Called UFED for Universal Forensic Extraction Device, this device lets police officers and other law-enforcement personnel snoop into a cellphone to very quickly (in minutes) extract key information like messages, contacts, photos, call history etc… It also gets deleted files or hidden files that could contain interesting information.
The manufacturer even says that the next version will bypass the simple password of Android and iOS as if it wasn’t there. That’s not it: the UFED can also extract information from personal navigation devices which might contain logs and other information that could be contextually relevant in an investigation.
Now, we wonder in which conditions the UFED can be used, and if it requires a warrant, and you can guess that this is fairly unclear from the manufacturer’s website. After all, they’re not really the ones using it on the streets, and they ship the product to international markets where laws are different.
As it is the case with most technology, the UFED can be a formidable tool to fight criminals as they become ever more “high-tech”. Obviously, it could also lead to quick and easy abuse, but in the end, this is not a new situation and it will probably take some time and a few scandals before the dust settles. How do you think this should be used?
- 2014-03-14: Police Experimenting With Wearable Cameras
- 2013-06-17: States Photo ID Databases Widely Used By Law Enforcement
- 2013-05-12: Police Demands Apple To Decrypt iPhones
- 2013-04-15: Robot Scouts Area For Danger Before Police Officers Do
- 2013-04-12: New York Police Get Help From Android Smartphones