When a terrorist strikes, getting information fast from a tech giant can make the difference between police catching the suspects, or another attack taking place. That’s the premise of a new game created by Europol, the European body responsible for connecting the continent’s myriad policing agencies and helping them investigate major crimes.
Right now, police officers are often confused by the process. What data can they request from which provider? Can they retrieve any encrypted content from the likes of Apple or WhatsApp? What legal mechanisms should they be using? What’s the best language to use to ensure they get the information they want quickly?
Who Wants To Be A Millionaire but for fighting terrorists
The game, exclusively shown to Forbes ahead of its release to law enforcement partners and their 4,500 officers on Wednesday, hopes to make sure police know the answers to those when an emergency happens. It looks much like Who Wants To Be A Millionaire but crossed with a create your own adventure game and without the options of phoning a friend or asking the audience. It opens with a hypothetical terror attack in which a gunman has started firing at people on a city street, killing 15 and injuring many others. When the player arrives on the scene, they learn that the suspect has fled but had worn a body camera to livestream the event. The livestream has been found, created by a profile called Bobby Cat.
The player is then offered multiple choice questions about what information they would seek, from what provider and how. Some of the questions are about processes, others are vendor specific, covering data access at established tech firms like Facebook through to newer players like TikTok. The quicker the officer is in getting the relevant data, the more points
WILLIAMSPORT — A Williamsport man on probation in a child pornography case has been accused of possessing 1,352 sexual images and videos of very young children.
Wayne Stanford Keen, 39, was charged Friday with three counts of sexual abuse of children and recommitted to the Lycoming County Prison without bail.
He had been committed in August on a probation violation when a county probation officer discovered in his residence a laptop computer containing sexually explicit material.
The images found on the computer were “very bad, very graphic,” said County Detective William Weber, who filed the charges. The majority of them were of toddlers and infants, he said.
The probation officer was at Keen’s residence on Aug. 7 on a routine field check when she noticed the computer hooked up to the Internet with a tab open to a story, the arrest affidavit states.
After determining the story was about a 4-year-old child, the officer shut down the computer and took Keen into custody.
The computer was sent to a state police forensic computer lab where it was determined there were 1,352 child abuse images and videos, many of them toddlers and infants being sexually abused, Weber said.
Also recovered, he said, were numerous erotic stories and emails indicating Keen allegedly was sharing them. More than 600,000 items were on the laptop but only the 1,352 images were captured, he said.
Keen was on probation because he had pleaded no contest August 2017 to a child pornography charge brought by the state attorney general’s office.
He was sentenced to six months to a year in prison followed by four years’ probation.
A Batman -style gadget designed to lasso a suspects’ legs together is being tested for use by British police.
The BolaWrap is a handheld device that fires a kevlar cord at 513ft per second which tangles around targets from up to 25ft away.
It is intended to allow officers to immobilise suspects without having to resort to force and could be used instead of the taser.
A demonstrated was given to forces from across the UK at the Royal College of Policing last year.
Tom Smith, president of Wrap Technologies which produces the gadget, said: “I had a meeting with the Home Office this week. UK police are looking at it at a national level.”
Smith said the device’s 160 decibel noise exceeds UK health and safety limits. His team is working on making the device quieter for the UK.
Subject to testing, a report by the three British use of force experts said: “We recommend consideration should be given to BolaWrap being provided to all front-line officers.”
A Home Office spokesman said: “The Government is clear that police officers should have the best possible protection when facing serious and sometimes violent situations.”
The accuracy of convictions stored on the Police National Computer (PNC) has been questioned after the courts service apologised when two offences were wrongly recorded against a defendant.
The error led to a woman who had not at that stage been tried gaining a criminal record for offences relating to a violent crime she denied, and took three months for her lawyers to correct. It was dismissed by HM Courts and Tribunal Service as a “slip”.
The case, which recently came to trial, highlights the fact that mistakes can occur in the system that is supposed to be the ultimate authority on criminal records in England and Wales.
A lawyer involved in the case reported hearing of other mistakes on the same day. Checks are supposed to be in place to ensure criminal convictions are correctly recorded.
Three months after the convictions were entered on to the PNC, the courts service, HMCTS, sent the woman a letter apologising for the error.The Guardian is not identifying the individual affected.
It stated: “Very occasionally, there can be a slip in the digital system. Our records suggest that this must unfortunately have applied on … in your case.”
The letter said a detective inspector “has been notified to take corrective action of the Police National Computer Records”.
On the day on which her guilty pleas were entered on to the PNC, the defendant had not even been to court. The letter added: “I apologise on behalf of HMCTS for the error made and any anxiety caused.”
When the case eventually came to trial the defendant contested the allegations.
Virginia State Police have launched a new website intended to make open records requests easier for the public.
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Virginia State Police have launched a new website intended to make open records requests easier for the public.
The online portal launched Thursday, TV station WAVY reported. It will allow users to submit and track requests under the state’s Freedom of Information Act.
“Public record, subpoena, and discovery requests have been steadily increasing in recent years,” Col. Gary T. Settle, Virginia State Police superintendent, said in a statement. “This new online records management system will not only be of great benefit to requesters but also streamlines the FOIA process within our statewide agency and helps the Department to more efficiently process and respond to requests.”
Settle said the agency’s Office of Legal Affairs has received, processed and responded to more than 3,180 FOIA requests in the first nine months of 2020.
The new site has a frequently asked questions page to help requesters understand their rights under the open records law.
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