As Singapore rolls out the next-generation 5G technology for its mobile network, law enforcement officers face new challenges of training officers to fight against online crime. While the ramped-up volume and speed is a boon for users, the same improvements also benefit cybercriminals for their illicit activities. For instance, malicious content can be transmitted onto victim computers at a quicker speed.

The change in technology has necessitated the changes to how police officers are trained. Due to the large number of online scam cases, police officers now need to learn how to trace social media accounts and to obtain evidence from emails. In raiding places where computers and digital devices are involved, the police are taught how to gather and preserve evidence. With the rapid changes in technology, the police academy has also collaborated with foreign experts to exchange best practices.  

Read the full article on Channel NewsAsia: 5G will bring challenges to Singapore’s law enforcement efforts: Crime school director

Analysis:

Is technological advancement an unmitigated good? If not, what are some of the potential dangers and safeguards that must be in place as technology continues to progress so rapidly? As mobile phones become more advanced and network data faster, we must consider that there are some who would capitalise on the technological progress for criminal purposes. Therefore, as other professions require continuous learning to remain current with their skills, so too must the police continue learning to keep up with the new wave of online crime.

It would be unwise for the Singapore Police Force to ignore computer and cyber training for their officers on the basis that most Singaporeans are familiar with computers and smart mobile phones. The investigative work ultimately goes towards determining the innocence and guilt of crime suspects. It is therefore imperative that police officers ensure that their evidence gathering and investigative analytics adhere to due process and can stand up to the scrutiny of the criminal courts.

Questions for further personal evaluation: 

  1. What are the other potential negative implications of rapid technological progress to society, if any?
  2. Why is it important that there is strict adherence to procedure and protocol when it comes to convicting individuals suspected of criminal activities?

Useful vocabulary: 

    1. ‘unprecedented’: novel, having no precedent; never occurred before
    2. ‘fraternity’: a group of people associated or formally organised for a common purpose or interest
    3. ‘unmitigated’: unrelieved; not lessened

 

 

 

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