OVC Provider Forum Transcript

Responding to and Avoiding Crime Using Technology
Steven Siegel, Cindy Southworth  -  2014/10/15
The Redlands Police Department has been using GPS tracking technology for the last four years to respond to crime trends. We have now arrested 137 career criminals using the technology. The technology is very affordable and enhances community policing and police legitimacy. Victims of crime in Redlands feel as if the PD is spearheading the effort to actually catch the people that are victimizing ordinary citizens. Can you discuss how important it is for PDs to adopt a similar concept? I can be reached at 909 557 6583 to discuss our program.
1.  Steve Siegel
 The use of technology is wide ranging field of science and from the streets to the lab to the courtroom advances are providing hope for greater justice and accountability. My hope is for national research and summits to build partnerships.
Technological advancements are accelerating at such a rapid rate that within 15 years, much of what we know now will no longer exist. How does our system prepare for the technological future?
1.  KaofengLeeNNEDV
 Hi Michelle. Check out a new toolkit we just released today with OVC: http://techsafety.org/resources-survivors. We developed resources, videos, and safety plans specifically on how victims of DV, SA, stalking, and trafficking can use their technology safely. Itís not fair for survivors to not use technology simply because someone else is misusing technology against them. Our goal is to find ways for them to continue using their technologies but in a safer way.
2.  Steve Siegel
 Cindy has put her finger on what I believe is most promising.......The link between our work and the technology private sector
3.  Safety Net Team
 From Cindy: we partner with Facebook, Google, Twitter, and many other technology companies to try to stay a step ahead. We also read lots of technology articles and attend many tech/privacy conferences. (and it is still a challenge to stay on top of new technologies :-)
4.  Michelle Hazard
 Also technology security issues we needed to consider in 2000 are still relevant (firewalls, encryption, anti-virus, strong passwords, etc), however we now have additional locations to protect: data onsite and offsite (in the cloud). Do you have any insight on how to manage this for women in crisis?
5.  Robyn Cafasso
 That's true. So in addition to locking our cars and homes, and locking away valuables, we need to lock up our identities. After all, our dob, ss# and name is who we are, our intangible valuables.
6.  Safety Net Team
 From Cindy: Great question. Staying current regarding emerging technology can be challenging, however in the past 14 years since I founded the Safety Net Technology Project, surprisingly abuser/stalker tactics havenít changed, merely the tools have gotten smaller (For example: spyware on desktops moved to laptops, now there is spyware for phones). Also technology security issues we needed to consider in 2000 are still relevant (firewalls, encryption, anti-virus, strong passwords, etc), however we now have additional locations to protect: data onsite and offsite (in the cloud).
7.  Robyn Cafasso
 I agree that partnerships are invaluable. It just seems we are so often one step behind instead of one step ahead.
8.  Steve
 PARTNERSHIP! we need to bring the technology industry into our business plans for development AND security areas. We need national leadership to convene best practices summits and to underwrite flexible prototypes that can be customized for the uniqueness of a jurisdiction (or program). Remember, if our business practice models are insufficient, technology will not be a cure all.
What is the best way to protect your identity?
1.  Robyn Cafasso
 There is no way to totally protect your identity. Taking the usual precautionary measures as stated by Steven will make it harder to be victimized and reduce your risk. Checking your accounts, credit scores, etc. on a regular basis will help lessen the impact if you are victimized.
2.  KaofengLeeNNEDV
 The most basic thing you can do to protect your privacy is not to give out personal information. If youíre shopping and someone asks for your phone number, opt out of providing that information. If youíre online and using social media, be thoughtful about what you share. Go over your privacy and security settings and make sure that itís at the level you want. Ask other people not to post information about you online. Sometimes that may feel uncomfortable, but itís your information and you have a right over whether it can be shared or not. For more information about online safety and privacy, check out some of our resources: www.nnedv.org/resources.
