Technology will allow officers to search smartphones under execution of warrant
Credit: Karl-Josef Hildenbrand/DPA/Press Association Images
Police Scotland has invested in 41 “cyber kiosks” that will allow officers to search mobile devices under warrant to look for evidence of crime.
The force has spent over £370,000 on the digital forensic technology, which is manufactured by Israeli vendor Cellebrite and is being supplied by IT reseller Insight. The kit allows officers to circumvent passwords or other security measures to access and extract data stored on mobile devices that they suspect have been used in cybercrime.
Devices will only be searched if officers have seized them “under the execution of a warrant or other statutory powers”, according to detective chief inspector Brian Stuart.
“Officers will now have the ability to interrogate the device and view data from within set parameters, such as a specific timeframe,” he said. “This allows an early decision to be made about the relevance of any device seized and delivers a more efficient process for frontline officers, the public, and the criminal-justice system.”
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Stuart added: “Only relevant information will be extracted, and there will be no data retained on the kiosk.”
The 41 kiosks will be located at various points across the country and will be used by trained officers. Police Scotland’s acquisition of the technology forms part of a 10-year programme of “significant investment in improving its operational capability and service to the public”, according to Stuart.
“One such area of investment has been within cybercrime and, through a programme of modernisation, we are developing a model to meet current and future demands,” he added. “The programme has included a significant uplift in our digital forensics capability to support local and specialist policing across Scotland.”
Prior to the nationwide investment in the kiosks, Police Scotland trialled the software and hardware elements of the technology at a trio of locations in the east of the country.