Facebook’s blood donation feature in India risks being abused by black market blood peddlers.
Local blood donation experts told Business Insider the product can be used to illegally sell blood in the country.
Facebook says it has only seen one report through its platform, though one expert said victims were unlikely to report the issue and that he has heard reports of blood selling.
“The Facebook blood donation tool is not only trying to save lives but also indirectly helping to create a very disastrous and illegal blood donation activities,” said one blood donor organisation founder.
This black market pre-dates Facebook’s time in the country, but there are fears that the way Facebook connects donors and recipients could exacerbate it.
Several public health officials in India are calling for Facebook to make changes to its blood donation tool, warning that the tech project — although well-meaning — risks fueling a dangerous black market for blood and harming the country’s fragile blood collection system.
Facebook’s one-year-old blood donation feature has already helped facilitate tens of thousands of donations since it was launched, saving lives by making it easier for people in need of transfusions to find willing donors with matching blood types.
But the tool’s person-to-person format is ringing alarm bells among experts and professionals in the field, who say that it’s too easy for unscrupulous characters to latch onto, leaving vulnerable people at risk of paying exorbitant prices and receiving tainted blood, among other issues.
Facebook said that it has only had one report of forbidden behavior on the tool — but the head of one Indian blood donor organization said he has been told about incidents of black market blood selling on Facebook and suggested victims of black marketers were unlikely to report them to the social media firm.
“These types of products … definitely bring in black marketing, and it’s definitely promoting it unknowingly, because it was not the intent of Facebook to promote black marketing,” said Biswaroop Biswas, the National Secretary of the Federation of Indian Blood Donor Organisations (FIBDO), a coalition of 126 blood donation groups across India.
The issue, which has not been previously been reported, illustrates the ongoing challenges Facebook faces in its efforts to ensure that its 2-billion member social network is not exploited for nefarious ends, whether that be interfering in US elections or promoting ethnic cleansing in Myanmar.
The company is walking a delicate tightrope with the India blood donation tool, as it tries balance the unprecedented power, and undeniable benefits, that its technology brings with the potential for it to exacerbate thorny and endemic problems within the country.
In an interview, Facebook health product manager Hema Budaraju said: “What I would like to emphasize is our role is to get more and more blood banks to adopt our features, and to actually build up the culture of blood donation. And as you’re already well aware, this system doesn’t exist in the US, right? It’s because donors are motivated [to give blood regularly].”
“That’s the world we are trying to get to, and we are working constantly with NGOs and blood banks.”
India has a worrying black market in blood
India quite simply doesn’t have enough blood to go around.
As Facebook grew in the country, it became an avenue for people to request blood donations from others in their network. In response, Facebook launched a tool in 2017 to try and facilitate donations more formally.
Initially available in India and now also live in Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Brazil, Facebook’s blood donation tool allows organisations and individuals to put out requests for blood donors on the social network at short-notice. Users can voluntarily register themselves on Facebook as blood donors, and then, when a request is put out nearby, they may be notified (or view them in a centralized hub).
These requests may be sent by medical institutions like hospitals and blood banks as part of broad donation drives, or individuals who require blood on behalf on themselves or a family member imminently, and who may or may not be in a medical institution.
There is an existing black market for blood in India, preying on desperate sufferers amid blood shortages. FIBDO expressed concerns that Facebook’s product may help fuel this. Black market agents can register on the platform as donors, Biswas said. Then, when notifications and requests go out, the agents can contact the requester directly, offering them blood for a fee.
He said he has spoken to people who have been approached by black market blood sellers on Facebook.
Budaraju said the company has multiple safeguards in place to protect users. New accounts aren’t sent notifications about requests, and “the registrations we receive are doubly checked against fake and spammy accounts.” Users are also able to report other users if they ask for money in return for blood, and she said there has only been one instance of a report through the platform to date — a post that was soliciting blood in exchange for money, in Bangladesh. (The user was subsequently made unable to use the blood donation tool.)
However, Biswas, who also sits on the governing body of the National Blood Transfusion Council, was skeptical that users would report black market issues to Facebook, suggesting they would simply pay up in a time of need instead. “If you need blood and people ask for money … Will [you] report or just go with the donor [and] pay him?”
