Morning Security Brief: Iraq Detaining Security Contractors, Securing Tablet Devices, Massive Police Layoff In Miami, and More

By Carlton Purvis

 ►Iraqi authorities are cracking down on U.S. contractors still in the country under new visa restrictions imposed after the American troop withdrawal last month. Hundreds of contractors have been detained in the past weeks, mainly around the capital, and many of them security contractors. The detentions have lasted from a few hours to several weeks, the New York Times reports. After U.S. troops left in December, Iraq stopped issuing and renewing weapons licenses and visas for contractors. Upon expiration, contractors have 10 days to leave Iraq or face arrest.

►The UK’s National Health Service has released guidance for how healthcare providers in the country should and shouldn’t be using tablet devices. “…these devices are currently not as secure as more traditional IT equipment. They should therefore not be used to store sensitive patient data and should, as with all mobile devices, be encrypted,” the Guardian quoted an NHS spokesperson. The guidance includes tips on securing tablets and recommendations regarding WiFi connections.

►Miami-Dade’s police department director says response times to 911 calls  and the number of police patrolling the streets will remain the same despite laying off five percent of its staff a day earlier. Police units that combat violent crime won’t be affected. There will be fewer resources for units that deal with property crimes, economic crimes, and community service projects, police department director Jim Loftus said. The layoffs included 188 police officers and 17 corrections officers and will take effect February 3.

►In other news, hospitals are reassessing security measures and some are opting for armed guards as the number of violent events at medical facilities increases.♦ A survey of paramedics for the journal Prehospital Emergency Care found that 26 percent had been physically abused in the past year, 67 percent had been verbally abused, and three percent report being sexually assaulted on the job. ♦ And Zappos, an retailer, disclosed on Sunday that it had been hacked and the private information for 24 million customers has been stolen.  



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