QUT Robotronica Event – Robotics, Ethics and Law Enforcement

Crime and Justice Research Centre member Dr Monique Mann will be speaking on a panel at QUT’s Robotronica event this Sunday the 20th of August. The panel will consider the topic of Robotics, Ethics and Law Enforcement.

Robotic technologies are being used globally to do what humans find too difficult, tedious, dangerous, or beyond our capacity. But the use of robots to deliver law enforcement raises new concerns, and has given rise to intense ethical debates about when and how robots are deployed by police for this purpose.
Professor Matthew Rimmer (QUT) leads this discussion, in conversation with Dr Monique Mann (QUT), Associate Professor James Mullins (Deakin University) and Acting Superintendent Brad Wright (Queensland Police Services), to consider the implications of remote-controlled, fully autonomous and semi-autonomous robots as law enforcers, the types of considerations needed to ensure safe practices, and whether anxieties surrounding robotics in policing are grounded in truth or fiction.
Further information about the event and details on how to register can be found at this link: http://www.robotronica.qut.edu.au/whats-on/2017/robocop.php

Police recruits and perceptions of trust in diverse groups

The following article was recently published in Police Practice and Research:  An International Journal by Toby Miles-Johnson and Sharon Pickering

A link to the full article can be found here:  http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/15614263.2017.1364162
Miles-Johnson, T., & Pickering, S. (2017). Police recruits and perceptions of trust in diverse groups. Police Practice and Research: An International Journal
DOI: 10.1080/15614263.2017.1364162


The tenth Workshop on the Social Implications of National Security (SINS17)

Crime and Justice Research Centre member Dr Monique Mann co-convened with Professor Katina Michael (University of Wollongong), Dr Rob Nicholls (UNSW), and Mr Peter Leonard (Gilbert and Tobin) the tenth Workshop on the Social Implications of National Security on the topic of RegTech and Biometrics. The workshop consisted of representative voices from government, industry, civil society and academe. This year’s presenters included John Kendall from Unisys, Rustom Kanga from iOmniscient, Philip Green QLD Privacy Commissioner, and Elizabeth Tydd NSW Information Commissioner and Open Data Advocate.

Dr Mann presented on the topic on ‘Biometrics, Crime and Security: Facial recognition, behavioural profiling and deception detection at the border.’ This presentation promoted her forthcoming Routledge monograph on ‘Biometrics, Crime and Security’ co-authored by Marcus Smith (Charles Sturt University), Monique Mann (Queensland University of Technology) and Gregor Urbas (University of Canberra), due to be published early 2018.


Each and every person confronted with international travel will face the prospect of his or her biometric information being collected either via CCTV, an e-Smart Gate or a fingerprint scanner. The International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) has selected facial recognition as the global standard for interoperable biometric passports and there have been moves in Australia towards passport free travel requiring travellers to present only their face at border control. Instead of comparing a face with a facial template stored in an ePassport, the face would be compared against a facial template stored within the Australian Passport Office’s database.
Looking internationally there has been a steady expansion of the use of face recognition technology for border control. In the UK British Airways uses facial recognition scanning at security screening enabling travellers to board planes without the requirement of showing identification documentation. US Customs and Border Protection have been using facial recognition since 2015, with trials expanding initially from Washington to New York airports. More recently there have been proposals for US Customs and Border Protection agents to use drones equipped with facial recognition technology to monitor the border with Mexico. There have been suggestions that US Customs and Border Protection will commence a program known as ‘Biometric Exit’ that scans the faces of individuals departing the US to verify who has left the US, and therefore be able to identify those who overstay their visas.
New technologies are being developed that combine facial recognition with emotion recognition and other second-generation biometrics to identify threats and detect deception. Police have historically used the polygraph for lie detection, however a modern alternative is evolving in the form of the Automated Virtual Agent for Truth Assessments in Real-Time (AVATAR), currently being developed by the University of Arizona and US Customs and Border Protection. An automated robotic border agent asks questions while assessing biometric information such as facial expressions, voice intonation and inflection to detect deception. A combination of this technology with predictive questioning and access to large and ever expanding databases enables robot-enhanced interrogation at the border.  Further, the US Department of Homeland Security is developing Future Attribute Screening Technology (FAST) to collect somatic indicators of stress and anxiety to supposedly detect hostile intentions in public spaces.
These automated systems of identification and deception detection have the potential to remove humans from decision-making processes associated with border control. There are a number of concerns about the implementation these technologies, particularly in light of the significant expansion in the collection and storage of personal data coupled with diminishing opportunities for individuals to opt out, and little, if any, limits on data collection and use by border control agents. There are further concerns about an individual’s right to silence, privilege not to self-incriminate and the parameters of legitimate search. This paper foreshadows emerging developments that concern the use of biometrics at the border and in doing so considers associated privacy and human rights implications and regulatory prospects and protections.
Full program proceedings and presentations can be found at this link: http://www.katinamichael.com/sins17/