Chethan Gowda, student founder of blood donor organisation Khoon, said unscrupulous middlemen could also potentially use the platform to sell blood at extortionate rates: “The racket personnel can also request for blood, arrange for a donor through Facebook and on the other hand charge huge amount from the patient family, wherein the blood donor who turned up to donate blood will have no idea of what’s going on on the other end.”
And black market blood that hasn’t been vetted carries a risk of being misclassified, tainted or otherwise dangerous, health experts say.
Gowda added: “The Facebook blood donation tool is not only trying to save lives but also indirectly helping to create a very disastrous and illegal blood donation activities.”
These problems all pre-date Facebook — but now it has to deal with them
These kinds of problems long pre-date Facebook’s entry into the blood donation space, and also take place on other online platforms, Biswas said. Facebook also continues to work with NGOs and blood donor organisations in India to encourage donations, including NTR Trust, the National Blood Transfusion Council, and Giants International.
“There are known issues of scams/exploitation or bad actors in blood donation in some of the countries where our feature is available,” Budaraju said in an email. “We’ve worked closely with partner organizations and NGOs to understand those concerns and the challenges they deal with in order to build a product that helps makes it easier for people to sign-up to be blood donors and find opportunities to donate nearby while also mitigating these risks. While there may be a few bad actors, we see a lot more good happening as a result of this feature.”
She said that partners “highlighted a few concerns about potential … scam[s] or abuse that could happen on Facebook, which is why we’ve designed the product with a number of safeguards in place. No partners have raised issues since we launched the product in each country, but we continue to work closely with them to ensure the feature is as safe and useful as possible.”
But the concerns of the Indian organizations who spoke to Business Insider point to how as Facebook moves into new markets and experiments with new tools designed to do good, it has been forced to grapple with unprecedented new challenges that would have been unimaginable when it was founded as a simple network for college students in 2004.
India wants to move away from ‘replacement’ blood donations
India has set itself a goal: By 2020, it wants to hit 100% voluntary blood donation.
This means 100% of the blood used in the country will come from volunteers proactively going to hospitals, blood banks, and donation drives to donate, which will then be distributed as necessary. At present, a portion of India’s blood donations come from what is known as “replacement blood donations” — when a donor agrees to give blood specifically for someone in their network, rather than to the general blood bank.
This system can be problematic, with donors sometimes feeling pressured to donate blood to those in their community, and the lack of anonymity sometimes causing issues with donors attempting to extract favors (if not outright payment) from the recipients.
FIBDO is concerned that Facebook’s mechanism for connecting donors and recipients directly can encourage replacement blood donation. “When they got in touch with us, we told them this is not the way you people will be able to help the society,” Biswas said. He believes that Facebook’s one-to-one model effectively violates India’s National Blood Policy, which calls for a movement away from replacement donors, and he would like to see Facebook remove one-to-one donation options.
Facebook disagrees, arguing that its one-to-one model is a step forward from the status quo, and that it too wants to see a 100% voluntary blood donation model implemented as soon as possible.
Without Facebook’s tools, people needing donations might ask people in real life for a donation, applying significant pressure, Budaraju said. In contrast, Facebook’s notifications will also go to people outside a recipient’s existing social circle, to people who have already registered and signaled their willingness to donate. The recipient is also unaware of the potential donors’ identities unless they choose to respond and share information about themselves.
“In some ways I fundamentally believe the current system that we built on Facebook, even when used in the person-to-person, is a step towards voluntary, because people are under no coercion, do not have social pressures, are choosing to respond of their own volition and going in to donate,” Facebook’s Budaraju said. “So it’s actually the opposite of the replacement system.”
There are worries around blood wastage
Another area of concern is around potential blood wastage.
Srijan Pal Singh, the CEO of developmental NGO The Kalam Centre, said that Facebook’s focus on increasing blood donations, without building out further blood storage infrastructure, could result in some of the blood drawn being wasted.
“The time we worked with them, it seemed all about creating more units, but that’s not the idea. It’s not about creating more units, it’s about helping more lives, and there’s a difference between the two,” he said.
“It’s a well-known fact, three million units of blood was wasted in five years [in India] so unless you have the mechanism to store this blood it doesn’t make sense.”
Facebook responded that it believes that other organisations in the blood donation ecosystem are better placed to work on these problems than it. “We are still a relatively young product, we are focusing on .. Facebook’s strengths in terms of education, communication, context, and in bringing awareness, and to build simple tools for blood banks and hospitals,”Budaraju said.
