News Archive

Watch the National Forum Session on Data Access 101 via Facebook Live on August 1 @ 2 PT

July 24, 2017

The National Criminal Justice Association (NCJA) will stream the session “Data: What It is, Why You Need It and What in the World to Do With It” live from the National Forum on Criminal Justice on August 1 from 2:00-3:30 pm PT.  This session is geared for novices and addresses issues and questions including: Data:  we need it to decide which problems to tackle, to choose which initiatives to fund, and to measure whether those programs are working as planned. But do we have the data we need? If not, who does and will they share? How do we know if the data are telling us what we need to know? And how in the world do we pay for the analysis? Presenters are Jeff Bender, Deputy Commissioner, NYS Division of Criminal Justice Services; and Terry Salo, Deputy Commissioner, NYS Division of Criminal Justice Services. Glenn Fueston, Executive Director, MD Governor’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention will serve as moderator.
NCJA will stream this session using Facebook Live at https://www.facebook.com/thencja and the recording will be available on the NCJA website at http://www.ncja.org/home.

 

Source: NCJA

Free Online Training on the Global Reference Architecture

June 30, 2017

SEARCH and the National Center for State Courts recently launched a new version of the training course on the Global Reference Architecture (GRA), a framework and set of standards that makes it easier, faster, and more affordable for justice and public safety practitioners to design effective information sharing solutions. This updated and self-paced online training course is presented in 10 modules and helps stakeholders gain a common understanding of the GRA framework, standards, methods, and processes. 

The training demonstrates how to establish a governance structure, develop an information sharing architecture, model and document services, and create information models.   The course includes interactive, hands-on implementation labs that tie lessons together and is presented via an easy-to-use interface integrating narration, video, and written text with a certificate of completion option. 

The GRA Training Course is suitable for a range of trainees, including executives, senior managers, project managers/coordinators, and implementers.  

Source: SEARCH NCSC

Retired News Reporter Develops Algorithm to Try and Identify Serial Killers Using UCR Data

April 10, 2017

In 2004, Thomas Hargrove, a 61-year-old retired news reporter from Virginia, became aware of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Supplementary Homicide Report and contemplated whether it was possible to teach a computer how to spot serial killers.  He spent months trying to develop an algorithm that would identify unsolved cases with enough commonalities to suggest the same murderer.  Hargrove eventually founded the Murder Accountability Project (MAP), a small nonprofit seeking to make FBI murder data more widely and easily available.  MAP has already assembled case details on 638,454 homicides from 1980 through 2014, including 23,219 cases that had not been reported to the FBI.  This is the most complete list of case-level details of U.S. murders available anywhere, and the group’s Web site has made it available at no cost to anyone with statistical analysis software.  

NW3C Virtual Currency Online Training

April 10, 2017

The National White Collar Crime Center (NW3C) recently released an online training course on virtual currency.  The 30-minute course covers basic information and concepts that serve as an introduction to virtual currencies and their relationship to other types of currency.  It covers various types of virtual currency, including the difference between decentralized and centralized currencies, with a strong focus on Bitcoin: what it is, how it is stored, and Bitcoin-specific investigative tips and techniques.  Individuals must have an NW3C online learning account and be employed by a law enforcement organization to access the no-cost training.

Most Hackers Can Access Systems and Steal Valuable Data Within 24 Hours: Nuix Black Report

April 6, 2017

Cybercrime is an ever-growing issue for state, local, tribal, and territorial law enforcement.  With advancements in technology, coupled with the oversharing of personal information, law enforcement needs to not only ensure the public’s safety online but also be cognizant of the digital footprint that people are leaving behind.  The National White Collar Crime Center (NW3C) has developed an online training course based on the Understanding Digital Footprints—Steps to Protect Personal Information resource.  The 35-minute course introduces the concept of digital footprints and best practices in protecting personal identifying information.  Topics include understanding consequences of oversharing personal information, limiting an individual’s digital footprint, protecting privacy on social media sites, and steps to take after becoming a target of doxing.  Individuals must have an NW3C online learning account and be employed by a law enforcement organization to access the training.

States Band Together for Large-Scale Cloud Purchasing Agreement

April 5, 2017

Utah has taken the lead on what state information technology (IT) leaders have hailed as the largest cloud hosting services agreement to date.  Through the National Association of State Procurement Officers (NASPO) Value Point program, state officials and their partners have been hashing out the details of what will equate to a collective procurement agreement expected to benefit more than 34 states.  The Value Point platform gives states purchasing similar items cooperative buying power as one organization rather than on a state-by-state basis.  The final cooperative agreement, expected in August, will help a cadre of states move forward with cloud service procurement through a cohesive cooperative bargaining agreement and vetted contractors.

