Axon Citizen: “A New Public Evidence Submission Portal For U.S. Law Enforcement”

Axon Citizen (courtesy axon.com)

After the Las Vegas concert shooting, the Clarke County Sheriff’s office asked the general public to share any and all video footage of the incident. Such evidence has become increasingly crucial to police investigations. But law enforcement agencies don’t have an efficient way to receive, store and sort through the material. Enter the cloud-based Axon Citizen, from the good folks who make and sell TASERs and police body cams . . .

“The citizen receives a URL via text message that they can click to upload their photos or video footage,” Axon’s presser proclaims [full text below]. “The evidence goes straight into Evidence.com so community members do not need to hand their phones over to police. The direct upload to Evidence.com eliminates any need for officers to download, print and transfer data to a USB drive and physically place it inside an evidence locker at the agency.”

OK, so, what about privacy? Yeah, not so much, as asterisked text indicates:

*Axon Citizen will do everything possible to not capture obvious attribution data without tampering with the evidence submission, or destroying the usefulness of the submitted evidence.

To be clear, while Evidence.com is not capturing any personal contact information, there is still metadata embedded in the image being submitted, and the inherent contextual information in the image/video/audio itself that could be used through investigative efforts by law enforcement to identify the submitter.

Not so anonymous, eh Mr. Bond? As if any communication is these days. Still, a good idea and a great business for Axon.

Announcing Axon Citizen, A New Public Evidence Submission Portal For U.S. Law Enforcement

Allows community members to volunteer evidence to police to help solve ongoing investigations faster

SCOTTSDALE, AZ, and SEATTLE, WA October 19, 2017 – Axon (Nasdaq: AAXN), the global leader in connected law enforcement technologies, today announced Axon Citizen, a public safety portal that allows community members to submit evidence directly to law enforcement agencies only for crimes under investigation.

There are two ways in which officers can solicit help from the community: one-on-one between an officer and the citizen, or with a community-wide broadcast requesting information on a specific crime. The one-on-one tool is available now for Axon customers signed up for early access. It will be available to all U.S. customers on the Evidence.com Pro, Ultimate, or Unlimited licensing tiers at no incremental cost, with no additional storage fees, later this year.

The large-event community broadcast Citizen tool will include additional software capabilities to help triage the massive amounts of data that may be submitted and will be available for an additional enterprise license based on the size of the agencyLearn more by visiting www.axon.com/citizen.

“Axon Citizen is a great example of the power of our cloud based technology model,” says Axon CEO and founder, Rick Smith. “Our customers will receive the breakthrough ability to collect one-on-one information from members of the community via a seamless software update. Similar to when we launched multi-cam sync a few months ago, we endeavor to delight our customers with unexpected new features that extend the capability of their Axon experience.”

With the increasing prevalence of photos and video recordings being captured on mobile devices, Axon Citizen enables law enforcement agencies to securely receive and manage community submissions relating to a specific crime.

The citizen receives a URL via text message that they can click to upload their photos or video footage. The evidence goes straight into Evidence.com so community members do not need to hand their phones over to police. The direct upload to Evidence.com eliminates any need for officers to download, print and transfer data to a USB drive and physically place it inside an evidence locker at the agency.

Axon Citizen will include the following features and benefits:

– Accelerates the review process: Axon Citizen’s triage tool allows the reviewer to quickly decide which submissions to accept or decline.

– Streamlines searching: All submissions are automatically categorized and searchable within Evidence.com to simplify case building.

– Keeps community privacy in mind: For people who prefer to submit evidence without formal attribution, Axon Citizen allows the community member to submit without inputting any personal information.*

– Offers network reliability: Axon Citizen provides agencies the infrastructure and tools needed to support large volumes of submissions, so agencies can remain confident during large-scale events.

– Seamless integration with Evidence.com: Data submitted with Axon Citizen is maintained at the highest levels of security and compliance on Axon’s Evidence.com solution.

