Revealed: Hundreds of words to avoid using online if you don’t want the government spying on you


June 1, 2013

Source: Daily Mail

Dept. of Homeland Security Forced to Release List of Keywords Used to Monitor Social Networking Sites.

  • Department of Homeland Security forced to release list following freedom of information request
  • Agency insists it only looks for evidence of genuine threats to the U.S. and not for signs of general dissent

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The Department of Homeland Security has been forced to release a list of keywords and phrases it uses to monitor social networking sites and online media for signs of terrorist or other threats against the U.S.

The intriguing the list includes obvious choices such as ‘attack’, ‘Al Qaeda’, ‘terrorism’ and ‘dirty bomb’ alongside dozens of seemingly innocent words like ‘pork’, ‘cloud’, ‘team’ and ‘Mexico’.

Released under a freedom of information request, the information sheds new light on how government analysts are instructed to patrol the internet searching for domestic and external threats.

The words are included in the department’s 2011 ‘Analyst’s Desktop Binder‘ used by workers at their National Operations Center which instructs workers to identify ‘media reports that reflect adversely on DHS and response activities’.

Department chiefs were forced to release the manual following a House hearing over documents obtained through a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit which revealed how analysts monitor social networks and media organisations for comments that ‘reflect adversely’ on the government.

However they insisted the practice was aimed not at policing the internet for disparaging remarks about the government and signs of general dissent, but to provide awareness of any potential threats.

As well as terrorism, analysts are instructed to search for evidence of unfolding natural disasters, public health threats and serious crimes such as mall/school shootings, major drug busts, illegal immigrant busts.

The list has been posted online by the Electronic Privacy Information Center – a privacy watchdog group who filed a request under the Freedom of Information Act before suing to obtain the release of the documents.

In a letter to the House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Counter-terrorism and Intelligence, the centre described the choice of words as ‘broad, vague and ambiguous’.

Scroll down for full list

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Threat detection: Released under a freedom of information request, the information sheds new light on how government analysts are instructed to patrol the internet searching for domestic and external threats

They point out that it includes ‘vast amounts of First Amendment protected speech that is entirely unrelated to the Department of Homeland Security mission to protect the public against terrorism and disasters.’

A senior Homeland Security official told the Huffington Post that the manual ‘is a starting point, not the endgame’ in maintaining situational awareness of natural and man-made threats and denied that the government was monitoring signs of dissent.

However the agency admitted that the language used was vague and in need of updating.

Spokesman Matthew Chandler told website: ‘To ensure clarity, as part of … routine compliance review, DHS will review the language contained in all materials to clearly and accurately convey the parameters and intention of the program.’

MIND YOUR LANGUAGE: THE LIST OF KEYWORDS IN FULL

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Tiger Kidnapping and family hostage situations


April 6 2013

Tiger Kidnapping is an extremely stressful crime whereby criminals abduct a member of staff’s family (often a child) and threaten them with harm unless the employee attends their work place, removes a large sum of money then delivers it into the hands of the criminal.

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It’s called ‘Tiger Kidnapping’ because of the way the criminals stalk their victims for some considerable amount of time before the kidnap attack and robbery takes place.

Tiger Kipnapping occurs frequently in Europe

here has also been an increase in Tiger Kidnap offences in England, Scotland and Wales, with some high profile cases attracting media attention because of the scale of loss.

To fully understand the methods and impact on the victims, it’s worth looking at these cases as reported in the media:-

BBC: The Securitas raid followed a classic tiger kidnapping. So what can be done about it?

Mum and her Four-year-old Son Kidnapped for Ransom Demand

Father and son held captive in 11-hour tiger kidnap ordeal by armed gang in cash van heist

The tiger kidnapping  

Preventing Tiger Kidnap

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Three areas you may choose to cover off to prevent Tiger Kidnapping are:-

Physical Security – Use of Drop Safes means that no one person has access to to the cash at any one time. Use time locks on the outer safe. Ensure good CCTV covers cash holding areas, and this is monitored for signs of unusual activity.

Adequate Processes and Procedures – Make it impossible for one single person on their own to access cash (dual key doors etc). Strictly enforce access and key controls, and ensure segregation of duties. E.g Store Keyholders don’t have access to the safe. Severely restrict the number of employees who can access cash areas. Have cash operation confidentiality policies backed by disciplinary action.

Situational Awareness – Potentially vulnerable staff and managers are made aware of Tiger Kidnapping, how to spot the likely surveillance which precedes it, and action to take if they see suspicious activity.

The above is intended as a very basic guide. For far more detailed advice and research see the resources below.

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Kidnapping for ransom is spreading across the world


January 23, 2013

Source: qz.com

Investors and businesses in emerging markets increasingly have another thing to worry about: kidnapping for ransom.

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What was once a crime associated mostly with Latin America is becoming worryingly common across the rest of developing world. “Over the last four, five years, kidnapping has become more global of a phenomenon,” says Jim Brooks, CEO of Control Risks. “It’s always happened globally, but now we’re seeing people exploit kidnapping as a means of revenue generation for whatever they’re doing.”

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About 55% of the world’s recorded kidnaps-for-ransom in 2004 were in Latin America (Colombia, Mexico and Venezuela generally have some of the highest numbers). Last year, the region accounted for only a quarter of the incidents, and Asia and Africa made up over half. Ransoms average around $2 million, according to Greg Bangs of Chubb Group of Insurance Companies, but in some places like Sub-Saharan Africa they are as much as $60 million. See the list of the top 20 countries with the highest numbers of kidnapping cases here (p. 84).

