Latest Issue of Science News


News

Cell phone data analysis dials in crime networks

New program mines mobile provider records for incriminating patterns

Sometimes not picking up the phone can be as incriminating as spilling the beans on a wiretapped call. After a recent string of robberies in Italy, a new forensic tool that makes it easy to explore reams of cell phone data revealed an incriminating pattern: Leading up to and after each robbery, there were flurries of calls between members of a gang suspected in a series of gun thefts, car thefts and supermarket stickups. But in the end, it was silence that betrayed the gang: There were no calls during the minutes when the crimes were being committed.

Note: To comment, Science News subscribing members must now establish a separate login relationship with Disqus. Click the Disqus icon below, enter your e-mail and click “forgot password” to reset your password. You may also log into Disqus using Facebook, Twitter or Google.

X
This article is available only to subscribing members. Join SSP today or Log in.