Axon’s Evidence.com solution is a trusted and proven cloud service that provides law enforcement secure workflows and sharing capabilities to aid in the management of digital evidence. We are committed to the ongoing security, privacy and compliance of the Evidence.com service and data stored within. Evidence.com maintains ISO 27001 and ISO 27018 certifications, has been awarded the Cloud Security Alliance’s STAR Level 2 attestation, and has contractually committed to the Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) Security Policy within all states.

In addition to working with public safety agencies, Axon surveyed a sampling of more than 1,500 community members nationwide to develop a system that would suit their needs. The survey found that more than one-fifth (21%) of respondents had captured digital evidence pertinent to a police investigation, but fewer than half (45%) had submitted that evidence to the police.

More than half of respondents (65%) were extremely likely or somewhat likely to proceed with sharing evidence if only a text message was involved. With this valuable community input, we were able to create a product that meets the needs of both law enforcement officers and citizens.

We will be showcasing Axon Citizen along with other products at the International Association of Chiefs of Police conference in Philadelphia on October 22-23, at Booth Number 2825.

*Axon Citizen will do everything possible to not capture obvious attribution data without tampering with the evidence submission, or destroying the usefulness of the submitted evidence. To be clear, while Evidence.com is not capturing any personal contact information, there is still metadata embedded in the image being submitted, and the inherent contextual information in the image/video/audio itself that could be used through investigative efforts by law enforcement to identify the submitter.

About Axon

The Axon network is a network of devices, apps and people that helps law enforcement become smarter and safer. Our mission is to protect life. Our technologies give law enforcement the confidence, focus and time they need to keep their communities safe. Our products impact every aspect of an officer’s day-to-day experience:

In the field – Our Smart Weapons offer a less-lethal intermediate use of force response and our body-worn and in-car cameras collect video evidence to capture the truth of an incident; and our mobile applications enable simple evidence collection.

At the station – Our secure, cloud-based digital evidence management solution allows officers and command staff to manage, review, share and process digital evidence using forensic, redaction, transcription, and other tools.

In the courtroom – Our solutions for prosecutors make collaborating across jurisdictions and agencies easy so that cases can be resolved quickly.

We work hard for those who put themselves in harm’s way for all of us. To date, there are more than 169,000 licensed users from around the world and more than 190,000 lives and countless dollars have been saved with the Axon network of devices, apps and people. Learn more at www.axon.com or by calling (800) 978-2737.

Axon, the “Axon Delta” logo, Axon network, Axon Citizen, Smart Weapons, and Evidence.com are trademarks of Axon Enterprise, Inc., some of which are registered in the U.S. and other countries. For more information, visit www.axon.com/legal. All rights reserved.

comments

  1. avatar Vhyrus says:

    Make NARCing Great Again!

    1. avatar The Punisher says:

      Coincidence that this comes out shortly after the premiere of the TV drama “wisdom of the crowd” which is basically crowd sourced crime solving?

      Hmmm….

      1. avatar JSW says:

        Twice is coincidence, three times is enemy action.

        The government is a proven enemy.

        This program/app is not ‘coincidence’.It’s a test to see how receptive the sheeple are to surrendering more of their freedom.

  2. avatar ATFAgentBob says:

    Wonderful…. Till you realize not everyone lives in the city with good cellphone signal and all it would take a decent hacker to totally destroy a lot of investigations.

  3. avatar Joe R. says:

    Iffen-zee Dohn’t Durhnlurte ya zim-caahd, vee Dohn’t Knohh vat vee moost kahva ahp.

    How can they tell you what the investigation has uncovered, if you don’t help them find out what they have to cover up?

