Security


Aaron Cynic writes at Diatribe Media: It seems sadly fitting the USA Patriot Act turned ten years old the day after police in Oakland, California assaulted peaceful demonstrators with tear gas and…


Terrorists can’t afford airline tickets these days, so the TSA is adjusting to stay one step ahead. Tennessee News Press reports:

“People generally associate the TSA with airport security…but now we have moved on to other forms of transportation, such as highways, buses and railways,” said Kevin McCarthy, TSA federal security director for West Tennessee. They are randomly inspecting vehicles on highways in Tennessee.



The London Street Photography Festival had six photographers attempt to take pictures in various locations on public streets in Britain’s capital. Despite being perfectly within their rights, all six were stopped by private security forces who made vague allusions to “terrorism” and “security” and tried to intimidate them. The Festival filmed the encounters and what happened when the photographers politely refused to back down:



Bald EagleStephen C. Webster writes on The Raw Story:

In the brave new world of cloud computing, where data is stored off-site in massive server farms instead of on a user’s local hard drive, privacy and security are paramount in the consumer’s mind.

Unfortunately for privacy advocates, their concerns are essentially moot thanks to the U.S.A. Patriot Act, which a key Microsoft official said recently permits the U.S. to spy on data stored within cloud servers across the European Union.

The revelation of transcontinental spying, which has long been suspected, came from Gordon Frazer, Microsoft U.K.’s managing director, speaking at an announcement event for the company’s new suite of office software.

Frazer’s admission was caught by ZDNet reporter Zack Whittaker, who’s long covered data security issues as they relate to the Patriot Act.



somehwat-mad-completely-mad-u-mad-MADADVia BBC News:

The hacker group Lulz Security has claimed it has brought down the public-facing website of the US Central Intelligence Agency.

The alleged attack on CIA.gov occurred on the same day the group opened a telephone request line so its fans could suggest potential targets.

On its Twitter feed, the group wrote: “Tango down – cia.gov – for the lulz”.

The CIA website was inaccessible at times on Wednesday but appeared to be back up on Thursday.

It was unclear if the outage was due to the group’s efforts or to the large number of internet users trying to check the site.

The CIA would not confirm if it had been the victim of an attack. In a statement, a spokesperson told BBC News: “The CIA’s public web site experienced technical issues that caused it to respond slowly for a short time yesterday evening. Those issues are now resolved.”


There has been a video floating around the internet of photographer Joe Ayala and friend Larry Chen stranded at Dallas Fort-Worth Airport after their connecting flight was canceled one night. When it appeared there was no one else in the terminal, the two decide to make the most of the situation and goof around in wheelchair races and enjoying themselves to some free beer. The incident was seen on security cameras, but no personnel seem to be in the terminal. Aviation security experts don’t believe it to be too much of a security risk because the men were ticketed passengers who had already been through TSA screenings, but not everyone agrees.

DFW airport board member Betty Culbreath says while it may have been a prank, it sent the wrong message. “It’s not funny. It’s not going to happen again as far as I’m concerned. It should not have happened because it gives the perception the airport is sitting out there unguarded and that’s why I was concerned, and am still concerned.”


Texas has been the first state to propose a bill that will disallow TSA agents from groping passengers. The federal government stated that if the state were to approve such a bill, the TSA would be forced to ground all flights. Makes me think of something Thomas Jefferson stated, “Those who surrender freedom for security will not have, nor do they deserve, either one.” Via The Raw Story:

A bill that would criminalize TSA agents who conduct airport patdown searches was scuttled Tuesday night after the federal government threatened to ground all flights out of Texas.

The proposed law would have levied misdemeanor charges against security agents who “intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly [touch] the anus, sexual organ, buttocks, or breast of the other person, including touching through clothing, or touching the other person in a manner that would be offensive to a reasonable person.”

An earlier version of House Bill 1937 would have made such action a felony. [Story continues]

Fox 7 reports:




The TSA’s behavior detection officers are on the lookout for “anyone who displays arrogance or expresses contempt for the screening process.” Because scientific anti-terror detection techniques reveal that getting fresh about poor treatment by airport security indicates you are most likely a terrorist.




