People Are Talking About #CrimeHeadlines2025

1FutureCrimesAs if there weren’t already enough crime to worry about, people on Twitter are speculating about crimes of the future. The radio show Science Friday challenged its listeners to fantasize about how scientific breakthroughs could result in new crimes in the future, and asked them to post their ideas on Twitter with the hashtag #CrimeHeadlines2025. Screen Shot 2015-02-26 at 3.10.21 AMThe results are entertaining. One guy suggested “drunk droning” as a new infraction (although as I recall, that one already happened).

I’m a fan of Michael Crichton-style scifi thrillers, so I love speculating about the ways criminals can exploit new technology. One of my favorite topics is brain research, so I started thinking about an article that described how scientists had transplanted memories into the brain tissue of rats. The ultimate goal of the scientists is to assist people with impaired brain function, but I foresee a dark potential. A criminal in the future could kidnap someone, and then transfer essential memories into his victim for safekeeping, or to elude police. And what if whole-brain transplants ultimately become possible? We might see a new crime of body snatching.

What are some #CrimeHeadlines2025 that you can imagine?

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6 thoughts on “People Are Talking About #CrimeHeadlines2025

  1. Kathryn, interesting post.

    Funny that you should mention memory transplants into rats and the dark potential. There could be some rather interesting consequences beyond the dark ones.

    Several years ago I was inspired to write a short story about memory transplants into squirrels after I watched a squirrel looking in the window of my break room, watching me eat lunch. In the story a surveillance team was made up of agents in squirrel bodies with their own memory transplanted into their new body. Made for a great way to do surveillance unnoticed. But the poor protagonist was internally conflicted by both the arousal with seeing things in bedroom windows he shouldn’t have been seeing and finding himself chasing a female critter with a flashing bushy tail around a tree.

    If there are glitches with the new technology there will be some interesting consequences…and some great material for new books.

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  2. I was fascinated by an article I read the other day about how forensic scientists can now re-create a person’s face from a DNA sample and how cops will use this in the future the way they now use clay-modeling. (having an artist reconstruct a victim’s likeness from a skull).

    Think of what this means: If a bad guy leaves one cell behind, they can re-create his face and put it out on an APB. The science is already here.

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    • And all the ways they’re going to be able to use 3-D printing–that one actually freaks me out a little bit. But I’m sure the Victorians would’ve felt the same way about microwave ovens!

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  3. Here’s a crime from the future: Turning off your video monitor so your “protectors” can’t watch you. Headline: “Privacy Extremist Sabotages Security System.”

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    • I will confess that I have already used electrical tape to cover the camera lens on my iPad lens, Mike. I was reading about privacy hackers who could hack into systems and decided to go to Defcon 1. Paranoid reaction? Maybe. But at least I don’t worry about anything showing up on the Dark Internet, lol.

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