Cyber Crime

Grant Edward Snowden Amnesty Now

by Diane Dimond on December 23, 2013

Traitor or Patriot?

As any member of organized crime will tell you it is best to, “Keep your enemies close to you.”

Why no one in the Obama Administration has latched on to that concept while contemplating the Edward Snowden NSA scandal is beyond me.

Snowden is, of course, the former National Security Agency computer analyst who fled the country with about 1.7 million classified documents proving that America has been involved in a worldwide and massive telephone and internet surveillance campaign.

Snowden has released some 200,000 documents so far and the world has learned that the U.S routinely scoops up the phone data and internet traffic of countless millions of Americans who are not suspected of any crime. There are separate U.S. spying programs operating abroad with such tremendous reach that they have even targeted the personal cell phones and e-mails of heads of state. Two of the victims, Brazilian President Dilma Roussef and Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel have asked the United Nations Human Rights Counsel to investigate America’s actions. [click to continue…]

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Warned in 1949 – Today it is a Reality

So, George Orwell was off by 64 years.

In 1949, Orwell’s masterpiece novel entitled “1984” wove a tale about a fictitious shadowy world in which government surveillance was ubiquitous, public mind control was an open secret and independent thinking was labeled and prosecuted as a “thought-crime.” The tyrant in control was the mysterious being called Big Brother.

Orwell’s prophecies didn’t materialize in the year 1984, of course, but they are on a fast track to reality today.

We’re all well aware of the millions of randomly situated video cameras all across the country – at banks, hotels, state and federal offices, schools, retail stores and other public buildings – capturing what we do 24/7. Facial recognition systems are in place at airports, casinos, some police departments and other places we can’t even fathom. [click to continue…]

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Cutting, Kids and the Connection to Bullying

by Diane Dimond on October 26, 2013

Bullied to Death – Rebecca Ann Sedwick

Two young Florida teens, just 14 and 12, have been arrested for vicious cyber-stalking that led a classmate to commit suicide.

Felony charges were filed after the 14 year old posted an admission to the bullying on her Facebook account and then gloated about it.

The local sheriff in Lakeland, Florida announced he was looking for a way to arrest the older girl’s parents in connection with the cyber-caused suicide since they had done nothing to stop it.

Can I get some applause for that idea? In my book, it is parents who are responsible for keeping track of what their children do.

But it was a sentence buried in one of the first accounts of the suicide of 12-year-old Rebecca Ann Sedwick that caught my eye. Poor little thing climbed to the top of an abandoned silo and jumped because she just couldn’t take it anymore. [click to continue…]

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Facebook Embraces the Murderabilia Craze

by Diane Dimond on July 29, 2013

Now What’s Available Here?

Imagine searching on-line for the name of a deceased family member and being hit in the face with gruesome crime scene photographs of  his or her dead and decomposing body.  For the loved ones of Suzette Trouten or Izabella Lewicka – two of at least 8 victims of Kansas-based serial killer John Robinson – this nightmare is a reality.

Grisly photos of the murdered women found stuffed and floating in the ooze of 55 gallon barrels now grace the pages of Facebook.

Facebook is also where you can find for sale a display of a notorious killer’s sexually offensive artwork. A psychopathic meth addict named Jeremy Bryan Jones, a confessed serial killer suspected of murdering at least 17 people, features Jesus Christ as the main player in pornographic drawings.

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Enough Surveillance Already!

by Diane Dimond on July 22, 2013

 

Too Much Spying on Innocent Americans?

Okay, now I’m mad.

I know we live in a hyper-vigilant time. I know there are terrorists who would like to kill as many Americans as possible and some are living right here in the United States actively plotting murder and mayhem. But, I have had just about enough of our government snooping and conducting surveillance on innocent Americans. And so many Americans!

Look, I’ve worked in the area of crime and justice for a long time. I get the need to conduct undercover and clandestine operations – but the sheer scope of what’s been going on is absolutely chilling.

