• AIRPOR SECURITYComputer Code to Speed Up Airport Security

    Imagine moving through airport security without having to take off your shoes or belt or getting pulled aside. Researchers are working on the Open Threat Assessment Platform, which allows the Transportation Security Administration to respond more quickly and easily to threats to air travel safety.

  • SWAT TEAMSSWAT Team Members as Amateur Inventors Who Make a Difference

    SWAT teams routinely enter dangerous situations where they need to make difficult, potentially life-and-death decisions. Such challenging circumstances present opportunities for innovation, and these first responders are often amateur inventors as well.

  • AIAI and Policing: What a Queensland Case Study Tells Us

    By Teagan Westendorf

    Law enforcement agencies consider artificial intelligence a force multiplier because it can rapidly process more data than human brains and yield insights to help solve complex analytical problems. Our limited understanding of how AI algorithms make decisions and produce their insights, however, presents a significant challenge to ethically and safely implementing AI policing solutions.

  • SURVEILLANCESpain Sacks Intelligence Chief in Wake of Pegasus Scandal

    Paz Esteban was replaced after a controversy over the use of the Pegasus spyware to hack top Spanish officials’ cellphones, as well as spying on Catalan separatists.

  • SURVEILLANCEThe Movement to Ban Government Use of Face Recognition

    By Nathan Sheard and Adam Schwartz

    Our faces are unique identifiers that can’t be left at home, or replaced like a stolen ID or compromised password. Facial recognition technology facilitates covert mass surveillance of the places we frequent, people we associate with, and, purportedly, our emotional state. Communities across the country are fighting back.

  • MASS GRAVESGeoelectrical Methods in Search for Hidden Graves

    Rather than digging to identify unmarked mass grave sites or evidence to locate missing persons, cutting-edge technologies are helping law enforcement agents, forensic scientists and historians uncover attempts to hide victims.

  • SURVEILLANCEGoogle Fights Dragnet Warrant for Users’ Search Histories Overseas, but It Is Continuing to Give Data to Police in the U.S.

    By Naomi Gilens, Jennifer Lynch, and Veridiana Alimonti

    Google is fighting back against a Brazilian court order to turn over data on all users who searched for specific terms, including the name of a well-known elected official and a busy downtown thoroughfare. Google should be applauded for challenging this digital dragnet search in Brazil, but the company must also stand up for the rights of its users against similar searches in the U.S. and elsewhere.

  • BOMB SQUADSDIY Innovations for Bomb Squads

    Bomb-squad members must effectively employ critical thinking and problem-solving skills while working in stressful, potentially life-threatening situations. DHS S&T notes that bomb technicians’ ability to expect the unexpected and adjust accordingly has created a consistent pipeline of do-it-yourself (DIY) inventions to solve everyday issues they face, and the S&T works to validate these innovations.

  • SURVEILLANCEWe Need Answers about the CIA’s Mass Surveillance

    By Matthew Guariglia and Andrew Crocker

    The Central Intelligence Agency has been collecting American’s private data without any oversight or even the minimal legal safeguards that apply to the NSA and FBI, an unconstitutional affront to our civil liberties. The whos, whats, whys, and hows of this semi-disclosed CIA program are still unknown, and the public deserves the right to know exactly what damage has been done.

  • SURVEILLANCEBroad, and Likely Unauthorized, Use of Pegasus Spyware by Israel's Police Shocks Israel

    Since 2015, Israel’s police has employed the intrusive Pegasus spyware to spy on businesspeople, journalists and editors, senior managers of government ministries and agencies, leaders of protest movements, and more – and it appears that in many, if not most, of these cases, the spying was done without judicial approval or after judges were misled by the police about the nature of the monitoring technology. The Pegasus software has been used by authoritarian governments around the world to spy on political opponents, human rights activist, journalists – and in at least one case, to spy on U.S. diplomats. The U.S. has blacklisted the Israeli company NSO, Pegasus maker, and American companies are not allowed to sell their technology to NSO or do business with it

  • BORDER SECURITYRobot Dogs Soon to Be Deployed at the Border

    DHS ST is offering a helping hand (or “paw”) with new robotic dog technology that can assist with enhancing the capabilities of CBP personnel, while simultaneously increasing their safety downrange.

  • ARGUMENT: POLICE SPYWAREIsraeli Police: From Warrantless Cellphone Searches to Controversial Misuse of Spyware

    Israel’s rules governing privacy and related laws have experienced a dramatic past few weeks, capped by an explosive journalistic expose revealing that Israeli police have been using NSO Group spyware allegedly without warrants or explicit statutory authorization.

  • PANDEMIC & PRIVACYGerman Police Unlawfully Accessed Data on Contact-Tracing App

    Police investigators in the German city of Mainz used the Luca app to search for witnesses in a case they were working on. To get around federal and state laws banning such use of the contact-tracing app, the city’s prosecutor office simulated a COVID-19 infection originating near the scene of the incident under investigation.

  • SURVEILLANCEIn 2021, the Police Took a Page Out of the NSA’s Playbook: 2021 in Review

    By Jennifer Lynch

    Dragnet searches were once thought to be just the province of the NSA, but they are now easier than ever for domestic law enforcement to conduct as well. With increasing frequency, law enforcement has been using unconstitutional, suspicionless digital dragnet searches in an attempt to identify unknown suspects in criminal cases.

  • FORENSICSMeet the Maggot: How This Flesh-Loving, Butt-Breathing Marvel Helps Us Solve Murders

    By Michelle Harvey

    Not all superheroes wear capes – some live in rubbish bins, garbage dumps and on dead bodies. Maggots, the humble little legless larvae, are actually nature’s antibacterial soldiers. Their ability to survive and thrive in decomposing matter is making them our new secret weapon in forensic entomology – the science of using insects to solve crimes.