BLUF

US authorities are searching social media platforms and using the latest digital technology to track down and arrest those alleged to have participated in January’s ‘Capitol Hill riots’.

Summary

The Jan 2021 'Capitol Hill riots' left five people dead. To date, 300 suspects have been charged with offences relating to these riots. When DNA profiling was introduced in the 1990s, it was an exciting breakthrough in solving crimes. Now, authorities have a new weapon in their arsenal, proving just as helpful—digital profiling. To catch those who illegally invaded Capitol Hill, the police and FBI use technology such as facial recognition and vehicle and phone tracking to bring alleged perpetrators to justice. Digital technologies now form a vital part of the police, FBI and other agencies' investigations. Authorities are also using suspects' own social media platforms against them, helped by how many alleged perpetrators boasted about their behaviour on social media. Although most people are pleased that authorities now have improved technologies to help them catch the 'bad guys', civil libertarians aren't so keen—they fear that digital surveillance might infringe on people's right to privacy.