Philadelphia Inquirer: Desperate for help, heroin addicts get ‘hijacked’ to Florida. “Targeting vulnerable drug addicts and their families, deceptive marketers have been ‘hijacking’ the phone numbers of drug treatment centers in the Philadelphia area and elsewhere, then rerouting them to Florida treatment centers. The ploy takes advantage of a Google feature that allows people to edit a business’ phone number on the search engine.”
Quartz: Selling blood diamonds is as simple as a Facebook post and a WhatsApp message. “The smugglers are young and tech savvy and their international networks are created and maintained over the internet. Finding the smugglers was as simple as tracking their Facebook comments, photos and posts—no complex encryption programs or trawling the deep web required. Like any young person, CAR’s blood diamond smugglers chronicled their lives on Facebook, making them easy to spot.”
Tech Xplore: Twitter-monitoring system detects riots far quicker than police reports. “Social media can be an invaluable source of information for police when managing major disruptive events, new research from Cardiff University has shown.
An analysis of data taken from the London riots in 2011 showed that computer systems could automatically scan through Twitter and detect serious incidents, such as shops being broken in to and cars being set alight, before they were reported to the Metropolitan Police Service.”
Economic Times: India builds game-changing database to track human trafficking. “A charity in New Delhi is building India’s first online database of human trafficking cases in a bid to plug a massive information gap and help law enforcers clean up the epicentre of the modern slave trade. India is home to more slaves than any other in the world, yet a lack of crime data is hindering efforts to understand the organised networks that are buying, selling and exploiting women and children for personal profit.”
Stuff NZ: Fairfax NZ photo library set to return home after US wrangle. “Fairfax NZ’s photo collection looks set to return to New Zealand from the United States, ending a long-running legal saga. Fairfax, the publisher of Stuff and newspapers including The Sunday Star-Times, The Dominion Post and The Press, agreed in 2013 to transfer several million photographs that had been taken in Australia and New Zealand over more than 100 years to Rogers Photo Archive (RPA). The company was to digitise and archive them all for free in return for some sales rights. “
The Australian Institute of Criminology has launched a new Web site with statistics on crime in Australia. From the press release: “This is an Australian first, providing a one-stop-shop for current and trend data on Australian crime and justice datasets including, victims of crime, offenders, corrections, courts, and recent statistical findings from the AIC’s Monitoring Program series….The website will continually evolve to include a broader range of datasets including Drug Use Monitoring in Australia, the National Deaths in Custody Program, and the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission’s National Wastewater Drug Monitoring Program.”
TechCrunch: Equal Justice Initiative, backed by Google.org, launches ‘Lynching in America’. “Thanks in part to funding by Google.org, Equal Justice Initiative has launched an online platform to explore the history of lynching in America. The goal with Lynching in America is to enable people to confront the history of lynching through research, data and the stories of those affected by lynching in America.”