Law enforcement is turning to semantic technology for improved surveillance tools. G.W. Schulz writes, “Private tech firms have found a new market for their sophisticated software capable of analyzing vast segments of the Internet – local police departments looking for ways to pre-empt the next mass shooting or other headline-grabbing event… 3i-MIND [is] a Swiss company that last year prominently showcased Web surveillance products at a law enforcement conference in San Diego. There, it pitched OpenMIND, developed specifically for intelligence and law enforcement agencies, which ‘automatically finds suspicious patterns and behaviors’ across the Internet. It digs not just within social media, but also through blogs, online forums and the ‘deep Web,’ where many chat rooms exist… The company claims it can analyze text ‘according to its semantic meaning’ and show whether ‘C4′ is referring to explosives or something else.” Read more here.

In a separate article, Sarah Reardon reports, “As part of an update to the national fingerprint database, the FBI has begun rolling out facial recognition to identify criminals. It will form part of the bureau’s long-awaited, $1 billion Next Generation Identification (NGI) programme, which will also add biometrics such as iris scans, DNA analysis and voice identification to the toolkit. A handful of states began uploading their photos as part of a pilot programme this February and it is expected to be rolled out nationwide by 2014. In addition to scanning mugshots for a match, FBI officials have indicated that they are keen to track a suspect by picking out their face in a crowd.”

Read more here.

Image: Courtesy Flickr/ Hawaii County