Local businesses close as more National Guard troops deploy in the nation's capital. Selfie-snapping Capitol rioters left investigators a treasure trove of evidence -- at least 140,000 pictures and videos taken during the deadly Jan. 6 siege, according to federal prosecutors. The mass of digital evidence from media reports, live-streams and social media posts has been crucial to the FBI, which by Friday had identified more than 275 suspects, with close to 100 charged, officials said. Investigators have been working with social media and phone companies to help ID suspects -- as well as using advanced facial recognition technology, according to Bloomberg News. FILE: Rioters try to break through a police barrier at the Capitol in Washington.
The dating app Bumble has disabled its politics filter after it was supposedly used to reveal the identities of Capitol rioters, Mashable has reported. Bumble support posted on Twitter that it "temporarily removed our politics filter to prevent misuse," adding that it "prohibits any content that promotes terrorism or racial hatred." Bumble has promised in another tweet that it will "be reinstated in the future." It also stated that it has removed users confirmed as participants in the US Capitol attack. We've temporarily removed our politics filter to prevent misuse.
A Los Angeles man admitted in federal court Thursday that he flew a drone that struck a Los Angeles Police Department helicopter that was responding to a crime scene in Hollywood. Andrew Rene Hernandez, 22, made the admission in pleading guilty to one count of unsafe operation of an unmanned aircraft, a misdemeanor. A spokesman for the U.S. attorney's office in Los Angeles said Hernandez is believed to be the first person in the country to be convicted of that offense, which carries a punishment of up to one year in prison. In his plea agreement, Hernandez admitted that he "recklessly interfered with and disrupted" the operation of the LAPD helicopter, which was responding to a burglary of a pharmacy, and that his actions "posed an imminent safety hazard" to the chopper's occupants. Reached by phone Thursday, Hernandez declined to comment.
The Los Angeles Police Commission approved a policy Tuesday that set new parameters on the LAPD's use of facial recognition technology, but stopped far short of the outright ban sought by many city activists. The move followed promises by the commission to review the Los Angeles Police Department's use of photo-comparison software in September, after The Times reported that officers had used the technology -- contrary to department claims -- more than 30,000 times since 2009. The new policy restricts LAPD detectives and other trained officers to using a single software platform operated by the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, which only uses mugshots and is far less expansive than some third-party search platforms. It also mandates new measures for tracking the Police Department's use of the county system and its outcomes in the crime fight. Commissioners and top police executives praised the policy as a step in the right direction, saying it struck the right balance between protecting people's civil liberties and giving cops the tools they need to solve and reduce crime -- which is on the rise.
In a recent New Yorker article about the Capitol siege, Ronan Farrow described how investigators used a bevy of online data and facial recognition technology to confirm the identity of Larry Rendall Brock Jr., an Air Force Academy graduate and combat veteran from Texas. Brock was photographed inside the Capitol carrying zip ties, presumably to be used to restrain someone. Brock was arrested Sunday and charged with two counts.) Even as they stormed the Capitol, many rioters stopped to pose for photos and give excited interviews on livestream. Each photo uploaded, message posted, and stream shared created a torrent of data for police, researchers, activists, and journalists to archive and analyze.
The FBI is seeking information on a half-dozen men suspected of assaulting federal officers Jan. 6 -- a pack that may include the alleged killer of Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick. A poster of the top suspects was sent out late Sunday night in a social media bulletin. The murder of a federal officer carries the death penalty. "Yes," Frank Figliuzzi, the FBI's former assistant director for counterintelligence, said when asked by the Herald Monday if one of those men shown could have killed Officer Sicknick. "The FBI is using facial recognition, surveillance cameras, geo-location of cell phones and more to find this guy or gal," Figliuzzi said.
They took our Capitol, stormed the halls, pilfered our documents, and shattered the norms of our democracy. The lasting damage from Wednesday's attack will not come from the mob itself, but from how we respond. Right now, a growing chorus is demanding we use facial recognition, cellphone tower data, and every manner of invasive surveillance to punish the mob. In the days since the attack, the airwaves have been full of former law enforcement officials claiming that surveillance is the answer, such retired FBI special agents Danny Coulson and Doug Kouns. Even many who are normally critical of policing have jumped on the surveillance bandwagon in the desire to find justice.
Gov. Charlie Baker was flanked by public safety officials, Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito and key lawmakers on Thursday afternoon for the ceremonial signing of landmark police reform bill passed by the Legislature last month. The legislation created the state's first-ever licensing system for police officers, to be overseen by a civilian-led commission. The new law is the culmination of efforts to increase transparency and accountability in law enforcement spurred the high-profile police killings of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd and others. The new law also institutes use-of-force standards in policing and places strict limits on so-called "no-knock warrants," requires a warrant for using facial recognition technology under most circumstances and begins to claw back qualified immunity protections for officers. BOSTON, JAN. 7, 2021 -- Senate President Karen Spilka and House Speaker Ronald Mariano chatted before a bill-signing ceremony for the policing reform law got underway at the State House.
Once the shining city on a hill that the rest of the world looked to for leadership and guidance, America's moral high ground has steadily eroded in recent decades -- and rapidly accelerated since Trump's corrupt, self-dealing tenure in the White House began. Our corporations, and the technologies they develop, are certainly no better. Amazon treats its workers like indentured servants at best, Facebook algorithms actively promotes genocide overseas and fascism here in the States, and Google doesn't even try to live up to its own maxim of "don't be evil" anymore. In her upcoming book, The Power of Ethics: How to Make Good Choices in a Complicated World, Susan Liautaud, Chair of Council of the London School of Economics and Political Science, lays out an ambitious four-step plan to recalibrate our skewed moral compass illustrating how effective ethical decision making can be used to counter damage done by those in power and create a better, fairer and more equitable world for everyone. In the excerpt below, Liautaud explores the "blurring boundaries" of human-AI relations and how we can ensure that this emerging technology is used for humanity's benefit rather than just becoming another Microsoft Tay.
A New Jersey man is suing the town of Woodbridge and its police department after he was falsely arrested following an incorrect facial recognition match. Nijeer Parks spent 10 days in jail last year, including a week in "functional solitary confinement," following a shoplifting incident that January. After officers were called to a Hampton Inn in Woodbridge, the alleged shoplifter presented them with a Tennessee driver's license, which they determined was fake. When they attempted to arrest him after spotting what appeared to be a bag of marijuana in his pocket, the man fled in his rental car. One officer said he had to leap out of the way or he would have been hit.