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Fighting Terror in Primetime?

D.H.S. - The Series. "... a multimillion-dollar episodic series, will explore the inner workings of the Department of Homeland Security, teaming the FBI, CIA, Secret Service, and National Security Administration (NSA) together with "first responders" such as local police, fire and safety administrators." The series is being pitched to prospective networks today and has the full support of President Bush and Tom Ridge. "They love it. They think it is fantastic," say the series' producers at Steeple Productions, located in the Seventh-Day Adventist Community of Zillah, Washington. Not familiar with Steeple Productions? Well, perhaps you might find their four-episode "Creation Vs Evolution" series enlightening.
posted by grabbingsand on Feb 27, 2004 - 16 comments

Secret Pentagon report warns climate change

Secret Pentagon report warns climate change "could bring the planet to the edge of anarchy..." The report, ordered by an influential Pentagon advisor but covered up by US defense chiefs for months, warns that it might be too late to prevent future disasters, such as violent storms that may make large parts of the Netherlands uninhabitable. Climate change, the report says, "should be elevated beyond a scientific debate to a US national security concern..."
posted by tranquileye on Feb 22, 2004 - 89 comments

Microsoft update disables user:password in URLs

With its latest security update Microsoft has disabled the ability to pass username:password pairs in URLs. If you usually use this format for connecting to your site via either FTP or HTTP, it will no longer work after you install this update.
posted by johnnydark on Feb 4, 2004 - 34 comments

ID checks ineffective

How We Are Fighting the War on Terrorism: IDs and the illusion of security IDs and the illusion of security Bruce Schneier at sfgate.com writes about why ID checks are ineffective.
posted by tbc on Feb 3, 2004 - 18 comments

Minneapolis Airport Security Official Threatened Screeners

"If you don't do as I tell you, I'll personally take you out in the woods and shoot you." A top federal security official at the Minneapolis-St.Paul International Airport angrily threatened to "shoot" baggage screeners and financially ruin their families if they did not do their jobs to his satisfaction, airport employees have told the Department of Homeland Security's inspector general.

All jokes about bombs, guns and killing will be taken seriously?
posted by busbyism on Jan 30, 2004 - 24 comments

SERVE

A security analysis of the Pentagon's experimental Internet voting system, SERVE, says it's too vulnerable to be used. An incident in Canada last year highlights the risks. But the Pentagon is standing behind the system, and seven states have signed on. [Via Black Box Notes.]
posted by homunculus on Jan 27, 2004 - 14 comments

At least it wasn't a nail clipper...

A woman gets a stun gun and a knife past security at LaGuardia and actually alerts authorities after she discovers them in her purse. Anybody feel safer yet? Anybody?
posted by FormlessOne on Jan 26, 2004 - 35 comments

Happy PFD!...?

Anyone in the mood for a celebration!? Today is Personal Firewall Day! Who's bringing drinks?
posted by bhayes82 on Jan 15, 2004 - 38 comments

A new twist on paying for Internet porn

A new twist on paying for Internet porn Although no mention of porn in the CNN story. Anyone ever been threatened like this?
posted by Samuel Farrow on Dec 29, 2003 - 18 comments

Nasty new IE hole

A new MS Internet Explorer vulnerability is discovered. Most digerati already know about the spammer and lamer trick to publish URLs that look like legitimate hostnames to fool people in to trusting a malicious site. This trick is frequently used by spammers to steal people's PayPal accounts, by tricking them in to "resetting" their password at a site owned by the spammer but disguised as PayPal.com. Today's new IE vulnerability is significantly worse. By including an 0x01 character after the @ symbol in the fake URL, IE can be tricked in to not displaying the rest of the URL at all. Don't expect a patch right way, the guy who found the hole released it to BugTraq on the same day he notified Microsoft. (via Simon Willison)
posted by dejah420 on Dec 9, 2003 - 29 comments

mirror across the ocean

“We fear the government using the current climate of fear and uncertainty about the future as a means to allow itself sweeping powers without an appropriate consideration of proportionality" ......no-go zones ........ power to ban peaceful protest ...... destroy private property without compensation ........prepare for the introduction of compulsory identity cards .... The climate seems to be changing.
posted by JohnR on Nov 26, 2003 - 3 comments

What is InternetSeer?

