Review Category : Security News

GPS Electronic Monitoring Becoming Tool in Fight Against Domestic Abuse

rhianna_02Last month, Texas joined a coalition of seventeen states that protect victims of domestic violence and interpersonal violence by using GPS electronic monitoring systems. This tracking system enables authorities to both monitor a convicted offender and to realize when he or she goes to certain locations of interests, such as a victim’s home or place of employment.

Diane Rosenfeld, who is a Harvard Law lecturer and a very important figure in the campaign to get GPS electronic monitoring used in many states, stated in an interview that the system can be a key tool in the fight against domestic violence due to its ability to establish boundaries when they are broken, and because warning could be given to the victim if need be.

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GPS Being Used to Save Pine Trees Killed by Beetles

whitebark-pine-trunks-702938-swWe’ve seen GPS tracking systems being used for some very unusual purposes, but this is the first time we’ve seen GPS used to help save the environment, and in this case – trees. Foresters in Jackson, Wyoming, have decided they will begin using GPS to track the damage to whitebark pine trees being killed by beetles. U.S. Forest Service officials are using a budget of $150,00 to start the survey of beetle damage in the Bridger-Teton National Forest. The forest officially contains about 400,000 acres of whitebark pine, but the species has begin to decline due to beetle attacks. The process will begin with mapping through an aerial survey, with the survey then being used to map the pine population and to help lay out the area that will be used for the GPS. This work should be completed by next spring. Foresters specifically want to know where the damage is worst, and why some pockets of pines appear to be unaffected.

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GPS Fleet Tracking Growing Strong in the Middle East

82765-imageSmart Infrastructure, a highly influential IT provider based in Ryadh, Saudi Arabia, is making a difference in the day-to-day operations of the nation’s companies and corporations with the new GPS Fleet Software developed by High-Tech Solutions. HTS is the Dubai based specialist for GPS vehicle tracking and fleet solutions. The GPS Fleet Software allows companies and corporations to pinpoint the exact position of their vehicles. It does this through a GPS black box that sends the location of the vehicle position to a head office where an operator can observe and control vehicles as they see fit. The Fleet Software also generates a logbook and data about driving times and driving behavior. This product has become particularly popular in Saudi Arabia, but it is also being used by companies in the Middle East in countries such as Quater, as well as Europe.
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Surveillance Cameras Help Avoid Malpractice Claims

37-starface1With five stars more than the flag, the true face of a teenage girl is finally revealed.

Claiming that she had mistakenly been tattooed with 56 stars on her face, 18 year old Kimberly Valminck recently admitted that she had lied about the whole ordeal. Valminck blamed tattoo artist, Toumaniantz, for ruining her face and turning her into a “freak” while she was asleep under his needle. Toumaniantz adamantly insisted that she had asked for the stars despite what Valminck was telling her parents and the press. Valminck promised to sue Toumaniantz for 9000 euros, the cost of the surgery needed to remove the stars. Even though Toumaniantz maintained that she had asked for the stars, he agreed to pay for half of the surgery because he felt bad that his client was so unsatisfied.

Recently, Valminck said that she had indeed asked him for the 56 various size and shaped stars to be tattooed on her face and that she was awake the whole time he tattooed them onto her face. She made the whole story up because when she showed her father he was “furious.”

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New York State Outlaws GPS Tracking of Criminal Suspects Without a Warrant

otlawgpsThe New York State Court of Appeals recently issued a ruling baring police from tracking the cars of criminal suspects with GPS systems unless a warrant is first obtained from a judge. The ruling was set in motion by a case in Albany County where the state police believed a man may have been committing burglaries. The GPS device was used to place the suspects car at the scene of a shopping center burglary. However, Chief Judge John Lippman ruled that this type of GPS tracking violated the state Constitution.

In the majority opinion, Lippman wrote that “It is quite clear that this would not, and indeed, realistically could not be done without GPS and this dragnet use of of this technology at the sole discretion of law enforcement authorities to pry into the details of people’s daily lives is not consistent with the values at the core of the state Constitution’s prohibition against unreasonable searches.”

A New York State attorney who had been involved in a similar case with a man who was tracked by a GPS device praised the verdict as a strong one. William Tendy, a native of Poughkeepsie, stated that “The decision makes good sense; it’s well-reasoned.” He also said that the ruling was a good sign, as law enforcement agencies are usually believed to be slow in addressing advancements in technology that are seen as eroding citizens privacy.

