Friday, September 30, 2011

Police bone up on social media, high-tech crime investigations

After Grits' recent post about Austin PD's ill-conceived "wardriving" strategy to seek out and map open wifi connections - which was shut down by APD Chief Art Acevedo - I learned that the detective in charge of the department's Digital Analysis Response Team (DART) is the president of the Austin High Tech Crime Investigators Association, which will hold a two-day training late next month. (See details here.) One 3.5 hour session pertains to "Wifi Investigations and Exploits," which seems on point with the wardriving tactic, as well as other seminars on various aspects of high-tech forensics and investigations. Since these are topics I know little about, I signed up for the $130 event - thanks to Grits readers' generous contributions - so here in a month or so perhaps we'll have a bit more insight into the goals and methods behind such approaches and a better sense of what's going on in the field with police departments, high-tech investigations and digital forensics.

I can only attend such events because of generous support of Grits contributors, so to those who give monthly or have donated to the blog in the past, thank you: My goal is for y'all to get a better blog product in return by using contributions to pay for learning opportunities like this one. If I had to cover such things out of my own pocket, it just couldn't happen.

Relatedly, see the Dallas Observer's coverage of the "SMILE" conference in Dallas this week where police departments are learning to use social media for both publicity and investigations. Grits had an item previewing the SMILE conference back in August.

MORE: Scott D from the Crime Analyst's blog is at the SMILE conference and has posts here and here from the event.

NUTHER THOUGHT: I'd like to know what if any discussion took place at the conference regarding recent murders by Mexican drug cartels of social media users who exposed or criticized organized crime gangs online. Perhaps Scott D can tell us if the subject came up.


Anonymous said...

You need a PO Box for the paranoids like me who prefer US mail to contribute.

Richelle said...

This is not the right forum, but I cannot find an email address or Twitter for you. Did you ever hear back about your open records request on the taped conversation between Cameron Todd Willingham and his ex-wife Stacy Kuykendall? If not, do you have any idea how long it should take? I would be very interested in hearing those tapes, as they would be integral to INCENDIARY: The Willingham Case.

Would love to hear from you when you have a chance.


Gritsforbreakfast said...

Richelle, TDCJ told me there were no responsive documents to the request. I don't actually believe them, but it would take a lawsuit to force them to tell us more.

7:16, I used to have a PO Box but after I quite working downtown didn't check it often and let it go rather than neglect folks who sent stuff there. I haven't implemented a Plan B on that one, I'm afraid.

rodsmith said...

now this is funny! i think their time would be better filled learning how NOT to testilie! or beat up innocent people on the street! but that's just me!

Prison Doc said...

Seeing police on social media doesn't make me feel warm and fuzzy; there's enough privacy risk in social media already.

When a relative received a DWI charge, the lawyer's first advice, literally, was "stay off of Facebook".

Thanks for your work Grits.

DEWEY said...

"high-tech crime investigations"
Does that include watching CSI and COPS on TV?????

Anonymous said...

Why do people persist in believing there is such a thing as privacy? We gave that up so many years ago it ain't even funny.

Lemme see if I have it right. We have a right to privacy! The internet should be free and open without restrictions...but there goes our privacy!

Greedy crooks can have our information, but not the PoPo, because all the crooks will do is steal from people who don't know much about keeping themselves safe on the internet. Who cares about them anyway? They can report those crimes to the PoPo, and then we can yell about government intrusion into our lives. Got it!

Do I have it right?

Anonymous said...

Well, I have a check for you if you have a place to mail it. I read you every day and feel I should contribute.