Threats to reporters of organised crime
While links between organised criminals have been investigated extensively here in Australia, it’s troubling to hear that increased intimidation and violence has been used against journalists investigating mafia in Calabria and Sicily. The threat isn’t limited to Italy, with the unsolved murder of Mexican journalist Ruben Espinosa raising similar concerns. Mr Espinosa’s body was found with signs on torture after he fled Veracruz—one of the most dangerous places in the world to be a journalist.
Criminal intelligence to combat drug use
The Federal Parliament is back from its winter break, with Senator Jacqui Lambie referencing her son’s ice addition as a reason to support further resources for drug addicts. Part of the government’s strategy to address addiction includes an additional $18 million on strengthening our criminal intelligence network. This will involve establishing Australian Crime Commission outposts in Hong Kong, Dubai, Ottawa and Washington to help counter the transnational nature of the illicit drug trade.
Chris Rock can kill you
Australian cyber security researcher Chris Rock recently appeared at an IT security conference with a concerning message: he can kill any Australian. By that, he illustrated how easy it is to exploit loopholes in the Australian digital birth and death registry system and fake an individual’s death, for potentially malicious ends. This indicates a concerning loophole in Australia’s increasingly interlinked personal identity registration systems, and the need for a more robust system which is resilient to identity criminals. For instance, checks and balances to verify the identities of those seeking to access the system is one way of avoiding damage to records.
Undercover with the ‘cyber-caliphate’
Sky News has revealed that they’ve been in contact with some senior members of Islamic State’s (IS) foreign fighter recruiting arm in an undercover investigation by using fabricated online personas. The report claims that IS are encouraging sympathisers in the UK to conduct domestic attacks instead of attempting to travel to Syria. Journalists in Australia and France have previously contacted IS members via social media. For a more in-depth discussion on journalists contacting IS fighters online, check out this piece by The New York Times.
Academic perspectives on Islamic State
The Perspectives on Terrorism journal has released a special issue on IS. Contributors discuss a variety of subjects, including the progress of the war on IS, IS as a revolutionary group, IS’ economy and administration, and the group’s use of social media. For those unfamiliar with the journal, all articles are freely accessible online.
‘Terrorist hotspots’ no-go zones for Canadians
Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper has vowed to strengthen legal restrictions on Canadians traveling to Syria and Iraq, similar to Australia’s own Foreign Fighters Bill passed last year. Home-grown terrorism has been an especially contentious issue in Canada since the Ottawa shootings last year. A Calgary woman whose son was killed in Syria while fighting with IS says that Harper is policing symptoms, rather than the root causes of radicalisation.
South Korea’s turned the loudspeakers up again
Following Tuesday’s land mine blasts in which two South Korean soldiers were injured, the Blue House decided to resume its border propaganda operation by denouncing North Korea as being behind the border provocation. It’s been 11 years since the last time the loudspeakers (see photo) located at the North and South Korean border were used by Seoul.
As Pyongyang’s sensibility to these type of campaigns has previously escalated border tensions—for instance, by threatening to take down the loudspeakers—South Korea’s defence ministry spokesman Kim Min-Seok said that security will be strengthened along the border in order to prepare a response to another potential provocation from the North.
Border Security a USD$16.4 billion business
Visiongain—a business intelligence provider—has launched its latest Global Border Security Market Report 2015-2025. The border security industry assessment, comprised of six regional markets, 16 national forecasts and five technology sub-markets, estimates that this year the industry will make USD$16.4 billion in revenue.
Analysis of key factors driving growth at the global, regional and country level—such as detailed procurement contracts, projects and programs listings as well as profiles of the leading twenty border security companies—are also part of the report.