Australian Federal Police use social media to call for hunting criminals


The Australian Federal Police (AFP) warned most sought after criminals about “state-of-the-art technology” designed to track individuals using phones and images posted on social media sites. ..

With members based in 33 countries, AFP is trolling criminals’ social media accounts to look for geospatial information. This is a free gift that suggests the whereabouts of the interested person.

This extends beyond the usual “geotagging” (the default process for smartphones to tag images with GPS positions) and can be easily turned off.

Instead, it involves scrutinizing the attributes of the captured image, such as buildings and other physical features. This allows you to determine where an individual is in the world by comparing it to satellite imagery.

AFP outlines not only images, but also the ability to track target movement through a record of outgoing calls.

Overall, AFP specialists have the ability to collect information from GPS data, satellite imagery, aerial photography, and data from cell phone towers.

AFP Commander Paula Hudson said geospatial technology has become important and has made breakthroughs in digital forensics.

“AFP is known for innovation and capabilities in law enforcement, both in Australia and around the world,” said Commander Hudson. Said..

Epoch Times Photo
Paula Hudson, Detective Officer of the Australian Federal Police at the Australian Children’s Exploitation Center in Brisbane, Australia, September 2, 2020. (Photo courtesy of PATRICK HAMILTON / AFP / AFP, via Getty Images)

“One component of the set of functions that AFP officers have in technology weapons is the ability to use geospatial technology to identify where criminals are hiding and where they are committing crimes.

“Our forensic capabilities are growing every year, and criminals are finding that there is no place to hide from AFP’s long arms.”

AFP positions digital capabilities as a priority in the fight against crime.

This technology was widely used in Operation Ironside, an international sting operation involving 9,000 officers from Australia, Europe, and the United States.

However, the key to this operation was the deliberate deployment of an encrypted messaging app named “ANoM” released into the underground world of crime that provided police with access to secret communications between syndicates. ..

ANoM was developed by the FBI, but AFP provided the technical ability to decrypt communications.

Founded in 2018, the operation spans 18 countries, arresting 224 criminals on 526 charges in Australia alone, and more are expected. In total, Australian police seized more than 3.7 tons of drugs, 104 firearms and weapons, and about $ 45 million in cash.

Daniel Y. Teng contributed to this report.

Daniel Kumerev


Daniel Khmelev is a Perth-based Australian reporter working on energy, technology and politics. He holds a bachelor’s degree in mathematics, physics and computer science. Contact him at [email protected].