Morning Security Brief: Chicago's Transparency Initiative, Tasers in Jail, Computer-Based Combat, And More

By Carlton Purvis


► The city of Chicago has plans to publicly release more than a decade's worth of crime statistics as a move toward transparency promised by Mayor Rahm Emanuael, who took office in May. Crimes statistics from as far back as 2001 will be published online in a searchable database that was scheduled for launch on Wednesday. The reports include information like the address for the crime and whether any arrests were made. The database will not include cases that are under federal investigation or officer-involved shootings, MSNBC reports.

►In Milwaukee County, Wisconsin, Sheriff David Clarke announced a new policy he hopes will help protect staff at county jails. All 600 staff members will be equipped with Tasers starting in October. “Any inmate exhibiting threatening behavior could be zapped, under Clarke's new policy. He said he no longer expected jailers to wait until an inmate had already tried to attack them before responding with force,” the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reported. In the recent past, several corrections staff have been victims of serious injuries after attacks from inmates, including one jailer who suffered from several broken facial bones. "I'm tired of getting our ass kicked by these miscreants," Clarke said at a press conference.

►The head of the U.S. cybercommand warned that cyberattacks could turn lethal when focused on vital infrastructure. Hackers have the ability to disrupt utilities and computer-based combat is likely to become more common in the future, General Keith Alexander said at a conference on cyberwarfare this week. “The potential for cyber attacks to do this, he said, is illustrated by the electrical power outage in the Northeast U.S. in 2003 caused by the freezing of software that controlled the power grid after a tree damaged two high-voltage power lines, and the destruction of a water-driven electrical generator at Russia's Sayano-Shushenskaya dam in 2009 that was caused by a computer operator remotely starting the generator while one of the dam's turbines was being serviced,” Computer Weekly reported.

►In other news, intelligence officials say al Qaeda’s operational capabilities could be eliminated in two years. ♦ The FDA launches a new food-borne illness task force. ♦ And a downed Azerbaijani drone has been linked to U.S. defense contractors.


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