Category: Technology in Law Enforcement

By Scott Limmer

An attorneys blog about criminal law and procedure, college discipline, Title IX and cases of Interest

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Google Cellphone Data May Tell Police if You Were by a Crime Scene

You probably regard your cellphone or smartphone as an invaluable communication tool. But, to their regret, some criminal defendants are learning the mobile phones they carry with them can communicate with police searching for suspects and tell them if they happened to have been near the scene of a crime around the time it was […]

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Young Teen Charged with Felony for Taping Talk with Principal

Paul Boron was a 13-year-old middle school student in Manteno, Illinois on February 16 this year when he was summoned to the principal’s office to discuss some detention sessions he’d skipped. The partially blind student apparently thought he might need to be able to show what was said during the conversation with both the school’s […]

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ICE Uses Cell Phone Tracking to Hunt Undocumented Aliens

Cracking down on illegal immigration was a central part of the Trump presidential campaign and continues as a major emphasis of the new administration. ICE and the administration have widely publicized some of their immigration enforcement initiatives, such as round-ups targeting alien gangs like MS-13, or raids aimed at non-citizens illegally here who have criminal records. […]

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New York Gangs Diversify into Credit Card Fraud, Related Crimes

When I first started practicing criminal defense law, using violence might have been enough to qualify someone for membership in most criminal gangs. But these days, many gangs have discovered more sophisticated tools can have as much a place as mere raw mayhem in their plans. One prominent case in point: credit card fraud. It’s […]

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Does Police Storing of License Plate Scans Violate Privacy Rights?

A case headed for the Virginia Supreme Court raises the issue: do police violate government information disclosure laws by storing license plate numbers captured by their increasingly common equipment, automatic license plate readers (ALPRs). The devices, now used about 75% of police forces in the nation, either fixed on stationary locations, such as phone poles, […]

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Judges Split on Warrant to Tape

Does the FBI Need a Warrant to Tape Outside a Federal Courthouse? In under two weeks, two California-based federal judges have come up with sharply different answers to the same question: does the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) need a warrant to use hidden recording devices to make audio or videotapes outside federal courthouses? Both […]

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Still Some Bugs in California’s Database of Gang Members

About the CalGang Database For over two decades, California law enforcement agencies have been compiling CalGang, a massive state-funded database designed as a shared criminal intelligence resource for local law enforcers. At last count, it identified over 150,000 persons as gang members or gang associates. But a harshly critical audit of the database, requested by […]

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Lawbreakers Misuse Even the Newest Tech to Their Disadvantage

No matter how fast technology advances, the resourcefulness of certain people in using it to their disadvantage somehow manages to keep pace. By now, you’ve no doubt heard or read of these lawbreakers who greatly helped law enforcement by posting Facebook selfies showing themselves engaged in clearly criminal wrongdoing. One prime example was the Tennessee […]

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New York May Let Police Access Drivers’ Cell Phones in Accidents

The New York legislature has seen the introduction of a bill, with bipartisan sponsorship that, if adopted, would make New York the first state to give police immediate access to drivers’ cellphones at accident sites. The sponsors of the bills (S. 6325, A. 8613) intend the measure as a way to attack distracted driving, by […]

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Camden Uses New Tactics, Surveillance in Bid to Reduce Crime

Camden, New Jersey, an aging industrial city of about 78,000 across the Delaware River from Philadelphia, has seen better days. Its population has more or less steadily shrunk since the 1950’s, its manufacturing base has greatly eroded, and its crime rate has consistently been in the top ten among the nation’s cities. According to the […]

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