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Security and Society

When Brenton Tarrant, a 28-year-old Australian man, turned on the camera on his mobile phone and filmed himself and his actions during a murderous attack on two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, killing 50 people, it brought home to the world that the idea of web-casting, so beloved of American TV cop-show writers, can be even more horrifying when fiction turns to fact. Yet, the dangers of live streaming have long been known and criminals in a wide range of activities have been making use of it for a long time. Is this a "freedom" too far?

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In his Newbury and Hobbes series of novels, author George Mann writes fantastical stories about where the Victorians' obsession with developing new technologies might go. They provide a bleak and terrifying future where automatons are available to pretty much anyone with money to spare and a will to kill. There are no benevolent butlers, no automated beauties as Hollywood portrays - only clunky machines with the single purpose of destruction - some with a worrying tendency to act alone once given instructions. Set 100 years ago, they are a parable for what some now want to ban. But the tech is only part of the problem. What about the people?

CoNet Section: 

“The charges unsealed today are the result of years of investigative work conducted by the FBI and our law enforcement partners,” FBI Director Christopher Wray said announcing the charges "unsealed" by United States Attorneys Offices in the Eastern District of New York and the Western District of Washington. The list reads as if someone decided to find a copy Title 18 of the US Code and throw it at Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd. Sadly, Wray's language is political and intemperate and undermines the credibility of the action from the outset.

CoNet Section: 

It's almost too convenient: as the USA tries to find support for its push against Iran, the USA has managed to find two men it says were behind major ransomware attacks ranging from 2015 until September 2018. They are Iranian.

Even more bizarre is that some nit at the FBI thinks that a US assistant Attorney General is being original, perhaps even clever, by calling ransomware attacks "21st Century Blackmail." There are some who will be delighted at the news: US President Trump and his pro-Israeli groups have been angling for any persuasion they can to encourage action against Iran by other countries, almost all of which do not line up with the USA. Others will stand back and say "Really?"

CoNet Section: 

If enough people get to see it, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison's press conference in Bourke Street, Melbourne this morning will go down as one of those jaw-dropping moments in politics. It was a no-holds barred, balls-out, unequivocal challenge to "communities" in Melbourne to identify and report indicators of extremism for the sake of Australia and, importantly, for their own sake. A straight-talking poli? Strewth.

CoNet Section: 

Last week, the USA's FBI "unsealed" an indictment against a North Korean who they say was involved in the hacking organisation "Lazarus" which has been responsible for, amongst other things, the WannaCry virus that brought government, corporate and personal computers running Microsoft Windows software, or Linux machines running Windows emulation software, to their knees.

CoNet Section: 

There's a basic truth about terrorism: terrorists need to keep themselves in the news. From stabbing attacks on "soft" targets to mass-beheading on the side of a road, Da'eas (ISIS / ISIL ) and their loose network are past masters at getting the kind of attention that ramps up shock with periodic changes in strategy. Attacks in Indonesia combined several reasons for anger and some for shock. ChiefOfficers.Net analyses why it was so successful and the fact that they have brought horror and terror, in equal measure, from an "it happens" state of mind to "it could happen to me, anytime, anywhere" and, therefore achieves the primary objective of terrorism, i.e. terror amongst the general population.

CoNet Section: 

The controversy over so-called "swatting," (a stupid name that only an idiot would come up with because it makes something heinous sound cuddly) was the first high-profile spill-over from a massive online computer game to the real world. Yesterday saw the second and it caused extraordinary disruption and expense to public services in the UK. It was launched from the USA.

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It's easy to laugh at Americans: overseas they are often loud (in clothing and sound), they all think they are superheroes (why else would they wear their pants on the outside?) and they have only recently learned to build cars that go round corners properly. And their choice of presidents seems to be ever more ridiculous. However, what's happening now in relation to gunnism is, thankfully, no joke.

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Religions (which in this context are often misdescribed as "faiths" often restrict what are often termed "inter-faith" relationships including marriage, even where restrictions also apply to marriages between those of different religions or even sects within the same faith. Compulsion is by a variety of means, in some countries backed by national law and in others by authorised religious police or by the clergy. But, as a new age of radicalism develops across parts of the world, there is increasing denouncement to the authorities and, even, calls for vigilantism.

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