• SurveillanceIntelligence agencies spy on our data by manipulating computer chips

    Researchers work to develop mechanisms that will render the Internet of Things more secure. They focus on a specific security gap: the manipulation of computer chips, that is, hardware components. These components can be found not only in PCs and laptops, but also in all other devices with integrated electronics; those include credit cards, cars, and smartphones, as well as large industrial facilities and medical equipment.

  • Digital forensicsFBI's approach to digital investigations puts security at risk: Expert

    A cybersecurity expert argues that the FBI’s recent and widely publicized efforts to compel Apple Computer to write software to unlock an iPhone used by a terrorist in California reflects an outdated approach to law enforcement that threatens to weaken the security of all smartphones, potentially putting the private information of millions of smartphone users at risk and undermining the growing use of smartphones as trusted authenticators for accessing online information.

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  • Facial recognitionThe accuracy of the FBI’s face-recognition technology may be improved: GAO

    The Department of Justice’s (DOJ) Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) operates the Next Generation Identification-Interstate Photo System (NGI-IPS) — a face recognition service that allows law enforcement agencies to search a database of over thirty million photos to support criminal investigations. The GAO examined the FBI’s face recognition capabilities, and the extent to which the FBI’s use of face recognition adhered to privacy laws and policies, and the accuracy of these capabilities.

  • RoboticsHazardous-devices teams compete at the Robot Rodeo, 14-17 June

    Hazardous-devices teams from around the Southwest will wrangle their bomb-squad robots at the tenth annual Robot Rodeo beginning Tuesday, 14 June, at Los Alamos National Laboratory. “The Robot Rodeo gives bomb-squad teams the opportunity to practice and hone their skills in a lively but low-risk setting,” said a member of the Laboratory’s hazardous-devices team.

  • ForensicsMove over sniffer dogs: Witnesses can identify criminals by smell

    Move over sniffer dogs, people who witnessed a crime are able to identify criminals by their smell. Police lineups normally rely on sight, but nose-witnesses can be just as reliable as eye-witnesses, new research has found. The research shows that humans have the ability to distinguish individuals by their unique body odor.

  • ForensicsDHS announces $40 million funding opportunity for new Criminal Investigations Center of Excellence

    DHS S&T earlier this week announced a $40 million funding opportunity for an institution to lead a new DHS Center of Excellence (COE) for Criminal Investigations and Network Analysis. This new COE will conduct end user-focused research to enhance investigation strategies of transnational criminal organizations’ (TCO) activities and other homeland security-related crimes.

  • ForensicsUsing lasers to solve hit-and-run whodunit

    Scientific sleuths are investigating how a laser-based tool called pump-probe microscopy can be used to differentiate between individual pigments of paint, even if they appear identical to the human eye. The researchers are developing the technique as a way for art historians and conservators peer under the surface of priceless paintings, without causing damage to the artwork, but there is no reason the technique cannot be used for forensics, too.

  • Crime risk assessmentOffender risk assessment tools in U.S. are promising, but questions remain

    The criminal justice system in the United States uses a variety of tools to assess the behavior of criminal offenders, and those risk assessments can have a significant impact on an offender’s fate. A new meta-analysis of the research conducted in the United States on these tools shows that – while promising – it is still unclear whether these tools reduce bias against offenders based on race or other factors.

  • BiometricsTerrorist or criminal? New software uses face analysis to find out

    Pulling a poker face means betraying no visible emotion, so that opponents cannot tell what you are really thinking. But a Tel Aviv startup’s face-profiling technology recently proved fairly accurate at predicting which four players were most likely to beat out forty-six other contenders in an amateur poker tournament. The company say that its technology, which analyzes faces shown in photos and videos and classifies them according to fifteen parameters predictive of personality traits and types, can help identify terrorists.

  • ForensicsQuantifying the weight of forensic evidence

    The weight-of-evidence question comes up anytime a forensic examiner assesses the likelihood that a piece of evidence left at a crime scene originated from a particular source. NIST hosted a technical colloquium on this important question, which virtually every branch of forensic science today faces. The colloquium addressed this specific question: How should forensic examiners quantify the weight of evidence they find in a case? This was the first technical colloquium in the United States to focus specifically on this issue.

  • Law enforcementBody-worn cameras associated with increased assaults against police

    Preliminary results from eight U.K. and U.S. police forces reveal rates of assault against officers are 15 percent higher when they use body-worn cameras. The latest findings, from one of the largest randomized-controlled trials in criminal justice research, highlight the need for cameras to be kept on and recording at all stages of police-public interaction – not just when an individual officer deems it necessary – if police use-of-force and assaults against police are to be reduced.

  • DronesFrance to employ anti-drone technology to protect Euro 2016 soccer games

    France will employ anti-drone technology to interfere with and take control of any flying machines breaching strict no-fly zones over stadiums where the games of the 2016 European Soccer Championship will be played. The technology is part of broad and unprecedented security measures taken to secure Europe’s biggest sports event. French security agencies have been training for some time for the possibility of drones used to disperse chemical agents over crowds.

  • SurveillanceTelephone metadata can reveal surprisingly sensitive personal information

    Most people might not give telephone metadata – the numbers you dial, the length of your calls – a second thought. Some government officials probably view it as similarly trivial, which is why this information can be obtained without a warrant. Researchers show, however, that telephone metadata – information about calls and text messages, such as time and length – can alone reveal a surprising amount of personal detail. The work could help inform future policies for government surveillance and consumer data privacy.

  • Active shooterActive shooter exercise evaluates tactics, technologies

    The New York Police Department (NYPD), the Fire Department of New York (FDNY), and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) took part in an active shooter exercise early Sunday at a Brooklyn high school to evaluate tactics and technologies for responding to and containing rapidly escalating shooting incidents.

  • SurveillanceHarnessing thousands of network cameras for public safety

    Researchers have developed a prototype system that could allow law enforcement and public safety agencies to tap into thousands of cameras located in numerous venues including parking garages, college campuses, national parks and highways. In addition to applications in law enforcement, the system can be used to quickly find damage, plan rescues, and other operations during natural disasters.