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Police Body Cams Should Turn on Automatically, Says Richard Stallman

Richard Stallman is famous for creating the GNU operating system, and founding the free software movement, which changed how we develop software. Now he’s published an essay in Technology Review about how police body cams should switch on automatically any time an officer pulls out a weapon. » 8/03/15 3:35pm 8/03/15 3:35pm

Obama's Ban on Military Gear for Police Won't Fix the Real Problem

American cities resemble war zones during times of protest. Now, Washington’s going to try to fix this problem by rolling back a 25-year-old program that supplied local police forces with free surplus military gear. It’s about damn time—but unfortunately, it’s not going to solve America’s police problems. » 5/18/15 5:30pm 5/18/15 5:30pm

The FBI's Secret Air Force Is Watching Us

This might come as a shock: The FBI has a secret air force of sorts that’s recently been buzzing over Baltimore. Or maybe it’s not a shock at all. The FBI’s been using aircraft for decades. These new planes, however, use surveillance equipment designed for warfare and capable of tracking innocent citizens. That’s bad. » 5/07/15 11:45am 5/07/15 11:45am

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 3/27/15 1:57pm

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

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

There are plenty of very good, fun, and helpful things that drones can do—things like monitoring crops and delivering beer and saving lives. Unfortunately, over the weekend, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) released the first draft of its rules for commercial drones, and guess what? The rules would make a… » 2/17/15 10:45am 2/17/15 10:45am

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