Game Trains Police To Get Facebook Data Fast

When a terrorist strikes, getting information fast from a tech giant can make the difference between police catching the suspects, or another attack taking place. That’s the premise of a new game created by Europol, the European body responsible for connecting the continent’s myriad policing agencies and helping them investigate major crimes.

Right now, police officers are often confused by the process. What data can they request from which provider? Can they retrieve any encrypted content from the likes of Apple or WhatsApp? What legal mechanisms should they be using? What’s the best language to use to ensure they get the information they want quickly?

Cope want data, from Facebook to TikTok

The game, exclusively shown to Forbes ahead of its release to law enforcement partners and their 4,500 officers on Wednesday, hopes to make sure police know the answers to those when an emergency happens. It looks much like Who Wants To Be A Millionaire but crossed with a create your own adventure game and without the options of phoning a friend or asking the audience. It opens with a hypothetical terror attack in which a gunman has started firing at people on a city street, killing 15 and injuring many others. When the player arrives on the scene, they learn that the suspect has fled but had worn a body camera to livestream the event. The livestream has been found, created by a profile called Bobby Cat.

The player is then offered multiple choice questions about what information they would seek, from what provider and how. Some of the questions are about processes, others are vendor specific, covering data access at established tech firms like Facebook through to newer players like TikTok. The quicker the officer is in getting the relevant data, the more points they score.

J&K police on toes as website calls journalists, activists ‘gang of Indian payrolls’

Srinagar: The Jammu and Kashmir police appears to be on their toes following a social media post from an obscure source mentioning the names of as many as 27 local journalists and other media persons and 12 political and social activists as being on the payroll of the Indian government.

Though the post assumed by some security officials here as a “hit list” or, at least, a “warning list” titled the “whole gang of so-called journalist/media fraternity working under Indian payroll” was deleted later, the J&K police authorities have taken the matter “very seriously” and decided “leave nothing to chance”.


Over the past few days, the police have got in touch with almost all Valley-based media persons individually to inquire if they feel threatened and needed security or any assistance from it. The list had categorized fourteen media persons and ten activists as ‘A+’, nine as ‘B’ and four as ‘C’ grade members of the ‘gang’. The remaining two had been left without any ranking.

On Friday, the police also installed CCTV cameras in almost every nook and cranny of Mushtaq Press Enclave, the media hub of Srinagar named after photojournalist Mushtaq Ali who was killed in a parcel bomb explosion in this correspondent’s office in September 1995.


It was in this area only where ‘Rising Kashmir’ editor Shuja’at Bukhari was gunned down by unknown assailants –accused by the authorities of being Lashkar-e-Tayyaba cadres- on June 14, 2018. Another journalist Parvaz Sultan was also murdered here in February 2003.

The area, less than 300 yards from City centre Lal Chowk witnessed grenade attacks, kidnappings and some other atrocious incidents involving various parties to the conflict since 1990 when the Kashmiri separatist campaign burst into a major violence.  


The police officials said that the purpose of installing CCTV cameras in

Batman-style gadget designed to lasso criminals’ legs together is tested for police use

A Batman -style gadget designed to lasso a suspects’ legs together is being tested for use by British police.

The BolaWrap is a handheld device that fires a kevlar cord at 513ft per second which tangles around targets from up to 25ft away.

It is intended to allow officers to immobilise suspects without having to resort to force and could be used instead of the taser.

a close up of some shoes: The BolaWrap discharges an 8-foot tether which tangles around a suspect's legs

The BolaWrap discharges an 8-foot tether which tangles around a suspect’s legs

A demonstrated was given to forces from across the UK at the Royal College of Policing last year.

Tom Smith, president of Wrap Technologies which produces the gadget, said: “I had a meeting with the Home Office this week. UK police are looking at it at a national level.”

Smith said the device’s 160 decibel noise exceeds UK health and safety limits. His team is working on making the device quieter for the UK.

Subject to testing, a report by the three British use of force experts said: “We recommend consideration should be given to BolaWrap being provided to all front-line officers.”

A Home Office spokesman said: “The Government is clear that police officers should have the best possible protection when facing serious and sometimes violent situations.”

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Accuracy of England and Wales convictions on police computer questioned after ‘slip’

The accuracy of convictions stored on the Police National Computer (PNC) has been questioned after the courts service apologised when two offences were wrongly recorded against a defendant.

Photograph: Jonathan Brady/PA

© Provided by The Guardian
Photograph: Jonathan Brady/PA

The error led to a woman who had not at that stage been tried gaining a criminal record for offences relating to a violent crime she denied, and took three months for her lawyers to correct. It was dismissed by HM Courts and Tribunal Service as a “slip”.

a clock tower in the background: The mistakes are understood to have been due to human error when information that updated the PNC was wrongly entered by court staff.

© Photograph: Jonathan Brady/PA
The mistakes are understood to have been due to human error when information that updated the PNC was wrongly entered by court staff.

The case, which recently came to trial, highlights the fact that mistakes can occur in the system that is supposed to be the ultimate authority on criminal records in England and Wales.

A lawyer involved in the case reported hearing of other mistakes on the same day. Checks are supposed to be in place to ensure criminal convictions are correctly recorded.

Three months after the convictions were entered on to the PNC, the courts service, HMCTS, sent the woman a letter apologising for the error.The Guardian is not identifying the individual affected.

It stated: “Very occasionally, there can be a slip in the digital system. Our records suggest that this must unfortunately have applied on … in your case.”

The letter said a detective inspector “has been notified to take corrective action of the Police National Computer Records”.

On the day on which her guilty pleas were entered on to the PNC, the defendant had not even been to court. The letter added: “I apologise on behalf of HMCTS for the error made and any anxiety caused.”

When the case eventually came to trial the defendant contested the allegations.

State police launch new website for public records requests

Virginia State Police have launched a new website intended to make open records requests easier for the public.

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Virginia State Police have launched a new website intended to make open records requests easier for the public.

The online portal launched Thursday, TV station WAVY reported. It will allow users to submit and track requests under the state’s Freedom of Information Act.

“Public record, subpoena, and discovery requests have been steadily increasing in recent years,” Col. Gary T. Settle, Virginia State Police superintendent, said in a statement. “This new online records management system will not only be of great benefit to requesters but also streamlines the FOIA process within our statewide agency and helps the Department to more efficiently process and respond to requests.”

Settle said the agency’s Office of Legal Affairs has received, processed and responded to more than 3,180 FOIA requests in the first nine months of 2020.

The new site has a frequently asked questions page to help requesters understand their rights under the open records law.

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