A Chinese news site features a picture of anti-terrorist forces on Segway-back. Is this totally nuts, or a really good idea?Three questions in the Segway versus no Segway debate: These guys should be in pretty good shape. Shouldn't they be able to run faster than one of these? Well, according to the Wikipedia entry for a Segway PT, the vehicle has a top speed of 12.5 mph. That works out to roughly a five-minute mile. With riot gear on, yeah, that's pushing it. Winner: Segway, if you're willing to be standing really tall all the … Read more
No, we're not talking about vile blog commenters. A Jewish human rights group, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, released a report last week that says online terror and hate is on the rise, particularly on social-media sites.
According to a briefing detailed by The New York Times' Brad Stone, the Wiesenthal Center flagged about 8,000 "problematic" sites on the Web pertaining to terrorism and hate, a 30 percent increase from last year.
In addition to religious terror groups, the sites identified also pertain to anti-Semitic, racist, xenophobic, and various anti-religion and anti-government sentiments. And social media is … Read more
RICHMOND, Calif.--Taking a cue from surveillance camera-laden London, this San Francisco Bay Area city is installing security camera systems for the police and at the port to reduce crime and protect against terrorism.
The systems are being built and maintained by ADT, known for its home burglar alarm systems, and use a high-speed wireless mesh network.
Clusters of video cameras transmit data to wireless radios, which then send it over a 1-gigabit back-haul feed to servers in the Port of Richmond's security office, and for the city to police headquarters and the dispatch center. Eventually, the video will … Read more
Very few pitches instill a sense of urgency, even duty in me. But when I received an e-mail pitch on Monday about a gaping hole in the country's security infrastructure, I felt compelled to share.
You don't know, it but every time you walk or drive down the street potential threats to your safety are literally under your feet. Those round portals to the sewers are veritable open doors for anyone with a nasty plan and the means of moving 100 pounds of solid metal.
The September 11 attacks illustrated how vulnerable the country was to terrorism, prompted … Read more
Over at Wired, David Thier has a story up about theories being propagated by terrorism and intelligence scholars that virtual worlds could provide counterterrorism agents with a view into the activities of real-world baddies.
The theorists posit that virtual terrorism and diseases spread in World of Warcraft might paint a picture of what terrorists like Osama bin Laden are thinking when they're hunkered down, planning their attacks on the U.S. or other countries.
"People got really smart about figuring out how to cause the most damage to the largest number of people," Wired quoted Robert Allen, … Read more
Last month London's Metropolitan Police started a five week campaign of what they are calling "counter-terrorism advertising," which includes a poster that implores people to report photographers to the police if they "seem odd." This is very troubling to me, since I consider myself to be quite odd and my job entails shooting photos on a daily basis. Luckily, I don't live in London, but here in New York City we have a similar campaign that's been going on for more than five years and while they haven't gone as far as … Read more
About six months ago, German police reported disrupting a terrorist plot against U.S. installations in their country, thanks in part to intelligence tips from American agents. Now officials in the two nations have hatched a formal plan to share more information about known and suspected terrorists.
U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, Attorney General Michael Mukasey, and their German counterparts--Interior Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble and Justice Minister Brigitte Zypries--initialed an agreement on Tuesday to swap fingerprint and DNA data.
At a Tuesday press conference at German government headquarters in Berlin, Mukasey hailed the proposed cooperation as a &… Read more
In the wrong hands, could Google Earth become a weapon of mass destruction?That question has been floated in the aftermath of last week's FBI apprehension of four suspects charged with attempting to explode oil pipelines at New York's John F. Kennedy airport.
At a press conference announcing three of the the arrests, FBI officials said one of the plotters, Abdul Kadir, directed his associates to consult Google aerial images of Kennedy Airport as they went about their planning. Inevitably, this raised questions about whether the various online mapping services offered by the likes of Google, Yahoo and … Read more
One of the four terror suspects in an alleged plot to blow up fuel tanks and a gas pipeline at New York City's John F. Kennedy International Airport recommended Google Earth as a way to obtain detailed aerial photographs, according to a court complaint obtained by The Smoking Gun.
The "JFK plot" made headlines on Saturday when U.S. officials announced that they had charged four men, one of whom remains at large, in a nascent plot to target fuel tanks and a gas pipeline at the high-traffic airport. The court document in question describes a May … Read more
In effort to broaden its thinking about terrorist attacks, the Department of Homeland Security is tapping into the thinking of a group of science fiction authors called Sigma, according to USA Today.
"We need to look everywhere for ideas, and science fiction writers clearly inform the debate," said department spokesman Christopher Kelly.
Science fiction authors are often prone to flights of extreme fancy, but they can be good prognosticators. Indeed, in the novel Footfall, by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle, the government assembles a group of science fiction writers to seek their counsel about an alien invasion. Pournelle … Read more