SMILE Conference Day Two: Mobile Video and Officer Safety

Posted on 11 May 2011 by


There’s been no PLI Podcast for the past two Wednesdays because of Dave’s and my travel schedule but we’ll be back next week with some new stuff we hope you’ll agree is pretty good and worth the wait.

Meanwhile, the second day of the SMILE Conference in Chicago was, to me, perhaps more interesting than the first, probably because of the excellent case study proffered by Phoenix detective CJ Wren.

You can read all about it in a very good overview piece by Mike Levine over at Fox News – it’s a long and considered piece that carries what I would characterize as a thoroughly even-handed account of the good and bad of social media as discussed in the first two days of the conference.

Also on day two, McAfee’s Dave Marcus gave a primer to the crowd on some basic open-source intelligence (OSINT) tools like Maltego, and touched upon the fact that Social Media monitoring is a two-way street, that these same tools can be used to focus criminals’ attention on police agencies and personnel. Later in the taxi on the way to the airport, Dave and Dave and I were discussing how important it is to get this kind of basic information security information out to law enforcement officers and administrative staffers, because the dangers sound so fake, movie-like and esoteric when in fact they are real, commonplace and trivial to launch. As an example, almost none of the crowd had heard of, let alone used, Maltego.

My first talk was on the mobile video issues facing police today. I grabbed a hodgepodge of statistics from the web which bring the point home (which I can’t source, because I was frantically Googling right before going on stage. But here they are):

For the 3 months ending February 2011, 234 million Americans over 13 used mobile devices. 70 million Americans owned smartphones at end Feb 11, up thirteen percent from the preceding three month period. Google Android market share is up 7% since Nov, to 33%; RIM is second with 29%, Apple 25%, MSFT 7.7%, Palm 2.8%.

I talked about the generation gap in mobile: 25% of American mobile web users are mobile only – kids today don’t get landlines, and why should they? This year, 85% of new handsets will have mobile web access.

All this means:

  • Many people you contact have a personal recording device.
  • Many people have video.
  • Everyone in America knows someone who has one or both.
  • You should assume that every encounter you have will be recorded and placed on the Internet.

Then I showed some videos. I’ll try – try – to put them up here, but there are bandwidth issues.

In any event, SMILE was an outstanding couple of days.