Morning Security Brief: Mexican Drug War, Google's New Privacy Policy Questioned, The UN on Piracy, and More

By Carlton Purvis

►The Mexican drug war is not a failure, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said Monday during a press conference in Mexico City that followed a meeting with Mexico Interior Minister Alejandro Poire. Napolitano said that it was only a matter of time before the Sinaloa cartel (Mexico’s most powerful) and its leader Joaquin Guzman came undone. "It took us 10 years to find Osama bin Laden and we found him," Napolitano said. "And you know what happened there. I'm not suggesting the same thing would happen with Guzman, but I am suggesting that we are persistent when it comes to wrongdoers and those who do harm in both of our countries." In contrast to recent State Department warnings, Napolitano also said DHS still considers Mexico a safe destination for travel, CNN reports. 

►Attorneys-General from 36 U.S. states have raised concerns about Google’s recently released privacy policy. “The 36 officials sent a joint letter to Google CEO Larry Page, questioning the company's commitment in providing a transparent privacy policy, which is void of hidden obligations to share personal information without prior user consent,” the International Business Times reports. Officials worry that the new policy forces users to share information across all Google platforms, making Google a virtual gold mine for hackers. Google says the new policy doesn’t increase the visibility of user information – and that if users don’t like it, they can stop using its services.

►Piracy in the Gulf of Guinea is on the rise and further international support will be needed to stop it, United Nations undersecretary-general for political affairs B. Lynn Pascoe said in a UN Security Council meeting on Monday. Pascoe says the attacks have “reached worrisome proportions” because pirates are establishing more sophisticated operations and using more heavy weapons. Because of a lack on resources regionally, Pascoe says more support from the international community is needed to make an impact, China Daily reports.

►In other news, University of California-Berkeley researchers released a study that links higher social class with increased unethical behavior. “Privileged people behaved consistently worse than others in a range of situations, with a greater tendency to lie, cheat, take things meant for others, cut up other road users, not stop for pedestrians on crossings, and endorse unethical behavior,” the Guardian reports. ♦ Animal publishes the list of social media keywords being monitored by DHS. ♦ And scientists discover a new flu virus, but say it’s not a threat to humans.




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