Posts Under: law enforcement

Time for Congress to Clarify Rules on Law Enforcement Access to Overseas Data

Technology companies are increasingly challenged by requests by law enforcement to access data stored outside the U.S. This issue came to a head in July 2016, when the Second Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against the U.S. Government in the case Microsoft v. United States, stating that the government cannot compel Microsoft, or other companies, to turn over customer emails stored on servers outside the United States.  The Department of Justice (DOJ) is expected to appeal this decision, and various other cases are making their way through the courts.


Assessing the Value of Data Analytics in Criminal Justice and Beyond

This week, SIIA published an issue brief assessing the use of data analytics in the criminal justice system.  Not surprisingly, data analytics has helped to reduce crime and improve the criminal justice system, particularly through its application in predictive policing and criminal risk assessment.  The report also explores critical questions and concerns raised about the effectiveness and unintended outcomes of the various tools in use today. This report is timely, as it coincides with a critical decision handed down by the Wisconsin Supreme Court about the use of evidence-based risk assessment tools at sentencing.  The Court supported the use of predictive tools, such as the COMPAS tool at the center of the trial, but it ruled that “risk scores may not be considered as the determinative factor in deciding whether the offender can be supervised safely and effectively in the community.” [emphasis added] Essentially, the court’s decision confirme ...


Tech Companies Cooperate with Law Enforcement in Removing Terrorist Propaganda

The dynamics of terrorism have completely transformed. In the past, terrorist organizations like al-Qaeda had minimal global reach and formed hierarchical structures characterized by tight knit communication networks. This is not the case today. Notably, ISIS’ network strays from a rigid hierarchy and forms loosely connected coalitions. Through coalitions, ISIS attracts outsiders from around the world by broadcasting propaganda on various Internet platforms. With the explosion of social media on Internet platforms, terrorist organizations have broadened their scope to reach audiences unattainable by the likes of al-Qaeda in 1990. To stem the spread of terrorist propaganda on the Internet, police organizations like Europol are adapting their counter-terrorism approach. Following the Paris attacks in 2016, Europol recognized that only vast quantities of data can reveal insights about terrorist networks. So, Europol placed a “Fraternity Taskforce” in charge of probing ...