Author Archive

OSEC – On Site Evidence Collection

Fighter pilots have had gun cameras for ages, presumably for debriefing purposes and counting kills. Now it seems that this habit is moving down to infantry level but for other reasons.

The proliferation of DVR cameras in battle ground and the access anyone have for phone cameras made the result of the conflict more of a director cut then a casualty count.

The Muhammad Al Durrah incident in which a Palestinian kid was supposedly killed by Israeli forces according to a French media  changed all that. Now evidence collection is part of the special ops routine – Mitigation of ex post legal assault. Now the French again are  issuing DVRs for police officers.

The real challenge is managing all that Big data that is gathered and using it smartly for defense against the hostile usage. I guess it calls for some ability for E-discovery as well as automatic censorship.

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Some LTL (Less Then Lethal) experience and Perceived vs. Actual risk

As modern wars are becoming less total, because of the greater efficiency of weapons, the reduction in weapon systems price, and the power of media exposure; We see that military and policing tactics are starting to get closer.

While police tactics are mainly concerned with risk minimization, public safety and order control, military tactics were traditionally targeting maximal impact for the enemy while maintaining acceptable risk level for the friendly forces.

Current conflicts are multidimensional and involve media, civil population, cyber control and sometimes a

sci-fi is now.

poor kid with an improvised explosive device (IED), so there are military effort to produce technologies that reduce the impact on the enemy – Namely police technologies.

The problem with driving those technologies through the military development funnel is that the what the armed forces are only now trying to learn, has been the bread and butter of every law enforcement agency for decades.
The system was deployed in Afghanistan only to be rejected because of media exposure of the demonic AmericaA great example for this is the Active Denial Pain Ray System developed for the Pentagon for over 15 years or so and yet has never been accepted into the service. The technology is based on projecting high frequency electromagnetic radiation that converts to heat on the topical layer of the skin and thus produce a burning sensation that can deter a potential hazard.

ns using invisible rays to sterilize the Afghan men.

We were involved once in the development effort of a UWB (Ultra Wide Band) device for a law enforcement agency, and one of the prime effort was to reduce the perceived risk for the public. Perceived risk, unlike real risk is subjective and can and should be controlled by the tactics. For example, providing public medical testing of the non hazardous use of the system especially for eyes and genital areas, using it statically so that only entering a marked zone will trigger it (providing an effect like a virtual cattle fence) etc.
Now it seems that Raytheon, the company behind the technology is trying to downsize it to rifle size. I’m sure the technology will be better, but will they be able to use it?

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A short one on measuring police activity.

Waze social GPS will be acquired since it has explored some innovation in promoting driver data contribution like accidents reporting, traffic and even getting together to a certain position on the map.

The fact that so much data is gathered outside the usual data stores of the Police department can bring some interesting insights on the law enforcement activities – Researchers at the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) published a paper in which they used Waze data to investigate the police activities and effectiveness in enforcing traffic rules.

Using Waze data and Google Earth, the BGU researchers determined that 75% of the locations in Israel with the highest number of accidents were intersections… Interestingly the Israeli Police just finished a national project of putting hundreds of speed cameras at various roads (not junctions).

Another piquant details is that there is some data that points to that fact that speed cameras under certain conditions increase the probability of accident due to the increase variance in speed when drivers reduce speed near the camera and accelerate after moving from its field of view.

Evidence based policing or avoiding based policing?

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Disrupting organized crime networks

Governing data

Is it the light of day or a train coming?

ANTHONY BONATO, DIETER MITSCHE, AND PAWE L PRA LAT wrote a nice article on how to disrupt a social directed a-cyclic graph namely an hierarchic one. The concept is not now as it is very similar with finding the minimal cut of a network so that when this “cut” is performed the flow through the network is severed.

The innovation behind their approach is that they are using a dynamic algorithm to stop / block the flow through the net work. This Seepage algorithm as they call it is dynamically blocking node in the network and very similar to the game of Go, the dynamics of the flow is reduced with each chosen blocked node.

The positive thing with their approach is that Law Enforcement and counter terrorism is an ongoing process in which the disruption process in ongoing in time.

However there are some issues with the approach.

Firstly, this is applicable to hierarchic non cyclic networks which really model organized crime and not necessarily terrorist organizations. Terrorist organizations are usually non hierarchic and in many ways get feedback from the grunts and the population that the terrorists assimilate within.

Secondly, the network topology is assumed to be known. In most cases the problem is not the disruption process in itself but the recognition of the topology.

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How to use your online banking account and not get cyber ganged.

Just some tips on how to avoid getting your back account hacked. Online banking services are unavoidable, but you don’t need to log-in from your kid’s game computer that was maliciously installed with a key-logger.

It might be smart to allow transactions to third parties accounts, only from a dedicated account which is usually empty. Your bank may be insured and you might get reimbursed when and if somebody find out that once in a while your account gets debited with a small random sum, but frankly, how much time would it take to find out about it?


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Using Social networks and mobile devices for public risk reduction

Several months ago there was a very small earthquake nearby. We barely felt the building move, so just to verify that it wasn’t my imagination playing tricks on me, I logged into Facebook and pretty soon found out that some of my geographically close friends felt it as well. It took several more minutes for the news to propagate to the public media.

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Analysis of financial data as part of crime for profit investigation

As part of the implementation of the FATF guidelines for a local AML (anti money laundry) law, we were involved in the development of  countrywide financial data analysis system. It was a learning experience that we would like to share.

Most investigations that deal with crime for profit require that some analysis will be made regarding the economic data that was gathered in the case. Such data can include credit card transactions when dealing with CC fraud, Bank transactions when dealing with money laundering and even transactions in property such as vehicles and real-estate when trying to account for hidden assets as part of a layering scheme.

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The case of Evidence-based Policing

Production function is a function that model the output of a firm or an industry as a function of the resources needed for that output.

In police work the resources can be police officers, cars, communication devices and so on. All with cost tags attached,  just like in any profit driven firm. However the output of security agencies is multifaceted and the services are supplied to the public with no cost, so there is a real problem of finding the optimal allocation of resources.

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