For a little bit of levity surrounding a scary situation for many, let’s take a moment to acknowledge the existence of URL, a dog who’s job it is to find the hard drives, smartphones and flash drives of those who may be hiding illegal pornography. He recently joined Weber county’s police force in Utah, USA, becoming the force’s first “porn dog.”
Technically ‘porn dog’ is a slang term for what URL does. In-fact his official title is a certified Electronic Detection K-9 and he’s the first in Utah’s history. However he joins eight other ED dogs around the U.S., some of which have played major roles in investigations. The person who trained URL, also trained Bear, which was responsible for discovering a hidden flash drive that helped convict Jared Fogle on child pornography charges.
Source: Weber County/Facebook
Of course as sensitive as URL’s nose is, he’s not actually capable of sniffing out digital content. What he can find though, is the telltale chemical signatures of certain compounds used in the creation of many commercial electronic devices. It’s hoped that he can help with illegal porn investigations, as well as counter-terrorism operations and in cases of financial fraud.
URL himself was rescued from a shelter when he was a puppy and went through six months of rigorous training to bring him to the state of readiness he is today.
Of course there are some sceptics. Drug sniffing dogs have been shown to have quite low success rates in tests, so some have suggested that commercial plastics used in non-electronic devices could obscure the results. Fortunately though, URL is much less likely to be used in any warrantless scenarios and any electronic devices found aren’t damning in their own right, so he won’t be contributing to any false positives in the future.
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KitGuru Says: I wonder how you pronounce his name? Is it U-R-L? Yurl? Earl? How would you say it?