Examining access to justice for those with an enduring power of attorney who are suffering financial abuse

ACHLR/CJRC and ADA Australia
Public Forum

Topic: Examining access to justice for those with an enduring power of attorney who are suffering financial abuse

Please join members of the Australian Centre for Health Law Research, Crime and Justice Research Centre and ADA Australia for light refreshments in QUT’s Gibson Room followed by the forum.

Date:         Wednesday 30 August 2017
When:       5.00pm light refreshments followed
by a 5.15pm – 7.00pm forum
Venue:      The Gibson Room, Level 10, Z Block,
QUT Gardens Point Campus,
2 George Street, Brisbane

Further details about the event, including how to register, are in the attached link.




Exploring the challenges of the new transnational cyber policing

Crime Justice Research Centre member Dr Monique Mann was recently invited to host a seminar on her forthcoming research on online policing at the Information Law and Policy Centre (ILPC), Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (IALS) at the University of London. Dr Monique Mann explored the new challenges posed for policing and law enforcement by cybercrime and dissected the legal conundrums and human rights considerations raised by criminal activity which crosses international jurisdictions. The panel was also comprised of expert discussant, Professor Ian Walden (Queen Mary University of London), and was chaired by the ILPC’s Director, Dr Nóra Ni Loideain.

Exploring the challenges of the new transnational cyber policing

The development of the Internet has facilitated global communications, new online spaces for the exchange of goods and information, new currencies and online marketplaces, and unprecedented access to information. These new possibilities in ‘cyberspace’ have been exploited for criminal activity and the rising challenge of various forms of ‘cybercrime’ in recent years has been well-documented.

As part of our cyber security and cybercrime seminar series at the Information Law and Policy Centre (ILPC) for 2017, lead speaker Dr Monique Mann explored the new challenges posed for policing and law enforcement by cybercrime and dissected the legal conundrums and human rights considerations raised by criminal activity which crosses international jurisdictions. The panel was also comprised of expert discussant, Professor Ian Walden (Queen Mary University of London), and was chaired by the ILPC’s Director, Dr Nóra Ni Loideain.

Mann’s current research – alongside her colleagues at the Queensland University of Technology and Deakin University – concerns the ‘legal geographies of digital technologies’. Her talk considered three case studies which formed the basis of broader conclusions in relation to the use of extraterritorial legal powers by states (particularly the United States) and the issues raised by extradition processes which have become prominent in several high profile hacking cases.

The Silk Road

Mann’s talk began with an analysis of the FBI’s investigation into the Silk Road – an illicit online marketplace trading drugs and other illegal items operated through the anonymity afforded by the Tor network. Mann stated that the equivalent of $1.2 billion in the cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, was exchanged by Silk Road users during the site’s operation between 2011 and 2013. She highlighted that the FBI’s investigation and attempts to prosecute the leaders of the site were dependent on a range of extraterritorial legal activities.

First, warrants to investigate the online activities of the suspects were issued only after the FBI had already managed to access information from a server in Iceland. It is not clear from public documents how the FBI gained access to this server. Moreover, the warrants – which were also relevant to individual citizens based outside the United States – were granted on the authority of a single US judge.

