• HSNW conversation with Kathleen GriggsGunshot localization system improves emergency services response to active shooter events

    Kathleen Griggs is president of Databuoy. Databuoy Corporation began in 2006 as a defense contracting company specializing in event-driven command and control operations. It has now realigned itself to focus on public safety in the private sector. Databuoy Corporation’s ShotPoint gunshot localization system is a technology aiming to improve the response of emergency services to an active shooter event. ShotPoint uses networked acoustic sensors that automatically detect, locate, and reports the exact time and location of the source of gunfire.

  • PrivacyAnti-surveillance clothing blocks security cameras’ facial-recognition software

    New anti-surveillance clothing has been developed, allowing wearers to prevent security cameras which use facial recognition technology from recognizing them. The clothing uses complex colored patterns of digitalized faces, and parts of faces, to overload and trick facial recognition software.

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  • CybersecurityAttackers can make it impossible to dial 911

    By Mordechai Guri, Yisroel Mirsky, and Yuval Elovici

    It’s not often that any one of us needs to dial 911, but we know how important it is for it to work when one needs it. It is critical that 911 services always be available – both for the practicality of responding to emergencies, and to give people peace of mind. But a new type of attack has emerged that can knock out 911 access. These attacks can create extremely serious repercussions for public safety.

  • Public safetyElbit Systems, NOA secure Uruguay municipalities

    Uruguay recently inaugurated a $20 million video surveillance monitoring center using Israeli technologies from NOA security and Elbit Systems. The Maldonado District Administration in Uruguay turned to Israeli technology for the Safe District project, that spans across six municipal authorities including the well-known Punta Del Este tourist resort.

  • Berlin terror attackCalls in Germany for bolstering surveillance in wake of Berlin attack

    Klaus Bouillon, the interior minister in the German state of Saarland, said that “It is time to eliminate the barriers to monitoring suspects’ telephone conversations.” He also urged the revamping of a law for monitoring popular online encrypted messaging services, such as WhatsApp, and said that next month he would make a formal proposal to that effect. Bouillon, a member of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU), said, “It cannot be the case that a company can make billions with WhatsApp, while at the same allowing criminals to organize, direct young people and obstruct our authorities by not providing the necessary encryption codes.”

  • SurveillanceClear guidelines needed for “Stingray” devices: Congressional panel

    The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee the other day released a bipartisan staff report after a yearlong investigation into federal, state, and local law enforcement use of cell-site simulators – devices that transform a cell phone into a real-time tracking device. The report finds these law enforcement agencies have varying policies for the use of these powerful devices. As a result, the report recommends Congress pass legislation to establish a clear, nationwide framework that ensures the privacy of all Americans are adequately protected.

  • First respondersNew incident management planning tool for first responders

    A suspicious package is found in a public park. An unattended bag is found by a trash can at the metro or a street corner. A person with a weapon is reported at a school or mall or other public location. Unfortunately, these are not uncommon occurrences, and responder agencies – from small towns to big cities – must all know how to respond and work together. That requires training, technology, tools, and time. The Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) Explosives Division (EXD) has a solution.

  • First-response technologyIdentifying, fast-tracking development of first responders technology

    First responders face challenging conditions while often carrying heavy and outdated equipment. Wearable technology is on the rise, estimated at a $10 billion dollar commercial market, and advances are happening in the health and fitness area every day. The first responder community stands to benefit from integrating some of this otherwise heavy and outdated equipment into wearable technology, improving both upon efficiencies and responsiveness as well as continuing to prioritize their own safety on the frontlines of often dangerous situations.

  • ForensicsForensic technique to measure mechanical properties of evidence

    You may have seen it on CSI: The star examines hair from a crime scene and concludes its color or texture looks like the defendant’s hair, or maybe his dog’s. Case closed. But looks can be deceiving, as well as vague and subjective. In real life, the FBI is now reviewing thousands of cases involving hair comparisons going back to the 1980s because traditional identifications—often based on looks alone — have been called into question. Instead, what if investigators could precisely measure a hair’s mechanical properties — its stiffness and stickiness? Researchers say that in fact, they can.

  • ForensicsNuclear CSI: Noninvasive procedure could spot criminal nuclear activity

    Determining whether an individual – a terrorist, a smuggler, a criminal — has handled nuclear materials, such as uranium or plutonium, is a challenge national defense agencies currently face. The standard protocol to detect uranium exposure is through a urine sample; however, urine is able only to identify those who have been recently exposed. Scientists have developed a noninvasive procedures that will better identify individuals exposed to uranium within one year.

  • ForensicsNew 3-D crime-scene forensics technology

    Researchers are developing a new type of portable crime-scene forensics technology designed to take precise high-resolution 3-D images of shoeprints and tire tread marks in snow and soil. The system will cost around $5,000, which is about one-tenth the cost of systems commercially available, and represents an alternative to the traditional method of plaster casting.

  • SurveillanceWe are watching you: U.K. CCTV strategy

    There are over six million CCTV cameras in the United Kingdom – one CCTV camera for every ten citizens. This number does not include body-cam footage, unmanned aerial vehicles, or the automatic number plate recognition system. Britain has 20 percent of the world’s cameras despite being home to less than one percent of its population. In 2015, turnover for the video and CCTV surveillance sector topped £2.12 billion in the United Kingdom. The government has just released a draft national surveillance camera strategy for England and Wales.

  • SurveillanceHalf of American adults are in a little regulated police face recognition database

    Half of American adults — more than 117 million people — are in a law enforcement face recognition network, according to a report. Of the fifty-two government agencies that acknowledged using face recognition, only one obtained legislative approval for its use and only one agency provided evidence that it audited officers’ face recognition searches for misuse. Not one agency required warrants, and many agencies did not even require an officer to suspect someone of committing a crime before using face recognition to identify her.

  • ForensicsFire and explosion investigation guideline approved for OSAC Registry

    The Organization of Scientific Area Committees (OSAC) for Forensic Science has approved the National Fire Protection Association Guide for Fire and Explosion Investigations for inclusion on the OSAC Registry, which serves as a trusted repository of high-quality, science-based standards and guidelines for forensic practice. This is the first guideline to be included on the OSAC Registry, where it joins the first standard, which was listed earlier this year.

  • First response technologyDHS S&T announces 10 start-ups for first responder technology innovation

    DHS S&T has announced the selection of ten startup companies to be part of EMERGE 2016: Wearable Technology, a program designed to bring startups, accelerators, and other strategic partners together in a common research and development effort. The program is focused on wearable technology that can be modified specifically for first responders.