3.  Steve Siegel
 This question has so many aspects to it .... Personal, professional, clients. Each with unique answers
What is the best way to prevent your organization from being compromised/hacked?
1.  Safety Net Team
 From Cindy continued: In addition, organizations should set up their computers similar to library computers -- such that you do NOT log in as an administrator. If you do not log in with administrative rights all the time, it is hard for programs such a viruses or spyware to surreptitiously install. If you log in with a user/guest account into your own computer, you will be prompted to log in as administrator when any program tries to install.
2.  Safety Net Team
 From Cindy: Security risks can come from internal and external sources. To prevent internal security breaches, it is important for each staff member to use individual accounts and passwords (versus 1 log-in that all staff share) Ė thus you can delete an account quickly when someone is no longer employed by your organization. Audit logs also allow you to see who has accessed what accounts/records and can help if you have an employee you are worried might be inappropriately accessing records of loved ones. To minimize external risks, the organization should have robust firewalls, use encryption, up-to-date anti-virus & definitions, strong alpha-numeric passwords (using capital letters, lower case letters, numbers, and symbols). Do NOT check the box allowing browsers to remember passwords.
Sent on behalf of our Victimology & Victim Services class at Becker College... Are there certain Apps available today that would help prevent crime and assist victims? Thank you
1.  Safety Net Team
 From Cindy: we also created a handout identifying some things to think about regarding apps: http://nnedv.org/downloads/SafetyNet/NNEDV_MobileAppsHandout_2013.pdf
2.  KaofengLeeNNEDV
 Apps have given victims many tools. However, itís important to check out those apps before you recommend them to survivors. Some apps promise to allow users to document crimes, call law enforcement, or tell friends that youíre in danger. Check to make sure the app actually does what it says itíll do. In some of our testing, apps that promise to share location has not been accurate. You should also take into consideration a victimís specific situation. Sometimes, it might be faster to just dial 911 from your cellphone rather than relying on an app. Apps are great but only when used together with other safety strategies.
3.  Steve Siegel
 There is development underway in Denver of a Victim's Self Advocacy Guide App. It is designed to be a victim's "friend" in decision making, resource development from the very early stages of victimization on. The folks in Aurora Colorado in the aftermath of the Theater Shooting linked to a wonderful Trauma App developed at the Univ. of Colorado.
Asked on behalf of our Victimology & Victims Services class at Becker College... Mr.Siegel, what has been your biggest struggle in Program Development over your career? Thank you.
1.  Steve
 There are two aspects of program development universally challenging 1. Determining a community' readiness (organizational, political, resource, interpersonal) and then developing strategies for each area 2. Building trust beyond the basic pleasantries of networking to the point that mutual accountability is how you ensure he standard of care The unique aspect is that this is not a destination with beginning and ending, but rather an ongoing circle of development and adjustment
Asked on behalf of our Victimology & Victims Services class at Becker College... Do you think all Police Agencies today need, or should have, a "Technology Unit" to deal with crime and assisting victims? Thank you.
1.  Safety Net Team
 From Cindy: I agree with Steve in having these units connected and working closely together. In small departments where specialized units aren't feasible, I often recommend that victim advocates connect with the "techiest" officer - the one who fixes the printer in the department :-)
2.  Steve Siegel
 I believe that the Victim Services within the PD should be connected to the technology unit within the PD to maximize the potential for serving victims through technology. If it is done separated and apart issue could arise programmatically and technology-wise
Please comment on Sen Franken's stalker app legislation.
1.  Safety Net Team
 from Cindy: Senator Frankenís Location Privacy Protection Act would close the ďlocation loopholeĒ that is currently missing in federal law. It is illegal to sell and advertise devices intended to surreptitiously intercept communication, and Frankenís bill would also make it illegal to track location surreptitiously. I am appalled at the vile tracking products intended and marketed to aid abusers and stalkers in committing crimes. Some developers try to mask their nefarious intentions by mentioning child safety or employee monitoring once or twice, but their true focus is obvious when they reiterate on every page how their products are completely hidden and work in stealth mode. Check out this new arrest: http://techsafety.org/blog/2014/10/14/creator-of-stealthgenie-arrested
Our Department is looking for innovative programs to address domestic violence. Any ideas?
