So Many Local Crimes, So Few Cybercops to Help

Justin Feffer, a senior investigator at the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office, drove to a suspect’s house last December for a search relating to an identity-theft case. First, he did what cops normally do: took down the license number on the truck in the driveway, noted that surveillance cameras hung from the eaves and the windows were covered in paper.Then, he did something unusual for a local cop: He pulled out his iPhone and checked for any unencrypted wireless access points nearby. The iPhone check, says Mr. Feffer, helped avoid the predicament that befell two other law-enforcement agencies that raided the wrong house on successive days, because the real suspect in a child pornography case had been using an innocent person’s unprotected wireless Internet connection. Mr. Feffer didn’t find any wireless loopholes that could be exploited.

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