Morning Brief: Lab Helps Authorities Nab Pedophiles, Chinese Bid to Buy Large U.S. Food Company Scrutinized, and More
A lab in Fairfax, Virginia, uses photo-analysis to help agents track down child sex abusers; a Chinese company seeks to purchase a major U.S. hog producer, prompting a routine security review; a computer programmer provides a way to analyze drone-strike patterns, and more.
► In the last 18 months, more than 80 child victims of sexual predators have been rescued by government agents thanks to a lab in Fairfax, Virginia, that helps pull clues from video footage, reports WUSA9. They follow up on everything from the logo on a shirt to the type of trees in the background. That helps them narrow down a location and begin to find witnesses. The lab is the only one of its kind in the country, says the report.
► Now that a Chinese company wants to buy Smithfield Foods, the proposal will undergo a security review by the interagency Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S. (CFIUS) which will examine the implications for the food supply and the fact that some of the company's properties have “proximity to military bases.” According to a report by Bloomberg, the review will examine “the importance to the U.S. food supply of the Smithfield, Virginia-based company, the world’s biggest hog and pork producer,” as well as consider the impact of having Chinese ownership of Smithfield Food facilities near military bases “and other sensitive locations.” Farhad Jalinou is a lawyer who represents companies in CFIUS cases. He says the review won’t kill the deal, but is an important step in maintaining security for U.S. food supply. “The integrity of the food-supply chain gives rise to national security considerations…Is [the deal] likely to be blocked? Not likely, but based on the conclusions the government makes about the risk profile, CFIUS could require a mitigation agreement to resolve perceived risks,” he said.
► A drug cartel lawyer slain on May 22 in Southlake, Texas, was a government informant , reports NBC Bay Area, but it is not known whether the cartels were aware of that; if so, it could have been the motive for the murder. ⇒Wired's Danger Room reports that "a 28-year-old NYU grad student, has just created an application programming interface — basically, a collection of building blocks for software development — that allows anyone with basic coding skills to organize, analyze and visualize drone-strike data from Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia dating back to 2002."
►Apple’s two-factor authentication system, unveiled in March, is receiving criticism because it doesn’t protect information users upload to the cloud server, CNN Money reports, though that was not the intended purpose--it was to better secure a person's Apple account.