The U.S. government’s secret rulebook for labeling you a terrorist

homeland security

The guidelines state that “the general policy of the U.S. Government is to neither confirm nor deny an individual’s watchlist status.

There has been a substantial expansion of the terrorist watchlist system and it has been quietly approved by the Obama administration. It authorizes a secret process that requires neither “concrete facts” nor “irrefutable evidence” to designate an American or foreigner as a terrorist, according to a key government document obtained by The Intercept.

 

 

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NSA infiltrated online games in hunt for terrorists

The NSA described games communities, such as World of Warcraft, as a ‘target-rich network’ where potential terrorists could ‘hide in plain sight’.

Because of leaks from the former National Security Agency employee, Edward Snowden, the NSA is still under the microscope. The NSA has been straddling a fine line between being a terrifying and comically inept government institution. Now, in the latter category: a report that the NSA infiltrated the dark world of online gaming.

 

 

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Taliban public relations rep accidentally leaks email list

Taliban accidentally CC-d all email addresses on their mailing list to subscribers.

This may be good to know if you’re a terrorist organization, BCC is your friend. A Taliban spokesperson’s misstep resulted in all addresses on the Afghanistani militant movement’s email list being disclosed to the public. ABC News’ Muhammad Lila reports that Qari Yousuf Ahmedi, an official representative for the movement, accidentally used CC: instead of BCC: on a mass Taliban communication. Ahmedi forwarded a press release he received from another Taliban spokesperson in a mass email; instead of moving the CCs from the previous email to BCC, they stayed intact.

 

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Study Shows Genetically Modified Crops ‘Can Cause Liver and Kidney Damage’

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An environmental campaigner protesting against the grim outcome of GM crops.

Fresh fears were raised over GM crops yesterday after a study showed they can cause liver and kidney damage.

According to the research, animals fed on three strains of genetically modified maize created by the U.S. biotech firm Monsanto suffered signs of organ damage after just three months.

The findings only came to light after Monsanto was forced to publish its raw data on safety tests by anti-GM campaigners.

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The Growing Threat of “Money Mules”

money mule chart

Don’t you think a lot more people need to be aware of this?

Kevin Poulsen at Threat Level has a great item up about the growing menace of “money mules.” The term refers to bank customers who’ve been conned into unwittingly laundering cash that hackers have stolen from business bank accounts. The con and the funny phrase have been around for a while, but the US Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation issued a new warning to American financial institutions about the increasing spread on Thursday. Snip:

Using specialized Trojan horse malware, cybercrooks have been intercepting web-banking credentials from the computers of small and midsize businesses, and then initiating wire transfers to mules around the country. The mules are consumers who’ve been lured into fake work-at-home scams, in which their employment involves receiving money transfers and then forwarding the funds to Eastern Europe, either directly or through other mules.

The scheme has exploded in the last year…

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Is Terrorism A Diminishing Threat?

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Najibullah Zazi after his arrest in a terrorism investigation

Eight years after 9/11, the specter of terrorism still haunts the United States. Just last week, F.B.I. agents were working double time to unravel the alarming case of a Denver airport shuttle driver accused of training with explosives in Pakistan and buying bomb-making chemicals. In Dallas, a young Jordanian was charged with trying to blow up a skyscraper; in Springfield, Ill., a prison parolee was arrested for trying to attack the local federal building. Meanwhile, the Obama administration struggled to decide whether sending many more troops to Afghanistan would be the best way to forestall a future attack.

 

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Study Of Spit To Learn How Germs Spread

Study Of Spit To Learn How Germs Spread

Girl sneezing 

Mark Nicas has given some of his best years to spittle. He builds models – the mathematical kind – of how someone else’s slobber ends up on you. The size of the particles, whether they come out in a dry cough or a wet sneeze, their evaporation rate, air speed – these are all complications, reasons why people like Nicas can spend careers piling up academic papers, all the while building up a healthy respect for pathogens.

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Mexico on the Brink of Chaos

Mexico’s On The Brink Of Chaos

 A frightening number of drug-related deaths in Mexico

Raymond Alvarez: The quickly rising numbers graphically displayed on a Los Angeles Times web page are telling. Mexico’s drug war story is darkened by numbers, staggering numbers. There were 7,337 drug-related deaths in 2008, the Times reports. The death toll from terrorist attacks in Mumbai last year approaches the average weekly body count in Juarez, which is just across the Rio Grande from El Paso, Texas.

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MPAA’s Beloved “Network Monitoring” To Be Included In Broadband Stimulus Bill

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“MPAA to Public: All your intermets are belong to us!” The short version: music/movie lobbyists want “network monitoring” provisions in the broadband stimulus bill, to track what you’re doing in the name of anti-filesharing. Snip from Public Knowledge post: Hollywood’s lobbyists are running all over the Hill to sneak in a copyright filtering provision into the stimulus package. The amendment allow ISPs to “deter” child pornography and copyright infringement through network management techniques. The amendment is very, very controversial for a couple of reasons:

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Twitter Provided a Vital Link in Mumbai Terrorist Attacks

Twitter Provides a Vital Link in Mumbai Terrorist Attacks

Twitter played a critical role in stopping the terrorists

Bloggers across Mumbai fed live updates of the unfolding action after terrorists launched waves of attacks in the heart of India’s financial capital, bringing the emergence of citizen journalism in news coverage to the fore in India.

Social networking sites, such as Twitter and Facebook, were instantly updated with on-the-scene information by people. Minute-by-minute updates on social networking and micro-blogging sites not just satiated the writers’ hunger for expressing themselves, but also gave people more diverse news.

In fact, instead of switching on the television, many followed the action live on microblogging Twitter by searching the site for Bombay and Mumbai. In certain cases, Twitter updates reportedly appeared hours before the first TV stories.

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