As people become more reliant on technology, law enforcement is learning how to investigate crimes with online data. AP News reported that in the U.S., tech companies now have more than three times the amount of police requests for user information than they did back in 2015.
Most crimes have a connection to the online world. Even if a criminal never uses the internet, there is likely some tidbit online that can help investigators.
What the police look at
There are several types of online data the police can look at. For one, phone calls, emails and instant messages can be very telling if people have been discussing the crime with each other. Photos and videos can give the police an even more vivid idea of what happened, including who was at the scene. Driving routes and shopping histories can also help the police put different details together.
How the police investigate
Law enforcement does not simply request data and then examine it. Gag orders have become more commonplace, keeping tech companies from notifying users about the investigation. Suspects often have no idea that the police are pursuing them until they are in handcuffs. Police can also have a tech company block a user from deleting information, even if there is no search warrant.
Many people think their online resources will help them pull off a scheme. However, the police are catching on and finding ways to turn the tables on their suspects. This is why people should think twice before committing a crime, especially in today’s world.