Morning Security Brief: Social Media Monitoring, Apartment Penalized for Failing to Notify Tenants of Attacks, NOPD, and More

By Carlton Purvis


►DHS attempted to explain to Congress its reasons for doing keyword monitoring of social media. “The Twitter handles, Facebook names and blog urls of first witnesses to news events are being recorded. Homeland Security claims this information is only used to verify reports, and that dossiers are not being assembled on private citizens and that personally identifying information is regularly scrubbed from their servers,” Fast Company reported. But DHS also keeps tabs on individuals engaged in community activism and who talk about controversial political issues. DHS gathered social media data on public reaction to housing Guantanamo detainees in Michigan, for example, according to FOIA-obtained documents presented by EPIC. The documents contained information gathered from “comment talkbacks, local blogs, Twitter posts, and publicly available Facebook posts--something expressly forbidden by the DHS' own policies.”

►A jury awarded $20 million in damages to a rape victim who sued her apartment complex for failing to notify tenants of multiple previous sexual attacks on the property. “According to the lawsuit, apartment officials knew about a break-in next door to the woman's unit a few weeks before her ordeal in which a man tried to rape that resident and failed to notify other tenants about a sexual predator,” the Houston Chronicle reports. The apartment complex sent out a notification of a burglary attempt, but failed to mention the attempted rape.

►New Orleans Police Superintendent Ronal Serpa scraps his idea to put large orange stickers on houses indicating they had been searched for drugs one day after announcing the plan. Serpa said he pulled the plug because of lack of public support. 

►In other news, the Underwear Bomber is sentenced to life in prison. ♦ Experts say loopholes in U.S. cybersecurity laws made to appeal to private industry leave space for hackers and terrorists to exploit. ♦ And a homeland security officer is dead after firing on his supervisor after being told disciplinary action would be taken against him. A third officer intervened and shot the attacker.


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