  4. avatar sound awake says:

    they did the same thing after san bernardino sandy hook orlando newtown and aurora

    1. avatar sound awake says:

      that was sarcasm

      of course they didnt

      the point being after 2 1/2 weeks all those investigations were essentially wrapped up

      they werent still trying to figure out simple things like motive…

      and accomplices…

      and when stuff actually happened…

      a lot of stuff is not adding up to anybody but theres still a subset of people out there that while they own lots of guns and dont trust their government any farther than they could throw it they will hard stance not admit that something seriously nefarious is going on

      equal parts cognitive dissonance and normalcy bias

  5. avatar Mark N. says:

    The evidence is useless, in a legal sense, if it has no attribution, in legalese, cannot be “authenticated.” If you are going to act as a witness, you should be prepared to disclose your identity and be willing to testify if the need should arise. It doesn’t matter if you are testifying to what you saw orally or through a video. Thus, there should be no real privacy concerns.

    1. avatar FedUp says:

      I don’t see how any of it is going to be used to prosecute any living person, unless evidence leads them down paths which they’ve shown no interest in exploring to date.

      If it’s just to help them fix their timeline etc, it doesn’t have to be ‘evidence’ in the courtroom sense of the word.

      1. avatar tmm says:

        Right, it’s about the equivalent of an anonymous tip. I don’t see how it can be used as evidence.

        I’d like to see, though, what Mandalay Bay has to offer in the way of video footage, etc. There’s been precious little that I’ve heard about, save for a little leak regarding evil plastic or something. Yeesh.

        1. avatar strych9 says:

          Yeah Olde Anonymous Tip doesn’t exist anymore unless you use a landline that isn’t yours.

          I tried it from my cell phone a few years ago after witnessing a car-to-car gunfight. They even asked if I wanted to remain anonymous and I stated that I did. Still got subpoenaed.

          Facing your accuser, rules of evidence and all that.

  6. avatar Alan Esworthy says:

    Axon is an interesting name choice for a network such as this on for receiving submitted evidence. Axons are the fibers that transmit outgoing impulses from nerve cells. Not incoming impulses; those are carried by dendrites.

    1. avatar joetast says:

      That’s interesting.

  7. avatar joetast says:

    At first I thought just s maniac going nuts n killing, his motive is moot. Then I thought conspiracy more gun control. Now I think he was just a maniac killing people without any motive at all and the gun grabbers jumped all over it. I knew Paddock was opening a can of worms, I don’t think there was a motive except murder. ……. I also wonder if society is using Orwell’s 1984 as a pattern or its coincidence. Big Brother seems to have its eyes and minions everywhere, and each day a new ” must have” gadget privacy infiltrator

  8. avatar Specialist38 says:

    I have no video to give to police and would not willingly give my cell phone to the police.

  9. avatar No one of consequence says:

    I’ll just leave this here:

    “https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Confrontation_Clause”

    1. avatar No one of consequence says:

      Interestingly, no “edit post” button…

      In that article, there is also a section on “Testimonial hearsay” that is worth reading also.

  10. avatar El Bearsidente says:

    It will take 5 minutes and this evidence.com will be flooded with non-issues and memes.

    Can’t wait to see the tens of thousands of screenshots that will show someone saying mean words.

    Horrible idea.

  11. avatar Blurb says:

    The meta data could be the key. Software already exists to automatically stitch photos and videos together into a 4D model. It’s not perfect, but other software exists to deconvolute many crappy photos into a good one. These, combined with the position and pointing metadata from the phones of hundreds of people would allow a very good reconstruction of the scene. Using the reconstructed scene, they could use predictive modeling of human behavior (again, software that already exists) to sort out whose movements were anomolous prior to, during, and after the shooting to identify a list of persons in need of a good debriefing.

  12. avatar Stinkeye says:

    Certainly nobody would submit doctored images or bombard the system with useless junk.

    What could possibly go wrong?

    As soon as the 4chan miscreants finds out about this thing, it’s dead.

  13. avatar GaPharmD says:

    Just like in the pharmacutical field they now want us to do all the work for them.

    So who gets paid for collecting this evidence?

    Do the popo get a decrease in funds since they are having others do the work.

    If not where is all the free money going that’s not being used for all this citizen supplied service?

    Standard do our work for us because we said so and we don’t have enough r sources and were the government!

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