Secondly, in order to demonstrate conspiracy under the Continuing Criminal Enterprise Act, the FBI sought to access communications between the chief suspect in the case, Ross William Ulbricht, and co-offenders based in Ireland and Australia. This included an attempt by the FBI to access email content from Microsoft servers based in Ireland using a Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT) request. Microsoft fought the request and the most recent ruling on this issue has designated the request as an impermissible extraterritorial search.

Finally, the FBI sought to extradite Irish-based suspect, Gary Davis, to the United States in order to face trial for his involvement in the Silk Road site. Taken together, the FBI’s investigative techniques in relation to the Silk Road site raise significant questions around the processes and outcomes of extraterritorial legal activities.


Gary Davis’ case was the catalyst for the team to investigate extradition in greater detail as it is has become a central, if exceptional, feature of transnational justice cooperation. Mann and her colleagues have reviewed a number of high profile cases of citizens facing extradition including Davis, Gary McKinnon and Laurie Love. In the past, extradition has primarily been used as a tool to return a suspected criminal to his or her home country after he or she has fled. In the digital age, however, extradition is increasingly being used in cyber crime cases to extradite suspected criminals to a country they may never have even visited as the nature of transnational online offending means their crime effectively takes place in a different location to where they are physically based.

Courts have three options on being presented with an extradition request from another jurisdiction: accept the request and relocate the offender to face trial in the prosecuting country; deny the request altogether; or shift the prosecution to the ‘source of harm’ – i.e. the offender’s location.

Mann pointed out that in the cases of Gary McKinnon and Laurie Love, extradition requests from the United States have triggered protracted legal cases lasting many years as the defendants have (variously) argued that the extradition request infringes their Article 3, 6 and/or 8 rights under the European Convention of Human Rights. The cases have also hinged on the defendants’ physical and mental well-being, particularly in relation to Autistic Spectrum Disorders (emerging research suggests there is a link between online offending and ASDs).

The difficulties and legal complexities of these extradition cases, as well as a concern for the human rights of those involved, led the researchers to question whether it would not be better to shift the legal forum to the source – i.e. to the defendant’s home country.

Attendees at the ILPC seminar, however, highlighted that there are significant obstacles both in terms of cost and willingness to share evidence. It was argued, for example, that the UK was probably not willing to finance McKinnon’s trial here, nor would the US be interested in sharing sensitive information relating to the 73,000 US government computers – including NASA and military facilities – that McKinnon had hacked from his home computer.

Bulk Hacking and Child Exploitation Material

The final feature of extraterritorial law enforcement that Mann highlighted was the use of bulk hacking. These ‘watering hole’ or ‘honeypot’ operations have involved the FBI taking over an illegal website, moving it to a government server, continuing to operate the site, and then using it as a base to hack unsuspecting users.

In the Playpen example which Mann cited, the US government infected more than 8,000 computers in over 120 countries with a single warrant making it the largest known extraterritorial hacking operation. The investigation into Playpen – a site for the exchange of child exploitation material – has sparked 124 cases involving 17 defendants. One of the central legal questions here has been whether such activities constitute a “search” of the site’s users or whether they constitute online tracking.

Defendants have also attempted to argue that the US government has engaged in outrageous conduct in continuing to operate the Playpen website pointing out that during 2 weeks of operation the US government will have distributed 22,000 images of child exploitation material. Although the court in the case argued that the US government did not create the crimes committed, Mann nevertheless raised the question as to whether the ends do justify these means.

Implications and Issues

For Mann, the Silk Road, extradition and bulk hacking case studies focus attention on the role of the United States in the transnational jurisdictional sphere. How far has policing in the context of cybercrime become ‘Americanised’ and at the behest of US agendas (such as the war on drugs)? And what does US law enforcement activity mean for understandings of ‘ownership’ of the internet?

