• Aviation Self-Screening Concept and Prototype

    DHS S&T has awarded $2.5 million to Vanderlande Industries to develop a passenger self-screening concept design and prototype that streamlines TSA PreCheck operations.

  • One and Done: Experts Urge Testing Eyewitness Memory Only Once

    If a witness was confident the very first time their memory was tested, there’s too high a chance that a contaminated, it is likely that their identification is correct. But if they are not confident the first time their memory was tested, there’s too high a chance that a contaminated memory will convict an innocent person. Experts say that in order to prevent wrongful convictions, only the first identification of a suspect should be considered.

  • U.S. Supreme Court Hears Case of Surveillance of Muslims

    A decade ago, three Muslim men filed suit against the FBI, alleging the Bureau deployed a confidential informant who claimed to be a convert to Islam to spy on them based solely on their religious identity. On Monday, the Supreme Court heard the argument by the administration that it has the right to invoke the protection of “state secrets” to withhold information from the plaintiffs.

  • Protecting Soft Targets

    There is a need to construct a versatile system designed to protect the vast array of so-called soft targets such as stadiums, schools, and places of worship. After an eight-month competition among the nation’s biggest universities, DHS awarded Northeastern University a $36 million, ten-year contract to develop such a system.

  • WMD Threat Sensors Deployed on Police Vehicles

    DARPA’s SIGMA+ program completed a 3-month test in Indianapolis, in which CBRNE sensors were deployed on IMPD vehicles.

  • U.S. Tightens Export Controls on Items Used in Surveillance of Private Citizens, other Malicious Cyber Activities

    The Commerce Department has released an interim final rule, establishing controls on the export, reexport, or transfer (in-country) of certain items that can be used for surveillance of private citizens or other malicious cyber activities. 

  • Weapons-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.

  • Surveillance 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.

  • Calif. 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.

  • Forensic 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.

  • Detecting, 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.

  • An 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.

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

    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.

  • 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.

  • Imaging 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.