Review Category : Security News

Town in Maine Looks to Roll Out Robust Surveillance System

lincolnFor years low officials in the town of Lincoln, Maine, have been trying to get security cameras up and running so that they may be able to better keep track of crime.

Councilor Stephen Clay said “There was just a lot of vandalism. We wanted a way to be able to see the vandalism take place, know who did it. So that’s how it all started.”

But recently these cameras have been running into a bit of a snag. As many devices in the area also use wireless networks this sometimes interferes with the cameras signal and makes it so that the camera shuts down and has to be reset from the government building. This is a problem for crimes that occur during the night. If the camera were to go out at 2AM and no one was there to reset it then anything could happen in that alley way and no one would be the wiser.

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Worst Security Week Ever for Lindsay Lohan

lohan-cryingFamed actress Lindsay Lohan went ballistic in a New York deli after leaving her phone there by mistake. Lohan had walked into Mott Corner Deli and after buying a few things, she walked out of the store without realizing that she had left her precious phone behind. Once Lohan realized what she had done, she immediately walked back into the store demanding her cell phone be returned.

One of the deli workers insisted that they review the security tapes in order to verify that she had left the phone. Lohan was infuriated by the fact that the deli owner would not simply return the phone to her. It had gotten to the point that she had to involve the NYPD. According to police records the call was made at around 7:30 pm, but by the time the police had arrived at the scene the issue had already been resolved.

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Lindsay Lohan's Home Gets Burglarized, Again

lindsay-lohanActress Lindsay Lohan has had her home in Hollywood Hills Los Angeles, burglarized. It has been reported that besides a safe that had been ripped out of the wall, only a few watches were missing. The Los Angeles police have made no official arrest and are still investigating the house. Lindsey Lohan’s father Michael Lohan said he believed it was an “inside job” as the house alarm systems were left off the night of the robbery.

The celebrity news website TMZ also sited an unidentified source that stated three men were seen on the security cameras breaking into Lohan’s home. Luckily the actress was not home at the time and no one was hurt during the burglary. According to Diana Lohan, Lindsay’s mother, they discovered that the front door was off the hinges and that its handles had been removed.

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Court Rules Against GPS Devices for Sex Offenders

115-0_62_gps_320A Massachusetts court ruled today that sex offenders convicted before 2006 could not be forced to wear GPS monitoring devices. The court ruled that retroactively forcing sex offenders to wear the tracking devices violates state and federal constitutions.Vice president of Community Voices, Debbie Savoia, described the ruling as a “slap in the face” to sex crime victims as well as a threat to public safety.

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Bronx Cab Driver's Murder Prompts Investigation Into Taxi Surveillance Systems

liverycabshootingIn a tragic incident that underscores the need for companies and individuals to secure their vehicles, a livery cab driver was shot and killed in what was believed to be an attempted robbery Monday morning.

According to police, 46-year old Ndiaye Amadau was shot once in the chest just after 12:30 a.m. Monday by his passenger in Baychester. The police believe he was shot in an attempted robbery. After the attack, the cab slammed into a silver car waiting for a light. The gunman was able to flee, but the driver of the silver car got a got a good look at him and the NYPD are undergoing an extensive search for the killer.

Amadau’s vehicle was not properly secured at all, as it did not have either a partition (a secure barrier for protecting the driver from their passenger in a cab) or a security camera. Because he didn’t have a partition, Amadau was not protected from any dangerous or unruly passengers if an unfortunate situation were to occur. Additionally, by not having a security camera, Amadau did not have an extra pair of eyes with which to secure his vehicle and protect himself. Without these layers of security, his cab and himself were  completely vulnerable.

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Pot Police Nab 360 Lbs. of Reefer with GPS Tracking

pot-policeWhen people think drug trafficking, they think Miami, South America, maybe even Vermont. But suburban Boston? Apparently, yes.

The DEA recently seized over 360 lbs. (worth an astounding $700,000 bucks street value) in suburban Framingham, Massachusetts, with the help of GPS Tracking.

When cops spotted marijuana traffickers loading wooden crates with bricks of marijuana, they executed a search warrant and planted a GPS tracker amidst the reefer. Then the cops just sat back and let the tracker do its thing.

The GPS tracker helped cops locate the drug shipment where they made the arrest of three men that were loading the 12 containers of marijuana into a van en route to distribution. All three suspects are currently being detained in Massachusetts.

(via WCVB Boston)

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GPS Devices Being Used to Track Dementia Patients

170427_old_man_walkingIndianapolis state legislature has begun discussions as to whether or not they should use GPS tracking systems on adults with dementia and other mental diseases that cause them to wander. The topic was brought to question due to recently passed legislation that began the Silver Alert program which involves the public in finding missing endangered adults. If passed, the law would require for adults with diseases like dementia to wear the GPS devices to help ensure their safety.

