In May and June 2013, when New Orleans’ murder rate was the sixth-highest in the United States, the Orleans Parish district attorney handed down two landmark racketeering indictments against dozens of men accused of membership in two violent Central City drug trafficking gangs, 3NG and the 110ers. Members of both gangs stood accused of committing 25 murders as well as several attempted killings and armed robberies. Subsequent investigations by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and local agencies produced further RICO indictments, including that of a 22-year-old man named Evans “Easy” Lewis, a member of a gang called the 39ers who was accused of participating in a drug distribution ring and several murders. According to Ronal Serpas, the department’s chief at the time, one of the tools used by the New Orleans Police Department to identify members of gangs like 3NG and the 39ers came from the Silicon … [Read more...] about Palantir has secretly been using New Orleans to test its predictive policing technology
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A few years ago, says Jeff Jonas, a friend arranged for him to give a talk at the secretive National Security Agency, widely renowned as the most technology-savvy spy shop in the world. He wasn’t quite sure what to expect. “I had never even set foot in Washington,” says Jonas, founder and chief scientist of Systems Research and Development, a Las Vegas maker of custom software that was being used by casinos and other companies to screen employees and prevent theft. True, Jonas was proud of NORA, his company’s Non-Obvious Relationships Awareness analytic software. The system can cross-correlate millions of transactions per day, extracting such items of interest as the info nugget that a particular applicant for a casino job has a sister who shares a telephone number with a known underworld figure. But Jonas reckoned that this would seem like routine stuff to the wizards of the NSA. Wrong. “I was shocked,” Jonas says. After his talk, several members … [Read more...] about Can Sensemaking Keep Us Safe?
Stephanie Roberts is a 33-year-old parks service employee in a Chicago suburb where she lives with her brother and mother; in the winter, she drives the Zamboni at a public skating rink. But she’s also Zania Turner, of glowing skin and impossibly luxuriant black hair, who sashays in silk dresses through the booming virtual world of Second Life, which is run by the San Francisco company Linden Lab. In her life as a 3-D cartoon, Roberts gathers with other avatars to role-play reënactments of obscure Star Trek cartoon episodes, build and buy digital homes and furniture, and hang out on digital beaches. But Second Life is more than a game or a social-networking site; it’s also a venue for financial transactions. The currency used within the virtual world, called Linden dollars, can be converted to U.S. dollars at a rate of roughly 270 to 1. More than $13 million worth of Lindens are in circulation, and 318,742 residents of Second Life–including … [Read more...] about The Fleecing of the Avatars
By Lynnette Reese, Editor-in-Chief, Embedded Systems Engineering, Embedded Intel Solutions Are autonomous trucks an answer to the growing truck driver shortages in the U.S.?Trucks are by far the single most-used mode to move freight around the country, moving 63 percent of the total tonnage in 2015. Nearly 18.1 billion tons of goods worth about $19.2 trillion moved on our nation’s transportation network in 2015, based on current Freight Analysis Framework 4 (FAF4) estimates. On a daily basis, 49 million tons of goods valued at more than $53 billion are shipped throughout the United States on all modes of transportation.[i] The industry is growing rapidly, fueled in part by growing e-commerce, but the number of drivers is not growing along with it. The American Trucking Association estimates that there are at least 48,000 open jobs for drivers in the U.S. with an estimated 174,500 drivers needed by 2024. Driver shortages and … [Read more...] about Autonomous Trucks, LIDAR, and the Future of Trucking Tech Videos Industry Trends Featured White Papers Site Sponsors Featured Products Featured Tech Videos
The long and increasingly surreal legal battles between former Megaupload owner and founder Kim Dotcom and the US Government over whether or not he will be extradited to the United States to stand trial over what has been described as the largest copyright infringement in US history has taken yet another unexpected turn with the news that a New Zealand high court has ruled that authorities in the country have to reveal information about their illegal surveillance of him, as well as opening the door to his claiming financial damages for their involvement in a raid made to his mansion back in January this year.The new ruling, from New Zealand High Court judge Helen Winkelmann, orders the New Zealand Government Communications Security Bureau to turn over records of its unlawful spying activities to Dotcom and his legal team, as well as reveal what – if any – information had been shared with the international intelligence community known as Echelon, or “Five Eyes.” … [Read more...] about Kim Dotcom to find out who spied on him and when
