• Weapons DetectionWeapons-Detection Algorithm Studied at Las Vegas International Airport

    This summer, DHS S&T demonstrated a new advanced algorithm to better detect non-explosive weapons like guns, knives, and other items that are prohibited on commercial aircraft in a real-world setting at Las Vegas’ McCarran International Airport.

  • SurveillanceSurveillance Equipment: Scrutiny Necessary for the Police, Manufacturers

    Facial recognition, body cameras and other digital technologies are increasingly used by police departments, municipalities and even gated communities, but these tools, manufactured by private companies, raise the specter of unchecked surveillance.

  • SurveillanceCalif. Sheriff Sued for Sharing Drivers’ License Plate Data With ICE, CBP, Other Out-of-State Agencies

    License plate scans occur through Automated License Plate Readers (ALPRs): high-speed cameras mounted in a fixed location or atop police cars moving through the community that automatically capture all license plates that come into view, recording the exact location, date, and time that the vehicle passes by. The information can paint a detailed picture of our private lives, our daily schedules, and our social networks.

  • ForensicsForensic Analysis of Lipstick Trace

    Forensic scientists find a new way of identifying brands of lipstick at a crime scene without removing evidence from its bag.

  • DronesDetecting, Identifying Small Drones in Urban Environment

    DHS has awarded $750K to a Texas company to develop a detection and tracking sensor system that can identify nefarious small unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) in an urban environment.

  • DronesAn App for Safe Handling of Drones

    Nearly every day, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents come across drones that may have been used to facilitate the movement of illicit drugs or people across the southern border. These drones usually carry smuggled narcotics and often contain surveillance cameras; however, they could easily be modified to carry other threats or hazards.

  • SurveillanceWhat is Pegasus? Explaining How the Spyware Invades Phones and What It Does When It Gets In

    By Bhanukiran Gurijala

    Pegasus is a spyware that can stealthily enter a smartphone and gain access to everything on it, including its camera and microphone. Pegasus is designed to infiltrate devices running Android, Blackberry, iOS and Symbian operating systems and turn them into surveillance devices.

  • ARGUMENT: Precautionary principle Ban Use of Affective Computing in Federal Law Enforcement

    Affective computing uses algorithms to analyze bodies, faces, and voices to infer human emotion and state of mind. Even though there clearly needs to be more research done on this technology, law enforcement agencies are starting to experiment with it to extract information, detect deception, and identify criminal behavior. Alex Engler says that President Biden should ban affective computing before it starts to threaten civil liberties.

  • Explosives detectionImaging Tool under Development Reveals Concealed Detonators — and Their Charge

    A Sandia Lab researcher is working on building a new kind of neutron-based imaging system which will enable people to safely examine sealed metal boxes when opening them could be dangerous, whether this is because inside is an explosive weapon or a malfunctioning, high-voltage fire set at a missile range.

  • Port securityEnsuring Reliability of Air Cargo Screening Systems

    DHS, which is responsible for ensuring the security of air cargo transported to the United States, says the threat from explosives in air cargo remains significant. A new GAO report addresses how DHS secures inbound air cargo, and the extent to which TSA’s field assessment of a CT screening system included key practices for design and evaluation.

  • TerrorismDeterring Terrorist Attacks in Sports Megaevents

    Large sports events – the Olympic Games, the Superbowl, the Soccer World Cup – are ideal targets for terrorists. What is the best method to identify the most effective defense measures to minimize the chances of a terrorist attack during a sports mega-event?

  • SpywarePegasus Project Shows the Need for Real Device Security, Accountability and Redress for those Facing State-Sponsored Malware

    By Cindy Cohn

    It is no surprise that people around the world are angry to learn that surveillance software sold by NSO Group to governments has been found on cellphones worldwide. People all around the world deserve the right to have a private conversation. Communication privacy is a human right, a civil liberty, and one of the centerpieces of a free society. And while we all deserve basic communications privacy, the journalists, NGO workers, and human rights and democracy activists among us are especially at risk, since they are often at odds with powerful governments.

  • SpywareSpyware: Why the Booming Surveillance Tech Industry Is Vulnerable to Corruption and Abuse

    By Christian Kemp

    The latest revelations about NSO Group’s Pegasus spyware are the latest indication that the spyware industry is out of control, with licensed customers free to spy on political and civilian targets as well as suspected criminals. We may be heading to a world in which no phone is safe from such attacks.

  • CrimeBringing the Jury to the Crime Scene Via a 3D Headset

    Delivering the correct verdict on car accident and murder cases is contingent on good spatial awareness, but short of being at the scene of the crime, jurors confined to the court room may be more prone to errors. Thanks to the advent of virtual reality (VR), jurors now have a better chance of making the right decision.

  • Pegasus affairGrowing Unease in Israel over Pegasus Case

    Israel is worried that the Pegasus spyware revelations may turn a PR black eye into a diplomatic crisis. Israel never exhibited any qualms about dealing with and selling arms to pretty unsavory regimes, but such deals were typically kept secret. The fact that the Israeli Ministry of Defense authorized the NSO Group to sell the Pegasus spyware to regimes which then used it to spy on opposition figures, civil society activists, and journalists – and, in the case of Saudi Arabia, to track Jamal Khashoggi and kill him — has raised questions about what did the government know and when did it know it.