According to Michael Sullivan, director of public policy and advocacy for the Alzheimer’s Association Greater Indiana chapter, “There was a lot of concern by state police and broadcasters about how often there would be a Silver Alert.” For this reason lawmakers are calling for a study to determine weather or not the GPS devices should be made mandatory. Stephen Smith, president of the Indiana Health Care Association, called the proposal “overkill.”

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New Study Shows DNA Evidence Can Be Easily Fabricated

csipicDNA evidence has always been considered the end-all-be-all of proof in criminal cases. It was thought that this evidence was infallible and impossible to be tampered with. Well according to Israeli scientists, that is just not true.

Scientists in Israel have demonstrated that it is possible to fabricate DNA evidence. The scientists were able to do this by fabricating blood and saliva samples containing DNA from a person other than the donor. They also demonstrated they could create a sample of DNA to match a DNA profile without obtaining the tissue of the individual from the profile.

“You can just engineer a crime scene,” said Dan Frumkin, lead author of the paper, which has been published online by the journal Forensic Science International: Genetics. “Any biology undergraduate could perform this.”

The scientists fabricated DNA samples in two ways, with one needing the services of a small real DNA sample, which was from a strand of hair. This tiny sample was then made much larger using a technique called whole genome amplification. They then combined the DNA from this strand, which came from a man, with blood from a women that had been removed of its DNA. When this sample was analyzed, it only came back positive as a normal sample of a man’s blood.

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NY Lottery Proves How Far People Will Go For Cash

cash1The New York Lottery recently launched a new advertising campaign using hidden cameras to show exactly how far people would go for cash money. One guy even ventures into a New York City fountain for 10 bucks, emerging completely wet, shamed, and probably having contracted tetanus, but hey, at least he’s $10 richer.

Using hidden cameras strategically place throughout the city, the NY lottery put NYC residents in somewhat humiliating situations to prove how strong the need/want for cash really is. Cash spews from an ATM, they tape cash to the top of a very high pole, etc. causing bystanders to put themselves in somewhat ridiculous situations to get the goods; and it’s all caught on hidden camera.

In this economy with the NY and NJ Lottery maxing at $170 million this week, who wouldn’t shimmy up a lamppost or jump into a fountain for that kind of paper? Count me in!

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Law Confusing On Subject Of Video Surveillance

supreme-courWhat is legal and not legal when it comes to surveillance? This is a question that is ill-defined in modern society, and its elements change every day as our technology becomes more and more advanced and our social norms adjust along with it. There is still a difference between a persons private and public life. But where is the line drawn?

As surveillance cameras have become more common with both private citizens and for the use of communities, the Supreme Court has taken the position that what a person exposes to the public is not constitutionally protected and that in public, visual forms of surveillance have almost complete carte blanche in recording people. Surveillance cameras have taken over our lives to the point that they’ve made the distinctions of public and private life somewhat nonexistent.

To make this idea explicit, there is no federal law that governs video surveillance by private citizens or organizations such as community safety coalitions and almost no federal law that covers police video surveillance.

“The courts have claimed that using a video and audio recorder by a citizen is protected by the First Amendment,” says Len Brown, a West Point graduate and an attorney with the Lancaster, PA law firm of Clymer & Musser.

State laws do not regulate videotaping. According to Clifford Fishman, a professor at Catholic University and a former New York district attorney, “The Justice Department likes the law the way it is, because it allows visual surveillance of public conduct.”

The law says that private citizens using video cameras must follow the same guidelines governing surveillance programs operated by municipalities. According to Fisherman, however, there are still many questions about the legality of what individuals personally film. While it may not be illegal if an individual their own or others property or individuals going about their daily business, a line can easily be crossed between which another person can see this surveillance and filming as a form of illegal harassment.

Says Brown, “There’s really nothing anyone can do, until someone finds out [the camera operators] are abusing the cameras.”

According to Brown, with no clear regulation and oversight of video surveillance, the potential for voyeurism and invasion of privacy becomes much larger. Although municipalities with surveillance programs are able to regulate their recordings, breaches are always a possibility.

Fishman suggests putting cameras only in areas where crime is prevalent, instead of simply saturating a city, in hopes of catching criminal activity.

Surveillance programs are growing number across the country. Camera technology is improving, and people are more likely to use camera surveillance to protect their home. As a society, we need to make decisions about how we will survey each other in public. It will go on to some extent. We just have to decide how far we actually want to go.

“Once the debate gets captured by the extremes on both sides, people in the middle just tune out, says Fishman.”

(Via Lanaster Online)

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