As the use of body cameras gains steam in police departments across the country, the public increasingly gains insight into the police officers who wear them. Stanford University psychology professor Jennifer Eberhardt and a team of researchers conducted a federally ordered 13-month study of the Oakland Police Department and discovered that African-Americans accounted for 60 percent of police stops in Oakland, while white people comprised only 13 percent.Eberhardt looked at more than 3,000 videos shot from the officers’ body cameras for the study, as well as data from more than 28,119 traffic and pedestrian stops carried out by 510 police officers recorded between April 1, 2013, and April 30, 2013. It also analyzed 1,000 police reports, surveyed more than 400 Oakland residents, and examined a month of audio recordings for language and tone used by officers.The results showed African-American men were more than twice as likely to be arrested after a stop compared to … [Read more...] about Study uses body cameras to show racial disparities in Oakland police behavior
Modeling — A statistical model — now an easy-to-use software tool that local police can use to identify a series of related crimes and nab a suspect — was unveiled by Michael D. Porter during a presentation at the 2015 Joint Statistical Meetings (JSM 2015) in Seattle. Porter presented a talk titled “A Statistical Approach to Crime Linkage” during a session focused on improving analysis of defense systems using statistical methods. He collaborated on the project with Brian J. Reich, associate professor of statistics at North Carolina State University.Crime linkage is the investigative process of identifying a crime series — a group of crimes committed by the same person or group of people. The goal of the crime linkage model and resulting software is to help crime analysts more quickly and easily sift through massive amounts of crime data to accurately discover patterns that could indicate a crime series, such as one of the most difficult crimes … [Read more...] about Statistical Software Helps Police ID Crime Series, Speed Apprehension of Perpetrators
The FBI official in charge of major cybercrime investigations told a international gathering of computer security experts last week that financial services companies have suffered massive thefts due to hackers."The financial services sector has seen losses in the hundreds of millions of dollars in actual cash removed through the infrastructure," FBI Assistant Director of Cybersecurity Shawn Henry said in a Tuesday keynote address to the Information Security Forum's World Congress in Vancouver, B.C. "We can talk about the value of intellectual property, the value of research and development. But from an actual cash perspective, we've seen cases where hundreds of millions of dollars was lost."Henry's comments have substantial implications on the ISF's membership. The global nonprofit organization, celebrating its 20th year of existence, includes network security and information technology experts from private companies in a wide variety of industries, as well as those whose job it is to … [Read more...] about CONFERENCE REPORT An FBI Cybercrime Agent’s Tales From the Trenches
Not so long ago, Motorola was hailed as the bane of criminals. "You might outrun the cop, but you'll never outrun Motorola," went the saying. The Motorola two-way radio was one of the first technologies to tip the scales in favor of law enforcement. However, it was by no means the last."Today, it's all about pulling in multimedia at the edge, fusing it with data streams in the command center, and then pushing out the combined intelligence to the field officers in real-time," Kevin McDunn, director of strategy at Motorola, told TechNewsWorld. The data streams in the command center can be anything from outstanding warrants, previous call notes, arrest records, alerts, information on gangs that populate the area, to photographs of suspects or suspected victims. The multimedia "on the edge" can be real-time video from public or private surveillance cameras or even photos or video from a witness' cellphone.There are numerous third parties developing an array of cop tools and apps that can … [Read more...] about The Cutting Edge of Law Enforcement Technologies
Detecting and preventing online fraud is like fighting neighborhood crime. Residents can put locks on doors and windows, install a security system to detect intruders, and train a dog to monitor the yard. If a break-in occurs despite those precautions, police will investigate and track down any suspects. A local organization may help deal with the loss and provide educational material to help prepare for the future.But putting police cars on the streets to drive through the neighborhood and thwart break-ins before they happen is a rarity.The fight against online fraud is similarly structured, with a variety of commercial and nonprofit organizations that specialize in educating consumers, setting e-commerce standards for e-tailers and releasing software designed to nab fraudsters in their tracks.But despite the existence of coalitions, agency watchdogs, security firms and technology solutions, the fight against fraud currently seems like a losing battle.In 2001, more than US$700 million … [Read more...] about E-BUSINESS SPECIAL REPORT Does E-Commerce Need a Fiercer Watchdog?