Pennsylvania cops deploy electronics sniffer dog to catch child abusers

Hard drive hound ready for duty


Sniffer dogs have been used to detect drugs and explosives for years, but now Delaware police have a new type of K-9 – one trained to sniff out hard drives and electronic storage devices.

The doggy detective, a two-year-old female Labrador retriever named Charlie, has been trained to detect the chemicals used in the manufacturing of hard drives, DVDs and memory cards. As a reward for a successful detection, Charlie gets some play time with her favorite toy – a tennis ball.

"The trainer told me he looks for dogs that have a very high play drive," Nat Evans, a forensic analyst with the Delaware County Criminal Investigation Division and Charlie's handler, told the Philadelphia Inquirer. "Meaning they want to go out, they want to play, they want to find – you know, her incentive is, 'I find the smell, I get my toy'."

The canine cost the police $10,600 after she had been trained, and her nose was good enough to find a microSD card that had been hidden under a carpet. The dog further demonstrated her prowess at a press conference on Wednesday.

There are only about 20 dogs trained to seek out electronics in the US, but they have proved effective. When police searched the home of former Subway spokesman Jared Fogle looking for child abuse images they had no luck, but a sniffer dog found a hidden hard drive that netted Fogle over 15 years in prison.

When not working with the Internet Crimes Against Children Pennsylvania Task Force, Charlie lodges with her handler, doubling as the family pet. ®


Other stories you might like

  • DuckDuckGo tries to explain why its browsers won't block Microsoft ad trackers
    Meanwhile, Tails 5.0 users told to stop what they're doing over Firefox flaw

    DuckDuckGo promises privacy to users of its Android, iOS browsers, and macOS browsers – yet it allows certain data to flow from third-party websites to Microsoft-owned services.

    Security researcher Zach Edwards recently conducted an audit of DuckDuckGo's mobile browsers and found that, contrary to expectations, they do not block Meta's Workplace domain, for example, from sending information to Microsoft's Bing and LinkedIn domains. Specifically, DuckDuckGo's software didn't stop Microsoft's trackers on the Workplace page from blabbing information about the user to Bing and LinkedIn for tailored advertising purposes. Other trackers, such as Google's, are blocked.

    "I tested the DuckDuckGo so-called private browser for both iOS and Android, yet neither version blocked data transfers to Microsoft's Linkedin + Bing ads while viewing Facebook's workplace[.]com homepage," Edwards explained in a Twitter thread.

    Continue reading
  • Despite 'key' partnership with AWS, Meta taps up Microsoft Azure for AI work
    Someone got Zuck'd

    Meta’s AI business unit set up shop in Microsoft Azure this week and announced a strategic partnership it says will advance PyTorch development on the public cloud.

    The deal [PDF] will see Mark Zuckerberg’s umbrella company deploy machine-learning workloads on thousands of Nvidia GPUs running in Azure. While a win for Microsoft, the partnership calls in to question just how strong Meta’s commitment to Amazon Web Services (AWS) really is.

    Back in those long-gone days of December, Meta named AWS as its “key long-term strategic cloud provider." As part of that, Meta promised that if it bought any companies that used AWS, it would continue to support their use of Amazon's cloud, rather than force them off into its own private datacenters. The pact also included a vow to expand Meta’s consumption of Amazon’s cloud-based compute, storage, database, and security services.

    Continue reading
  • Atos pushes out HPC cloud services based on Nimbix tech
    Moore's Law got you down? Throw everything at the problem! Quantum, AI, cloud...

    IT services biz Atos has introduced a suite of cloud-based high-performance computing (HPC) services, based around technology gained from its purchase of cloud provider Nimbix last year.

    The Nimbix Supercomputing Suite is described by Atos as a set of flexible and secure HPC solutions available as a service. It includes access to HPC, AI, and quantum computing resources, according to the services company.

    In addition to the existing Nimbix HPC products, the updated portfolio includes a new federated supercomputing-as-a-service platform and a dedicated bare-metal service based on Atos BullSequana supercomputer hardware.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022