Morning Security Brief: FBI to Change Rape Definition, Domestic Violence, Cyberattacks on Utilities Increase, and More

By Carlton Purvis


►The FBI and law enforcement officials are making plans to change the definition of rape to increase the accuracy of crime reporting. “Data drives practices, resources, policies and programs,” one official said, so the goal is to make the data as relevant as possible. The current definition, used by the FBI, doesn’t include cases that involve anal or oral penetration, cases where people are under the influence, or cases with male victims. “Thousands of sexual assaults that occur in the United States every year are not reflected in the federal government’s yearly crime report because the report uses an archaic definition of rape that is far narrower than the definitions used by most police departments,” The New York Times reports. In a recent survey by the Police Executive Research Forum, 80 percent of police departments agreed it was time for the change.

►"Domestic violence is the most urgent public safety concern in Milwaukee today," Milwaukee County Chief Deputy District Attorney Kent Lovern said at a press conference Wednesday on crime statistics. One out of every three murders in Wisconsin was the result of domestic violence, according to a report released by the Wisconsin Coalition Against Domestic Violence. The city of Milwaukee hopes to implement programs to better address domestic violence problems before they become fatal. A summit is being planned to address teens and domestic violence, for example.

►Utility companies are seeing a rising number of cyberattacks and the level of sophistication is increasing, DHS said during a media tour of the defense facilities designed to protect the nation’s power grid and water systems. The rising number comes from increased vulnerability as more industrial machinery and their facilities are wired to the Internet. DHS’s cybersecurity program responded to 116 requests for assistance in 2010. They’ve responded to 342 so far this year. “Department officials declined to give details about emergency response team deployments, citing confidentiality agreements with the companies involved. Under current law, the reporting of cyber attacks by private organizations is strictly voluntary,” the Associated Press reported.

►In other news, high-ranking drug traffickers connected to cartels, that have been captured and are serving time in United States custody, are complaining conditions are unnecessarily harsh. Two high profile prisoners submitted requested relief from maximum-security solitary confinement. Authorities argue that the men are kept in isolation to ensure their security. ⇒Air Force generals are concerned that smaller budgets won’t allow for “next-generation” weapons to deter China, North Korea, and Iran. ⇒And New York prosecutors say that more security is needed at SAT test sites to curb cheating after busting six students for paying to have another student take their SAT. Prosecutors say they'd like to see the changes happen as early as this weekend.


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