Police Scotland to roll out encryption bypass technology – Glasgow Live

Technology that allows police officers to gather data from digital devices without the need for a password is to be rolled out from next week.

Police Scotland confirmed on Tuesday that the so-called cyber kiosks - digital triage devices - will be given to officers on January 20.

The kiosks are laptop-sized machines that enable the user to override encryption on devices such as mobile phones and tablets.

Technology was due to be deployed earlier but the roll-out was hit by delays as MSPs called for greater clarity over the legal framework for their use.

A total of 14 kiosks have already been bought by Police Scotland and will be located across all policing divisions.

It is expected all of the kiosks will be operational before May 1.

Police Scotland believe having the kiosks will allow lines of inquiry to be progressed at a faster pace, with officers being able to return mobile devices to their owners when they are having to assess them for potential evidence.

Officers will only examine the device of an individual when there is a legal basis and it is "necessary, justified and proportionate" to the crime under investigation.

They will not be enabled to store data from any devices and when an examination is complete all data will be securely deleted.

Deputy Chief Constable Malcolm Graham said having the ability to quickly assess which devices either do or do not contain evidence on them will minimise the intrusion into people's lives.

"We are committed to providing the best possible service to victims and witnesses of crime," he said.

"This means we must keep pace with society. People of all ages now lead a significant part of their lives online and this is reflected in how we investigate crime and the evidence we present to courts.

"Many online offences disproportionately affect the most vulnerable people in our society, such as children at risk of sexual abuse, and our priority is to protect those people."

He added: "Increases in the involvement of digital devices in investigations and the ever-expanding capabilities of these devices mean that demand on digital forensic examinations is higher than ever.

"Current limitations, however, mean the devices of victims, witnesses and suspects can be taken for months at a time, even if it later transpires that there is no worthwhile evidence on them.

"By quickly identifying devices which do and do not contain evidence, we can minimise the intrusion on people's lives and provide a better service to the public."

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Police Scotland to roll out encryption bypass technology - Glasgow Live

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