Think of it this way: You go to the airport to catch a flight and every single passenger is treated as a suspicious character, right? The grip of political correctness forbids airport security from singling out those who history has shown would be most likely to perpetrate a terrorist act on a plane – i.e. Young men of Middle Eastern Muslim heritage bent on conducting acts of jihad against non-believers. At the airport everyone – from tiny babies to old people in wheelchairs – gets treated like a potential criminal. [click to continue…]

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When Internet Fantasies Become Criminal

by Diane Dimond on March 18, 2013

A Cop With Death Fantasies

The “Cannibal Cop” Case was not really about free speech.  But it raises the question: When Does Internet Fantasy Become Criminal?

In case you hadn’t heard about it – it was a bizarre criminal case sensationalized by both the media and the defense team. Slogans and spin were tossed about so fast and furiously that the real facts of the case were hard to determine. At the core of the federal case a very important issue: when do thoughts expressed in internet chat rooms become fodder for criminal prosecution? Could something you write on-line be used against you in a court of law?

From the get-go reporters branded the defendant in this case, New York Police officer Gilberto Valle, “The Cannibal Cop” – a man who used the internet to feed his vile fantasies and conspire with others to kidnap, cook and eat female victims.

Attorneys for Valle maintained federal prosecutors were trying to convict their client, “For his thoughts … his (written) fantasies,” and not for any bona fide criminal activity. [click to continue…]

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Open Up DNA Databases To All

by Diane Dimond on January 28, 2013

Justice For All, Right?

The scene: A criminal courtroom anywhere in America.

The players: A judge, a prosecutor, a defense attorney and the accused.

The assumption: That all parties involved enjoy a level playing toward the twin goals of discovering the truth and finding justice.

The fact: In many criminal cases the prosecution holds the key to what could be the most important evidence of the trial – DNA. Prosecutors in most states have exclusive access to CODIS, the national database of more than 11 million DNA samples, which is considered to be the gold standard in forensic-based investigations. CODIS is used in two ways – to match a known suspect to a crime or to find an unknown suspect who may have been entered into the system years earlier. [click to continue…]

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Crime Rates Are Down But Hardly Low

 

Imagine a country where citizens collectively own more than 300 million guns. It is a place where more than 14,700 thousand people were murdered in 2010. And in this country, nearly 85-thousand people were forcibly raped during that same year.

More than 6 million people are in prison or on criminal supervision. In addition, people who live in this nation endure hundreds of thousands of burglaries, robberies, aggravated assaults and thefts of their vehicles every year.

Sounds like a pretty uncivilized country doesn’t it?

Well, this is America, folks. [click to continue…]

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Laws Need To Keep Pace With Technology

by Diane Dimond on January 30, 2012

In Olden Times This Caught Criminals

Back in the Wild West days law enforcement officers like Wyatt Earp and Bat Masterson had few tools to keep the peace. Guile and a gun on their hip were about all they possessed in the face of trouble.

Today’s officers have many more ways of tracking down and capturing the bad guys. That makes their job much easier than in days of old but also more complicated. A recent ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court may have just made modern day law enforcement more complex.

Bear with me a moment here and I’ll explain why.

First, you should know that the Supreme Court decision I speak of stems from the case of Antoine Jones, a nightclub owner in Washington, D.C. who was suspected of being a part of a massive cocaine selling ring. [click to continue…]

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Beware On-Line Holiday Scams

by Diane Dimond on December 12, 2011

Shop On Line? Beware of Scams!

Okay, so the shopping days left until Christmas and Hanukkah are dwindling. You haven’t gotten half of what you need to get done finished yet! The malls are crammed, the weather turns lousy just at the time you want to go shopping and between the cost of gasoline and parking … well, it just seems easier to stay inside and hit the computer for some get-‘er-done time on the internet.

If you decide to do your holiday shopping on-line instead of standing in line at your local department store beware of the criminal element you might encounter.

Those designer sunglasses for 60% off? The NBA jerseys or golf equipment for half price? Popular Ugg brand boots, Louis Vuitton handbags or Hollywood movie box sets at deep discounts? Realize that they could very well be counterfeit or pirated products.

Besides your chance of getting a second-rate product, you might also plunk down your credit card and be charged for items you never receive. [click to continue…]

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