Come meet Madison Police Department Chief of Police Michael C. Koval! A message from Chief Koval about upcoming community forums that he will be holding: “In an attempt to stay engaged with constituent questions and concerns, a number of community forums have been scheduled for the month of September. These sessions are an opportunity to provide me with direct feedback and there will also be a representative from the hosting District should you want to convey thoughts specific to the area.
The National Crime Agency and police take part in raid on a property as part of an investigation linked to EncroChat data. Image: PA (Image: PA) Secret messages uncovered when investigators hacked EncroChat can be used against the alleged criminals who sent and received them, judges have ruled.Last year, the communications network was exposed in one of the biggest modern breakthroughs in the war on organised crime.Hundreds of suspects have since been arrested including dozens on Merseyside over claims linked to gun, drugs and violence plots.But while detectives have sought to use the hacked messages to dismantle the underworld, a separate battle has been waged through the courts.Lawyers have battled over whether the data retrieved from thousands of mobile phones across Europe could actually be used in trials by prosecutors in the UK.That fight reached its most crucial stage so far on Friday, when the Court of Appeal ruled evidence obtained through the EncroChat hack could be put before juries.The verdict may have a dramatic impact on some of the most serious criminal cases currently going through the judicial system.Users required mobile phones loaded with specialist software devices that would cost hundreds of pounds to buy and up to 3,000 a year to run.The firm had a website but no sales list and questions still remain over how they were distributed.Highly secure, EncroChat devices would appear to have the standard features of a mobile phone.But hidden software could also be accessed that allowed users who operated under usernames to send messages and photos to each other.(Image: Liverpool Echo)Back in 2018 the Liverpool Crown Court trial centred on the gangland executions of John Kinsella and Paul Massey heard how detectives were being repeatedly thwarted by the devices with Merseyside identified as a key distribution hub for them.The network success at repelling the efforts of police helped EncroChat become increasingly notorious and many of its users to become more and more complacent as a result.How everything changed following a discovery on French and Belgian borderTheir faith in the software was misplaced, however.In late 2019 French police discovered technology a server used to help run the EncroChat system in the northern border city of Roubaix.Find out where you can receive the Covid 19 vaccine by typing your postcode belowBy February of last year it had discovered a way to obtain data from EncroChat devices and was planning to deploy it the following month. The UK was briefed on the project through the National Crime Agency, but did not play an active role.The hack that followed had two stages an implant placed on every EncroChat device in the world, achieved through an update sent through the server discovered in France.It collected the codenames users went by on the network and any messages or notes stored on their handsets.(Image: Liverpool ECHO)The implant also identified Wi Fi hotspots near each device potentially crucial in identifying the locations handsets were used in and, therefore, who was using them..