While the government may be shut down, the world of security keeps going full steam ahead. This week brought stories from all over the world, including revelations about the NSA here in the US to penguin tracking in New Zealand, and much more.
NSA Admits to LOVEINT, Spying on Loved Ones
The story of NSA employees spying on loved ones – nicknamed LOVEINT – made the rounds a few weeks ago to the horror and laughter of many. This week, the NSA Inspector General released a letter admitting to twelve known instances of this form of intentional abuse since 2003. Although this is a big revelation because the agency previously refused to admit any such willful violations of security regulations, many contend that the actual number must be much higher, if only because there must have been employees who never got caught.
Stupid Criminals: Another iPhone Thief Tracked by GPS
Vancouver police say the city faces an “epidemic” of smartphone theft. Since 2009, they’ve seen an increase in smartphone theft of nearly 20 percent, and many of these phones don’t get recovered. However, one Vancouver woman was lucky. Her phone was stolen from her purse at a bar along with some cash, and she went home to turn on the iCloud app immediately when she realized what had happened. She calmly called the police, shared the location info, and stayed on the line with them as they followed the digital directions and arrested the thief. He was just walking down the street with his girlfriend, completely unaware that an iPhone could be tracked by its GPS, when the police drove up.
Can Facebook “Likes” Repair a Broken Marriage?
Experts often contend that social networking sites like Facebook have contributed to a rise in infidelity. However, in the case of Ivan Lewis and the wife on whom he cheated, it just might bring them back together. She demanded that he admit his cheating on Facebook so he would “feel the same humiliation he put her through” by cheating. She said if his post admitting he cheated gets 10,000 “likes” on the site, she will consider taking him back. His post had achieved over 8,000 as of September 27, and separated wife Sonya Gore told reporters that his attempts to woo her back and the success of the post will influence her decision, but not determine it.
Fargo Businesses Think Security Cameras Have Decreased Crime
A small commercial area of Fargo was plagued by crime that hampered businesses’ ability to draw customers and led to a general state of disrepair when the city installed a number of security cameras over a year ago. Covering every intersection of the affected area, the cameras have dropped crime by 70% over the past year. Business owners and local police alike cite the presence of the cameras as a strong deterrent to criminals. In fact, they feel it’s been so effective that they are considering dealing with other parts of town in the same way.
Nanny Cam Helps Granny Nab Thief
A Columbus grandmother suspected her neighbor of sneaking in and stealing small electronics, jewelry, and cash when she regularly stepped out to work on her garden. After a few months of this, her daughter suggested she set up a nanny cam to figure out what has happening when she was outside. It worked immediately. The camera was linked to an app in her daughter’s phone, and the first time she went to her garden after installing it she got a frantic call from her daughter that the suspected neighbor was in the house. A quick call to the police later and granny was safe, the admitted crack addict and robber arrested.
New Zealand Scientists to Track Buller Penguins with GPS
These marine birds’ mating and fishing habits have been a bit of a mystery to scientists, but with the help of six GPS units, they will be easier to track and eventually understand. Information about where they fish will also help scientists create appropriate marine reserves to prohibit activities that could impact the little penguins’ habitat. Scientists are targeting birds with young chicks because they return to their new babies every night, providing more information about repeated habits.