The Department of Homeland Security has apparently seized
Mt.Gox's Dwolla account, a key US mobile payments account associated with the largest Bitcoin exchange. Mt.Gox has confirmed
that their Dwolla account is disabled, but have not been party to the court order themselves. [more inside]
posted by ArkhanJG
on May 15, 2013 -
"Planning to make a joke on Twitter about bombing something? You might want to reconsider: According to a report
from Britain, two tourists were detained and denied entry into the U.S. recently after they joked about destroying America and digging up Marilyn Monroe. That the Homeland Security Dept. and other authorities—including the FBI—are monitoring such social media as Twitter and Facebook isn’t surprising. That these authorities are willing to detain people based on what is clearly a harmless joke
, however, raises questions about what the impact of all that monitoring will be."* [more inside]
posted by ericb
on Jan 30, 2012 -
The Department of Homeland Security and Wal-Mart have announced a partnership to promote the recent "If You See Something, Say Something" campaign, which urges citizens to report
"suspicious activity." At select locations, a brief DHS video message will urge shoppers to "contact local law enforcement" if they see anything out of the ordinary. Over 230 stores began playing these short videos Monday
, with another 588 stores in 27 states to come on-board in the next few weeks. [more inside]
posted by Despondent_Monkey
on Dec 7, 2010 -
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has shut down nine websites in connection with an ongoing crackdown on internet film and TV piracy
. The sites seized are Movieslinks.tv, Planetmoviez.com, ZML.com, Thepiratecity.org, Filespump.com, TVShack.net, Now-Movies.com, NinjaThis.net, and NinjaVideo.net. The feds also seized related Paypal accounts and bank accounts as part of the operation. Ninjavideo was the most notorious of the group, and its admin, Phara, went so far as to record a manifesto in praise of internet piracy
posted by Pastabagel
on Jul 1, 2010 -
Archaeologists and Native Americans race against the border fence.
The REAL ID act authorized government agencies to bulldoze long-standing environmental, cultural and anthropological standards. But a team of activists worked delicately behind the scenes to win millions of dollars in federal funding and the go-ahead for a last-ditch effort to study ancient artifacts. Archaeologists have faced similarly rushed projects elsewhere
along the fence route.
posted by univac
on Mar 31, 2009 -
"The National Counterterrorism Center
is pleased to present the 2009 edition of the Counterterrorism (CT) Calendar
. This edition... contains useful information across a wide range of terrorism-related topics: terrorist groups, wanted terrorists, and technical pages on various threat-related issues" such as recognizing the effects of an anthrax infection. "The Calendar marks dates according to the Gregorian and Islamic calendars, and contains significant dates in terrorism history, as well as dates that terrorists may believe are important when planning 'commemoration-style' attacks." Conveniently available in both online multimedia format (deep link to the timeline itself
), as well as a printable version
(63 MB PDF). [more inside]
posted by grouse
on Jan 8, 2009 -
An Interpreter Speaking Up for Migrants:
Erik Camayd-Freixas is a professor and a legal translator who assisted in the fast-track trial and sentencing of the over 400 illegal immigrant workers in Postville, Iowa, who were arrested on criminal charges involving identity theft rather than the usual deportation proceedings. Unusually for a court interpreter, who maintain a strict code of impartiality and neutrality, Camayd-Freixas spoke out, writing "that the immigrant defendants whose words he translated, most of them villagers from Guatemala, did not fully understand the criminal charges they were facing or the rights most of them had waived." [more inside]
posted by Forktine
on Jul 11, 2008 -
It's a lesson all listserv managers dread learning the hard way: Don't let your subscribers "Reply to All." The WSJ Washington Wire reports on an incident today
in which one user's reply started all those on a Department of Homeland Security "Open Source Intelligence Report" e-mail list on a chain-reaction of replies and counter replies that offers lessons on how (not?) to run an e-mail list. Maybe Michael Chertoff was on to something last year when he stopped using e-mail at all
posted by mmahaffie
on Oct 3, 2007 -
Today's Washington Post:
"The U.S. government is collecting electronic records on the travel habits of millions of Americans who fly, drive or take cruises abroad, retaining data on the persons with whom they travel or plan to stay, the personal items they carry during their journeys, and even the books that travelers have carried, according to documents obtained by a group of civil liberties advocates and statements by government officials." [more inside]
posted by ibmcginty
on Sep 22, 2007 -
The United States
and the European Union have agreed to expand a security program
that shares personal data about millions of U.S.-bound airline passengers a year. Information that potentially can be used includes "racial or ethnic origin, political opinions, religious or philosophical beliefs, trade union membership" and data about an individual's health, traveling partners and sexual orientation. "Even a request for a king-size bed at a hotel could be noted in the database." "E.U.'s privacy supervisor expressed 'grave concern
' over whether the rules 'will be fully compatible with European fundamental rights,' calling the arrangement 'without legal precedent.'"
posted by ericb
on Jul 28, 2007 -
Busted! In one of the biggest counterfeit busts in years, a 19-month investigation reached its climax on Tuesday as federal officials conducted early-morning raids throughout the
NY metropolitan area, arresting 29 people, seizing more than $230 million in merchandise and ultimately dismantling three operations believed to have imported more than $700 million in fake products over the last 24 months.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero
on Jun 27, 2007 -
Hacking The Superbowl. John Hargrave
spends $40,000 for an elaborate Superbowl prank -- duping the feds, cops, and stadium security in order to pass out thousands of lights to fans, who were told they would spell out "Prince" during the halftime show. Instead, they spell out, uh... well, something
. Just what they spell is unclear (though some
are having fun "guessing
") and Hargrave hasn't said yet (his write-up is up to part 5
, hopefully of 6). Can you tell
? And was it worth the effort, or is this just an expensive dud?
posted by notmydesk
on Feb 14, 2007 -
There is a killer
lurking in your local auto wrecking yard. Sodium Azide
, the chemical used in automobile air bags, is available to anyone who asks for it. Conceivably anyone could obtain several pounds of this poison, yet it takes only a few grams to kill
. A late model SUV will have enough in it's air bags to kill a couple of hundred people
It explodes. It kills
on contact with the skin. It kills via air, food, or water. It is odorless and colorless
. There is no antidote. Even minor exposure will result in permanent damage to brain cells.
University of Arizona atmospheric scientist Eric Betterton
was one of the first to expose the hazards of this unregulated material in 2000. The author J. A. Jance used it as the poison of choice in her book 'Partners in Crime
The perfect terrorist weapon
? It would seem so, but the Federal government doesn't regulate it's post-manufacture distribution. Got a grudge? Go pick up a few hundred pounds
posted by altman
on Dec 1, 2006 -
Security expert (and personal hero) Bruce Schneier on the subject of movie plot threats
: Sometimes it seems like the people in charge of homeland security spend too much time watching action movies. They defend against specific movie plots instead of against the broad threats of terrorism.
This month, Schneier announces a contest
for readers of his blog and newsletter - submit the most unlikely, yet still plausible, terrorist attack scenarios you can come up with.
From the announcement : "The prize will be an autographed copy of Beyond Fear. And if I can swing it, a phone call with a real live movie producer."
posted by Afroblanco
on Apr 8, 2006 -
National Information Exchange Model (NIEM)
Sometimes, its the unheralded steps, that take you most quickly to your destination.
On October 7, 2005, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), and their associated domains announced the first release of the National Information Exchange Model (NIEM) Version 0.1. NIEM "establishes a single standard XML foundation for exchanging information between DHS, DOJ, and supporting domains, such as Justice, Emergency Management, and Intelligence."
The release of this specification, and the development of the systems that utilize it may actually be the cataylst for more 'progress' in information mining on the individual than most other, well publicized efforts.
NIEM Mission: "To assist in developing a unified strategy, partnerships, and technical implementations for national information sharing — laying the foundation for local, state, tribal, and federal interoperability by joining together communities of interest."
When you say it like that, it sounds sort of cool!
posted by sfts2
on Jan 12, 2006 -
Alarming Article on Security Procedures
What is alarming is not necessarily that there is a "no-fly" list, or that we have security measures in response to a percieved terrorist threat. What's alarming is that there seems to be no accountabity or due process demanded from public officials. Without accountability, what's to stop public officials from acting arbitrarily, or for some political endeavor? (See the Plame case.)
Combined with the Right's seeming position that the president is above the law in prosecuting a war, U.S. Supreme Court Case No. 03-1027 (Rumsfield v. Padilla) and Case No. 03-6696 (Hamdi v. Rumsfield), (see also the recent DOJ position papers), and for the 1st time I am becoming nervous that America might devolve into something like a police state.
posted by JKevinKing
on Jul 7, 2005 -
Be afraid: The national threat-alert level today is yellow or "elevated
," with "significant risk of terrorist attacks," says the Department of Homeland Security. In fact, the alert level has been elevated since December of 2003, when it was raised from orange. During the election season, the Fox News network flashed the terror alert level in their "crawl" as if there was breaking news -- the sort of thing that prompted some liberal wags
to ridicule the entire system. Now former DHS secretary Tom Ridge says that the Bush administration was "really aggressive" about raising the threat-alert level
during his tenure, even when the agency felt that the intelligence didn't warrant it.
posted by digaman
on May 11, 2005 -
Terry Bressi's long saga "I was stopped, threatened with lethal force, dragged out of my vehicle, and detained for several hours for no reason - other than requesting to know what law authorized the police to stop me and demand ID after admitting I wasn't suspected of violating any law and I wasn't being detained. Instead of answering my inquiries, the 'peace officers' preferred to initiate force against me."
posted by trharlan
on Apr 12, 2005 -