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 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 Parent Score: 1

RE[2]: Comment by werfu
by Ian Christie on Mon 20th Apr 2009 17:50 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 Parent Score: 1

RE: Comment by werfu
by darknexus on Mon 20th Apr 2009 18:49 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 Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by werfu
by smashIt on Mon 20th Apr 2009 21:07 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 Parent Score: 2

RE: Comment by werfu
by jspaloss on Tue 21st Apr 2009 01:26 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 Parent Score: 1

RE: Comment by werfu
by molestrangler on Tue 21st Apr 2009 05:39 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 Parent Score: 1