jm + police   19

London police’s use of AFR facial recognition falls flat on its face
A “top-of-the-line” automated facial recognition (AFR) system trialled for the second year in a row at London’s Notting Hill Carnival couldn’t even tell the difference between a young woman and a balding man, according to a rights group worker invited to view it in action. Because yes, of course they did it again: London’s Met police used controversial, inaccurate, largely unregulated automated facial recognition (AFR) technology to spot troublemakers. And once again, it did more harm than good.

Last year, it proved useless. This year, it proved worse than useless: it blew up in their faces, with 35 false matches and one wrongful arrest of somebody erroneously tagged as being wanted on a warrant for a rioting offense.

[...] During a recent, scathing US House oversight committee hearing on the FBI’s use of the technology, it emerged that 80% of the people in the FBI database don’t have any sort of arrest record. Yet the system’s recognition algorithm inaccurately identifies them during criminal searches 15% of the time, with black women most often being misidentified.
face-recognition  afr  london  notting-hill-carnival  police  liberty  met-police  privacy  data-privacy  algorithms 
september 2017 by jm
The best thing to mark National Stalking Awareness Week would be to scrap the law on stalking
"The Secret Barrister" explains a classic case of empty-gesture lawmaking in the UK:
in 2012, the coalition government, in a fit of virtue signalling, announced a bold plan to offer extra protection to victims of stalking, following a rash of reported cases where obsessive nutjobs had slipped through the net. Hence, via the 2012 Act, section 2A was shoved into the Protection from Harassment Act, creating a shiny new offence of stalking.

What is stalking, you ask? Well here’s the clever bit. Stalking is…”a course of conduct which amounts to harassment…and [where] the acts or omissions involved are ones associated with stalking“. To inject some colour into the dull circularity of the definition, section 2A(3) provides “examples of acts or omissions associated with stalking”. In other words, you need to prove that the defendant is guilty of both harassment and stalking, in order to convict them of stalking. Therefore, proving stalking is by definition harder for the prosecution than simply proving harassment.

And what do you get if you opt for the harder road? What prize awaits the victorious prosecutor who has slogged her way through the additional evidential burden thrust upon her by section 2A? The answer is….nothing. Or at least, nothing more than if you successfully prosecuted for harassment. The maximum sentence in each case is 6 months’ imprisonment.

It is the very definition of empty gesture legislating. Section 2A is so very pointlessly pointless that I want urgently to go back in time to the day when then-crime prevention minister Jeremy Browne was hubristically prattling on about what a difference this law is going to make and shove a whoopee pie right up his schnoz. Section 2A does nothing other than create a new offence that is harder to prove than an existing offence that prohibits the same conduct, solely, it seems, to allow for the drawing of an entirely semantic distinction between “harassment” and “stalking”.
harrassment  stalking  law  legislation  uk  police  crime  prosecution 
september 2016 by jm
Canadian Police Obtained BlackBerry’s Global Decryption Key in 2010
According to technical reports by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police that were filed in court, law enforcement intercepted and decrypted roughly one million PIN-to-PIN BlackBerry messages in connection with the probe. The report doesn't disclose exactly where the key — effectively a piece of code that could break the encryption on virtually any BlackBerry message sent from one device to another — came from. But, as one police officer put it, it was a key that could unlock millions of doors.
Government lawyers spent almost two years fighting in a Montreal courtroom to keep this information out of the public record.
canada  crime  encryption  security  blackberry  crypto  rcmp  police  rogers  montreal  rim 
april 2016 by jm
How Stingrays were unmasked
'THE DRAGNET: How a man accused of million-dollar fraud uncovered a never before seen, secret surveillance device'
stingrays  crime  fraud  surveillance  mobile  police  imsi-catchers 
january 2016 by jm
Big Brother Watch on Twitter: "Anyone can legally have their phone or computer hacked by the police, intelligence agencies, HMRC and others #IPBill https://t.co/3ZS610srCJ"
As Glynn Moody noted, if UK police, intelligence agencies, HMRC and others call all legally hack phones and computers, that also means that digital evidence can be easily and invisibly planted. This will undermine future court cases in the UK, which seems like a significant own goal...
hmrc  police  gchq  uk  hacking  security  law-enforcement  evidence  law 
december 2015 by jm
Lisa Jones, girlfriend of undercover policeman Mark Kennedy: ‘I thought I knew him better than anyone’ | UK news | The Guardian
She thought they were a normal couple until she found a passport in a glovebox – and then her world shattered. Now she is finally getting compensation and a police apology for that surreal, state-sponsored deception. But she still lies awake and wonders: did he ever really love me?