Ulster County D.A. Holley Carnight, who said that GPS devices are sometimes used in law enforcement cases in the county, particularly in drug investigations, was one law enforcement official who disagreed with the Court of Appeals ruling. He believes that GPS tracking does not give enough information on drivers to be an infringement on privacy.

“It doesn’t tell you who the driver is or what he’s doing, so I don’t think the situation is as sinister as the majority seems to believe,” Carnight said.

The New York State Court of Appeals may have the state’s citizens best interests at heart, but with this ruling, law enforcement may face a major set back in fighting crime. The vehicle GPS tracking systems that law enforcement uses in both New York and other states at this moment in time are very simple and have a clear goal: to track and stop suspected criminals and in doing so, protect communities. Our pinion is that there is no “Big Brother” effect at work here with the trackers. Rather, it is just law enforcement serving and protecting, as it’s their duty to do so.

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GPS Tracking Device Used to Fight the War on Drugs

airportcopsThe buzz of people waiting to board the plane drowns out the heavy breathing of the suspicious looking people clutching their fists hoping to release some tension in their body.  Their darting eyes screen the room for any threats as they walk through security.  They hold their breath praying that nothing goes wrong and close their eyes as they take their first step under the beams of metal. Then it comes, the beautiful, refreshing sound of absolutely nothing.  No alarms.  No flashing lights.  Plain and utterly priceless nothing.  Ignorant is everyone to the fact that another drug dealer just successfully smuggled more drugs into the country.

According to an article written in Stuff.co.nz,  an astounding 80% of drugs smuggled into New Zealand go undetected every year, as reported by the National Drug Intelligence Bureau, and changes need to be made to substantially lower that number.

Authorities are trying to respond to the surprisingly high number of successful transportation of illegal drugs into New Zealand every year by implementing a new technology.  While the exact methodology of how these devices could be used to prevent drug trafficking cannot be released, authorities have confirmed that they need to implement GPS tracking devices in order to track intercepted shipments. However, there are some obstacles to overcome before any real progress can be made.

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Security Firm Discovers that Keyboards Can Easily Be Hacked for Data Theft

hackkeyboardTwo researchers working at security firm Inverse Path, recently came out with a paper that reveals a disturbing discovery about many common keyboards. It turns out that the poor shielding used on many keyboard’s PS/2 cables can allow hackers to snoop on what you’ve been typing. When a key is pressed, the data leaks onto the earth wire that connects to the PC’s power unit, which in turns connects to the plug in the power socket. From there, the data potentially leaks out onto the power circuit that is supplying electricity in a room.

“The PS/2 signal square wave is preserved with good quality… and can be decoded back to the original keystroke information,” wrote the pair in a paper describing their work.

The folks over at Inverse Path have even been able to demonstrate this working over distances up to 15 meters.

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Surveillance Cameras Used in Language Acquisition Research in Children

_45999503_deb_royCatching criminals in action isn’t the only thing surveillance cameras can do– now they are starting to answer hundred year old questions.

Recently, surveillance cameras were used to conduct The Human Speechome Project, an experiment designed to map the way humans acquire speech.  The age old question of speech acquisition has been tackled by famous researchers including Noam Chomsky and Eric Lenneberg.  From devices in your brain to critical periods there only remains theories about how humans develop language skills.

With the help of surveillance cameras, professors at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology hope to provide some of the first conclusive, data based answers to what seems to be the unsolvable question. Stunted by the limited availability to thoroughly track a child’s language acquisition process, previous studies were only given snapshots of a child’s development in weekly or monthly meetings.  Considering the fast paced nature of child development, missing a week, day, and even an hour can mean missing a crucial moment in the child’s development.

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Homeland Security Department Considers Revising Confusing Terror Alert System

a136_terror_alert_system_2050081722-16697

The Homeland Security Department has announced that it will review the multicolored terror alert system that was created after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. Homeland Security Director Janet Napolitano has recently created a 17-member task force chaired by former FBI Director William Webster and former White House homeland Security Fran Townsend that has 60 days to determine the effectiveness of the current system, which could be overhauled or eliminated entirely.

The current Homeland Security alert system is a five-tiered one that goes from the color green, which signals a low danger of attack, to red, which warns of a severe threat. The system has proven to be confusing at times, and many critics believe the colors are used too vaguely for the information they signal to be seen as useful.

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