Strengthening Cyber Defenses Through Fusion Center Engagement

April 5, 2017

With the explosion of hacktivism and other forms of cybercrimes in recent years, fusion centers have increased their intelligence gathering and their focus on cybersecurity.  The level at which state and local law enforcement and private industry are involved with fusion centers varies by area, but to measurably reduce cyber vulnerability, state and local governments must interact regularly with fusion centers and encourage more private companies to share information.  Four recommendations are provided to help state and local governments engage with fusion centers. 

BJA’s VALOR for Blue Adds New Online Learning Module

April 4, 2017

Registered users can visit the U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Assistance’s VALOR for Blue Web site to access a new online training that overviews research conducted by the FBI Behavioral Science Unit to evaluate the officer, the offender, and the circumstances that brought them together in deadly force encounters.  The training examines case studies of officers who faced a drawn gun and a suspect’s account of his decisions after killing an officer and identifies the moral, mental, and physical preparations necessary for officers to survive violent encounters.  Each new VALOR for BlueLearning module includes printable handouts, a promotional poster, and ready-to-use resources. 

Anti-Surveillance Clothing Aims to Hide Wearers From Facial Recognition

April 4, 2017

The Hyperface project involves printing patterns onto clothing or textiles, which then appear to have eyes, mouths, and other features that a computer can interpret as a face.  This new kind of camouflage aims to reduce the confidence score of facial detection and recognition by providing false faces that distract computer vision algorithms from facial recognition software—the kind used by social media, online retailers, law enforcement, and the military. 

NIC’s Jayne Friedland Holland: Fusion Centers Can Help Agencies Combat Hacktivism

March 29, 2017

Jayne Friedland Holland, chief security officer at information services provider NIC, has said that fusion centers can help government agencies defend against hacktivism and other cybercrimes through intelligence data sharing.  She recommended that state and local agencies collaborate with other stakeholders, establish an internal information sharing structure, initiate outreach to the private sector, and introduce fusion center personnel to authorities to deepen engagement with fusion centers.  

Source: Executive Biz

NIJ National Sexual Assault Policy Symposium Video, Transcript Available

March 29, 2017

Visit https://nij.gov/multimedia/Pages/video-national-sexual-assault-policy-symposium.aspx to access video and transcripts for the National Institute of Justice’s first National Sexual Assault Policy Symposium, held in September 2016.  In the video, symposium organizers and attendees describe the groundbreaking event and its significance in improving and advancing sexual assault response across jurisdictions in the United States.

Source: National Institute of Justice

National Crime Victims’ Rights Week Starts April 2

March 28, 2017

The Office for Victims of Crime offers resources related to National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, set for April 2–8, 2017.  Visit https://ovc.ncjrs.gov/ncvrw2017/fact_sheet.html for fact sheets on this year’s theme, “Strength—Resilience—Justice.”  This theme reflects a vision of the future in which all victims are strengthened by the response they receive, organizations are resilient in response to challenges and communities are able to seek collective justice and healing. 

What the Public Knows About Cybersecurity

March 28, 2017

A Pew Research Center survey was conducted on June 17–27, 2016, among 1,055 adult Internet users living in the United States.  The survey consisted of 13 questions and was designed to test Americans’ knowledge of a number of cybersecurity issues and terms.  The results of the survey found that many Americans are unclear about some key cybersecurity topics, terms, and concepts. 

Search Earth With AI Eyes Via a Powerful New Satellite Image Tool

March 15, 2017

On March 7, a New Mexico startup that provides artificial intelligence (AI)-driven analysis of satellite images to governments, academics, and industry released a public demo of its GeoVisual Search, a new type of search engine that combines satellite images of Earth with machine learning on a massive scale.  Users can pick an object anywhere on Earth that can be seen from space, and the system returns a list of similar-looking objects and their locations on the planet.  GeoVisual Search operates on top of an intelligent machine-learning platform that can be trained and will improve over time.  This technology could potentially be used in various way by law enforcement, such as helping identify critical infrastructure and assets in an area.

Source: CNET

Threat Hunting Becoming Top-of-Mind Issue for SOCs

March 14, 2017

The use of threat-hunting techniques to combat cyberattacks is increasing, according to a new report.  Threat hunting appears to have become a top-of-mind issue for security executives at many organizations.  But a relative lack of security staff and technology tools is limiting their ability to fully build out such programs.  The Information Security Community on LinkedIn recently polled its members on the state of threat hunting in their security operations centers.  The poll, sponsored by several security firms, elicited responses from 330 members.  The majority of respondents indicated that threat hunting either should or will be their top security initiative in 2017.  “Threat hunting” is a term that is generally used to describe the practice among security organizations to proactively search for and weed out threats on their network instead of waiting to discover them after an attack has materialized.  Organizations that have implemented successful threat-hunting programs have often pointed to the emphasis on human skills as a major contributory factor.

