The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) recently announced the addition of a new alert program, Blue Alert, to the nation's emergency alerting systems. The new service is intended to notify the public of threats to law enforcement in real time. With the creation of a dedicated Blue Alert event code in the Emergency Alert System, state and local law enforcement will have the capability to push immediate warnings out to the public via broadcast, cable, and satellite providers, as well as to consumer smartphones through the Wireless Emergency Alert system.
Much like both the SILVER and AMBER alert programs, and utilizing the same notification system, Blue Alerts aim to warn the general public of threats to public safety and/or imminent danger. Read More
Each year in the US, it's estimated that somewhere between ten and twenty thousand people are victims of human trafficking, mostly for some form of prostitution or abusive labor. A disproportionate amount of these victims are women, children, and immigrants. Law enforcement agencies and non-profit groups all over the country attempt to stop the trade of human lives, but the clandestine nature of the operators and the cooperation of apparently legitimate businesses makes actual tracking and prosecution difficult, and only a tiny fraction of the estimated victims are freed. Read More
Writing for Android Police from my home office in Virginia, it's not every day that I get to report on something somewhat close to home. But here it is. A Virginia Circuit Court judge has ruled that while police officers cannot compel a person to give up their passcode, they can demand someone use their fingerprint to unlock their phone.
Judge Steven C. Frucci made the ruling this week, saying that giving a police officer your fingerprint is similar to providing a DNA or handwriting sample, something the law permits. Divulging a password or PIN, however, requires admitting or handing over knowledge, something that's protected by the Fifth Amendment (you have the right to remain silent). Read More
At the Google I/O 2014 keynote, Sundar Pichai took to the stage to let us know that the L release of Android is set to make massive improvements in security for the enterprise as well as regular users. The Washington Post has received word from Google that gives us another glimpse of what we should expect in the next version. It seems that devices shipping with Android L will have disk encryption enabled by default. The move is pegged as a step to prevent law enforcement officers from obtaining information from phones and tablets without an owner's consent. Apple just made the same change in iOS 8, released earlier today. Read More