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Future Crimes is a futurist-oriented group dedicated to studying and discussing the effects of scientific and technological progress on crime, policing and the criminal justice system. Learn more...

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The problem with the future is that it keeps turning into the present. — Bill Watterson, Calvin and Hobbes

Latest entries in GPS/Location Awareness
Dealing Crack?  There's an app for that too!

Dealing Crack? There’s an app for that too!

Turn your iPhone into a “Cartel-o-Phone” Well it was just a matter of time before somebody figured this one out.  Recently an iPhone developer created an application known as “Drug Lords,” a program that would enable both drug-dealers and users to find one another in real time and space, thanks to the mobile phone’s built-in...
Unlawful Assembly in Virtual Spaces Now Also Illegal

Unlawful Assembly in Virtual Spaces Now Also Illegal

Many governments around the world have criminal statutes preventing “unlawful assembly” crimes.  Generally speaking, an unlawful assembly refers to a gathering of individuals who come together in order to commit an unlawful act or to behave in a violent, boisterous or tumultuous manner.  While nations around the world differ in their tolerance of public gatherings,...
When Flash Mobs Become Crime Mobs

When Flash Mobs Become Crime Mobs

When people think of flash mobs, they tend to focus on the positive: 300 people showing up to dance to Michael Jackson’s Thriller in a London tube station,  a relatively calm Worldwide Pillow Fight Day or even an impromptu Sound of Music performance in Antwerp’s (Belgium) central rail station. Yet as the below article demonstrates,...
Hacking GPS and Satellite Navigation: Potential Criminal Payoffs

Hacking GPS and Satellite Navigation: Potential Criminal Payoffs

Given the growing dependence on location based services and GPS systems, it is clear that attacks on these core technologies will increase in the future.   As noted in the article below, many companies, especially those with expensive cargo, are gps-tagging their vehicles in order to be able to track them. Yet these weak signals are...
Stolen GPS Devices Lead Criminals Back to Empty Homes

Stolen GPS Devices Lead Criminals Back to Empty Homes

Here’s a new twist on GPS/Location awareness crimes.  While portable GPS devices have been a frequent favorite target for criminals, bad guys are now using the geolocation data to further target their victims.  Criminals have realized that the portable GPS device they had just stolen in a burglary from motor vehicle at the local mall...
Mobile Phone Applications to Fight Crime & Disorder

Mobile Phone Applications to Fight Crime & Disorder

December 3, 2009 Increasingly, police agencies are using social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook to connect with the public on a wide variety of issues.  Now several agencies are releasing their own iPhone applications as a means of combating crime and fighting community disorder.  The most recent and notable example of this has...
We *could* find your stolen Kindle, satellite radio and iPod...but we won't!

We *could* find your stolen Kindle, satellite radio and iPod…but we won’t!

Gadget Makers Can Find Thief, but Don’t Ask Librado Romero/The New York Times Samuel Borgese, who recently lost his Kindle, says Amazon needs another registration step for secondhand Kindles. By David Seagal Published: September 6, 2009 For decades, when an item was lost or stolen, a consumer went through three stages of grief: anger, mourning...
Met Police Officers to be RFID 'microchipped' by Top Brass in Big Brother Style Tracking Scheme

Met Police Officers to be RFID ‘microchipped’ by Top Brass in Big Brother Style Tracking Scheme

While there may be an officer-safety advantage of RFID-tagging human police officers, there certainly may be some unconsidered downsides as well.  First the positive.  Knowing the location of every officer may allow for the more effective delivery of police services.  Dispatchers could send the closest officer to any particular incident.  Should an officer become hurt,...