Most Hackers Can Access Systems and Steal Valuable Data Within 24 Hours: Nuix Black Report

March 14, 2017

Most Hackers Can Access Systems and Steal Valuable Data Within 24 Hours: Nuix Black Report

The Nuix Black Report—the results of a confidential survey of 70 professional hackers and penetration testers at DEFCON, the world’s largest hacking and security conference—will overturn many conventional understandings and customs of the cybersecurity industry.  By examining the security landscape from the hacker’s perspective, the report has revealed results that are contrary to the conventional understanding of cybersecurity. For example:

  • Respondents said traditional countermeasures such as firewalls and antivirus almost never slowed them down, but endpoint security technologies were more effective at stopping attacks.
  • More than half of respondents changed their methodologies with every target, severely limiting the effectiveness of security defenses based on known files and attacks.
  • Around one-third of attackers said their target organizations never detected their activities.
Source: Nuix

Massive Indiana IoT Lab Brings Innovation Space to the Midwest

March 13, 2017

The Internet of Things (IoT) ecosystem in Indiana is about to get a big boost.  The Indiana IoT Lab-Fishers recently announced it will act as a space for businesses to research, innovate, and collaborate on projects in the expanding field.  It will aim to help businesses investigate and improve the four main parts of IoT solutions:  ideation, cloud data, edge software, and development.  Connected devices are prevalent in our daily lives, from wearable fitness bands to self-driving cars, and it is important to understand the potential security risks involved.  Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb said the initiative falls in line with his “Next Level Legislative Agenda,” which proposes investing $1 billion over the next ten years in innovation and entrepreneurship.

The Intelligence-Driven Prosecution Model: A Case Study in the New York County District Attorney’s Office

March 9, 2017

The Intelligence-Driven Prosecution Model (IDPM), designed and implemented by the New York County District Attorney’s Office (DANY), is a prosecutorial strategy rooted in the rigorous collection of background information about the people, places, and problems driving crime in specific neighborhoods.  Through enhanced information gathering—including close coordination with local law enforcement and robust community outreach—the IDPM intends to facilitate improved prosecutorial decision making.  Technology-centered intelligence collection that focuses on specific people and places driving crime adds a unique dimension to data analysis.  With funding from the U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance, a study was conducted to document how the IDPM operates and explore the model’s implementation and effects in New York County, known more widely as the borough of Manhattan.

Law Enforcement Near Miss Database

March 7, 2017

The Police Foundation has developed a voluntary, nondisciplinary reporting system that allows law enforcement personnel to read about and anonymously share “close calls” or “near misses,” to help protect others from similar incidents.  The database is designed to capture reports of incidents in which law enforcement officers narrowly avoided serious injury, fatalities, significant property damage, or other significant crisis, so that these events can be learned from to improve safety for officers and civilians.

Press Release: SAVER Program Reports Now Available for Download

March 6, 2017

On February 6, 2017, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) announced that reports produced by the System Assessment and Validation for Emergency Responders (SAVER) Program are now available for download on the S&T Web site, a one-stop shop for resources to help responders make better purchasing decisions.  The goal of the SAVER Program is to provide cost and time savings to federal, state, and local responders as they decide which equipment to purchase.

Source: DHS

New FBI Wanted App: Making It Easier to Find Fugitives and Missing Persons

February 13, 2017

The just-released FBI Wanted mobile app allows the public to view, search, sort, filter, and bookmark the full range of information issued by the FBI, including pictures and descriptions of wanted fugitives, missing persons, crime suspects, deceased victims, and others the Bureau is seeking to locate or identify. The free app works on Apple and Android devices, including smartphones, iPads, and iPods. The FBI hopes that the public will use the information in the app to help solve cases and return missing persons to their homes.

 

Source: FBI

Center Arms Deputies With Data to Fight Crime

February 10, 2017

Personnel at the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office’s Criminal Intelligence Center in Dayton, Ohio, analyze data in almost real time to support area law enforcement, and the center is an invaluable resource to local departments.  For example, one local law enforcement agency relies on the center particularly on lengthy investigations that require detectives to put all the players together in complicated cases.  

Source: Dayton News

License Plate Reader Policy Development Template for Use in Intelligence and Investigative Activities

February 10, 2017

License Plate Reader Policy Development Template for Use in Intelligence and Investigative Activities is designed specifically for law enforcement entities and fusion centers to assist their efforts in developing and implementing comprehensive privacy, civil rights, and civil liberties policies regarding the use of automated license plate readers (ALPRs or LPRs) in intelligence and investigative activities.  Developed by state, local, and federal law enforcement practitioners with LPR expertise and privacy subject-matter experts, the provisions of the LPR Policy Template are intended to be incorporated into agency operational policies and day-to-day operations. Each section represents a fundamental component of a comprehensive policy that includes baseline provisions on LPR information collection; information quality; access and disclosure; redress; security, retention, and destruction; accountability and enforcement; and training. Sample language is provided for each recommended provision, as well as appendices that contain a glossary of terms and definitions, citations to federal and case law, and a draft model policy. 

