'Artificial intelligence software capable of interpreting images, matching faces and analysing patterns of communication is being piloted by UK police forces to speed up examination of mobile phones seized in crime investigations. Cellebrite, the Israeli-founded and now Japanese-owned company behind some of the software, claims a wider rollout would solve problems over failures to disclose crucial digital evidence that have led to the collapse of a series of rape trials and other prosecutions in the past year. However, the move by police has prompted concerns over privacy and the potential for software to introduce bias into processing of criminal evidence. As police and lawyers struggle to cope with the exponential rise in data volumes generated by phones and laptops in even routine crime cases, the hunt is on for a technological solution to handle increasingly unmanageable workloads. Some forces are understood to have backlogs of up to six months for examining downloaded mobile phone contents.
For months, the FBI has portrayed its case against Apple Inc. as one of desperation: that it had exhausted every known means to crack the iPhone 5c carried by Syed Farook on Dec. 2 when he and wife Tafsheen Malik shot and killed 14 people in San Bernadino. And yet the "outside vendor" the FBI is reported to be working with to break the encryption on the phone has long relationships with many branches of the U.S. government, including the FBI. Cellebrite, a private company founded in 1999 and based in Petah Tikva, Israel manufactures a variety of technologies that make it possible for U.S. law enforcement agencies to extract crucial data from popular cell phones. Now the company reportedly has a starring role in the international drama playing out over encryption between the FBI and the biggest global tech companies. FBI Director James Comey testified before Congress that the agency had no other means to crack the phone than to invoke the All Writs Act and compel Apple to break its own encryption.
The hackers at Cellebrite Mobile Synchronization Ltd., the forensics unit of a little-known Japanese pinball company, are fast becoming the go-to guys when law enforcement needs to unlock smartphones. Its group chief has plans to keep the firm on the front lines against terrorism. In his first interview since Sun Corp. was thrust into the spotlight in the legal tussle between Apple Inc. and U.S. law enforcement over the hacking of an iPhone, Chief Executive Officer Masanori Yamaguchi says his company wants to expand its work countering tech-savvy terrorists. Yamaguchi says he's willing to spend as much as 20 billion ( 183 million) to acquire or merge with companies to expand its sought-after data extraction business. "Demand will never go away," Yamaguchi, 67, said from the company's headquarters in Aichi Prefecture.
New York is exploring new legislation that would let police officers use a'textalyzer' to determine whether a drive was using their mobile device moments before an accident. The device is designed to identify if the person had physically swiped or clicked the phone, allowing investigators to decide if a warrant is necessary. However, the idea has already faced obstacles from constitutional and privacy advocates who are quick to note that police need the owner's consent and a warrant to get cellphone records. New York is exploring new legislation that would let police officers use a'textalyzer' to determine whether a drive was using their mobile device moments before accident. The Textalyzer can tell if someone physically clicked or swiped the phone during the time of the accident.