Someone is watching what you post. Today I received a note from a site called InternetSeer that told me some of my posts on The {Fray} were temporarily unavailable. Too bad I never asked them to keep an eye on things for me. Who are these people are what are they doing?
posted by tommasz on Nov 21, 2003 - 29 comments

Is the president not expendable?

The U. S. Secret Service is going to extraordinary lengths to ensure the safety of George W. Bush's visit to London - including some not insignificant structural changes to the Palace (which have not as of yet been approved). The article claims that "There will be more armed men on the streets of London this week than at any time since the end of the Second World War." British security officials further describe operations as has having been "hijacked by the US secret service."

Everyone knows there's a possibility of violence against the president, especially in light of recent events. A measure of security is thus justified. However, are economic concerns being considered? Now, I have the utmost respect for the president's life - as much as I do for just about anybody. I hate the callousness of associating any sort of price on human life. But when security measures require 5,000 police officers and £4,000,000 (that's merely the cost footed by UK taxpayers, mind you), have we not yet reached the point where that money would have been better spent? -especially when the U. S. executive branch has a very robust official policy of succession in place. It's not like the government will suddenly evaporate if the president were to be killed.
posted by SilentSalamander on Nov 16, 2003 - 115 comments

Apple forces upgrade for security

Unlike Microsoft, which supports their OS releases for 5 years, Apple is forcing users to purchase new OSX 10.3 to fix security issues. No support is provided for any other OSs in the OSX family.

Sounds like an open door for intentional software bugs and issues.
posted by omidius on Oct 30, 2003 - 30 comments

Diebold protestors stand ground

"If voting could really change things, it would be illegal." More fun from Diebold: on Tuesday, two PA-based student groups announced they will engage in "electronic civil disobedience" by ignoring Diebold's demands to remove public access to leaked memos from Diebold offices, which indicate among other things "...that Diebold, which counts the votes in 37 states, knowingly created an electronic system which allows anyone with access to the machines to add and delete votes without detection."
posted by XQUZYPHYR on Oct 22, 2003 - 49 comments

20-year old college student calls the TSA and tells them security is below-par. Then he proves it.

20-year old college student calls the TSA and tells them security is below-par. Then he proves it. Taking the hacker's ethic of "exposing weakness for the greater good, law be damned" this guy did just that by planting knives and other objects with little notes admonishing the TSA. Feeling safe yet? The TSA thinks we should be.
posted by skallas on Oct 17, 2003 - 52 comments

The 5pm Deadline is approaching,

The 5pm Deadline is approaching, but the White House doesn't care. The White House--expected to turn in all documents relevant to the Justice Department investigation of the Plame affair--has instead decided that a team of lawyers ought to spend two weeks determining which evidence can be used against their clients. Meanwhile, President Bush continues his two-month initiative to get to the bottom of the matter himself.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly on Oct 7, 2003 - 21 comments

FBI Stomping on protected speech

The Subpoenas are Coming! The FBI, in an attempt to prosecute Adrian Lamo (discussed here) is sending letters to journalists telling them to secretly prepare to turn over their notes, e-mails and sources to the bureau. And by secretly, they mean don't tell your colleagues, editors or lawyers, or risk facing obstruction of justice charges. (Via dailyrotten)
posted by Officeslacker on Sep 30, 2003 - 11 comments

RFID: Taking Away Your Privacy One Product at a Time

We've discussed it before, but RFID, that fun-loving little radio transmitter that can be attached to everything from that stereo system to a carton of milk, is plowing ahead faster than you can say "unregulated." Earlier this year, Wal-Mart issued a mandate that required its top 100 suppliers to include RFIDs on their merchandise by 2005, bringing new meaning to the phrase "panties in a bunch." (Incidentally, Wal-Mart was also the benign corporation that ushered in bar codes for mass consumption in the late 70s and early 80s.) With no regulations on the table, the New York Times reports that the Defense Department plans to issue a statement requiring all suppliers to use RFID. Hitachi has even offered to put it in your currency. Imagine a store a few years from now that can track all of the objects in your cart, and that, thanks to a microscopic RFID stuck to your shoe when you slide through the doors, can determine how many seconds you or your children react to a display. Imagine a world that tracks exactly where each one of your dollar bills go. (So much for the anonymity of johns and porn enthusiasts.) Is this the kind of world we want to abdicate to large retail corporations? Is this the kind of information that governments or private institutions are entitled to know? Discuss.
posted by ed on Sep 29, 2003 - 96 comments

