Coming Soon to a Police Station Near You: The DNA ‘Magic Box’ – The New York Times

With Rapid DNA machines, genetic fingerprinting could become as routine as the old-fashioned kind. But forensic experts see a potential for misuse.

BENSALEM, Pa. — They call it the “magic box.” Its trick is speedy, nearly automated processing of DNA.

“It’s groundbreaking to have it in the police department,” said Detective Glenn Vandegrift of the Bensalem Police Department. “If we can do it, any department in the country can do it.”

Bensalem, a suburb in Bucks County, near Philadelphia, is on the leading edge of a revolution in how crimes are solved. For years, when police wanted to learn whether a suspect’s DNA matched previously collected crime-scene DNA, they sent a sample to an outside lab, then waited a month or more for results.

But in early 2017, the police booking station in Bensalem became the first in the country to install a Rapid DNA machine, which provides results in 90 minutes, and which police can operate themselves. Since then, a growing number of law enforcement agencies across the country — in Houston, Utah, Delaware — have begun operating similar machines and analyzing DNA on their own.

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Feds Can’t Force You To Unlock Your iPhone With Finger Or Face, Judge Rules–Forbes

Thomas Brewster
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 Declaring that “technology is outpacing the law,” the judge wrote that fingerprints and face scans were not the same as “physical evidence” when considered in a context where those body features would be used to unlock a phone.

“If a person cannot be compelled to provide a passcode because it is a testimonial communication, a person cannot be compelled to provide one’s finger, thumb, iris, face, or other biometric feature to unlock that same device,” the judge wrote.

“The undersigned finds that a biometric feature is analogous to the 20 nonverbal, physiological responses elicited during a polygraph test, which are used to determine guilt or innocence, and are considered testimonial.”

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Wining-and-dining ban on title insurance industry reinstated by Appellate court–The Real Deal

By Eddie Small |

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The decision concluded that Rakower “erred in annulling the remainder” of the DFS regulations, but it voided two of the rules: the 200 percent cap on out-of-pocket costs for “certain ancillary searches” that insurance companies conduct and the restrictions on payments to closers. Closers rely on gratuities for most of their income.
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Appeals Court Reinstates New Regs on Title Insurance Industry | New York Law Journal

By Andrew Denney

DiFiore Adds Protections for Transgender Persons in NY Judicial Conduct Rules | New York Law Journal

By Andrew Denney

Chief Judge Janet DiFiore has amended her code of ethics for non-judicial employees of the  state court system to add gender identity and expression as protected classes.

DiFiore said in a public notice entered into the state register that the change, an amendment to the Rules of the Chief Judge, was made in consultation with the Administrative Board of the Courts and with the approval of the Court of Appeals.

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Iowa’s ‘ag-gag’ law violates First Amendment, federal judge rules

BY DEBRA CASSENS WEISS

A federal judge on Wednesday struck down an Iowa law that makes it a crime to obtain access to an agricultural production facility under false pretenses.

U.S. District Judge James Gritzner of Des Moines said the “ag-gag” law violates the First Amendment, report Courthouse News Service, the Associated Press and the Des Moines Register. A press release from the American Civil Liberties Union of Iowa is here.

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