350010167772150storieslarge20100301ortiz-2-28-10-cyIn New York, Assemblyman Felix Ortiz is working hard to enact a new bill that would protect domestic violence victims by requiring any person with an order of protection issued against them to wear a GPS tracking device. The family of Erika Delia took to the steps of CIty Hall with Ortiz to express their support of such a bill.

In 2007, Erika Delia was murdered by her ex-boyfriend who she had previously had a restraining order on. And just recently a woman in Flushing was murdered by a man who she had multiple restraining orders against.

Read More →

nsa-tap

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is suing multiple government agencies for using social networking websites such as FaceBook, MySpace, YoutTube, and Twitter as a way to wiretap people and use the information to arrest them. Some of the government agencies being sued are the Department of Defense, the Central Intelligence Agency, the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of the Treasury, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, and the Department of Justice, which includes the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Drug Enforcement Agency, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, among others.

The government is using the information they get from the Internet to aid in various investigations where the alleged crimes range from the relatively minor infringement of underage drinking, to more serious endeavors, such as the coordination of protesters during the G-20 summit. It is also very easy for the government to get access to your private information even if it is made to be hidden from the public, all they need is to supply a warrant for the social networking sites to give them all the information they want. Although usually the government uses this for good reasons, the people should know what their rights are in this area.

(Via ReadWriteWeb)

Read More →

radar2The Federal Aviation Authority announced Tuesday that a new high tech surveillance system will be launched in Colorado to make airplane monitoring easier, more efficient, and more effective. Before this system, when a large aircraft entered a mountain valley, radar would go dead and air traffic controllers would be left blind to the plane’s whereabouts. Clearly unsafe, smaller Colorado airports were forced to turn away the larger aircrafts that were susceptible to this loss of radar, which resulted in a significant loss of revenue for both the airports and the state. The new surveillance system will incorporate sensors for more detailed mapping and air traffic control capabilities.

As aircraft approach a mountain valley, we have sensors that are located throughout the valleys, next to the runways, which allows us to see the aircraft as it descends and loses traditional radar service,” Travis Vallin, Director of Aeronautics with the Colorado Department of Transportation, said.

With this high tech surveillance system, three smaller regional airports will be able to accept larger airplanes with 700 passengers or more, improving the scope of air travel in Colorado.

“It’s not only the first time it’s been done here, it’s the first time it’s been rolled out in the United States,” Vallin said. “So, Colorado is a leader in this technology, and we hope to put it to good use.”

The Colorado Department of Transportation will share costs with the FAA in this joint venture to make air travel safer and more efficient.

(Via 9News.com)

Read More →

crane-collapseNew York City’s Department of Buildings will begin tracking their inspectors using GPS technology embedded in the workers company issued cell phones. The tracking systems will take effect on Monday, by monitoring ten inspectors at first and by the end of the month they plan to be monitoring all  379 inspectors.

The GPS systems are being installed because of an incident concerning an inspector named Edward J. Marquette. Marquette filed a false inspection report on a crane. That crane toppled 11 days later killing seven people.

Buildings Commissioner Robert D. LiMandri said “This new GPS tracking system is a simple, innovative way to ensure inspectors reach their assigned locations and are held accountable for their important work.”

Many of the inspectors are not happy with the news changes. Joseph M. Corso, the president of Local 211 of the Allied Building Inspectors Union has reacted by saying, “Just like the Justice Department monitors parolees and those under house arrest, they’ll have a tracking device,” he said of the inspectors. “We’re going to do all we can to ensure the rights of the membership are covered.”

Read More →

iraq-surveillanceThe men and women employed by the Baghdad Security Surveillance Center are paid to help detect suspicious activity and prevent catastrophe. But more often, the cameras simply provide a way to look at the carnage from a distance. The center, which was started about a year ago, uses different stations to monitor 113 cameras spread throughout the city of Baghdad, as well as officers with radio scanners to help prevent disaster. Yet even with all this only five percent of the city is actually being monitored.

The Director of the security center acknowledged that the center still has a long way to go. As of right now the center is understaffed and not open around the clock. Besides that even though they have 113 cameras in use not all of them are functional at all times. Each work station is responsible for monitoring 10 of the active cameras. Last Wednesday they were able to detect suspicious activity but within 20 seconds of noticing it a bomb exploded killing nearly 100 people.

Read More →

phillypoliceIn the big city, the cameras have gone dark. The watchful eyes have gone blind, and crime is allowed to roam with the tool of surveillance neutralized. The city of Philadelphia is supposed to have 250 surveillance cameras patrolling the streets and protecting their citizens, but the program has become neglected and gone awry.

In late 2007, Philadelphia government announced its plan to install 250 surveillance cameras by 2008. Unfortunately, it’s now 2009 and only 161 cameras have been installed. Out of these 161, only 98 of these cameras are usable and another 63 are sitting there waiting to be activated. The 63 cameras that are being unused have been covered in black plastic bags.

Read More →

setupcamera_540 In a surprising revelation Thursday, NASA acknowledged that they treated one of the iconic recordings in American history like just another tape, erasing the Apollo 11 moon footage years ago in an effort to reuse the tape. Luckily for NASA, Hollywood is the land of second chances, and that is exactly what the agency is getting.

Lowry Digital, of Burbank Calif., is digitally sharpening and cleaning up the ghostly, grainy footage of the moon landing, making it even better than what TV viewers saw on July 20, 1969. Even more remarkable about their effort is that they are working with only four copies of the landing that NASA was able to pick up from across the world. In a move that seems eerily similar to re-releasing a film on its anniversary as a means of promotion, the first group of restored footage was released just in time for the 40th anniversary of the landing.

Read More →

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.

Read More →

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.

Read More →