Whisky of Mass Destruction

Weapons of Mass Drunkenness. The ever vigilante U.S. Defense Threat Reduction Agency has been monitoring the web cams at the Bruichladdich Scotch Whisky Distillery on Islay island, Scotland, to make sure the facilities are not being used to make chemical weapons. I, for one, am glad to know that my government takes the safety of whiskey distilleries seriously. [First link via Boing Boing.]
posted by homunculus on Sep 27, 2003 - 12 comments

UN Security Council.

Does India belong on the UN security council? A fascinating analysis of UN politics from a developing country's perspective.
posted by SandeepKrishnamurthy on Sep 23, 2003 - 15 comments

Border Breach?

Amazing security! They’ll screen you at airports, they’ll check your emails, they’ll arrest and hold you without obvious reason. Yes, they say this is the way to make America safer. But, hell…
posted by acrobat on Sep 12, 2003 - 20 comments

visit the house

White house open to tours again to the public on September 16th-only by reservation that is. How do you get a reservation? Submit your full name, date of birth, social security number and a copy of a photo ID-to your member of Congress for a security "screening". Visit the house paid for by you.
posted by omidius on Sep 8, 2003 - 16 comments

Worms!!!!!!!!!!

New Phase for Sobig.f Expected to Hit Friday. Any . . . minute . . . now. . .
posted by archimago on Aug 22, 2003 - 37 comments

Stupid Security

The intent of stupidsecurity.com is to expose a particularly seamy aspect of modern life -- misguided thrashings labeled "security" and defended -- if at all -- by an appeal to paranoia.  My hope is that by providing a chronicle of really stupid security measures, we can make it more uncomfortable for pointy haired bosses of various types to approve really stupid security measures. [via codemode.org]
posted by soundofsuburbia on Aug 3, 2003 - 14 comments

'Suspected terrorist' removed from flight

EFF co-founder John Gilmore was prevented from flying because he was wearing a button deemed to be in "poor taste" and refused to take it off. Seems he won't be flying anywhere for a while, unless he wins his court case. [Source: Boing Boing]
posted by cbrody on Jul 19, 2003 - 140 comments

Eyes in the Skies

Southeast Airlines has plans to install digital video cameras throughout the cabins of its planes to record the faces and activities of its passengers at all times. Furthermore, the charter airline will store the digitized video for up to 10 years. And it may use face recognition software to match faces to names and personal records.
posted by Irontom on Jul 18, 2003 - 17 comments

What do you know about CALEA?

Bob Cringely thinks the government's information gathering capability is a disaster waiting to happen. Does our government have too much faith in computers as a solution to our problems? Just as electronic voting is looked at skeptically by the computer-savvy among us, so should the use of computers to gather information.
posted by TedW on Jul 16, 2003 - 13 comments

Rumsfeld made his own intelligence

Rumsfeld's personal spy ring The defense secretary couldn't count on the CIA or the State Department to provide a pretext for war in Iraq. So he created a new agency that would tell him what he wanted to hear. Today, Salon also looks into the role played by John Bolton. Is investigative journalism now just relegated to the web? [you have to look at an ad, I believe]
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly on Jul 15, 2003 - 26 comments

Tampering with democracy

Are our elections fixed? Diebold Election Systems makes electronic voting machines being installed throughout the US. The problem? The systems contain serious security flaws that could possibly have been the reason for major swings in vote counts and discrepancies with exit polling. Also, a step-by-step guide to manipulating Diebold results -- and covering your tracks.
posted by dogmatic on Jul 9, 2003 - 40 comments

Universal Surveillance, Inc.

