LulzSec, the celebrity-status hacking group, has struck again– this time apparently targeting the Arizona Police Department, which LulzSec accuses of being a “racial-profiling anti-immigrant police state.” Interestingly enough, LulzSec’s hack has revealed a list of iPhone apps that police officers have been warned about. While the list of apps includes the free speed-trap-warning app (Trapster), they also include an app which many citizens feel shouldn’t have law enforcement officers worried at all: The Cop Recorder.
Public Servant Accountability
This latter app, the Cop Recorder, does just what its name suggests—secretly records interactions with the police (or other legal authority figures). The recorded conversations are then uploaded to a server online where some of the videos are analyzed to determine the legality of the officer’s conduct. The android version of this app (called Open Watch) even actually allows users to record videos of their interactions. Since most people believe that law enforcement officers should always be behaving in a perfectly legal manner at all times anyways, the listing of the Cop Recorder on the APD’s app caution list has gotten civilians into a bit of an uproar. After all, if the police have nothing to hide, then clearly they shouldn’t be worrying about whether their conversations are recorded or not.
LulzSec’s hack of the Arizona Police Department’s documents also swiped another item of public interest: a document originally from the Department of Justice’s Computer Crime and Intellectual Property division. The document details how police officers should contain seized iPhones in metal-plated (nickel, copper, silver, etc) Faraday-like bags in order to prevent the phones from being able to receive any wireless connection or radio signals. Their fear? Remote wiping of information from the iPhones—information that could potentially be used as evidence in a case against an arrested individual. Made possible through the “Find my Phone” and “Remote Wipe” features available with the invention of the iOS 3, this remote-wiping of all information in an iPhone would allow individuals to hide any and all content on their phones from anyone at any time. Since this “anyone” could easily include police officers who have seized an iPhone, remote wipe features would make it possible for people to clear off potential evidence before it was ever viewed by law enforcement agencies.
However, despite LulzSec’s decision to hack and leak out the information regarding iPhone apps and functions that the APD apparently fears, the Arizona Police Department has announced that their current greatest fear over LulzSec’s actions is the potential for an increase in retaliatory acts against officers of their state, made a threat because LulzSec has also released confidential information from the police department’s files.