I can't believe this was going on in the 2000s!
surveillance  police  uk  undercover  scandals  policing  environmentalism  greens 
november 2015 by jm
Red lines and no-go zones - the coming surveillance debate
The Anderson Report to the House of Lords in the UK on RIPA introduces a concept of a "red line":
"Firm limits must also be written into the law: not merely safeguards, but red lines that may not be crossed." …   
"Some might find comfort in a world in which our every interaction and movement could be recorded, viewed in real time and indefinitely retained for possible future use by the authorities. Crime fighting, security, safety or public health justifications are never hard to find." [13.19] 

The Report then gives examples, such as a perpetual video feed from every room in every house, the police undertaking to view the record only on receipt of a complaint; blanket drone-based surveillance; licensed service providers, required as a condition of the licence to retain within the jurisdiction a complete plain-text version of every communication to be made available to the authorities on request; a constant data feed from vehicles, domestic appliances and health-monitoring personal devices; fitting of facial recognition software to every CCTV camera and the insertion of a location-tracking chip under every individual's skin.

It goes on:
"The impact of such powers on the innocent could be mitigated by the usual apparatus of safeguards, regulators and Codes of Practice. But a country constructed on such a basis would surely be intolerable to many of its inhabitants. A state that enjoyed all those powers would be truly totalitarian, even if the authorities had the best interests of its people at heart." [13.20] …  

"The crucial objection is that of principle. Such a society would have gone beyond Bentham's Panopticon (whose inmates did not know they were being watched) into a world where constant surveillance was a certainty and quiescence the inevitable result. There must surely come a point (though it comes at different places for different people) where the escalation of intrusive powers becomes too high a price to pay for a safer and more law abiding environment." [13.21]
panopticon  jeremy-bentham  law  uk  dripa  ripa  surveillance  spying  police  drones  facial-recognition  future  tracking  cctv  crime 
november 2015 by jm
The FBI Used the Web's Favorite Hacking Tool to Unmask Tor Users | WIRED
Since Operation Torpedo [use of a Metasploit side project], there’s evidence the FBI’s anti-Tor capabilities have been rapidly advancing. Torpedo was in November 2012. In late July 2013, computer security experts detected a similar attack through Dark Net websites hosted by a shady ISP called Freedom Hosting—court records have since confirmed it was another FBI operation. For this one, the bureau used custom attack code that exploited a relatively fresh Firefox vulnerability—the hacking equivalent of moving from a bow-and-arrow to a 9-mm pistol. In addition to the IP address, which identifies a household, this code collected the MAC address of the particular computer that infected by the malware.

