Police Departments Offer "Safe Lots" For Craigslist Transactions 

You can find some great deals on bargain automobiles on Craigslist. However, recent stories about buyers and sellers being robbed or even killed illustrates the risk you take when dealing with an online stranger. Some police departments are responding by allocating a portion of their parking lot to ensure a safe sale. » 3/27/15 1:57pm Friday 1:57pm

Yup, Police Can Search License Plate Scans to Find Your Favorite Bar

The license plate reader (LPR) cameras installed in most cities allow police to track cars and their drivers who are potentially engaged in criminal activities. But depending on the way police store the data, as Ars Technica found out, anyone might be able to access this information. » 3/24/15 1:55pm 3/24/15 1:55pm

How Police Body Cameras Were Designed to Get Cops Off the Hook

In the wake of protests over police violence against black men, many civil rights activists are calling for a high-tech solution: strapping wearable body cameras to cops. The idea is to hold police accountable for unnecessary violence. But the history of police body cams reveals that the devices have often had the… » 3/16/15 2:15pm 3/16/15 2:15pm

The Problem With Those DNA-Based Mugshots

A little less than a year ago, researchers announced a new technique that used DNA analysis to recreate the image of a person's face. It was a stunning idea—but a new a New York Times report reveals that there's more than one big problem with the scifi promise of DNA-based mugshots. » 2/24/15 12:45pm 2/24/15 12:45pm

All the Dreamy Drone Businesses the FAA's Proposed Rules Would Kill

How the Silk Road Trial Could Lead to a Dangerous Legal Precedent

The Silk Road trial is over. A jury found Ross Ulbricht guilty on all seven charges, including money laundering, drug trafficking, and the "kingpin" charge. That's not just bad news for Ulbricht, who faces life in prison. His trial could help establish a dangerous precedent, which could allow law enforcement to… » 2/06/15 2:55pm 2/06/15 2:55pm

Cops Have Used a Secret Radar That "Sees" Through Walls for Two Years

A new device that can "see" through walls using radio waves started stirring up privacy concerns in a federal appeals court just last month. And it's about damn time; according to a recent report from USA Today, over 50 law enforcement agencies have secretly been using the new radars for the past two years. » 1/20/15 10:59am 1/20/15 10:59am

Feds Use 18th Century Law to Force Apple to Unlock Encrypted Phones

The Department of Justice is going to absurd lengths in order to unlock encrypted smartphones. It's using a law from the 1700s to force Apple and at least one other company to cooperate with law enforcement officials in investigations dealing with locked, encrypted phones. And the courts, so far, are letting it happen. » 12/01/14 12:23pm 12/01/14 12:23pm

DOJ Says iPhone Encryption Will Kill a Child, Which, C'mon Man

Here we go again. Just a few days after a former FBI agent argued that the new iOS 8 encryption would cause somebody to die, a Department of Justice boss upped the ante. At a meeting on October 1, Deputy Attorney General James Cole told a room full off Apple executives that iPhone encryption would cause a child to… » 11/19/14 4:49pm 11/19/14 4:49pm

Ford Is Helping the LAPD Track Cop Cars In Real-Time

Pull up a chair, good citizen, because I've got a story about law enforcement and surveillance that you're actually going to like. The Los Angeles Police Department is now using a new telematics system in 50 of its Ford Police Interceptors. In other words, the watchmen are being watched—in real-time. » 11/06/14 1:38pm 11/06/14 1:38pm

Cops Can Make You Fingerprint-Unlock Your Phone, and That's Not Okay

A Virginia Circuit Court judge recently said that it was not okay for cops to force suspect's to unlock their phones with a passcode. (Thanks, the Constitution!) However, the judge also ruled that it was okay for cops to force suspects to unlock their phones with a fingerprint. Wait, what? » 11/03/14 11:08am 11/03/14 11:08am

The Feds Think Hacking Silk Road With No Warrant Was Perfectly Okay

DOJ: It Was OK For a DEA Agent to Impersonate This Woman on Facebook

An overlooked Justice Department court filing explains that a federal agent had the right to commandeer a woman's identity, set up a fake Facebook account using her details and even post provocative photographs of her found on a seized phone. » 10/07/14 4:01am 10/07/14 4:01am

FBI Director Says Apple Marketing Encryption Snubs the Law

Today in cops getting angry about the new encryption on smartphones features FBI Director James Comey who is "very concerned" about the matter. He's so concerned that the FBI's had conversations with Apple and Google about how they're marketing the devices. And Comey wants America to know that he's upset. » 9/25/14 6:30pm 9/25/14 6:30pm

The Cop That Blasted Apple's New Encryption Got His Facts Backwards

On Tuesday morning, The Washington Post published an opinion piece by Ronald T. Hosko, a former assistant director at the FBI, about how Apple's new encryption techniques would've lead to the death of a victim in a case he oversaw. Turns out he was totally wrong. The newspaper just issued a correction. » 9/23/14 8:40pm 9/23/14 8:40pm

Cops Have No Right to Be Angry About the iPhone's New Encryption

Security professionals and joe-schmoes alike cheered Apple's recent announcement that it would no longer be able to turn iPhone data over to cops. Finally, a guarantee that authorities couldn't snoop around your text messages! But you know who didn't cheer? Cops, of course. » 9/23/14 4:50pm 9/23/14 4:50pm

Police Can Still Get Data Off Your iOS 8 Device Without Apple's Help

Remember that promise Apple made about not turning your data over to police in iOS 8? It's not a lie! But as iPhone security experts point out, that does not mean police can't access your data. It's actually not even that hard. » 9/19/14 12:29pm 9/19/14 12:29pm

The NSA Made Its Own Google to Help Share Your Data with Cops

Well, here's timely NSA revelation for you: The Intercept reports that the spy agency built a "Google-like" search engine for its seemingly bottomless cache of data on persons of interest. This tool allows the spy agency to share over 850 billion records with nearly two dozen U.S. government organizations, including… » 8/25/14 5:34pm 8/25/14 5:34pm

Ferguson Police Will Finally Get the One Device They Really Need

In a statement today, Ferguson's police department announced that it is committed to buying vest cameras for its officers. When it finally happens, it'll be a great first step. And it'll happen even faster if we ditch the bloated, expensive wearable cam tech cops use today for something accessible to every U.S.… » 8/19/14 4:19pm 8/19/14 4:19pm

7 Rules for Recording Police

We republished this post from Reason two years ago; the information is still valid, and given the recent events in Ferguson, Missouri, seem more relevant than ever. » 8/15/14 11:36am 8/15/14 11:36am