RFID tagging and tracking plans (mirror 1, mirror 2) With the tag line "Identify Any Object Anywhere Automatically", this group (the MIT Auto-ID Center) is leading the way into our bold new future of total tracking. {Originally uncovered by CASPIAN (Consumers Against Supermarket Privacy Invasion and Numbering)}
posted by Irontom on Jul 8, 2003 - 18 comments

Police abandon photo targets

Apologies come from the top Queensland, Australia: "QUEENSLAND'S elite anti-terrorism police will no longer use photos of real people in target practice after concerns were raised by indigenous and civil liberties groups." Dp the police have the right to use someone's mugshot for target practice, without permission or consent?
posted by skinsuit on Jul 7, 2003 - 16 comments

It Takes a Village, People

DOJ Introduces New Threat Levels Citizens should be alert, but continue to go about their normal daily spending activities.
posted by kirkaracha on Jul 6, 2003 - 12 comments

Will this technology fly?

Would you prefer this to being patted down? A scanner the government is testing for airport screening reveals much more than meets the eye to be comfortable for most passengers. The agency hopes to modify the machines with an electronic fig leaf - programming that fuzzes out sensitive body parts or distorts the body so it does not appear so, well, graphic.
posted by orange swan on Jun 26, 2003 - 38 comments

The RAPTOR Mark III

The RAPTOR Mark III - "The RAPTOR Mark III is the fastest and most versatile security vehicle in the world. It mounts a devastating choice of firepower as well as a comprehensive assortment of non-lethal weapons, all interchangeable and deployed through a retractable top."

You in the Hummer 2! Hold on a second... via William Gibson's blog
posted by GriffX on Jun 13, 2003 - 24 comments

homeland security alerts

Arizona may ignore the next Homeland Security Orange Alert "It creates incredible problems: overtime, financial, functional," said Frank Navarrete, the state's homeland security director. "It's not quite to the point where it creates havoc, but it's quite disruptive."
posted by thedailygrowl on Jun 4, 2003 - 22 comments

Passing The Buck On Homeland Security

I've written before about the myth of the heartland--roughly speaking, the "red states," which voted for George W. Bush in the 2000 election, as opposed to the "blue states," which voted for Al Gore. The nation's interior is supposedly a place of rugged individualists, unlike the spongers and whiners along the coasts. In reality, of course, rural states are heavily subsidized by urban states. New Jersey pays about $1.50 in federal taxes for every dollar it gets in return; Montana receives about $1.75 in federal spending for every dollar it pays in taxes.

Any sensible program of spending on homeland security would at least partly redress this balance. The most natural targets for terrorism lie in or near great metropolitan areas; surely protecting those areas is the highest priority, right?

Apparently not. Even in the first months after Sept. 11, Republican lawmakers made it clear that they would not support any major effort to rebuild or even secure New York. And now that anti-urban prejudice has taken statistical form: under the formula the Department of Homeland Security has adopted for handing out money, it spends 7 times as much protecting each resident of Wyoming as it does protecting each resident of New York.


Paul Krugman, cited by Eric Alterman in regards to Jonathan Chait's The 9/10 President, a story we all seemed to have missed. Not long ago, the Washington Post carried Begging, Borrowing for Security.
Welcome to Trickle Down Homeland Security.
posted by y2karl on Apr 21, 2003 - 27 comments

A

A "Disappearance" In America - Arrested without charge. Secret warrants and subpoenas. No arrest record. No accusation of a crime. Solitary confinement. No access to a lawyer. No comment from the authorities. No court appearance. In other countries, this would be a "disappearance". Here in America, it's just the Patriot Act at work. Read the story of Mike Hawash, and ponder where this country is headed.
posted by laz-e-boy on Apr 7, 2003 - 44 comments

Freedom vs. Security cost benefit analysis

Civil liberties and privacy may be priceless, but they may soon have a price tag. In this NYT article, describes efforts by the White House Office of Management and Budget to quantify the cost of enhanced security and lessened liberties. "As long as they're going to deal with monetary evaluations, I told them they should start asking about the cost of destroying democracy," said Mr. Nader.
posted by Birichini on Mar 11, 2003 - 10 comments

Big Brother Is Watching You...Idiotically

Nominate the world's stupidest security procedure. UK-based watchdog group, Privacy International, is accepting nominations until March 15th from the general public about the most annoying and invasive security measures with the lowest effectiveness in protecting individual safety. What would you nominate?
posted by jonp72 on Mar 6, 2003 - 19 comments

U.S. BUNKERS:

U.S. BUNKERS: Life assurance, not life insurance. If you lack faith in duct tape and plastic sheeting, perhaps this is the solution for you.
posted by aladfar on Feb 26, 2003 - 9 comments

It's Justice Time!

