[AusNOG] OT: Police Wardriving. Where else but QLD!
terry at terrym.net
Fri Mar 23 13:53:37 EST 2012
On 23/03/2012, at 12:06 PM, Robert Brockway wrote:
> On Thu, 22 Mar 2012, Greg Lipschitz wrote:
>> If this isn't a waste of tax payer money I don't know what is!
> Hi all. Many of the comments seem to assume that police officers will be dedicated to this. I think it is more likely that this will be done as part of regular police patrols.
From the release: "Officers from the Hi Tech Crime Investigation Unit", So it does seem that regular patrols uniformed police won't be used.
> Police already engage in a variety of proactive activities while patrolling, and having them note the locations of open APs in the log will be easily slotted in to their existing duties. Even targetting specific areas is consistent with their existing duties. During a typical shift a police crew will be tasked with patrolling a variety of areas anyway.
> Modern policing doesn't work the way most people seem to think it works. A lot of effort goes into intel and practive activities. If intel suggests that open APs are related to a significant amount of criminal activity (eg fraud) then this could indeed make sense.
I get intel collection, I get fraudulent use of wifi, and collection of personal details over an open wifi network, I can even buy into the idea that criminals hop between APs to implement their plans. But its still a stretch to suggest that this follows a line of viable proactive policing. My definition of proactive policing is engaging the criminals. How does this successfully engage the criminal set?
I also get dumpster diving and car jacking - I don't expect any police officer to check my wheelie bin for old un-shreded cc/card bills nor stand on a street corner and advise me to lock my car doors at the red light. Last time I had few beers with a US based friend who is in law enforcement he said that in fraud terms, dumpster diving, data correlation, and point of sale events are the biggest locus points to fraud. I would like to see if that correlates to the australian experience.
> The letters will presumably be sent out by public servants, so this won't drain operational resources either.
The number of support staff was apparently reduced recently - police wide, there is enough press about that for me to not expand..
> It may or may not be a successful program but I don't think it will be a significant drain on resources.
I went to one of the QLD hi-tech crime symposiums a few years ago. There I found out that the unit was no more than 5 sworn officers. I hope it has increased - but doubt it. I also have heard rumour that a couple of the officers (that are and were well qualified to understand both the policing and technical sides) have since moved on. My fear is that the Unit's resource level is already phenomenally low. I doubt they have any of the cool toys imagined on NCIS, CSI etc. nor could afford them. And I can only hope they are inundated with training - however when there is only a handful I can't imagine them having the redundancy to send folks off to learn how TOR or honeypots work.
So honestly when you only have a handful of officers in a unit, adding even a questionable level of success for an activity that really isn't in the mandate of police work - I see that has a poor, very poor, choice. So since someone on QLD police seems to think this is a good idea, I want to see a causality assessment of this effort after 6-12 months.
ie how many open wifis found, how many notices delivered, how many wifis closed after 2/4/6 months, drop in open wifi borne crime... then and only then will I see this as anything more than a misguided effort of police publicity.
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