Concerns and outrage over airport security checkpoint and procedures made headlines all weekend. One of them featured the story of a 31-year-old software programmer who refused to allow TSA agents to perform a groin search on him after he refused to go through the controversial full-body scanner.
The “sexual assault” – as Tyner called it – happened on Saturday, and by Saturday evening, 70,000 people had accessed his blog. By Sunday night there were more than 1,200 reader comments posted . The vids? More than 46,000 views in 24 hours.
And speaking of invasions of privacy, the Obama Administration plans to appoint yet another “czar,” this one in charge of your Internet security.
The Wall Street Journal’s Julia Angwin, who has been writing a series of reports on Internet security issues, reports the Obama administration is preparing a stepped-up approach to policing Internet privacy that calls for new laws and the creation of a new position to oversee the effort.
“The strategy is expected to be unveiled in a report being issued by the U.S. Commerce Department in coming weeks,” Angwin writes. “The report isn’t yet final and could change.”
The White House three weeks ago created a special task force to help transform the Commerce Department recommendations into policy. It is led by Commerce Department general counsel Cameron Kerry, brother of Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., and Christopher Schroeder, Department of Justice assistant attorney general.
Meanwhile, the Federal Communications Commission says it is investigating Google to determine if the Internet giant violated laws when it collected Wi-Fi data as part of its Street View photo project. News of the F.C.C. investigation came on the heels of the Federal Trade Commission’s halt of its inquiry into the Google project. No action was taken in that investigation.
Google has disclosed that its Street View cars collected passwords, e-mails and other personal information wirelessly from unsuspecting people across the country. The Street View project began in the USA in 2007 to add street-level pictures to its mapping service and has expanded into at least 30 other countries.
Airport joker gets ‘tweet’ support
Paul Chambers’original tweet, “Robin Hood airport is closed. You’ve got a week and a bit to get your (expletive) together, otherwise I’m blowing the airport sky high!” was meant as a joke, but a judge saw it differently.
She thought the tweet was “menacing in its content,” dismissed Chambers’s appeal to the original sentence, a £1,000 fine. Chambers was ordered to pay an additional £2,000 to cover the legal bills and lost his job as a financial manager as a consequence of his arrest. Blogger BigFurHat at I Own the World reports that thousands of Twitter users are repeating Chambers’ tweet together with a hashtag #IAmSpartacus, a reference to the film Spartacus, in which fellow gladiators express solidarity with Spartacus by uttering the phrase, “I am Spartacus.”
Using Facebook, Twitter to track killers
Detectives in England are learning how to use Facebook and Twitter to track down the bad guys.
The training is intended to make police better at researching the Internet to find suspects. Investigators are taught how to trace wanted people on social networking sites where they might leave written clues. Senior officers are advised on how to examine computers, mobile phones and other electronic devices for clues.
“Just the Google maps, Ma’am”
The New York Police Department is using Google Maps with Street View to fight crime.
Seven people were arrested and indicted on charges of being in a heroin-selling ring in Brooklyn after police used images found on Google’s Street View as evidence. Some of the suspects can be seen on Google Maps’ Street View images of the intersection of Jackson Street and Kingsland Avenue.
Meanwhile, police are now conducting background checks on their recruits’ online activity. More than a third of all law enforcement agencies are researching the social media accounts of applicants. Candidates must sign waivers allowing investigators access to their Facebook, MySpace, YouTube, Twitter and other personal spaces. Some agencies are requiring applicants to provide private passwords, Internet pseudonyms, text messages and e-mail logs as part of an expanding vetting process for public safety jobs.
Palin e-mail hacker sentenced to year in custody
In my Nov. 1 column, I told you about a former University of Tennessee college student who hacked into Sarah Palin’s e-mail during the 2008 presidential campaign.
David Kernell, who was a 22-year-old economics major at the time, has now been sentenced to a year and a day with the judge recommending the term be served in a halfway house, not prison.
Federal Judge Thomas W. Phillips also said Kernell should get mental health treatment. Court filings said Kernell had suffered from depression since he was 11.
Kernell apologized to Palin and her family and said his mistake will affect him for the rest of his life. He was convicted of unauthorized access to a protected computer and destroying records to impede a federal investigation. Jurors acquitted him of wire fraud and deadlocked on an identity theft charge.
One wonders what sentence Wikileaks mastermind Julian Assange might receive if convicted. Assange, by the way, is TIME magazine’s No. 1 choice for its Person of the Year.
Speaking of magazines, Newsweek and the online publication The Daily Beast are tying the knot. The new joint venture will be known as the Newsweek Daily Beast Company.
Last August, the Washington Post Company sold the $40-million-in-debt Newsweek to stereo tycoon Sydney Harman for $1. Harman is the husband of California U.S. Representative Jane Harman.
Dating site for “uglies.”
One of the five ugly truths about dating is this: “Half of daters aren’t pretty, so instead of fishing in a small pool of prettiness and getting nowhere, dive into an ocean of uglies and have more choice.”
Now there’s a website based in Britain where the good, the bad, and the ugly can find each other. I’m not kidding! It’s The Ugly Bug Ball, a match site for folks who have taken an honest appraisal of their looks and decided they’ll never attract a Vogue or GQ model.
As The Ugly Bug Ball site proclaims, “If you are one of the millions of people that don’t always like what they see in the mirror, then this is the place for you!”
Two ugly bugs are already engaged to marry.
Twitter spreads Ping’s wings?
If you haven’t heard about Ping, that’s about to change. Ping is Apple’s iTunes-based social network for music, launched a couple of months ago, and Apple will be amping up the buzz on Twitter. The Los Angeles Times reports, “By hooking up with Twitter, Apple looks to be trying to jump-start Ping by allowing users to broadcast their Ping-based music-browsing activities over Twitter. If you connect the two services, your musical predilections will become very public.”
Mapping banned books in the USA
Did you know that “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee is one of the top five most challenged titles some want to see banned? The reasons: racism, offensive language, unsuited to age group.
Banned Books Week, observed last month, is a national celebration of the freedom to read. Launched in 1982 as a response to the sudden surge in the number of challenges to books in schools, bookstores and libraries, more than a thousand books have been challenged since 1982 in every state.
Hanging out with the cool kids
It’s been described as middle schoolers who are drawn to the popular kid’s table in the lunchroom. In this case, the popular kid is Twitter, and the wanna-bes are Internet outfits Klout, which helps marketers reach influential people on Twitter; Storify, a service for building online articles out of media like Twitter posts; and Liquid Traffic, an online marketing company. They’ve moved into the same building that houses Twitter in San Francisco, hoping their proximity to Twitter will “lead to chance encounters in the elevator, partnerships or an acquisition.”
Is hanging out with the popular kid working? Click here to find out.
The time capsule
1945 – Nuremberg Nazi trials begin
1969 – Apollo 12 lands on moon
1989 – Prague protest crushed
Now playing at the Princess Theater, Urbana, Ill.
Congratulations to WorldNetDaily readers David Hupp of Cabot, Pa.; and June Chase of Hagerstown, Md., who were among the first to correctly guess actor Edward Fox who portrayed the Jackal in the Oscar-nominated 1973 movie “The Day of the Jackal”, a film about a professional assassin codenamed “Jackal,” who plots to kill Charles de Gaulle, the President of France.
The quote was: “It’s possible. The point is getting away with it. And speaking as a professional, that’s a very important consideration.”
Hint: This week’s quote is related to history: “‘Treason doth never prosper,’ wrote an English poet. ‘What’s the reason? For if it prosper, none dare call it treason.’”
Name the movie, the actor and the character. Send your answer to me at the email address below. Good luck!