Source: GLOBAL

House Passes Bill Requiring Warrants for E-Mail Searches

February 10, 2017

On February 6, 2017, the House passed a bill aimed at modernizing the United States’ aging law covering law enforcement access to e-mails and other stored files.  The current law, known as the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, allows law enforcement to access any stored files without a warrant if such material is left on a third-party server for more than 180 days.  But that law was passed in 1986—three years before the invention of the Internet—when computer owners did not have the same systems as modern users, such as cloud hosting, Webmail, and online photo galleries.  The Email Privacy Act alters the previous rule to universally require warrants for such information. The same bill cleared the House in 2016 on an overwhelming 419-0 vote, but it stalled in the Senate.  

Source: Reuters

New Jersey Buys Police Body Cameras

February 1, 2017

Thirty-seven law enforcement agencies across New Jersey will share $566,000 in grants to buy 1,132 police body-worn cameras. The grants are being provided using funds from the U.S. Department of Justice Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program. Agencies can use up to $500 in grant funds for each camera or camera package, including camera and related equipment. Police departments in 15 of New Jersey's 21 counties received awards.

Source: NJToday

NIST to Launch Ongoing Face Recognition Vendor Test

January 31, 2017

The U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) will launch a new, ongoing “Face Recognition Vendor Test” beginning in February 2017.

The test will be aimed at evaluating the face recognition performance on cooperative images, as collected in civil and criminal identity management applications. NIST notes that the test will also evaluate accuracy on more difficult images, including in-the-wild and photo journalism images and noncooperative surveillance stills.

Emerging Issues for Improving the Law Enforcement Response to Domestic and Sexual Violence: Three New Reports Now Available

January 30, 2017

The Office of Violence against Women (OVW) is pleased to announce the release of several documents that address emerging issues related to improving the law enforcement response to domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking.  The documents reflect input from diverse stakeholders and were developed in conjunction with OVW’s national technical assistance providers.

OVW hopes that these documents and tools will be helpful for law enforcement and victim advocacy organizations across the country as they continue to work together to strengthen a coordinated community response, improve policies to respond to emerging issues, and enhance services and support for victims of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking.

Source: DOJ

Pennsylvania Justice Network and Cumberland County Laboratory Information Management System Web Service Project

January 12, 2017

In Cumberland County, law enforcement and forensic laboratories have merged their recordkeeping systems, eliminating a duplication of efforts and thus, decreasing the wait time for results of forensic testing.

In 2014, the Pennsylvania Justice Network received a $250,000 grant from the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) Program to improve justice information sharing. This award was in conjunction with a $480,000 Paul Coverdell National Forensic Science Improvement award. With funding from these awards, officials developed a new laboratory management system, leveraged existing Web services, and improved the sharing of information about blood evidence between the county’s forensics lab and criminal justice agency partners.

This project is in support of the long-standing efforts by the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency to improve information sharing and automate data exchanges within the criminal justice system.

Source: BJA

NIST Finalizes Cyberattack Recovery Guidance

January 11, 2017

Preventing all cyberattacks is a good, but unrealistic, goal. That’s why preparing for recovery from a cyber incident can be just as important as prevention, according to the National Institute of Standards and Technology. The agency’s Guide for Cybersecurity Event Recovery provides a single resource to help organizations develop strategies to contain an opponent and restore operations quickly.

Source: GCN

BJA Funding Opportunities

January 10, 2017

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), Office of Justice Programs (OJP), Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) has recently released a number of funding opportunities for law enforcement and criminal justice agencies, ranging from preventing and reducing intellectual property theft and related crime, to assisting agencies, to supporting agencies in employing data-driven, cross-sector strategies to reduce crime, increase trust, and improve community safety. Funding opportunities include: The Smart Policing Initiative, The Body-Worn Camera Policy and Implementation Program, The Intellectual Property Enforcement Program, The Byrne Criminal Justice Innovations Program. A complete listing of BJA’s open solicitations can be found at https://www.bja.gov.  

Source: BJA

Critical Infrastructure Threat Information Sharing Framework: A Reference Guide for the Critical Infrastructure Community

January 9, 2017

How are threats to critical infrastructure shared in real-time? Who is responsible for sharing threat information? To address these questions and to build a basic framework, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Office of Infrastructure Protection (IP) has released the Critical Infrastructure Threat Information Sharing Framework: A Reference Guide for the Critical Infrastructure Community, a resource for critical infrastructure owners and operators, as well as other private sector, federal, and state, local, tribal, and territorial government partners that share or need access to threat information.

Source: PM-ISE