The Cartels’ Fondness for the Internet

first_imgBy Dialogo June 01, 2012 Drug-trafficking cartels are increasingly using internet technology to improve their communication, evade law-enforcement operations, and recruit young people, but their tracks on the net could be used to combat them, officials responsible for the fight against drugs said at a meeting in Cancún, Mexico. Groups such as the Los Zetas cartel, made up of military personnel who deserted to work with drug traffickers, and the Pacific organization, led by Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán, considered the most powerful Mexican drug boss, habitually turn to social networks, and not only in order to frighten their enemies with videos of executions, a common practice in recent years. Young people between 14 and 20 years old arrested in the United States have admitted that they were contacted on social networks such as Facebook and Twitter by Los Zetas liaisons, who then involved them in activities such as transporting contraband across the border or even working as gunmen. A report by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) indicated in late 2011 that the cartels also “spy on their members on social networks, in order to obtain information,” about family members, for example, that they can use in case of desertion. Groups such as Los Zetas also retain the services of hackers, who can access the addresses, telephone numbers, and even bank statements or credit-card statements of possible victims of extortion or kidnapping, the same document maintains. The report was among the texts analyzed by experts from 20 countries who gathered in the Mexican beach resort of Cancún to begin designing a hemispheric strategy targeting organized crime that was mandated by the recent Summit of the Americas in Cartagena, and is supposed to be ready by the end of the year. One of the aims of that strategy is to find mechanisms for filtering crime-related information that can be obtained on the internet, and making it useful for designing operations. “Greater collaboration in the area of real-time information exchange is necessary in order to carry out more effective operations,” General Oscar Naranjo of the Colombian Police stressed in Cancún. After more than 34 years of activity, including resounding blows struck against his country’s cartels, Naranjo – who will retire this month in order to take a post as an advisor to the Mexican government – said that just as criminals take advantage of technology, the authorities should do the same. In 2011, the Mexican Navy dismantled a communications network maintained by Los Zetas in the Mexican port of Veracruz that enabled them to connect their cells on land with vessels transporting contraband cocaine. An example of the way in which the authorities could make use of information obtained in cyberspace is geo-tagging, which makes it possible to use photos or data obtained from mobile phones or computers to locate criminals. The U.S. consulting firm Southern Pulse developed an interactive map, with changing information, showing gangs linked to drug trafficking in the Mexican city of Monterrey, their areas of activity, and possible mobilizations. Introducing a report about Mexico this week, Southern Pulse’s director warned that just as there is a “connection between organized crime and local hacker cells,” governments should have “an organized and secure approach” to accessing information available in cyberspace.last_img read more

NAFCU monitoring CHOICE Act mark-up, flood insurance hearing, more

first_img 9SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr NAFCU tomorrow will monitor the House Financial Services Committee mark-up of the Financial CHOICE Act (H.R. 10), slated for 10 a.m. Eastern, and will make credit unions aware of any legislative updates to the bill affecting the industry.The CHOICE Act contains numerous NAFCU-sought measures, including Durbin interchange amendment repeal and other Dodd-Frank Act reforms. Two separate hearings were held on the bill last week; one which often cited the Dodd-Frank’s impact on the current regulatory environment and credit unions.NAFCU encourages credit unions to reach out to their members of Congress and seek support for repealing the Dodd-Frank Act’s Durbin amendment through NAFCU’s Grassroots Action Center.In hearings this week:The Senate Banking Committee on Thursday will examine the reauthorization of the National Flood Insurance Program. Slated for 10 a.m. Eastern, the hearing includes witnesses from the Association for State Floodplain Managers and others. continue reading »last_img read more

Jakarta launches JakWifi program to provide free internet access

first_imgThe Jakarta administration has launched a free WiFi program, dubbed JakWifi, to facilitate online learning and support the provision of government services. The program aims to optimize internet connections at 2,619 hotspots and provide 1,200 more hotspots in densely populated residential areas in North Jakarta, Central Jakarta, West Jakarta, East Jakarta and South Jakarta and Thousand Islands regency. Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan said internet access had become a daily necessity for all households, especially during the pandemic when people have been forced to work and study remotely.Read also: Bogor city to provide free WiFi to support online learning“The crisis has given us an opportunity to accelerate digital transformation. We hope people will not only use the free internet access to access information but also to create information, or become content creators,” Anies said during the launch on Friday.He also expressed his hope that the free WiFi program would help address the issues presented by online learning, including unequal access to internet access.JakWifi is a collaboration between the city administration, telecommunication infrastructure provider PT Bali Towerindo and the Telecommunications Network Providers Association (APJATEL).Topics :last_img read more

UK defends allowing major sports events just before lockdown

first_img(REUTERS) – THE UK government was following scientific advice by allowing major sporting events such as the Liverpool-Atletico Madrid soccer match and Cheltenham horse racing festival to go ahead days before the coronavirus lockdown, a senior minister said.“At every stage in this crisis we have been guided by the scientific advice and have been making the right decisions at the right time,” finance minister Rishi Sunak said on Monday during the government’s daily news conference.“There is often a wrong time to put certain measures in place, thinking about sustainability and everything else. At all parts of this we have been guided by that science, we have been guided by making the right decisions at the right time, and I stand by that.”The government’s deputy chief scientific adviser Angela McLean said the suggestion, made by a reporter, that allowing the soccer game to go ahead in the north-west English city of Liverpool on March 11 contributed to the spread of the coronavirus was “certainly an interesting hypothesis”.“It will be very interesting to see in the future when all the science is done what relationship there is between the viruses that have circulated in Liverpool and the viruses that have circulated in Spain,” she said.last_img read more