“I don’t know that we would be the most effective people to think about storage and infrastructure.”
‘People will try to abuse those services in every way possible’
It’s difficult to assess to what extent some of these concerns might actually be happening on Facebook.
Khoon’s Chethan Gowda conceded that it’s hard to measure whether the illegal behavior he has seen elsewhere is taking place on Facebook. “Concrete example[s] of a similar scenario happening through the Facebook blood donation tool is tough,” he said. “As there’s no track on the request.”
Singh urged Facebook to get ahead of the problem. “When you have so much outreach and access, a lot of these touts and brokers may emerge, this is a possibility that I also hope Facebook sees will come up,” he said. “When they are implementing this platform with all this good intent they should not end up becoming a victim of encouraging a whole black market brokerage.”
Biswas said he is confident that black market selling is already taking place on Facebook, and has spoken to people who have been approached by blood sellers on the platform: “These things are happening. And as you can see when the people are in need of blood, they won’t come out to say to the donor organisations afterwards that people are coming and asking for money.”
Despite these alleged flaws, Facebook believes it has built a significant improvement on the previous status quo — desperate patients and their families posting unregulated and unmonitored requests for blood directly onto Facebook and other platforms across the web. Both Facebook and FIBDO agree that a priority is education and promoting a cultural shift towards voluntary blood donation; Facebook plans to roll out educational resources for donors in the product soon.
The company also continues to work with NGOs and blood donation organisations, who have heralded its work to drive blood donations and save lives. “Facebook has long been a positive platform for people in India to connect with Blood Donors and help those in need. NTR Trust welcomes Facebook’s efforts to help make it even easier for people to donate blood in India,” Vishnu Vardhan, CEO of non-profit organisation NTR Trust, said in a statement when the feature first launched. “We look forward to working together to raise awareness of the importance of donating blood and collectively catalyze sustainable access to safe blood in India. What Facebook is doing has the potential to bring tectonic shifts in Blood Banking in India.”
“What I’ve learned so far is that when you build services that are used by billions of people across countries and cultures, you will see all of the good humanity is capable of, and people will try to abuse those services in every way possible,” he wrote.
“It is our responsibility to amplify the good and mitigate the bad.”
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ET exclusively debuts the first footage from the upcoming 14th season, which will open with the show’s milestone 300th episode and pick up moments after the dramatic season 13 cliffhanger that left Reid (Matthew Gray Gubler) and Garcia (Kirsten Vangsness) in huge trouble.
“We’re so excited to announce that season 14 will kick off with our historical 300th episode! It’s an action-packed hour of our team in never-before-seen jeopardy,” executive producer and showrunner Erica Messer tells ET. “This episode is a love letter to our fans as a way of saying thank you for being with us all these years and here’s to many more.”
In the new 30-second teaser, which you can watch above, the rest of the BAU scramble to save their friends and some members of the team — most notably J.J. (A.J. Cook) — have a harder time than the others.
“We stand beside one another through good, through bad… because we’re family,” Rossi (Joe Mantegna) says, while Garcia — held hostage by a mass murderer — desperately questions, “What do they want?!”
If the promo is any indication, it’s looking bad for Reid and Garcia.
Following the heart-stopping season 13 cliffhanger in April, Messer spoke with ET about what viewers can expect when the show returns this fall, hinting that all the core characters will be major players for the 300th hour.
“There are many different ways to go, but, obviously, we want our wonderful heroes to be in the 300th episode,” Messer said at the time. “It would probably be a matter of our team trying to solve one of the biggest cases they’ve ever seen without two of the most important players on their team.”
Virginia Chief Justice Donald W. Lemons, shown being sworn in as chief justice in 2015, said the time was right for the state to reform rules governing what reports and information is provided to defendants in criminal cases. (Bob Brown/AP)
September 6 at 1:40 PM
For defendants facing a criminal trial in Virginia, there is no requirement that prosecutors provide any police reports, witness statements or a witness list to the defense team. Some prosecutors do it anyway; some do not.
But, following years of study and debate, the state Supreme Court will soon mandate that prosecutors share details of their case with the accused. In an order issued Wednesday, the court changed Virginia’s rules of criminal procedure to require commonwealth’s attorneys to allow defendants to review — but not copy — all relevant police reports in a case and all witness statements. Those reports and statements were specifically excluded from pretrial discovery.
