Feeds

Computer system tells cops to arrest innocent people

Rhode Island police forced to ask suspects if they're really guilty

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Providence, Rhode Island police were forced to stop arresting people because their shiny new law enforcement network system was telling them to grab innocent people.

According to the Providence Journal when the new system went operational police found it had caused them to arrest eight people by mistake.

The Journal puts it exquisitely: "Coventry police officers have greeted the discovery of some warrants with a piece of advice rather than a pair of handcuffs: It looks as if you may be wanted for failing to pay fines, but we can't be sure, so we can't arrest you. But it would behoove you to go to court in the morning and pay the fines you owe - if you owe them."

The system, Justice Link, is the work of Oracle and Systems & Computer Technology Corp. It's being patched, at a cost estimated at $50,000, but consultants have so far found 350 mistakenly issued warrants on the system, and 1,500 past and present suspects are still mismatched on the system.

To be fair on Big O, this does sound suspiciously like a data entry error problem rather than dud software. Court records were transferred to the new system in December, but court workers didn't have time to weed the records adequately.

Last month Supreme Court Chief Justice Joseph R. Weisberger ordered police to check computer records against hard copy before making any arrests. ®

Journal Story

Police 5

Drug abuse is 'the curse of the computer age'
Brit charged with conspiring to kill via Web
CCTV nabs dog-flap cat burglar
Bookworm busted for £100k online book scam -- Wanna get free books, this man shows you how it's done
Is it a bra, or an anti-mugging device?

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Sysadmin with EBOLA? Gartner's issued advice to debug your biz
Start hoarding cleaning supplies, analyst firm says, and assume your team will scatter
YARR! Pirates walk the plank: DMCA magnets sink in Google results
Spaffing copyrighted stuff over the web? No search ranking for you
Microsoft EU warns: If you have ties to the US, Feds can get your data
European corps can't afford to get complacent while American Big Biz battles Uncle Sam
Don't bother telling people if you lose their data, say Euro bods
You read that right – with the proviso that it's encrypted
prev story

Whitepapers

Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.