Addressing these points, the panel’s discussant, Professor Ian Walden, a leading expert in information and communications law, stated that the United States’ access to investigative and legal resources will continue to mean it is ‘an important player’ in the prosecution of transnational cybercrime. He also argued that greater efforts at resolving legal conflict and a focus on international cooperation will be required as crime increasingly traverses international boundaries and as jurisdictional claims of countries concurrently expands.

Walden was hopeful that international cooperation could be improved through international aid to raise standards of criminal and procedural law, and he acknowledged that in particularly serious cyber crime offences, such as child exploitation material, there is some harmonisation.

He was not convinced, however, that in the near future there would be any advance in international agreements on cooperation beyond the Council of Europe’s 2001 Convention on Cybercrime. Differing national agendas and legal standards, he said, also create difficulties for international cooperation and legal harmonisation. Walden noted that Kenyan parliamentarians, for example, regard the main ‘cybercrime’ issue as the use of Facebook to accuse them of corruption – an issue which is of little concern in other parts of the world; while in Nigeria, cybercrimes can lead to the death penalty – a sanction that would be unacceptable to many other legal jurisdictions and not a solid foundation for cooperation.

In conclusion, the panel observed that British and European law has also so far held up and blocked the extraditions of Gary McKinnon and Laurie Love to the United States in the ‘interests of justice’. As a consequence of these and similar obstacles to transnational cooperation, it is likely that jurisdictional clashes in these transnational cybercrime cases will become more commonplace – particularly if the scope for cybercrime increases with the ongoing spread of the internet and new communication technologies.

And perhaps, paradoxically, it might be the case that out of these clashes, new methods, techniques and agreements on transnational policing and law enforcement will have to emerge.


The full post can be viewed here: https://infolawcentre.blogs.sas.ac.uk/2017/07/24/exploring-the-challenges-of-the-new-transnational-cyber-policing/



Event: How do we change the world? 31 August 2017

Dear Colleagues,

Please see above an invitation to “How do we change the world?”, an event co-hosted by the Australian Centre for Health Law Research, the School of Public Health and Social Work and the International Law and Global Governance Research Program.

To register click here.

We look forward to seeing you there.

Kind regards,

The ACHLR Team.

Australian Centre for Health Law Research | Queensland University of Technology

t:  +61 7 3138 5345 | e:  achlr @qut.edu.au | w:  www.qut.edu.au/research/achlr | tw:  @HealthLawQUT

Room C320, C Block, GP | 2 George Street, GPO Box 2434, Brisbane QLD 4000| CRICOS No. 00213J

End of Life Law in Australia – a new website to help people understand law at the end of life: https://end-of-life.qut.edu.au/












Crime and Justice in Asia and the Global South Conference 2017

The three-day Crime and Justice in Asia and the Global South Conference was held as a joint initiative between QUT Crime and Justice Research Centre and the Asian Criminological Society.  Held over three days in Cairns in regional Queensland, the conference was officially opened by Minister for Police, Fire and Emergency Services and Minister for Corrective Services, Mark Ryan.  A Welcome to Country was performed by Gudjugudju Fourmile of Gimuy Wulubara Yidinji, the traditional owners of Cairns (Gimuy).

Around 300 people attended the conference, with representation from 27 different countries.  The program content ran over 66 sessions and showcased new and interesting ideas from diverse global perspectives including Asia, South America, Africa and Australia.  The conference keynote speakers – Professor Rosemary Barberet, from the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York, Professor Guoling Zhao from Peking University, and Professor Raewyn Connell from the University of Sydney provided well-received addresses to the group at the beginning of each day.

The Conference Dinner was a great night with 180 in attendance.  We were entertained by a Traditional Meriam Cultural Performance and prizes were awards to a number of our guests.

Official photographs are available on the website.  If you would like to share any photographs please send these to brigid.xavier@qut.edu.au or keep adding your photos and comments to our Twitter handle #CrimJustAsia17, which during the first day of the conference reached number one position trending in Australia.

