responsible for a particular gunshot from the residue it left behind.

  • Tattoo recognitionFederal researchers complete second round of problematic tattoo recognition experiments

    By Dave Maass

    Despite igniting controversy over ethical lapses and the threat to civil liberties posed by its tattoo recognition experiments the first time around, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) recently completed its second major project evaluating software designed to reveal who we are and potentially what we believe based on our body art.

  • SurveillanceThe problem with using ‘super recognizers’ to spot criminals in a crowd

    By Emma Portch

    People often say that they never forget a face, but for some people, this claim might actually be true. So-called super recognizers are said to possess exceptional face recognition abilities, often remembering the faces of those they have only briefly encountered or haven’t seen for many years. Their unique skills have even caught the attention of policing and security organizations, who have begun using super recognizers to match photographs of suspects or missing persons to blurry CCTV footage. But recent research shows that the methods used to identify super recognizers are limited, and that the people recruited for this work might not always be as super as initially thought.

  • School safetyAlabama safe school technology tests may keep children safer

    Safety and security technology tests underway at a Jackson County, Alabama school could help keep Alabama’s schoolchildren safer if implemented statewide. Rather than developing an emergency response to an active shooter incident, the project focuses on expanding the perimeter of protection to help ensure interception of a potential shooter. Components of the system also provide law enforcement with enhanced situational information.

  • SurveillanceCombining multiple CCTV images could help catch suspects

    Combining multiple poor-quality CCTV images into a single, computer-enhanced composite could improve the accuracy of facial recognition systems used to identify criminal suspects, new research suggests. Researchers have created a series of pictures using a ‘face averaging’ technique – a method which digitally combines multiple images into a single enhanced image, removing variants such as head angles or lighting so that only features that indicate the identity of the person remain.

  • SurveillanceU.K. surveillance regime violated human rights

    By David Ruiz

    On September 13, after a five-year legal battle, the European Court of Human Rights said that the U.K. government’s surveillance regime—which includes the country’s mass surveillance programs, methods, laws, and judges—violated the human rights to privacy and to freedom of expression. The court’s opinion is the culmination of lawsuits filed by multiple privacy rights organizations, journalists, and activists who argued that the U.K.’s surveillance programs violated the privacy of millions.