Wondering what exactly prompted the TSA to adopt the outrage-provoking “nude body scanners”, which are both controversial and of questionable effectiveness? The Washington Examiner explains: The degradations of passing through full-body scanners…




The more we train our fellow primates for tasks once relegated to human beings, the closer we are as a species to seeing the Statue of Liberty half-submerged in a shoreline. Sara Sidner writes on CNN:
Grey Langur Monkey

New Delhi, India — Chotu is not happy to see visitors. He is busy scratching himself and intensely surveying his surroundings when he’s approached.

He and his buddies Pinki and Mangu are in the middle of their eight-hour shifts. They have important jobs to do. They are some of more than 100,000 security forces protecting people during the Commonwealth Games in New Delhi.

But Chotu and his gang are a special force trained to put a stop to any monkeying around near the stadiums. Chotu, Pinki and Mangu are langur monkeys.

Their trainers said each one has the ability to scare off 50 potential attackers — namely the wild smaller macaque monkeys that roam the streets and buildings of Delhi.

The wild monkeys are known for some naughty habits. You can’t blame the macaques; they’re just being themselves. The wild monkeys are in a densely populated city where they occasionally have run-ins with humans — especially if there is a chance to snatch some food.




Via Allen Greenberg‘s blog at Forbes:

As the privacy controversy around full-body security scans begins to simmer, it’s worth noting that courthouses and airport security checkpoints aren’t the only places where backscatter x-ray vision is being deployed. The same technology, capable of seeing through clothes and walls, has also been rolling out on U.S. streets.

American Science & Engineering, a company based in Billerica, Massachusetts, has sold U.S. and foreign government agencies more than 500 backscatter x-ray scanners mounted in vans that can be driven past neighboring vehicles to see their contents, Joe Reiss, a vice president of marketing at the company told me in an interview. While the biggest buyer of AS&E’s machines over the last seven years has been the Department of Defense operations in Afghanistan and Iraq, Reiss says law enforcement agencies have also deployed the vans to search for vehicle-based bombs in the U.S.


Joshuah Bearman writes in Wired:

The plane slowed and leveled out about a mile above ground. Up ahead, the Viennese castle glowed like a fairy tale palace. When the pilot gave the thumbs-up, Gerald Blanchard looked down, checked his parachute straps, and jumped into the darkness. He plummeted for a second, then Koechert Pearl Diamondpulled his cord, slowing to a nice descent toward the tiled roof. It was early June 1998, and the evening wind was warm. If it kept cooperating, Blanchard would touch down directly above the room that held the Koechert Diamond Pearl. He steered his parachute toward his target.

A couple of days earlier, Blanchard had appeared to be just another twentysomething on vacation with his wife and her wealthy father. The three of them were taking a six-month grand European tour: London, Rome, Barcelona, the French Riviera, Vienna. When they stopped at the Schloss Schönbrunn, the Austrian equivalent of Versailles, his father-in-law’s VIP status granted them a special preview peek at a highly prized piece from a private collection. And there it was: In a cavernous room, in an alarmed case, behind bulletproof glass, on a weight-sensitive pedestal — a delicate but dazzling 10-pointed star of diamonds fanned around one monstrous pearl. Five seconds after laying eyes on it, Blanchard knew he would try to take it.


By Aaron Dykes & Alex Jones for Prison Planet.com:

The Western world, from Australia to the United States, UK and parts of Europe, are moving in a unified front toward dictatorial Internet censorship. Australia has led the way, despite outcry from its populace, by “filtering” out certain banned content. In the United States, Sen. Jay Rockefeller, in continuing his family’s tradition of oppressing free humanity, has pushed forward Cybersecurity legislation that has already passed the House. He has done so in the name of warding off ghastly cyber “attackers” conceivably fronting for al Qaeda while ushering in a means to restrict free speech and expression online for the general population.

With Obama’s support, most of the developed world has accepted plans for government-approved online activity…