• CHINA WATCHChina Turns to Private Hackers as It Cracks Down on Online Activists on Tiananmen Square Anniversary

    By Christopher K. Tong

    Chinese authorities restrict the flow of information online by banning search terms, scanning social media for subversive messages and blocking access to foreign media and applications that may host censored content. Control of online activity is particularly stringent around the anniversary of the protests at Tiananmen Square in 1989 that ended with a bloody crackdown on demonstrators by troops on June 4 of that year.

  • SURVIELLANCEThe Alaska Supreme Court Takes Aerial Surveillance’s Threat to Privacy Seriously, Other Courts Should Too

    In March, the Alaska Supreme Court held that the Alaska Constitution required law enforcement to obtain a warrant before photographing a private backyard from an aircraft. The government argued that the ubiquity of small aircrafts flying overhead in Alaska; the commercial availability of the camera and lens; and the availability of aerial footage of the land elsewhere, meant that Alaska residents did not have a reasonable expectation of privacy The Court divorced the ubiquity and availability of the technology from whether people would reasonably expect the government to use it to spy on them.

  • TECHNOLOGYShotSpotter Improves Detection and Response to Gunfire, but Doesn't Reduce Crime, Research Finds

    By Cyrus Moulton

    ShotSpotter gunfire detection technology has delivered as promised in terms of enabling police to quickly detect and respond to gunshots in two American cities, but the controversial technology has not translated into public safety gains.

  • FACIAL RECOGNITIONSeeing Behind the Mask

    There is a need for face recognition to be able to “see behind the mask” for security and safety. Researchers discusses the potential of new software which will allow facial recognition to work despite the mask you use.

  • RADIATION DETECTIONA New Way to Detect Radiation Involving Cheap Ceramics

    By Elizabeth A. Thomson

    The radiation detectors used today for applications like inspecting cargo ships for smuggled nuclear materials are expensive and cannot operate in harsh environments, among other disadvantages. Work by MIT engineers could lead to plethora of new applications, including better detectors for nuclear materials at ports.

  • LAW-ENFORCEMENT TECHNOLOGYCops Running DNA-Manufactured Faces Through Face Recognition Is a Tornado of Bad Ideas

    By Paige Collings and Matthew Guariglia

    In keeping with law enforcement’s grand tradition of taking antiquated, invasive, and oppressive technologies, making them digital, and then calling it innovation, police in the U.S. recently combined two existing dystopian technologies in a brand new way to violate civil liberties.

  • ENCRYPTIONEuropean Court of Human Rights Confirms: Weakening Encryption Violates Fundamental Rights

    By Christoph Schmon

    In a milestone judgment—Podchasov v. Russia—the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) has ruled that weakening of encryption can lead to general and indiscriminate surveillance of the communications of all users and violates the human right to privacy.

  • SEEING AROUND OSTACLESScience Fiction Meets Reality: New Technique Overcome Obstructed Views

    By Cassidy Delamarter

    Using a single photograph, researchers created an algorithm that computes highly accurate, full-color three-dimensional reconstructions of areas behind obstacles – a concept that can not only help prevent car crashes, but help law enforcement experts in hostage situations, search-and-rescue and strategic military efforts.

  • MARITIME SECURITYCharting the Future of Maritime Security

    The United States is a maritime nation surrounded by 95,000 miles of shoreline. Changes in economics, geopolitics, society, demography, or other factors, pose varied and evolving threats to the country’s maritime space – its waterways, ports of entry, and coastline borders.

  • CRIMINAL JUSTICEPolice Departments Are Turning to AI to Sift Through Millions of Hours of Unreviewed Body-Cam Footage

    By Umar Farooq

    Body camera video equivalent to 25 million copies of “Barbie” is collected but rarely reviewed. Some cities are looking to new technology to examine this stockpile of footage to identify problematic officers and patterns of behavior.

  • POLICEHow Chicago Became an Unlikely Leader in Body-Camera Transparency

    By Eric Umansky

    The city has a long history of brutal, violent policing, but its latest approach to body-worn cameras and police oversight could serve as a national model.

  • TERRORISMThe Hidden Cost of Being Branded a Terrorist by the U.S. Government

    By Masood Farivar

    The FBI credits its Terror Watchlist with keeping the country safe, but critics point to the experience of thousands of innocent American Muslims who were swept up by a screening system, and then found themselves trapped in a Kafkaesque nightmare as they tried to clear their names. The watchlist currently contains nearly two million names, of which about 15,000 are U.S. citizens and permanent residents.

  • DETECTIONLeveraging Artificial Intelligence in Explosives, Narcotic Detection

    DHS S&T is applying emerging technologies in the development of artificial intelligence / machine learning technologies – and searching for ways to use these technologies to identify dangerous compounds, like those found in explosives and narcotics.

  • PRIVACYUtah Supreme Court Upholds Right to Refuse to Tell Cops Your Passcode

    By Andrew Crocker

    The Utah Supreme Court ruled that prosecutors violated a defendant’s Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination when they presented testimony about his refusal to give police the passcode to his cell phone. The Utah court’s opinion is the latest in a thicket of state supreme court opinions dealing with whether law enforcement agents can compel suspects to disclose or enter their passwords.

  • TECHNOLOYWhat if Law Enforcement Could ‘See’ Through Walls?

    New technology allows law enforcement to easily and safely identify whether any individuals are inside a room when direct line-of-sight is not an option. This is especially critical when conducting breaching operations, searching for trafficked individuals or in potential hostage situations, where the device gives responders precious intelligence and situational awareness while reducing the risk of physical harm to themselves.