In addition, prosecutors will soon be required to provide to the defense a list of names and addresses of all witnesses expected to testify at trial or sentencing, though addresses and other identifying information may be withheld if approved by a judge. The prosecution also must notify the defense if it intends to call any expert witnesses and provide their qualifications and expected testimony, as is done in civil cases but was not required in criminal cases.
“This is a huge deal,” said defense lawyer Alex Levay, a member of numerous task forces which pushed for discovery reform dating from the 1990s. “This is a huge step forward for justice and fairness and providing the information that everyone should be provided when their liberty is at stake.”
“It was long overdue,” said Chief Justice Donald W. Lemons said in an interview with The Washington Post, “and it’s finally here.” He said that as a private attorney, “I handled criminal defense cases, and I do understand the dilemmas.”
Prosecutors who have complained that they must reveal their own cases while defendants may keep their case secret received a new boost from the Supreme Court, too: Defendants now must provide their expected witness list to the prosecution. At least one prosecutor voiced concern that this could create legal quagmires down the road, and one defense attorney said it could lead to witness intimidation by police.
Lemons noted that the rule doesn’t go into effect until July of next year, in order to enable the Virginia General Assembly to consider additional funding for prosecutors, both to handle the new discovery rules and to process the footage from police body cameras, a task that can be highly time-consuming.
“The Supreme Court has basically instituted an obligation on our office that takes resources,” said Loudoun County Commonwealth’s Attorney James E. Plowman, the vice president of the state prosecutors’ association. “Is there an understanding on the legislative side that they’re going to have to pony up and provide more bodies?” He noted that the state funds only 25 percent of his office, and Loudoun pays for the other 75 percent.
Lemons said he hopes the General Assembly could provide more funding for prosecutors in its next session, before the rule goes into effect. Plowman said delaying the implementation of the rule until after the session was a good idea.
Defendants do not have a constitutional right to police reports or witness lists, but most states have required them to be provided, either through laws or court rules. Virginia is one of only eight states that does not require prosecutors to provide a witness list, a 2014 survey found. In 2004, the American Bar Association ranked Virginia last among all states in terms of protections for criminal defendants. In voicing support for the new rule on behalf of Gov. Ralph Northam (D), Virginia Secretary of Public Safety Brian Moran wrote that “Virginia is one of two states in the country with the most limited discovery in criminal cases.”
A state task force in 2015 proposed changes to Rule 3A:11 which would have required prosecutors to hand over police reports, witness statements and a witness list. But the Supreme Court issued a one-paragraph order saying it “declined to adopt the committee’s recommendations.”
Lemons said Thursday that “the language of that order was specifically intended to send a message that we’re not opposed to criminal discovery reform. And we never have been.” He said the court simply wanted to know which aspects of the rule were opposed by the defense bar, or the prosecution, and “what the various parties were giving up.”
The chief justice noted that the state legislature tried in its last two sessions to devise reforms themselves but failed. “I made an effort,” Lemons said, “to let the bar know they ought to take another shot at it.”
The Virginia State Bar launched another task force, headed by state Court of Appeals Judge Robert J. Humphreys, which solicited comments from the public and various legal organizations and proposed a new rule that had something for everybody: statements and a witness list provided to the defense, and a witness list provided to the prosecution. The rules allow either side to ask a judge to allow them to withhold witness information. It also more clearly defines who is subject to subpoena for documents.
The Virginia Association of Commonwealth’s Attorneys issued a statement Thursday that said it “supported the general concept of criminal discovery reform” but suggested modifications to the task force’s proposal, some of which were adopted.
“I am absolutely delighted,” said defense attorney Corinne Magee, vice president of the Virginia Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. “Regardless of what jurisdiction I’m in, this is going to assure that I get a copy of a police report, and that prosecutors aren’t trying to spring jailhouse snitches without our knowledge.” She said clients have been amazed to learn they didn’t have a right to their police reports, and that she has resolved many cases with guilty pleas once given access to police files.
State Sen. Scott Surovell (D), a criminal defense attorney, called the new rule “the most significant change in criminal procedure we’ve had in Virginiain the 21 years I’ve been practicing law.” He said he thought the legislature’s changing political makeup after the 2017 elections pushed the Supreme Court to take action before a more liberal General Assembly did. “Most of these reforms have happened in other states and the world did not come to a crashing end,” Surovell said.
Prosecutors have previously said about two-thirds of commonwealth’s attorneys in Virginia already allow defense attorneys to review or make copies of police files, including most in Northern Virginia. “You have commonwealth’s attorney’s offices across the state,” Levay said, “who realize that fairness and justice requires a more open discovery process,” and he said prosecutors such as Alexandria’s Bryan Porter helped move the process forward this time. Levay said smaller or more rural counties have resisted providing such information to the defense.
Arlington Commonwealth’s Attorney Theo Stamos said she welcomed the change. “I always thought the rules were too restrictive,” she said, noting that her prosecutors have opened files to defense lawyers for many years. She echoed Plowman that “we could use more resources to comply with the rule.”
The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers issued a statement lauding the move by Virginia as “meaningful changes.” Association president Drew Findling said that “Virginia’s amended rules are an important step forward toward leveling the playing field and ensuring that accused persons and their counsel are able to prepare the defense to which they are entitled.”
Apple will create a special portal for law enforcement officials to legally request and receive user data from Apple, according to a letter sent to a senator and obtained by Business Insider.
Apple responded to over 14,000 police requests including 231 “domestic emergency” requests in 2017, according to the letter.
These actions are not related to the “going dark” issue, where government officials are pressuring tech companies to build features that could crack encryption on devices like the iPhone.
But the letter shows that Apple is comfortable working with law enforcement when they have subpoenas and other legal requests for data.
In a letter to the US Senate, Apple’s highest-ranking lawyer said that the company plans to take several steps to make it easier for police to obtain some of its users’ data during investigations.
Police frequently subpoena user data from the big tech companies, including Google, Facebook, and Apple. These companies are required by law to comply with those requests.
Apple, for example, responded to some 14,000 of these requests in the United States last year. To streamline this process, Apple plans to open a special online portal for law enforcement officers to request and obtain user data — assuming they have the proper legal grounds for doing so.
“Later this year, we will launch an online portal for law enforcement agencies around the world to submit lawful requests for data, track outstanding requests, and obtain responsive data from Apple,” according to the September 4 letter Apple sent, which was obtained by Business Insider. The letter is signed by Kate Adams, Apple’s general counsel.
“When the portal goes live, law enforcement agents will be able to apply for authentication credentials, giving them the option to submit legal requests online,” the letter continues.
Apple also plans to create a team that will train police and other law enforcement around the world about what help the company can provide with criminal investigations, as well as an online version of its current training.
Many of Apple’s changes are in response to a report from the Center for Strategic and International Studies, called “Low Hanging Fruit.” The report was presented in a Senate briefing by Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, to whom the Apple letter was addressed.
“As more data ends up online and on our devices, we have to come up with new, smart ways for tech companies and law enforcement to unlock information that can solve crimes,” Whitehouse said in a statement. “I’m glad to see Apple launch this platform aimed at sharing that critical information safely and securely. I’m going to continue to work on bipartisan legislation to help law enforcement do its work in cyberspace.”
“Increasingly, information that is critical is digital, and it’s in the hands of third-parties tech providers that control and manage so much information about their users and customers, and law enforcement with adequate privacy protections should be able to access that data,” said Jennifer Daskal, a co-author of the CSIS report and assistant professor at American University’s Washington College of Law.
The letter comes in the middle of a debate over whether government can require tech companies to build features into its software to make it easier for police to get information from password-protected technology.
Currently, many devices and services like the iPhone and iMessage are “encrypted” — which means that the data on them is scrambled and locked so that nobody can read it unless they have the requisite key to unlock the data.
Some law enforcement officials, like former FBI Director James Comey, have said that this could lead to some criminals “going dark,” where police can’t access evidence they need, which he has called a “significant public safety issue.”
Technologists call features that allow police to break or get around encrypted data “backdoors,” and a major international body dedicated to spying, the so-called Five Eyes, recently threatened to force technology companies to build so-called backdoors into encrypted messaging and call programs.
Many programmers believe that any backdoors makes everyone’s software less secure, because hackers who aren’t law enforcement would be able to take advantage as well.
The “going dark” issue became international news in 2016, following the San Bernardino incident.
‘Every investigation of every kind of crime’
The data that Apple will provide through its new portal isn’t encrypted device data, though.
