• EncryptionEncryption prevents FBI from cracking San Bernardino attackers’ phone

    U.S. law enforcement agencies have been unable to access a telephone used by the two Islamist attackers in the San Bernardino shooting, FBI director James Comey said Tuesday. Comey stressed that the post-Snowden end-to-end encryption some technology companies are now offering their customers make it impossible for law enforcement to learn more about terrorists and criminal networks, even after terrorist or criminal acts have been committed and even if a court has approved access to the information.

  • IrelandDoubts cast on Continuity IRA's claims of responsibility for Friday’s gang member shooting

    Irish security sources have expressed their doubts over a claim by the Continuity IRA that it had carried out the attack on a boxing weigh-in at a Dublin hotel on Friday. Gang member David Byrne was shot dead and two others were injured in the carefully planned attack at the Regency hotel. The attack was carried out by six gunmen, one dressed as a woman.

  • GunsGun deaths in U.S. highest among high-income nations

    New study finds that the United States, despite having only half the population of the other twenty-two high-income nations combined, accounted for 82 percent of all firearm deaths. In addition, the United State accounted for 90 percent of all women, 91 percent of children aged 0 to 14 years, and 92 percent of youth aged 15 to 24 years who are killed by firearms.

  • Iran dealIran nuclear deal: how to ensure compliance?

    By Kalman Robertson

    The U.S. and European countries lifted nuclear-related sanctions against Iran on 16 January as part of a deal in which the country agreed to limit its nuclear activities and accept a new system of international inspections. The issue now is how the international community can be confident that Iran is not violating the deal. Iran agreed never to develop nuclear weapons when it signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty in 1968. There’s no ironclad method to prevent Iran from breaking its promise and developing nuclear weapons, but this new agreement builds in a number of strong protections. In conjunction with U.S. and allied intelligence capabilities, these rules mean even a sophisticated and carefully executed secret plan would carry a high risk of detection.Looking at the deal as a whole, Iran’s best strategy for acquiring nuclear weapons would simply be to wait for restrictions on its declared enrichment program to be lifted. Assuming that the deal does not fall apart sooner, most of those provisions are scheduled to expire in 2030. In the meantime, the deal helps make a nuclear-armed Iran a less immediate prospect.

  • WildfiresU.S. must address the “wicked problem” of wildfire

    U.S. wildfires burned more than 10.1 million acres in 2015 — a new record. Wildfire suppression costs the United States, on average, $2.9 billion a year. Researchers say that the United States must make preparing for and adapting to wildfire a top national priority, recognizing that widfire is a “wicked problem” — one so complex that a one-size-fits-all solution does not exist.

  • Countering extremismBrennan Center sues DHS, DOJ to make “Countering Violent Extremism” records public

    The Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law last week sued DHS and the Department of Justice under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) for records pertaining to an inter-agency initiative known as “Countering Violent Extremism” (CVE). The CVE initiative is designed to identify and preempt Americans from becoming involved in “violent extremism” and is being implemented in Muslim communities in several parts of the country, including the three formally designated pilot cities of Los Angeles, Boston, and Minneapolis-St. Paul.

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  • Predictive law enforcementIT system allows police to predict crimes, better organize police shifts

    Scientists have developed an IT system based in mathematical algorithms which allows to predict how many and what type of crimes are going to be committed in the next police shift. The developer say that it is about using scientific methods for police patrolling, and that it is the first case of predictive police methods are combined with a mathematical patrolling model.

  • Nuclear proliferationSoftware helps detect nuclear tests

    When North Korea conducted its recent nuclear weapon test, it was not terribly difficult to detect. It was a fairly large blast, it occurred in a place where a test was not surprising, and the North Korean government made no effort to hide it. But clandestine tests of smaller devices, perhaps by terrorist organizations or other nonstate actors, are a different story. It is those difficult-to-detect events that the Vertically Integrated Seismic Analysis (VISA) — a machine learning system — aims to find.

  • SurveillanceAnaheim police employed Stingray surveillance devices

    Police in Anaheim, California have been using Stingray surveillance devices, as well as employing the more intrusive cousin, “dirtboxes,” during active investigations, without the knowledge of residents. More than 400 new documents obtained by the American Civil Liberties Union show that the department has requested funds for the technology, and that it has been using the devices since at least 2009.

  • Domestic terrorismOregon militia member killed, others arrested after standoff with police

    Arizona rancher Robert “LaVoy” Finicum, 55, one of the armed antigovernment protesters occupying a remote federal facility in eastern Oregon, has been killed in a shootout with the FBI and state police. The group’s leader, Nevada rancher Ammon Bundy, and five other men were arrested. Those arrested were charged with conspiracy to impede officers of the United States from discharging their official duties through the use of force, intimidation, or threats.

  • DoomIt is 3 minutes to midnight -- still

    The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists yesterday announced that the minute hand of the Bulletin’s closely watched Doomsday Clock will remain at three minutes to midnight, since recent progress in the Iran nuclear agreement and the Paris climate accord “constitute only small bright spots in a darker world situation full of potential for catastrophe.” The Bulletin’s panel of security experts said that “Three minutes (to midnight) is too close. Far too close…” – but that this reflects “world leaders continue to fail to focus their efforts and the world’s attention on reducing the extreme danger posed by nuclear weapons and climate change. When we call these dangers existential, that is exactly what we mean: They threaten the very existence of civilization and therefore should be the first order of business for leaders who care about their constituents and their countries.”

  • First respondersParamedics' risk of being assaulted far exceeds risk to firefighting colleagues

    Research found that y medical technicians and paramedics are fourteen times more likely to be violently injured on the job than the firefighters they work alongside. The researchers found that assault-related injuries are often not reported, not acknowledged by administration, and therefore they are internalized by the workers as a “part of the job.”

  • First respondersParamedics' risk of being assaulted far exceeds risk to firefighting colleagues

    Research found that y medical technicians and paramedics are fourteen times more likely to be violently injured on the job than the firefighters they work alongside. The researchers found that assault-related injuries are often not reported, not acknowledged by administration, and therefore they are internalized by the workers as a “part of the job.”

  • TerrorismEuropol bolsters EU’s counterterrorism capabilities

    Europe is currently facing the most significant terrorist threat in over ten years. The Paris attacks on 13 November 2015 indicate a shift toward a clear international dimension of Islamic State to carry out special forces-style attacks in the international environment. This and the growing number of foreign fighters are posing new challenges for EU Member States. Europol says that more attacks in the EU may happen in the future. Therefore, there is a great need within the European Union to strengthen our response to terror, to suspected terrorist networks and foreign fighters, and have an improved strategic understanding of threats.

  • GunsMost Americans support smart guns: Survey

    In 2014, the most recent year for which final data are available, 33,599 people died in the United States from gun violence. The majority were suicides (more than 21,000 deaths), and firearm homicides accounted for more than 11,000 deaths. Unintentional shootings, in which children are often the shooter or the victim, comprised more than 500 deaths that year. Survey finds that nearly 60 percent of Americans, if they buy a new handgun, are willing to purchase a smart or childproof gun — a weapon that is only operable in the hands of an authorized user.