Morning Security Brief: Baltimore Sex-Crimes Unit, N.J. Restaurants and Armed Guards, Internet Piracy, and More

By Carlton Purvis


► After the Baltimore police took steps to overhaul their sex crimes investigations unit, the number of rapes being reported rose more than 50 percent. Law enforcement and city officials are pleased with the numbers because they say more victims are coming forward now that the city has changed its approach to handling sex crimes, The Baltimore Sun reports. As part of the overhaul, all but three detectives were reassigned; the number of detectives in the unit was doubled; and a leading sex crimes investigator was brought in to re-train the units on handling sensitive cases. Victim’s advocates say it’s a step in the right direction but Baltimore still has a long way to go. The department’s plan hasn’t “reached a victim-centered level that it should," The Baltimare Sun reported one advocate as saying.

► Major Internet service providers have teamed up with Hollywood to fight online piracy. Last week it was announced that several ISPs agreed to disrupt Internet service for people violating copyrights. “After four copyright offenses, the historic plan calls for these companies to initiate so-called 'mitigation measures' that might include reducing internet speeds and redirecting a subscriber’s service to an 'educational' landing page about infringement,” Threat Level reports. For repeat offenders, the ISP can cancel service completely. Some major companies included in the agreement are AT&T, Cablevision Systems, Comcast, Time Warner, and Verizon.

► Increasing cyberattacks are bad news for organizations like the CIA and Sony, but great news for cybersecurity companies who are in higher demand than ever, the Los Angeles Times reports. The cybersecurity business has grown 10 percent per year since 2006, and with good reason. Network security firm Juniper Networks released a survey that said 90 percent of businesses have suffered some kind of security breach in the last year.Verizon Communications Inc.’s security team has doubled in the last year and is estimated to triple this year.

► A new law in New Jersey will require all small restaurants to have armed security guards at night. Newark restaurants that serve 15 or fewer people must have an armed guard after 9 p.m., Reuters reports. If the restaurant is unwilling to pay for a guard, it has to close at 10 p.m.. The law comes after an off-duty police officer was killed in a drive-by shooting at a small restaurant. Business owners say the new law is expensive and unfair and argue that restaurants shouldn’t have to do what police should be doing.

► In other news, a columnist at the Guardian questions whether wars will eventually be fought without human involvement. ♦ An anticorruption firm with surveillance and forensics technology is setting up shop in the newly formed South Sudan. ♦ And the U.S. begins suspending aid to Pakistan.


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