Tag Archives | Security

South Korea Rolls Out Robotic Prison Wardens

robotIncarceration 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.

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Occupy The National Security State

Spray The Founders?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

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Tennessee Becomes First State With TSA Checkpoints On Highway

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.

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Phone Snooping ‘Prevented Riots’

Photo: Riemer Palstra (CC)

Photo: Riemer Palstra (CC)

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:

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.

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Stand Your Ground: Taking Photos In Public

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:

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This Vehicle Registration Plate Surveillance System Is a Warning to Us All

Knight RiderNo 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.

Background

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

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Cloud-Based Data Outside the U.S. Not Exempt From PATRIOT Act Spying

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.

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Man Flies From JFK To LA Without Valid ID Or Boarding Pass

Photo: Magnus Manske (CC)

Photo: Magnus Manske (CC)

While the TSA is busy being as thorough as they possibly can, it seems other aspects of the airport personnel are not up to par. Via The Gothamist:

While the Transportation Security Administration may or may not be making old ladies take off their Depends during screening, there’s this: A Nigerian man managed to board a Los Angeles-bound flight at JFK Airport without a valid boarding pass or valid identification. Olajide Olwaseun Noibi used a fake ID and an expired boarding pass to get onto Virgin America Flight 415.

WCBS 2 reports, “The FBI says Noibi sat in the main cabin and when a flight attendant asked him to show his boarding pass, he produced the expired pass. Noibi was still allowed to get off the plane when it landed in Los Angeles.” Great! And how did Noibi get the pass?ABC News explains:

“On that pass was the name of a man with the initials M.D.

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LulzSec ‘Takes Down’ CIA Website

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.”

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Two Men Run Wild In An Empty Terminal At Dallas Forth-Worth Airport

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.”

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