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When the police used ANPR data to study Khan and Uddin’s movements, they uncovered another surprise: the duo hadn’t travelled alone. Officers dug into the national database using a technique called “convoy analysis.” First, every record of Khan and Uddin’s car trip was recalled from the system. Then another set of plate numbers was generated: those of every car that had passed by those same cameras within a few seconds or minutes of the pair. By comparing this set with those at the next camera site, and the next, and the next, the police identified a second car that had travelled in convoy with them from Birmingham to Dewsbury. Within 48 hours, police arrested not only Khan and Uddin, but four further members of the group from the second car. All six men later plead guilty to preparing an act of terrorism, and were sentenced to a total of 111 years in prison.

Professor Gates is currently working on a new project that investigates the emerging professional field of video forensics and its attendant technologies in order to examine the ways in which new visual imaging and archiving technologies are being incorporated into, and transforming, modern investigatory and evidentiary practices. She is especially interested in the emerging forms that police work is taking in the digital economy, including the cultural labor that the police perform in their roles as surveillance workers and media analysts.

Interesting new research focus for Kelly Gates – v close to WITNESS’ new directions.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation and MuckRock have partnered to create a national project that helps anyone openly file and track public records requests which can answer just these questions, providing spot checks across America on which agencies and departments are planning, deploying or budgeting for drone deployments now or in the future. It’s a national census for government drone usage, and we need your help. It will only take a minute, and can be, if you choose, done anonymously.