Law Enforcement

  • Personal cell phone data of millions of Mexicans for sale at Mexico flea market

    The Mexican government decreed that all Mexicans must register their cell phones; Mexicans, familiar with the thorough corruption and ineffectiveness of the Mexican state, were worried that the personal information would be stolen or misused; they were right: weeks after millions of Mexicans registered their phones, their personal data became available for sale for a few thousand dollars at Mexico City’s wild Tepito flea market; the treasure trove of data also included lists of police officers with their photographs; in a country seized by the fear of kidnapping and held hostage by violent crime bosses, having this personal information on open display seemed tantamount to a death sentence, or, at the minimum, a magnet for trouble

  • Rise in immigration may help explain drop in violent crimes

    Contrary to public perception, increased immigration into the United States contributes to a decline in violent crime; new study of crimes rates in 459 American cities with populations of at least 50,000 shows that cities that experienced greater growth in immigrant or new-immigrant populations between 1990 and 2000 also demonstrate sharper decreases in homicide and robbery; the research finds that, controlling for a variety of other factors, growth in the new immigrant population was responsible, on average, for 9.3 percent of the decline in homicide rates, and that growth in total immigration was, on average, responsible for 22.2 percent of the decrease in robbery rates

  • Insurers refuse to cover journalists working in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico

    Insurance companies use actuarial tables to determine the cost of one’s life insurance premium; at times the price is so high, individuals may be deterred from buying a policy; at times the risk is so high, insurance companies would refuse to offer a policy; insurance companies now refuse to offer life insurance to journalists covering the drug war in Mexico

  • New method to develop latent fingerprints

    Most of the techniques currently used for developing fingerprints rely on the chemistry of the print, but as prints dry or age, the common techniques used to develop latent fingerprints, such as dusting or cyanoacrylate — SuperGlue — fuming often fail; Penn State professor says that using the physical properties of the fingerprint, not the chemistry of the substances left behind, would solve these problems

  • U.S. home-grown jihadism increased three-fold in 2009, but remains marginal

    There are more than 3 million Muslims in the United States, and few more than 100 have joined jihad — about one out of every 30,000 — suggesting an American Muslim population that remains hostile to jihadist ideology and its exhortations to violence

  • Operation targeting counterfeit network hardware from China yield convictions, seizures

    Departments of Justice and DHS announce 30 convictions, more than $143 million in seizures from initiative targeting traffickers in counterfeit network hardware made in China; this counterfeit network hardware is a technological sleeper cell: the Chinese have manufactured counterfeit Cisco routers and switches and offered them at exceedingly low prices; U.S. vendors upgrading or replacing U.S. government IT systems used these counterfeit devices — and the FBI and other government agencies are now worried that the gear offers the Chinese undetectable back-doors into highly secure government and military computer system

  • ICE says it will automatically vet juvenile immigrants fingerprints

    In a blow to San Francisco’s sanctuary law, the fingerprints of juvenile immigrants charged with serious offenses will also be automatically forwarded to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)

  • HIV positive Michigan man fights bioterrorism charge after allegedly biting neighbor

    Daniel Allen of Michigan got into a fight with his neighbor; the neighbor complained that Allen bit him during the fight; when, a few days later, Allen admitted in a TV interview that he was gay and HIV positive, the prosecution charged him with violating Michigan’s bioterrorism law; the prosecution claims that the law’s reference to using a “harmful device” in the commission of bioterror attack may be applied to Allen “use” of his HIV virus as a weapon

  • One police officer for every ten foreign soccer fans braving the trip to South Africa

    The few soccer fans who go to South African this summer for the soccer World Cup — FIFA issued 2.1 million tickets, but even after selling nearly one million of them to local fans at deep discounts, it still has between 500,000 and 700,000 unsold tickets — will have to brave not only South Africa’s exceedingly high levels of violent crime, but also politically motivated violence, as white extremists are trying to disrupts preparations for the games, which begin 11 June; the tournament will be the most heavily guarded ever: there will be only 400,000 non-South Africans coming to the games, but the South African government has dedicated 44,000 police officers to protect spectators; football teams will be guarded separately by specialized police units with additional security for high risk teams and matches (the government is not disclosing numbers here)

  • Guyana launches GPS tracking to combat crime, smuggling

    There has been a increase in vehicular robbery and car-jackings in Guyana recently, as well as an ongoing problem with Venezuelan fuel and drug smugglers, who use the sparsely populated coastal lagoons and jungles of northwest Guyana to ply their illegal trade; the Guyanese fuel industry is facing problems with the siphoning and theft of gasoline; two Guyanese companies now offer GPS vehicle tracking technology which will bolster the authorities’ ability to fight vehicular robbery, smuggling, and oil theft

  • Teen fan tasered by Phillies security after running onto field during game

    A 17-year old boy hopped onto the field in the eighth inning of a Phillies-Cardinals game; he fled security for a few seconds until a Philadelphia police officer fired a Taser gun at the boy from about 15-feet away, dropping him on the spot in left-center field

  • Large U.S. companies allocate less money to executive security

    The money spent on protecting senior executives in crime-ridden countries such as South Africa and Brazil, and in many Central American countries, is increasing every year; in these countries, targeting executives and their families for ransom is now a profitable industry; in the United States, however, the trend is in the other directions - companies pay less and less to protect their executives, evidence that executive-security is one perk corporate boards are scrutinizing more closely

  • Going to South Africa for the World Cup? Stay low and keep out of the line of fire

    The U.S. Department of State issues a travel advisory to Americans going to South Africa this summer for the World Cup; the Department’s discussion of crime in South Africa makes for a depressing reading; noting that “South Africa also has the highest incidence of reported rape in the world,” the Department advises victims of violent crime, especially women who were raped, “to seek immediate medical attention, including antiretroviral therapy against HIV/AIDS

  • BART police pull Tasers, will retrain officers in Taser use

    A day after a sergeant fired the electric darts of his stun gun at a 13-year-old boy fleeing from police on his bicycle, the BART police instructed its police officers to surrender their Taser guns and report for retraining; the decision also comes after a recent federal court ruling that narrowed the circumstances under which police can use Tasers

  • Documentary offers new insights into McVeigh's path to terrorism

    MSNBC is airing ‘The McVeigh Tapes: Confessions of an American Terrorist,’ tonight at 9:99pm EST; the film draws on forty-five hours of never-before-released interview audiotapes recorded during McVeigh’s prison stay; the film reveals the bomber’s descriptions of the planning and execution of the horrific attack and offers insight into how a decorated American soldier became a dangerous, anti-government terrorist