Most law enforcement requests are for iCloud backups, photos, payment information, or other data that is stored on Apple’s servers in a user-readable format when people choose to use Apple services like iCloud or FaceTime.
Those kind of requests have grown prodigiously with the rise of smartphones — now digital evidence is involved in nearly every police investigation. “We’re not just talking about investigating cybercrimes, or certain types of specialized crimes, it’s now relevant in just about every investigation of every kind of crime because of the shift in the way we all communicate,”Daskal said.
In fact, encryption is not the biggest issue that police departments face when obtaining access to information. According to the CSIS report, which surveyed police at the federal, state and local levels, one challenge is simply learning what’s available.
Another challenge is getting police and big tech companies on the same page.
“Law enforcement, generally, was incredibly frustrated with what they saw as a lack of clarity from service providers about what they needed to do to get information, such that some suggested that service providers were trying to thwart access in some cases,” Daskal said.
“Whereas service providers from their perspective seemed to be concerned that law enforcement in their view was asking for information that they didn’t have or making requests that were overbroad or from the service providers perspective inappropriate or without sufficient limitations, with respect to time, for example,” she continued.
These kind of issues can be addressed through training, she said.
Although Tuesday’s letter does not mention encryption or “going dark,” and focuses on unrelated issues, it does indicate that Apple is working on ways to provide evidence and other data to law enforcement in a way that doesn’t require it to change its software to provide ongoing access.
The plan to create an Apple law enforcement portal was first reported by MacRumors.
There isn’t a time jump when Criminal Minds Season 14 begins, which is good news after that finale cliffhanger. What happens next, now that a serial killer cult has two members of the team, is going to affect Garcia beyond the premiere, TVLine said Wednesday.
The CBS procedural drama is celebrating its 300th episode with its season premiere, which begins immediately following the finale. The Season 9 finale showed the serial killer cult the team had been investigating get the upper hand. Special Agent Mary Meadows (Karen David) kidnapped Technical Analyst Penelope Garcia (Kirsten Vangsness) and threatened to have her men kill her if Dr. Spencer Reid (Matthew Gray Gubler) didn’t free her leader, The Messiah Benjamin David Merva, (Michael Hogan) from FBI custody.
“You see the team racing to figure out what has happened, and piece together where Reid and Garcia are,” showrunner Erica Messer told the publication. The premiere’s official synopsis reveals the team “finds surprising clues in their own history to solve why the two heroes have been targeted by a mass murderer.”
The events from the premiere will affect Garcia for multiple episodes. “What she does in order to survive, we’ve never truly played before,” the showrunner teased to TVLine. Garcia spends most of her time back in the office, behind her computers. She rarely travels with the team or goes out into the field.
She’s right in the middle of the action in the premiere, as seen in the trailer ET posted Tuesday. “I will die before I help you,” she tells someone, possibly Meadows or Merva. It does look like they may want her to do something on a computer—which could explain why they took her, other than threatening her life to get Reid to cooperate.
J.J. (A.J. Cook) appears to find Special Agent Owen Quinn (James Urbaniak) bleeding in the garage. Though the team had wondered if he was part of the cult, he was only a victim and Meadows shot him before taking Garcia hostage.
Above, Stafford Douglas (Theo Holston) and Michael Hogan (Benjamin David Merva) are pictured in the “Criminal Minds” Season 14 premiere, airing October 3 on CBS. Merva is the leader of the serial killer cult that took two members of the BAU. Cliff Lipson/CBS
Looking beyond the resolution of the cliffhanger, Criminal Minds Season 14 is going to explore “one of our heroes in their home life in some way” in the eight episodes that follow the premiere, Messer told TVLine. Fans will understand the “lone wolf” quality of Alvez (Adam Rodriguez) after one of those episodes, she said.
One episode will follow a case in real time, with an UnSub (Unknown Subject) whose weapon of choice is a machete, the publication revealed. He strikes every 27 minutes.
It won’t all be gruesome cases. There could be a wedding this season, even possibly in Rossi’s (Joe Mantegna) backyard again. J.J. and Will (Josh Stewart) got married there in Season 7. Rossi reconnected with his third wife, Krystall Richards (Gail O’Grady) in Season 13, and she’s sticking around. “You know I’m a sucker for my backyard weddings,” Messer reminded TVLine.
Criminal Minds Season 14 premieres Wednesday, October 3 at 10 p.m. ET on CBS.