1.  Clay Gregoy
 Hi Travis- I am currently working on a program/solution that uses turns 'everyday technology' into a tool dedicated to DV victims and service providers. It is my teams belief that innovation can establish a more efficient and effective way to deliver info/resources to the right person at the exact time it is needed and at the sane time 'neutralize' an abuser's technology. Our goal has been to improve the safety and quality of life for the victims and create a 'new & improved platform or gateway for providers to manage and serve. I would be happy to share our approach if it would be helpful.
2.  Steve Siegel
 If this is done using technology to communicate and to evaluate the impact of the effort, I believe that will yield effective interventions
3.  Steve Siegel
 The most impactful programs in the area of DV are multidisciplinary collaboration........TRUE collaboration (not the rhetoric that goes in every grant application). If the key system and community based professionals meet regularly to build strategies and protect victims on a case by case basis.
4.  KaofengLeeNNEDV
 Hi Travis. It depends on what your department does and what youíre looking for. I would start with identifying what it is you want to do around domestic violence, and then contact your state coalition against domestic violence. They will be able to offer resources and referrals to organizations that might be able to help with what youíre doing. For a list of the state domestic violence coalitions, visit our webpage here: http://nnedv.org/resources/coalitions.
We understand the risks of new technology and the ability of an abuser to track a victim using GPS and location servicess. Do you have/or know of any safety programs we can share with our clients?
1.  Steve Siegel
 I would be happy to have you email us to set a time to visit further
2.  Michelle Hazard
 Thanks Steve how does that work? Do we need to set up to call or search?
3.  Steve Siegel
 I know that this answer is jurisdictional specific, but my Witness Protection Unit includes a technology specialist who advises victims on case specific strategies
4.  Safety Net Team
 From Cindy: NNEDV just announced the launch of a (OVC funded) toolkit today about technology and survivor safety -- it has resources designed for survivors: http://techsafety.org/resources-survivors
What are your views in regards to how badly the iOS8 Operating System encryption impact law enforcement investigations?
1.  Steve Siegel
 As you will see from earlier posts, my belief is that we have a ways to go nationally to build relationships and understanding between the technology industry and folks who are focused on community/victim safety. I would expect issues like this to surface until the proper level of discussion is regular and ongoing
2.  Safety Net Team
 From Cindy: we've heard a bit of frustration from some of our law enforcement friends, however any backdoor or loophole that might help police collect evidence can also be used by perpetrators, stalkers, and hackers (ie - the hacked stolen personal photos of women recently published online)
Besides GPS, what are the best ways to use technology to gather evidence of abusers' criminal activity?
1.  Steve Siegel
 We are no where near capacity in terms of technology useage of mapping and analytics. We have a great deal to learn from the military, aviation and intellengence communities. I preface this all with a great respect for privacy rights and due process
2.  Steve Siegel
 I believe that the use of DNA is a critical path of development in achieving justice: Traing of LE on evidence collection; Improved laboratory skills and capacity; Training of prosecutors; Expanding the data bases through public policy that requires the giving of samples upon Misd. conviction; Use of Familial Searching.
3.  Safety Net Team
 From Cindy: one upside of technology misuse by offenders is excellent digital evidence. Frequently stalkers and abusers violate protection orders by posting on social media -- providing screen shots as evidence. Also, victim using Facebook can download their own evidence using the "Download Your Information (DYI) function" -- something we've addressed in our updated Privacy & Safety on Facebook (posting tomorrow). We have videos and resources to help survivors document abuse in this toolkit: http://techsafety.org/resources-survivors
Return to Discussion