Tag Archives | Crime

Al-Namrood album artwork

Way More Metal Than You Are.

Do you know what’s totally metal? Being in a Black Metal band, but being unable to perform. Because if you do play a gig, you could wind up with your head chopped off.

That’s what the metal lifestyle is like in Saudia Arabia, as this Vice interview with ‘Mephisto’  from Black Metal band Al-Namrood attests. Read on, headbangers:

Black metal bands have never been keen on religion. However, in parts of the world where religion can actually be oppressive, bands inspired by Bathory and Mayhem and Burzum are few and far between.

That’s presumably because it’s a lot easier to be in an anti-Christian metal band in the US, than in an anti-Islamic metal band in Saudi Arabia. In America, your obstacles extend to overhearing your mom tell a friend you’re just “going through a phase.” In Saudi Arabia, you face social ostracism and the possibility of imprisonment or death.

With that in mind, you’ve got to give it to Saudi Arabia’s only black metal band, Al-Namrood, whose lyrics include all sorts of things that could get them executed.

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Sprawl devours the planet.

A fantastic collection of street art about uncomfortable truths.

Are there any truths that aren’t uncomfortable? Increasingly street art is one of the only ways for people in the overdeveloped world to declare ‘Enough’ and thanks to the internet, we can hear them loud and clear.

From CSGlobe.com:

As the world moves to cities, so does art. And just as art can inspire political action and resistance, so too do the walls of the city become canvases for important street art messages.

And in the dense thicket of apartment buildings, skyscrapers, and public plazas, exterior walls of concrete buildings become the perfect canvas to display such messages. As shown below, simple slogans and provocative images can do a lot to inspire people to action, or at least remind them about the important issues they might be missing.

These people have names and addresses.

Your papers, please.

 

We're flushing the future down the drain.

Down the drain.

Feed our leafy friends.

If you don’t- who will?

Miserably trapped zoo animals.

Everybody loves the zoo. Mostly.

 

Sprawl devours the planet.

Shitting little houses made of ticky tacky.

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A Self-Styled Abolitionist’s Orwellian Assault on Sex Workers

r2hox (CC BY 2.0)

r2hox (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Self-styled abolitionist Ryan Dalton’s new tech startup, Rescue Forensics, wants to change the way the police fight human trafficking sex work by dredging up that old spectre The Satanic Panic under a new guise: Human Trafficking Hysteria.

The reality is that Rescue Forensics preys on sex workers — by selling their online activity to Law Enforcement Agencies.

A Vice’s Melissa Gira Grant reports:

Big data” and “sex trafficking.” That it took so long for someone to combine these buzz terms into one money-making venture is just one of several mysteries surrounding Rescue Forensics, a new startup.

The “big” in the Memphis-based company? Rescue Forensics claims it “archives massive quantities of data from classified advertisement sites specializing in commercial sex ads.” It gathers a lot of text, and even more nude and semi-nude photos. Then it turns all that over to the cops.

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CCTV Looking Out For Them Not You

cctv advocates reading list
Essential reading for all CCTV advocates

How did the United Kingdom, a country that supposedly had such high regard for individual freedom, fall under the spell of an all pervasive surveillance state? To understand how the spell was cast and why it was effective, we need to look back to the 1990s when the CCTV camera gold rush began in earnest.

A key catalyst was the manufacture of consent — the government, assisted by its trusted media, went on a charm offensive to create support for CCTV cameras. Despite the fact that the technology was untested and therefore had no evidence in support of their claims, they promoted cameras as a magical solution to fix all of society’s ills.

Central government funding and the creation of the CCTV myth

In the 1990s, the central government invited local councils to bid for funding in a series of “competitions” called “City Challenge”. Shortly after the announcement of one such funding round in 1994, the Home Office published a guidance document entitled ‘CCTV – Looking out for you’ [1].… Read the rest

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DEA Agents Investigating Silk Road Embezzled Bitcoin

Cops pilfering criminals’ loot isn’t exactly new, but perhaps it is when the bounty is Bitcoin. From the Guardian:

“French Maid” wasn’t Carl Force’s officially sanctioned darknet alias.

Bitcoin logo.svg

In his capacity as an undercover Drug Enforcement Agency agent, and a senior member of the team investigating the deep-web drug market Silk Road and its owner, Force used the alias “Nob”.

Ross Ulbricht, the founder of Silk Road known then as “Dread Pirate Roberts”, believed Nob to be a drug smuggler operating in the US with criminal underworld connections.

But Force also created “French Maid” and “Death from Above” – separate aliases not sanctioned by his bosses which he used to extort from Ulbricht hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of bitcoin, according to a complaint filed in a US district court in California.

In 2013, after a two-year investigation, the FBI arrested Ulbricht. In February 2015 he was found guilty on charges of money laundering, conspiracy to traffic drugs and attempted purchase of a murder-for-hire.

