The European Union is considering integrating technology into European cars that would allow law enforcement officials to stop cars remotely. Theoretically, the technology would cut down on safety risks and hazards, as criminals would be unable to flee from police using their vehicles. However, the proposal, which is still in the early stages, also raises significant civil liberties concerns. The BBC has the full story.
The California legislature is debating a bill that would restrict the use of unmanned drones and ban the use of weaponized drones completely. This bill would require law enforcement agencies to obtain a warrant from a judge before using a drone for surveillance purposes. Despite the expected rise in drone use by both government and private entities, California remains one of the few states to have proposed legislation directed at limiting their use. Read more here.
The U.S. Department of Justice and the National Institute of Standards and Technology have created a national forensic science commission to analyze the current use of and effectiveness of current forensic science techniques. The commission is particularly concerned over seemingly clear cut convictions based on inaccurate forensic evidence that have been overturned by DNA evidence. Read more in Scientific American.
Michigan Supreme Court Justice David F. Viviano recently met with judges from Lenawee County to discuss the technology updates implemented in county courtrooms last fall. Viviano said he was impressed with the cooperation between county officials and judges and hopes more counties will follow suit. The courts will offer electronically broadcast hearings that will save both the time and expense of transporting inmates to hearings. These five courtrooms are not yet online; however, Justice Viviano is optimistic about their success. Read more in The Daily Telegram online.
Electronic picture in picture technology, also known as e-PiP, has the potential to transform trials by allowing lawyers to show a wide range documents, pictures, and audio files to jurors. The technology allows lawyers to highlight and annotate key points of their exhibits. It has the side benefit of saving paper and being environmentally friendly. To read more, visit this Digital Journal article.
A new start-up company called Ravel Law raised $8.1 million in funding to develop a legal technology system that will help lawyers cut costs and research more efficiently. This data-visualization product helps lawyers compile and review massive amounts of information. Additionally, the software is unique in that it provides a “visual map” that includes both outlier cases and historical precedent. Read more at Venturebeat.com.
Lawyers and technology experts recently met in Manhattan for the LegalTech 2014 Conference. Although the legal profession has taken strides to enter the twenty-first century, commentator Joe Patrice says the technology of the legal world still lags behind. Despite “bring your own device” policies shifting the burden of providing technology to the lawyers themselves, the many legal employers use outdated software and inadequate security measures. Read more of Patrice’s column at Above The Law.
Emerging military technologies such as unmanned drones are so revolutionary they may change the landscape of war as we know it. Smart weapons that independently target and kill humans, for example, pose significant ethical and legal implications. Read more in ScienceDaily.