Tag Archives | Security
BLDG BLOG writes that the exurbs of Washington, DC are scattered with office parks quietly housing organizations and companies connected to national security and government secrets. Drive though, and you may not notice, but your GPS could be jammed, giving incorrect directions, or even suggesting that you drive in an infinite U-turn loop. These are areas where maps suddenly go sour:
… Read the rest
In a fascinating detail from a series of articles published two years ago in the Washington Post, we learn about one way to hide classified government infrastructure in plain sight.
“Just outside Washington,” authors Dana Priest and William Arkin explain, in the exurbs of depopulated office parks and “huge buildings with row after row of opaque, blast-resistant windows,” there can be found what the authors describe as “the capital of an alternative geography of the United States, one defined by the concentration of top-secret government organizations and the companies that do work for them.” And it is cleverly camouflaged:
The existence of these clusters is so little known that most people don’t realize when they’re nearing the epicenter of Fort Meade’s, even when the GPS on their car dashboard suddenly begins giving incorrect directions, trapping the driver in a series of U-turns, because the government is jamming all nearby signals.
Steve Horn and Allen Ruff recently reported in Truthout:
… Read the rest
A matrix of closely tied university-based strategic studies ventures, the so-called Grand Strategy Programs (GSP), have cropped up on a number of elite campuses around the country, where they function to serve the national security warfare state.
In tandem with allied institutes and think tanks across the country, these programs, centered at Yale University, Duke University, the University of Texas at Austin, Columbia University, Temple University and, until recently, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, illustrate the increasingly influential role of a new breed of warrior academics in the post-9/11 United States. The network marks the ascent and influence of what might be called the “Long War University.”
Ostensibly created to train an up-and-coming elite to see a global “big picture,” this grand strategy network has brought together scores of foreign policy wonks heavily invested — literally and figuratively — in an unending quest to maintain US global supremacy, a campaign which they increasingly refer to as the Long War.
Incarceration just got a lot more adorable. Via the BBC:
A jail in the eastern city of Pohang plans to run a month-long trial with three of the automatons in March. The machines will monitor inmates for abnormal behaviour.
South Korea aims to be a world leaders in robotics. Business leaders believe the field has the potential to become a major export industry.
The three 5ft-high (1.5m) robots involved in the prison trial have been developed by the Asian Forum for Corrections, a South Korean group of researchers who specialise in criminality and prison policies. It said the robots move on four wheels and are equipped with cameras and other sensors that allow them to detect risky behaviour such as violence and suicide.
Prof Lee Baik-Chu, of Kyonggi University, who led the design process, said the robots would alert human guards if they discovered a problem.
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 rubber bullets. While police violence had been already rampant in New York in Zuccotti Park, Oakland marked one of the first major violent confrontations with Occupy demonstrators. Soon after, police in cities across American began raids on Occupy camps, many of which culminated in the use of pepper spray, tear gas, rubber bullets and sonic weapons. The evidence that such raids were coordinated by city mayors continues to mount, even though they vehemently deny any collusion. Most recently, police at UC Davis in California nonchalantly pepper sprayed peaceful students sitting on a plaza.
For ten years, we’ve watched one of the most draconian laws passed with incredible haste systematically destroy the freedoms that were supposedly under attack by terrorists and the “axis of evil.” In the name of national security, the Patriot Act has allowed our government — one that touts itself as the freeist in the world — the ability to spy on its citizens without justification, search their homes without warrants, and even penalize them for speaking a word of such actions.… Read the rest
“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.
To tweet or not tweet where you’re rioting next? One option was to shut down social networks so that rioters couldn’t mass communicate. The other option was to allow them to tweet and text, then read their messages to find out what they’re planning next. The latter was able to prevent attacks on the Olympic site and London’s Oxford Street. BBC reports:
… Read the rest
Police say they prevented attacks by rioters on the Olympic site and London’s Oxford Street after picking up intelligence on social networks.
Assistant Met Police Commissioner Lynne Owens told a committee of MPs officers learned of possible trouble via Twitter and Blackberry messenger.
But Acting Commissioner Tim Godwin said he had considered asking authorities to switch off social networks.
He said they provided intelligence but could also be misleading.
A number of politicians, media commentators and members of the police force have suggested that Twitter and Blackberry Messenger (BBM) had a role to play in the riots.
No CCTV has teamed up with Privacy International and Big Brother Watch to challenge the legality of the Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) [also known as ALPR in North America] camera network in the UK. A complaint has been sent to the Information Commissioners Office (ICO) against a so-called ANPR “Ring of Steel” that is being constructed around the town of Royston in Hertfordshire — but for Royston read any town in the UK.
The Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) has constructed a network of cameras across the country without any public or parliamentary debate. These cameras record the number plate of each and every vehicle that passes, sometimes taking a photograph of the car and its occupants. The number plate is then compared to a “hotlist” of vehicles of interest, and whether or not the plate is on that list (ie a “hit”), all information gathered is stored for between two and five years.… Read the rest
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.