Know what time it is, Kidz? It's U.S. Department of Justice Time!

On today's show, we'll learn why Hacking is REAL BAD, and give you a chance to find out if you are a good cybercitizen. Next, we'll meet Axel, the talking drug dog, and his friends the Bomb Dog Bunch! Then, we'll check in on the ATF, for some cool science fair ideas.

And finally, just for you kids with crooks or international terrorists for parents, here's a nifty PDF coloring book (Native American version also available).
posted by eatitlive on Feb 25, 2003 - 11 comments

How to guide to taking over the country's nuclear secrets

In this exposé a Wired News reporter easily gains access to some sensitive areas of the Los Alamos National Lab, and brings back pictures to prove it. While certainly an embarrassment for a place throwing workshops on homeland security (and doubly so because their seminars started today), is it wise for Wired News to post essentially a how-to guide on breaking into the lab where America's nuclear secrets reside?
posted by mathowie on Feb 25, 2003 - 17 comments

Terror alert level goes orange

Bush will raise the national terror threat level today from yellow to orange (CNN). This means little to us here in NYC where we've already been at orange. (At least that's what I've heard, although orange looks like a brownish color on my TV screen and a sort of muddy green on my computer monitor.) What, if anything, will your town, city, state, company, family do in response to this heightened threat level?
posted by jellybuzz on Feb 7, 2003 - 58 comments

Microsoft = Megatarget.

Microsoft = Megatarget. A new worm is rapidly spreading across the Internet, functioning like a massive DDOS attack and crippling ISPs in South Korea. It's host? Microsoft SQL server. (Get yor fix on, then reboot!) What impact will it have over here, I wonder...
posted by insomnia_lj on Jan 25, 2003 - 63 comments

Master keys easy to make.

Anyone with access to a lock and key can easily create a master key. An AT&T Labs researcher has discovered that most master-key lock systems are vulnerable. NY Times (reg. req'd) reports that the technique is known, but not widely known. For instance, it does not appear in the ubiquitous document formerly known as the MIT Guide to Lockpicking. The AT&T Labs-Research paper is troubling some security experts, one of whom said that the "technique could open doors worldwide for criminals and terrorists." Because publishing the paper "could lead to an increase in thefts and other crimes, it presented an ethical quandary" for the researcher (Matt Blaze) and AT&T Labs-Research.
posted by found missing on Jan 23, 2003 - 27 comments

But Can I Bring My Spear Gun?

What should I pack? According to the official list Toy Transformer Robots are OK (presumably real ones are not), but I'll have to put my throwing stars in my checked luggage.
posted by JoanArkham on Jan 15, 2003 - 31 comments

Mitnick and Me

Mitnick and Me. Kevin Mitnick's girlfriend, TechTV producer Darci Wood, blogs their lives and defends his activities in anticipation of Kevin's return to the Internet later this month. Mitnick anticipates the end of his probation in today's NY Times.
posted by PrinceValium on Jan 12, 2003 - 9 comments

Let's make the mall a little more surreal

Shopping Bliss "Selected police officers were tasked to wear mascot costumes as they patrol the shopping malls in the capital to make their presence less obtrusive and more friendly." - welcome to mall security, LSD style.
posted by jdaura on Jan 5, 2003 - 18 comments

Coffee, Tea or should we feel your pregnant wife's breasts

Coffee, tea or should we feel your pregnant wife's breasts? Well, like most of you I've read many personal accounts of the change in air travel since 9/11. But this one packs a major wallop, well written, infuriating and containing one of the best concluding sentences . . . ever. ( via Blogdex )
posted by jeremias on Dec 22, 2002 - 138 comments

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