Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Should George Zimmerman Be Charged For Killing 15-Year-Old Trayvon Martin? | Fox News Insider

Should George Zimmerman Be Charged For Killing 15-Year-Old Trayvon Martin? | Fox News Insider

This is a case that needs to be studied in depth, regardless of the final verdict,   There are a number of issues here that could have a huge impact on all our safety in the future. 

Issues like should a citizens watch person be armed, this is a huge subject of what rights convey.  Many areas, or firms hire off duty police officers, and some do not allow them to be armed, while on duty.  Having a permit to carry a weapon for a citizen, and then using it to arm themselves during a citizens watch patrol, is something we need to address.  As cities and other jurisdictions try and save money by cutting back on police, things like a citizens watch program become more important.  But carrying a weapon with minimal training to protect yourself, and carrying a weapon in furtherance of duties like a citizens watch, are far different. 

For instance a carry ability in Fla for your personal weapon does not allow you to carry a weapon as a professional bodyguard, or even a guard.  Both require much more training, less than police officers get, but far more than a civilian carrying a weapon for personal protection.  Making the decision to use a weapon is one of the toughest things for a police officer, let alone a citizen watch.  Which is part of the training you need, pulling a weapon of any type can have huge influences on the psychological well being of both the person pulling the weapon as well as the  person having a weapon pointed at them.  Both can act in very (for them) uncharacteristic ways.  That often lead to over reactions on both sides.

Other issues, are the protection of a civilian watch person, it is a real concern, but I think most police and judicial folks would rather they observe and report, rather than putting themselves in actual conflict.  For most people, and many will argue even police, a weapon tends to convey a feeling of power and control that makes for decisions that can lead to to incidents like these.  The word defense takes on very different meanings when you are  in a defensive posture, than when you are actively moving toward a person.

I think the stand your ground law is fine for self protection, but not for a civilian acting under any color of law.

I would like to hear others comments, not of the actual case as much as the over reaching issues.


Friday, March 16, 2012

China Corporate Espionage Boom Knocks Wind Out of U.S. Companies - Bloomberg

China Corporate Espionage Boom Knocks Wind Out of U.S. Companies - Bloomberg 

China is targeting not only corporations, but DOD and the other departments of the Government.  In fact it is not only our government, but virtually all governments and their corporations are being targeted.  When I was in the US Secret Service, the Soviet Union was our main threat, with France, Israel, both Korea's, Japan and a few others, China was a very small blip on the radar.  All still are threats, and often still attempts by them are discovered, but China has taken the lion's share of the attention at this point. 

In a slow or bad economy, China looks and is a very big market for technology firms, even firms that are vendors of technology firms.  Often everything from cleaning crews, building maintenance, even delivery firms are approached by agents of China to help them spy on high tech firms.  Often they will supply laborers to these vendors, so they can gain access to the high tech firms.

One that has been used very successfully is vendors that supply and maintain plants for offices.  The plants come in planters that can hold very sophisticated espionage equipment.  The nice part is the vendor can replace the plants as batteries go dead, or equipment malfunctions.

People tend to think all attacks are cyber based now day, when lower tech attacks, are more prevalent than ever.  Often the approach someone like China would use, is to keep themselves in the background, and let the person they are using to approach the high tech firm, think either a competitor company is behind the attempt, or even another country.  This is often a way for the spy to think they are not doing anything that bad.  The Soviets often used agents that posed as being from Israel, so that the people they used did not think they were doing something that bad, since Israel is a friend to the US.

The MI-5 rolled up a number of these type of attacks back in the 70's, as did the FBI in the US.  When they told the people working as spies, who they actually where working for, the usually rolled on their handlers very quickly.  Some unfortunately never could be convinced that they where actually working for the Soviets, and went to prison thinking they still where working for a friendly country.

No Country is clean, the US is also actively working to gain information from other countries, but China like Japan in the late 50's all the way to the late 60's is trying hard to catch up technology wise to countries like the US, even Japan, so are pulling out all the stops. 

Awareness and training are the key elements to any counter espionage effort, and US firms need to be actively working on their programs.

Probably the newest type of attack, is thru our schools of higher learning, China has students in most of our major schools, the US has many going to China as well, but the difference in students is key.  We tend to send over 17 to 22 year old's to learn about China itself.  China tends to send older more knowledgeable students, that work in engineering and other high tech learning.  Many even stay to work at high tech firms here in the US, till they are either caught, or have what they came for an head for home.  This type of attack has become so prevalent that FBI and DOD counter intelligence have teams doing nothing else but vetting Chinese students here in the US.

Expert Says Women Taking Important Roles in Cartels | | CHANNEL 5 NEWS | Breaking News Breaking Stories

Expert Says Women Taking Important Roles in Cartels | | CHANNEL 5 NEWS | Breaking News Breaking Stories

One of the key roles women play in these situation are as look outs and surveillance prior to  assassinations and or kidnappings.  People tend to over look women when they are looking for suspect activity, making them  perfect for close surveillance, setting up a person for the team that will either grab or shoot the target.

Detecting these women requires people both women and men who maybe targets to be able to look beyond their biases and see possible suspect activity as what it is.  Even the use of children to make them look even less suspect.   The fact that it is reported that the cartels are using very attractive women is usually not a  what a team would look for.  Men even women tend to remember attractive ladies, so I would not be surprised if when young ladies are used, they are dressed down. 

The red brigades from Europe , used to use couples as their key surveillance teams, they even used couples as attack teams on a number of occasions, so that is another bias that you need to be aware of.  We all tend to not associate couples as a possible suspect activity, making them perfect for the job. 

Women can get closer to men than other men can with out raising the same level of suspicion.  Where they quite possibly be the killer part of the team, they are more often used to divert attention as another person often a male closes in.

A big part of awareness is recognizing our own biases that can tend to both over look possible suspect activity, or on the other had distract us from noticing the real threat.

Using this reporters story is a good way to bring a little clearer vision into our security awareness capability.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Suspicious Letters Containing Powder Found at 3 Locations in DC

Suspicious Letters Containing Powder Found at 3 Locations in DC

This can be a real threat, and not all that hard to do. The letters sent in the US after 911 where weaponized , ie made more effective by a very difficult and dangerous laboratory action. This appears to be not be a weaponized version of the cell structure, since no one was apparently harmed by it. Most anthrax exposures, are not deadly, but all could or can be.

It at a time was called the sheep herders illness, since people that hand cut sheep wool, would at time pickup the spores. In the US a group of angry white supremacists, went to a spot in the desert, that they knew sheep had been buried after coming down with the illness. They planned to use the spores they dug up, mixed with a hand cream, and spread on the stair rails in court houses. They where turned in by a scorned girl friend.

If you suspect you have been around a letter or item laced with the spores, do not panic, but get physically away from it. Wash your hands very well, and then once you have done this then wash your face and other areas that may have been exposed. Call the police, and report the incident, do not let anyone into the area, and you may want to keep away from others as well. When possible, take off the clothes you had on, and take a good long shower with a strong soap. Bag the clothes before you shower, and try and not touch even the outside of the bag after you shower and put on new clothes.

Wait till the authorities give you an all clear before going back into the area, or touching the clothes or bag holding them. In most cases, you will be fine, and at worse may get a rash or other skin irritation.

In this last case the powder was white, in most cases it will be a dull brown, but could be mixed with a powder of any color, so be careful.

Please see video for more info: