The Scottish police are introducing portable ‘cyber kiosks’ with which officers can scan smartphones and laptops
Scottish police make portable “cyber kiosks” with which officers can scan smartphones and laptops for information at crime scene – but insist that data is not stored
- The police of Scotland have announced a new tool for scanning data for investigators
- Called cyber kiosks, they let police scan text messages, documents, photos, and more
- The kiosks do not store the data and can only display it when the device is connected via a USB cable
- Police investigators are not allowed to use the kiosks themselves
- Instead, they must work with a dedicated kiosk operator
The police in Scotland will soon be equipped with “cyber kiosks” with which they can scan devices such as smartphones, tablets and laptops for evidence on location at a crime scene.
The kiosks are essentially mobile computer stations with their own program to assist an authorized operator in inspecting data from the device.
Kiosk operators can connect any supported device to the kiosk with a standard USB data transfer cable.
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Scotland police have announced a new cyber kiosk program that allows field investigators to review data on phones and laptops while in the field
The system allows operators to view data from the internal storage, SIM card or micro-SD card of a device.
With the click of a button, operators can further isolate the contact list, text messages, calendar data, images, audio files and music, videos, call logs, saved documents and even ringtones.
The police say that the kiosks are not intended to further undermine privacy, but to ensure that investigations are minimally intrusive.
The current process of checking data on the device can take several months, because devices have been collected at the crime scene and sent to special laboratories for further analysis, giving suspects, victims and witnesses the same frustrating waiting times.
“With the introduction of cyber kiosks, we can quickly identify whether a device contains material related to an investigation,” explains a video from Scotland police.
The kiosks can read all devices via a standard set of USB cables or other data transfer connections
With the proprietary software in the kiosks, researchers can look at on-board storage, SIM card data, micro-SD content and even camera phone information
Researchers can browse through contact lists, text messages, images, call logs and even ringtones
The police claim that researchers cannot operate the kiosks directly and should instead work with a special kiosk buyer
HOW DOES THE CYBER KIOSK WORK?
The cyber kiosk is a setup for scanning mobile data with which the police can view data on telephones, tablets and laptops in the field.
The police say that none of the data assessed through the kiosks will be stored.
Instead, a researcher will check the data from the device to quickly determine if anything is relevant to the research on it.
If there is relevant information, it is forwarded to a cyber crime unit for full analysis.
The only data recorded by the kiosk is the name of the kiosk operator, the date and time of the device scan, and the amount of time spent looking at the device.
“It means that the device can be returned to the owner earlier. This minimizes burglary and offers better service to the public. “
The police insist that kiosks cannot store device data, but only provide on-site investigators with a tool to quickly look through devices to determine if something is relevant to the crime that is committed.
Researchers cannot operate the kiosks directly and instead work with a dedicated kiosk operator who will manage the process.
If an investigator determines that a device has relevant data, he must complete an investigation request form explaining the crime and why the data on board is important enough for the investigation to justify seizing a person’s device.
If the request is approved, they seize the device and send it to a cyber crime unit for full analysis.
After the scanned device is disconnected, the police say that the only record kept during the session is the kiosk operator name, the date and time of the investigation, and the time it took to complete.
A total of 14 kiosks will be available for the police and these will be introduced from 1 May.