“In the course of nine months they went from off the shelf Flash techniques that simply took advantage of the lack of proxy protection, to custom-built browser exploits,” says Soghoian. “That’s a pretty amazing growth … The arms race is going to get really nasty, really fast.”
fbi  tor  police  flash  security  privacy  anonymity  darknet  wired  via:bruces 
december 2014 by jm
"Looks like Chicago PD had a stingray out at the Eric Garner protest last night"
Your tax dollars at work: Spying on people just because they demand that the government's agents stop killing black people. [...] Anonymous has released a video featuring what appear to be Chicago police radio transmissions revealing police wiretapping of organizers' phones at the protests last night the day after Thanksgiving, perhaps using a stingray. The transmissions pointing to real-time wiretapping involve the local DHS-funded spy 'fusion' center.
imsi-catcher  stingray  surveillance  eric-garner  protests  privacy  us-politics  anonymous  chicago  police  wiretapping  dhs 
december 2014 by jm
Only 10% of serious cycling injuries in Ireland were recorded by Gardai
The Bedford Report for the HSE in 2011 showed that only approximately 10% of serious injuries (with hospital admission to a bed) incurred by cyclists in road traffic collisions were recorded by Gardai. If a cyclist is knocked off his/her bike from impact with a motorised vehicle that is a potential criminal offence if serious injury results. Cyclists expect all such RTCs to be properly and fully investigated and recorded with appropriate follow-up. That clearly is not happening at present. Acute hospitals need to document all admission cases arising from cyclist RTCs and inform the Gardai of them.
garda  police  ireland  cycling  injuries  accidents  reporting  data  bedford-report  hse  hospital 
november 2014 by jm
UK piracy police arrest man suspected of running proxy server (Wired UK)
The site, Immunicity.org, offers a proxy server and a proxy autoconfiguration file (PAC) to tell browsers to access various blocked sites (PirateBay, KickassTorrents et al) via the proxy.
The Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit has arrested a 20-year-old man in Nottingham on suspicion of copyright infringement for running a proxy server providing access to other sites subject to legal blocking orders.


Is operating a proxy server illegal? Interesting. Seems unlikely that this will go to court though.

(Via TJ McIntyre)
immunicity  via:tjmcintyre  police  uk  piracy  proxies  http  pac  pipcu  copyright 
august 2014 by jm
Eyes Over Compton: How Police Spied on a Whole City
The law-enforcement pervasive-surveillance CCTV PVR.
In a secret test of mass surveillance technology, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department sent a civilian aircraft* over Compton, California, capturing high-resolution video of everything that happened inside that 10-square-mile municipality. Compton residents weren't told about the spying, which happened in 2012. "We literally watched all of Compton during the times that we were flying, so we could zoom in anywhere within the city of Compton and follow cars and see people," Ross McNutt of Persistence Surveillance Systems told the Center for Investigative Reporting, which unearthed and did the first reporting on this important story. The technology he's trying to sell to police departments all over America can stay aloft for up to six hours. Like Google Earth, it enables police to zoom in on certain areas. And like TiVo, it permits them to rewind, so that they can look back and see what happened anywhere they weren't watching in real time. 


(via New Aesthetic)
pvr  cctv  law-enforcement  police  compton  los-angeles  law  surveillance  future 
april 2014 by jm
Florida cops used IMSI catchers over 200 times without a warrant
Harris is the leading maker of [IMSI catchers aka "stingrays"] in the U.S., and the ACLU has long suspected that the company has been loaning the devices to police departments throughout the state for product testing and promotional purposes. As the court document notes in the 2008 case, “the Tallahassee Police Department is not the owner of the equipment.”

The ACLU now suspects these police departments may have all signed non-disclosure agreements with the vendor and used the agreement to avoid disclosing their use of the equipment to courts. “The police seem to have interpreted the agreement to bar them even from revealing their use of Stingrays to judges, who we usually rely on to provide oversight of police investigations,” the ACLU writes.
aclu  police  stingrays  imsi-catchers  privacy  cellphones  mobile-phones  security  wired 
march 2014 by jm
Whatever Happened to "Due Process" ?
Mark Jeftovic is on fire after receiving yet another "take down this domain or else" mail from the City of London police:
We have an obligation to our customers and we are bound by our Registrar Accreditation Agreements not to make arbitrary changes to our customers settings without a valid FOA (Form of Authorization). To supersede that we need a legal basis. To get a legal basis something has to happen in court. [...]