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Ring her bell – you’ll unleash hell!

B9316099680Z.1_20150202162609_000_GUV9RM2JL.1-0

Via KC Star:

Missouri woman pleads guilty to assaulting doorbell pranksters.

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – A Springfield woman could get a 10-year prison sentencing for threatening boys who rang her doorbell and ran away.

Prosecutors say 32-year-old Ashley Crossland pleaded guilty on Feb. 17 to burglary, assault and unlawful use of a weapon after becoming angry because of a January 2014 prank.

A probable cause statement says Crossland tried to run one boy down with her van and punched another three times while holding a knife to his chest.

The Springfield News-Leader reports she was also charged with going to the home where the boys were having a sleepover and illegally entering the home.

One of the boys reportedly told police that Crossland came out of her home and began yelling at them as they ran away after they rang her doorbell. The boy said that after he turned a corner, he saw a van “driving crazy.”

Probable cause documents said the van tried to run the boy over, and backed him up against a fence.

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It’s Poverty, Not the ‘Teenage Brain,’ That Causes the Most Youth Crime

Alan Cleaver (CC BY 2.0)

Alan Cleaver (CC BY 2.0)

Lauren Kirchner writes at The Pacific Standard:

While trading stories about the wide range of things that confused us when we were young children, a friend described how afraid he used to be of teenagers. He wasn’t afraid of any actual young adults in his life, but rather the capital-T teenagers he heard about when his parents watched the local news on TV every evening. It seemed to his nervous ears as though the police were always on the hunt for some devious, dangerous Teenagers who had committed some crime or another in his town.

Compounding his confusion was the vague knowledge that all of the adults in his life were once themselves teenagers. If being a Teenager necessarily meant committing crimes, then what had his parents and grandparents and teachers done in their day, he wondered? And how did they all seem to have gotten away with it?

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A Mad Pooper is Loose in Akron, Ohio

The Mad Pooper is still on the loose.

The Mad Pooper is still on the loose.

I once had a coworker who played a game called: “Ohio or Florida?” He would read news headlines of bizarre stories/crimes and try to guess if they happened in Ohio or Florida. His theory was that 9 times out of 10, these wild tales happened in either my home-state of Ohio or Florida. I would balk at this idea because, DUH, Ohio is great.

But then, I stumble upon stories like this and I realize, fuck, he may be right. I hail from Northeast Ohio, which makes this story even more hilarious.

There is a wild defecator on the loose in Akron, OH and his preferred toilet is the hood of cars. He also enjoys smearing it around—for some reason I’d rather not know. I think we need Tina Belcher to open an investigation.

It’s unclear if the mad pooper’s motive is mischief or if he has some underlying mental health issue. Akron police say that there have been 19 confirmed cases since 2012.… Read the rest

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Predictive Policing and the Felony Lane Gang

Predictive policing is on the rise in the US, UK and Europe. The technique now faces one of its toughest challenges: the Felony Lane Gang, writes Chris Baraniuk at New Scientist:

They always choose the line at the bank farthest from CCTV – that’s how the Felony Lane Gang got its name. With crimes committed in 34 states, they’ve withdrawn millions of dollars from banks using cheques and credit cards stolen from cars. A handful of individuals connected to the group have been arrested, but the ringleaders have remained at large for years. Can crime-predicting software finally stop them in their tracks?

Caméras de surveillance sur la voie publique.jpg

Photo: Pierre-alain dorange (CC)

 

That’s the hope of police in the US, who have begun using advanced software to analyse crime data in conjunction with emails, text messages, chat files and CCTV recordings acquired by law enforcement. The system, developed by Wynyard, a firm based in Auckland, New Zealand, could even look at social media in real time in an attempt to predict where the gang might strike next.

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Everything I know about homelessness I learned from SimCity

David Blackwell. (CC BY-ND 2.0)

David Blackwell. (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Via Aaron Sankin at Kernel Mag:

In October 2012, a gamer posted a provocative comment to a forum run by Electronic Arts about its beloved, long-running SimCity franchise.

“There is one area I’d like to see as future expansion … the homeless,” gamer IanLoganson wrote. “Most cities have homeless … Some of the world’s biggest cities now are in the rapidly developing countries and one big problem [they] seem to have is slums. Let’s say you have a thriving commercial city full of landmarks, high-end jobs and high-end housing. Such city lights draw the dispossessed in search for hope and if there aren’t enough low-end jobs, low-end housing, or a social safety net, they end up on the street.

“A small homeless problem is no big deal, but as it gets bigger it brings down property value and discourages tourists,” IanLoganson continued. “You need to think of helping them with aid, providing more jobs/housing for them, or getting the police to kick them out of the centre.

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