Morning Security Brief: Fare Cards, Piracy Stats, Wisconsin Shooting, and More

By Carlton Purvis

►In San Francisco, recent subpoenas and a new phone app are raising awareness of the ability for law enforcement to use travel fare cards to track a person’s whereabouts. In the Bay Area, more than one million people conduct 689,000 transactions per day using their Clipper cards. This leaves a record of their every move on public transit available to law enforcement or anyone else who wants to take a look. A new app called FareBot allows a person to scan a Clipper card to find out where the owner has been. And in three instances, police have requested Clipper card information related to cases. Privacy advocates say there is no reason Clipper cards should be tracking location, but users are at a disadvantage if they don't register their cards. “Transit riders can remain anonymous if they pay for a Clipper card in cash and do not register it [but] people who don’t register stand to lose any money on their card if it is lost, stolen or stops working,” The Bay Citizen reported.

►Piracy around the world is at its lowest level since 2008, according to the International Maritime Bureau. Only 233 attacks have been reported this year. This time last year, more than 352 had been reported. “The numbers fell because attacks off Somalia's coast plummeted during that same period, from 199 last year to 70 this year. The bureau said only one Somali attack was reported in the entire third quarter of 2012,” The Associated Press reports.

►Police believe a mass shooting in Wisconsin this weekend was domestic violence-related. Radcliffe Franklin Haughton opened fire in a spa killing three people before killing himself. His wife was an employee of the spa and had sought a restraining order against him on October 8. Authorities are still trying to ID all of the victims, one of which who may be his wife, CNN reports.

►In other news, Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed into law a bill to create a Russian DARPA. ♦ Security and surveillance have been increased at the Liberia-Ivory Coast border in response to dissident training camps cropping up in the area. ♦ And take a look at “the best phone apps for fire and hazmat responders.”


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