Overall the conference was a great success, providing a special opportunity to enhance the dialogue between criminology researchers and practitioners from all over the world. Below is just some of the great feedback we’ve received.  An official survey will be sent out to you shortly.  We value any feedback you would like to give.


“I just wanted to write to thank you for inviting me, this has been an unforgettable experience.  Such a wonderful group of people and such good food for thought”

Professor Rosemary Barberet, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, New York

“I would like to congratulate you and the conference organising committee of John Scott, Lennon Chang, David Fonseca, Bridget Harris and Monique Mann, supported by Amy Gurd, Robyn Johnston and Bridget Xavier on holding a truly fantastic conference….You will struggle to surpass this effort – even the football result went according to script.”

Professor John Humphrey, Executive Dean Faculty of Law, QUT

“A short note to thank you and your team for hosting a truly excellent conference with the ACS in Cairns and to recognise, and congratulate you for, the distinctive intellectual agenda that you continue to develop in ‘southernising’ criminology (social science).”

Professor Barry Goldson, University of Liverpool, UK

Dear Kerry,

“Thanks for organizing the conference.  What a great setting!  Great food!  Also good plenaries “ Max Travers, UTas,

“I’ve returned to Fiji and I am still very much on my conference high… congratulations on a very successful conference.”

Dr Danielle Watson, Lecturer and Coordinator – Pacific Policing Program, University of the South Pacific,

“Has been a fantastic and fresh conference and dialogue of different peoples, cultures and problems super well organized around a strong and very promising theoretical frame: global south criminology. Good for you!”

Diego Zysman Quirós, Faculty of Law, University of Buenos Aries, Argentina

“What a successful conference this year ! Thank you so much for your hard work. I believe that everyone enjoyed it a lot.”

YiFen, Secretariat of ACS

“I am back to Nigeria and thought I should touch base with you and thank you and your team for your assistance so far, in particular for making it possible for us to attend and participate at the just concluded conference on crime and justice, at Cairns.”

Nasara Danmallam, the Attorney General of Niger State, Nigeria.

Thanks for such a great event! Sandra

Professor Sandra Walklate, B.A., M.Litt., FAcSS

Eleanor Rathbone Chair of Sociology University of Liverpool, conjoint with Professor of Criminology, Monash University Editor in Chief of the British Journal of Criminology

“My experience was excellent. The idea of organising everything in a venue (hotel, conference, dinner) was very good. It was very comfortable.

Regarding the structure, the workshops for postgraduates were very interesting, not only for them, but also for non-native English-speaking scholars who experience similar difficulties when trying to publish in English, with others added because of the language. The organisation of each session was mostly very well done, although it is impossible to avoid that some sessions were very heterogeneous. The dinner in Cairns was fantastic. I loved the music. Thank you very much for your hospitality!

Prof Patricia Faraldo Cabana, University of A Coruna Spain

Spyware merchants: the risks of outsourcing government hacking

This post authored by Dr. Monique Mann (CJRC), Dr Adam Molnar and Dr Ian Warren (Deakin Criminology) originally appeared on The Conversation on Friday the 21st of July 2017. Link to original article here: https://theconversation.com/spyware-merchants-the-risks-of-outsourcing-government-hacking-80891

An Australian Tax Office (ATO) staffer recently leaked on LinkedIn a step-by-step guide to hacking a smartphone.

The documents, which have since been removed, indicate that the ATO has access to Universal Forensic Extraction software made by the Israeli company Cellebrite. This technology is part of a commercial industry that profits from bypassing the security features of devices to gain access to private data.

Read more

CJRC members Dr Angela Daly and Dr Monique Mann present at the International Cyber Crime and Computer Forensics Conference

CJRC members Dr Angela Daly and Dr Monique Mann presented at the International Cyber Crime and Computer Forensics Conference in the Gold Coast earlier this week: http://www.icccf2017.com.au/

Their research on 3D printed firearms was covered in a ZDNet article accessible at this link: http://www.zdnet.com/article/fear-of-downloadable-guns-becoming-a-reality/

Read more