What gets me about all of this is that the largest, most egregious perpetrators of online criminal activity right now are our own governments, spying on their own citizens, illegally wiretapping our own private communications and nobody cares, nobody will answer for it, it's just an out-of-scope conversation that is expected to blend into the overall background malaise of our ever increasing serfdom. If I can't make various governments and law enforcement agencies get warrants or court orders before they crack my private communications then I can at least require a court order before I takedown my own customer.
city-of-london  police  takedowns  politics  mark-jeftovic  easydns  registrars  dns  via:tjmcintyre 
october 2013 by jm
Schneier on Security: Reforming the NSA
Regardless of how we got here, the NSA can't reform itself. Change cannot come from within; it has to come from above. It's the job of government: of Congress, of the courts, and of the president. These are the people who have the ability to investigate how things became so bad, rein in the rogue agency, and establish new systems of transparency, oversight, and accountability.
Any solution we devise will make the NSA less efficient at its eavesdropping job. That's a trade-off we should be willing to make, just as we accept reduced police efficiency caused by requiring warrants for searches and warning suspects that they have the right to an attorney before answering police questions. We do this because we realize that a too-powerful police force is itself a danger, and we need to balance our need for public safety with our aversion of a police state.
nsa  politics  us-politics  surveillance  snooping  society  government  police  public-safety  police-state 
september 2013 by jm
Police may block recording with Apple patent
Creeptastic, Apple.
Apple has patented a piece of technology which would allow government and police to block transmission of information, including video and photographs, from any public gathering or venue they deem “sensitive”, and “protected from externalities.” In other words, these powers will have control over what can and cannot be documented on wireless devices during any public event. And while the company says the affected sites are to be mostly cinemas, theaters, concert grounds and similar locations, Apple Inc. also says “covert police or government operations may require complete ‘blackout’ conditions.”
apple  iphone  via:devore  creepy  police  photos  recording  remote-control  phones  blackout 
august 2013 by jm
McLibel leaflet was co-written by undercover police officer Bob Lambert | UK news | guardian.co.uk

The true identity of one of the authors of the "McLibel leaflet" is Bob Lambert, a police officer who used the alias Bob Robinson in his five years infiltrating the London Greenpeace group. [...]

McDonald's famously sued green campaigners over the roughly typed leaflet, in a landmark three-year high court case, that was widely believed to have been a public relations disaster for the corporation. Ultimately the company won a libel battle in which it spent millions on lawyers.

Lambert was deployed by the special demonstration squad (SDS) – a top-secret Metropolitan police unit that targeted political activists between 1968 until 2008, when it was disbanded. He co-wrote the defamatory six-page leaflet in 1986 – and his role in its production has been the subject of an internal Scotland Yard investigation for several months.

At no stage during the civil legal proceedings brought by McDonald's in the 1990s was it disclosed that a police infiltrator helped author the leaflet.
infiltration  police  mcdonalds  libel  greenpeace  bob-lambert  undercover  1980s  uk-politics 
june 2013 by jm
Obfuscatory pie-chart from Garda penalty-points corruption report
"Twitter / gavinsblog: For sake of clarity here is helpful pie chart of the 95.4% of fixed charge notices not terminated #missingthepoint"

Paging Edward Tufte: classic example of an obfuscatory pie-chart, diagramming the wrong thing misleadingly. By presenting it like this, it appears that the 95.4% of cases where fixed charge notices were issued by the guards are relevant to the discussion of the other classes; in reality, that means that 4.6% of cases, 37,000 cases, were terminated, some for good reasons, others for not, and it's the difference between those two classes that are relevant.

In my opinion, 2 separate pie charts would be better; one to show the dismissed-versus-undismissed count (which IMO could have been omitted entirely), and one to show the good-vs-not-so-good termination reason counts (which is the meat of the issue).
dataviz  visualisation  data  obfuscation  gardai  police  corruption  penalty-points 
may 2013 by jm
UK company selling "have you been phished" check using stolen data
according to this, a retired cop has set up a company called Lucid Intelligence with 'the records of four million Britons, and 40 million people worldwide, mostly Americans', and plans to 'charge members of the public for access to his database to check whether their data security has been breached.' How is this legal under Data Protection law? wtf
privacy  uk  law  hacking  phishing  fraud  crime  police  database  identity-theft  lucid-intelligence  data-protection  security  colin-holder 
july 2009 by jm

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