Linked by David Adams on Mon 20th Apr 2009 16:07 UTC
PDAs, Cellphones, Wireless Most people probably wouldn't think of the local police as one of the vanguards of mobile computing technology, but the Police in Memphis, Tennessee are pushing the envelope, and its saving them time and money.
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Comment by werfu
by werfu on Mon 20th Apr 2009 17:05 UTC
werfu
Member since:
2005-09-15

There's one thing that gets me wondering how good this can be. If law enforcement become slave to these tech, what would be their reaction if it becomes unusable right away? And what are the security around this?

Like this smartphone surely use the standard GSM waves. Nothing could stop me from sniffing packets and grabbing data if thing aren't rightly encrypted.

And if I get pulled over, what stops me from having a wave jammer in my car trunk, leaving the poor officer without any mean to verify my plate/id. Would he let me go?

Reply Score: 1

RE: Comment by werfu
by David on Mon 20th Apr 2009 17:33 UTC in reply to "Comment by werfu"
David Member since:
1997-10-01

There's always the fallback of radioing it in, just like they used to do. The security question is a valid one, though.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Comment by werfu
by Ian Christie on Mon 20th Apr 2009 17:50 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by werfu"
Ian Christie Member since:
2005-07-06

And I'm sure that, after they pull the same person over a few times and every time they have to radio in the information, they would eventually get suspicious and ask in there polite manor to search the vehicle.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Comment by werfu
by darknexus on Mon 20th Apr 2009 18:49 UTC in reply to "Comment by werfu"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

Well, Verizon actually uses CDMA not GSM, but your questions hit the nail on the head. Then again, as far as security goes, radio signals can be intercepted as easily as any phone signal, even easier given that often those transmissions are in the clear, full voice and everything. You can even buy devices to do that... they're called police scanners. You can listen to their radio traffic through these, it's just a radio tuned into the proper frequencies, though without the ability to talk on those frequencies obviously.
Data interception would take a bit more effort, though it could be done. But I don't really see how it's any less secure than the radio system. anyone determined enough is going to find a way around whatever system is used and whatever security measures that are put in place.
I think becoming dependent on this technology is more dangerous. Just take a look around and you'll see how dependent even the average person is on technology these days, then apply that dependence to the police force. I think they'd better keep their radios on hand even with this new system in place.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by werfu
by smashIt on Mon 20th Apr 2009 21:07 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by werfu"
smashIt Member since:
2005-07-06

given that often those transmissions are in the clear, full voice and everything. You can even buy devices to do that... they're called police scanners.


last month the german mickey-mouse magazine included a little radio (some spy-super-duper-crap)
only problem was that you could realy listen to german police-radios with it
i'm not sure how the whole thing ended for disney...

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by werfu
by darknexus on Mon 20th Apr 2009 21:53 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by werfu"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15


only problem was that you could realy listen to german police-radios with it

Is that illegal in Germany? It's not illegal here in the U.S to own a police scanner that allows you to listen in to local police radios. I think there are regulations on how far they can receive and the like, and obviously they're not allowed to contain any decryption software so no listening into the CIA or FBI, , but it's perfectly legal to own one that allows you to listen to your local police.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Comment by werfu
by Doc Pain on Tue 21st Apr 2009 10:00 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by werfu"
Doc Pain Member since:
2006-10-08

"only problem was that you could realy listen to german police-radios with it

Is that illegal in Germany?
"

It is. You are not allowed to receive any transmissions that are not intended for you / your rig. Police radio is part of our BOS (authorities and organisations with security concerns) radio system. This BOS radio is not public, as for example, CB and amateur radio are. Technical documentation is mostly public, even organization principles, frequencies, signal codes and call names can be obtained legally via books (e. g. Marten: BOS handbook, vol I and II).

It's not illegal here in the U.S to own a police scanner that allows you to listen in to local police radios.


In fact, it's not illegal to own such a kind of receiver in Germany. It's just illegal to turn it to BOS frequencies and listen to the police talk.

Special circumstances apply when a radio amateur accidentally receives messages that are not intended for him / his station. He has the duty (1) not to talk to others about the content of the messages received, (2) or the fact about receiving them, and (3) not to record them to an audio device or write them down or process them in any other way.

The only ones who are allowed to participate in BOS radio are those who have an explicit permission from the local authority they belong to, e. g. the police, the fire department or the hospital helicopter. They may do so only while they are on duty. They may not listen to police radio when they are at home.

[...] but it's perfectly legal to own one that allows you to listen to your local police.


As I said: In Germany: Own yes, listen no.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by werfu
by jspaloss on Tue 21st Apr 2009 01:26 UTC in reply to "Comment by werfu"
jspaloss Member since:
2007-05-10

We implemented a similar system for a small local police department a few years ago.

The hardware was a pentium M powered 1024x768 touchscreen "brick pc", mounted on an movable arm with a separately mounted usb backlit keyboard/trackpad that could be detached and pulled onto the officer's lap. The system connected to HQ over CDMA modems, but all traffic was encrypted (AES) over an IPsec VPN tunnel.

We still support the system and it works rather well.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Comment by werfu
by molestrangler on Tue 21st Apr 2009 05:39 UTC in reply to "Comment by werfu"
molestrangler Member since:
2009-04-21

Not sure that is pratical.

1. You have to switch off your car engine.
2. You will have to load your car with lots of large batteries to TX enough power, give the car is a metal box

Once the office sees your rear suspension loaded I am sure they will ask to see inside!!

Reply Score: 1

Redfly
by darknexus on Mon 20th Apr 2009 18:51 UTC
darknexus
Member since:
2008-07-15

I've used the Redfly terminals, though the one I used was the more expensive model with the eight hour battery. They're really nice devices, they can pretty much turn that Windows Mobile smartphone you have into a equivalent of a low-powered netbook. They're perfect for this kind of task, I'm surprised this is the first time it's been tried.

Reply Score: 2

No CPU?
by jal_ on Tue 21st Apr 2009 09:48 UTC
jal_
Member since:
2006-11-02

They have no CPU or memory


Somehow I really doubt that. Iirc, even the old IBM terminals of yore had a 8085 or equivalent. No doubt the REDFLY has some low-powered ARM or equivalent driving it. And it needs some memory of course, even if only for the frame buffer.


JAL

Reply Score: 1

RE: No CPU?
by David on Tue 21st Apr 2009 23:20 UTC in reply to "No CPU?"
David Member since:
1997-10-01

Of course you are certainly correct. I should have been more precise in my language. The Redfly is a terminal, and depends on the portable device's memory and CPU, but it requires some processor and memory for its own operation. I'm not actually certain of the specs, however.

Reply Score: 1

Innovation
by gretchenbar on Wed 22nd Apr 2009 08:27 UTC
gretchenbar
Member since:
2009-04-22

In every success there is always an abuse of advancement. We now have high tech gadgets. As it grows tremendously criminal acts becomes indisputable. But anyway, my point here is to create a security despite of unsecured environment. Just recently, an FBI officer accused of abuse of authority. sneaking around the dressing room inside the mall. Cell Phone has a lot of advantages. you can now install it to your car as a GPS tracking device. It would sounds great if enough members of the open-source community would take notice and create great applications for it.
http://spyville.com/telephonerecorder.html>Spy

Edited 2009-04-22 08:29 UTC

Reply Score: 1