• FBI now free to search your trash?

    FBI agents will soon have heightened investigative powers that would allow them to delve more deeply into databases, rummage through an individuals’ trash, or place surveillance teams on suspects; in the upcoming release of the Domestic Investigations and Operations Guide, the FBI’s manual, agents will be given greater leeway in searching for evidence of criminal or terrorist activity

  • After FBI arrests LulzSec announces more cyber mayhem

    In response to the FBI’s arrest of several hackers, the recently disbanded hacking group known as LulzSec has vowed to return and the group says it will renew its attacks on corporations and government agencies; the announcement comes after U.S. authorities arrested sixteen people last week in relation to the groups’ previous attacks which included bringing down PayPal’s website after it suspended its service to WikiLeaks

  • Test for classifying force used in bottle stabbings developed

    Stabbing is the most common method of committing murder in the United Kingdom; in approximately 10 percent of all assaults resulting in treatment in the U.K. emergency units, glasses and bottles are used as weapons; official UK estimates suggest that a form of glass is used as a weapon in between 3,400 and 5,400 offenses per year; engineers at the University of Leicester have for the first time created a way of measuring how much force is used during a stabbing using a broken bottle

  • Lawmakers blast the Federal Protective Service

    Last week lawmakers held a hearing to investigate the Federal Protective Service’s (FPS) progress in addressing its ongoing problems; the agency has made little progress drawing the ire of lawmakers; in recent years, FPS has suffered from a series of high-profile security failures

  • NPIA rolls out mobile fingerprint technology

    New mobile fingerprint readers allow police in England and Wales to check an individual’s fingerprint against a national database — and do so in two minutes; more than half the forces in England and Wales have already received the new devices

  • Private contractors outnumber government security two to one

    A recent survey found that the number of private security contractors outnumber police officers two to one around the world; in some countries, the difference between private security contractors and law enforcement officials is even more significant; the report also noted several critical emerging issues as a result of the increasing use of private contractors including oversight, the role of government, and concerns for public safety

  • DHS seizes ancient Egyptian relics in smuggling bust

    Last Thursday DHS officials made an announcement that seemed more fitting for a Hollywood movie — agents had broken up an antiques smuggling ring that had illegally shipped ancient Egyptian artifacts to the United States; among the confiscated goods was a sarcophagus that dated back to the seventh century B.C.

  • Minneapolis man single-handedly battles Islamic extremism

    Individuals like Abdirizak Bihi, who single handedly tries to keep young Somali-American teenagers from becoming radicalized, are part of a growing trend that officials in Washington call “CVE,” combatting violent extremism; since the 9/11 attacks, there have been fifty-one domestically produced jihadist plots or attacks in the United States and that number is steadily growing

  • BVS combats jail cell phone smuggling

    Prisons across the United States are struggling to prevent cell phones from falling into inmates’ hands; in 2010 more than 10,000 contraband cell phones were confiscated from inmates in California prisons; to help officials crack down on these contraband items, Berkeley Varitronics Systems has developed a suite of sophisticated cell phone detectors that can “sniff” out phones even when they are hidden in the most obscure places

  • The art of signature replication

    A Rockville, Maryland company’s signature replication technology is so advanced, DHS sends its agents there to learn; using sophisticated computer software and its Autopen signing machines, Damilic is capable of replicating signatures that so closely resemble the original hand written version, forensic scientists are needed to be able to tell the difference

  • Deterring cyberwar, police gear and the law, guarding the guardians

    Gen. James Cartwright, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, described the current U.S. cyberdefense policy as “too predictable”; he added that “[the current policy is] purely defensive. There is no penalty for attacking us now. We have to figure out a way to change that”; he said the new U.S. cyberdefense policy is the first step toward correcting current deficiencies; a Massachusetts company is selling local police forces a new iPhone app that scans a suspect’s iris and matches it to a national database of felons; there are questions about whether or not this app — which costs $3,000 — violates the Constitutional prohibition of unreasonable searches; the former mayor, the police chief, and member of the city council of a New Mexico border town have been charged with smuggling guns to the Mexican cartels; some of these guns have been linked to at least eight murders in Mexico

  • Senator Schumer demands release of northern counternarcotics strategy

    Senator Charles Schumer (D-New York) is demanding that the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) release its Northern Border Counternarcotics strategy immediately; the strategy was due on 5 July as stipulated by a law passed in January; the law came in response to a to a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report which found that only thirty-two miles along the nearly 4,000 mile U.S.-Canada border had “an acceptable level of security”

  • AntiSec hacks IRC Federal, posts passwords online

    Last Friday, AntiSec, a prominent hacking group, announced that it had successfully infiltrated the servers of IRC Federal; the company has contracts with several major government agencies including the Department of Justice, the Army, Navy, and NASA; in an announcement on their website, AntiSec wrote, “We laid nuclear waste to their systems, owning their pathetic Windows box, dropping their databases and private emails, and defaced their professional looking website”

  • Divorce leads to approval of GPS tracking in New Jersey

    A divorce case in New Jersey has resulted in the first time a state court has approved the use of GPS devices to track individuals; last week a New Jersey appellate court ruled against a man who sued his ex-wife for placing a GPS device in the car she and her husband shared

  • Pilot programs reduce texting while driving by at least one third

    Two pilot programs launched by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) aimed at minimizing texting while driving have reduced the practice by at least one third; the programs ran for one year starting in April 2010 and used a combination of stepped up law enforcement and public information campaigns in Syracuse, New York and Hartford, Connecticut