Why are we seeing the spread of this trend? For one, places that have been recently destabilized are reporting more cases,  like the Middle East following the Arab Spring in 2011. Or foreign investment and travel by foreigners to new markets may simply be providing more kidnapping opportunities in more places. Brooks says, “I suspect it’s a variety of things from the global war on terror to higher economic challenges and increasing… knowledge and understanding of [kidnapping for ransom] as a criminal enterprise.”

Note:

For the CAC course (Conduct after Capture) contact ABP World Group. The objective of this course is to better prepare civilians for a kidnap/hostage situation and improve their chances of getting home alive.

 

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Kidnap threat grows as European economic woes continue


January 12, 2013

Source: commercialriskeurope

The 20,000 kidnappings reported worldwide annually represents a growing risk for business with the economic woes in Europe likely to see incidents rise in countries such as Greece and Italy, Willis warned this week.

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In its Resilience publication, the broker said the actual number of kidnaps is likely to be far higher than the official figures suggest as many go unreported.

In hotspot Mexico there were over 2,000 kidnaps reported last year, but according to the Council for Law and Human Rights, an NGO that works with families of victims, the true figure is around 18,000.

Earlier this year global security company Red24 noted that official data showed a 9% increase in kidnapping incidents between 2010 and 2011.

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“The threat is growing, the risk is fluid and it can very easily move from one country to another,” said Richard Scurrell, Executive Director at Willis’ specialist kidnap-and-ransom division, Special Contingency Risks (SCR).

A number of factors are driving this increase, primarily inequalities in developing nations. “A lot of the countries where kidnaps occur regularly have a fantastically wealthy element of the population at the top, a very small middle class and a very large poor population,” explained Paul Mills, Executive Director of Security Services at SCR.

As the economic crisis in many parts of the world drags on, so more countries may match this profile, he continued.

Mexico, for example, saw a surge in kidnapping and extortion following the economic crash of 1994, and now Mr Mills fears the risk could return to European countries such as Greece or Italy, where it has not been a serious issue for decades.

“We have already seen incidents of high-net-worth individuals being attacked by more radical elements,” he said.

The growth in income inequality and increasing concentration of wealth in the hands of large multinational businesses is therefore a real issue for risk managers at big firms.

As Willis pointed out: “The latter’s workers make obvious targets for abduction; the former means a growing pool of potential perpetrators.” Kidnapping comes in various guises. Planned events, where perpetrators have watched their target and are well-organised, are distinct from opportunistic crimes, where the kidnapping is an afterthought to a robbery or carjacking.

The latter tend to result in lower ransom demands and shorter detentions, but also tend to be more unpredictable, meaning more danger for the victim.

Latin America continues to pioneer new methods, such as virtual kidnapping. In these instances kidnappers monitoring victims to learn their routines and perpetrators use this knowledge to extort money from families or employers by claiming to have kidnapped the victim when he or she is simply unreachable.

Whilst the majority of large companies in the developed world already have some form of kidnap and ransom coverage, said Mr Mills, many choose not to draw attention to such policies.

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Coverage is often not disclosed to employees to stop them becoming targets. Employees can also commit fraud against companies.

“There have been various cases where individuals have apparently been kidnapped, only to be found later hiding out,” pointed out Mr Mills.

Willis argues that the kidnap and ransom coverage is ‘wide ranging’.

Policies usually cover not just the ransom (reimbursed, rather than paid directly by the insurer), but various other expenses involved such as travel costs, medical bills, rewards for informants and time away from work for those released-important considerations, given the length of time kidnapping cases can take to resolve, said the broker.

In addition to kidnapping, insurance also typically covers against extortion, wrongful detention and hijacking.

Added endorsements might include cover for loss of earnings, security costs in the case of threats, product losses as a result of extortion, and emergency repatriation.

Kidnap and ransom policies can also cover the costs of crisis-response consultants in the event of an incident. This is their real value, said Willis.

“The real value of these policies is in the resources that are brought to bear in the event of a kidnap,” said Mr Scurrell. “The overwhelming majority of multinational organisations can afford to pay a ransom, but they’re not likely to have the expertise and experience in-house to deal with a kidnapping.”

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How To Deal With Extortion / Blackmail


ABP World Group™ Risk Management

How to deal with money extortion

Extortion is a crime in which one person forces another person to do something against his will, generally to give up money or other property, by threat of violence, property damage, damage to the person’s reputation, or extreme financial hardship. Extortion involves the victim’s consent to the crime, but that consent is obtained illegally. 

If you had a business, and people came to you demanding money for “protection” or else they would rob/kill you, what would you do?

Note: We assist clients world wide.

Organized crime syndicates use extortion methods more and more often.. Remember – You are not alone. Help is available. ABP World Group Ltd. Specialize in helping extortion victims. – World Wide.

Examples of Extortion

A classic example of extortion is the “protection” scheme where figures with ties to organized crime demand that shop owners pay for their protection to prevent something bad (such as an assault on the shopkeeper or damage to his or her store or goods) from happening.  Many states also considerblackmail, where a victim is forced to pay someone to prevent them from releasing information that could damage their reputation or their business, to be a form of extortion.

Typically, as in those examples, extortion involves threats of future violence or harm rather than immediate violence or harm, but extortion can involve immediate violence.  For example, it would still be extortion if the offenders in the above example assaulted the shopkeeper to force him to pay them the required protection money instead of threatening to do so in the future. In such cases, extortion becomes very similar to robbery.

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How to deal with it

  1. 1

    Whatever you do, don’t take the situation into your own hands. Harming others or yourself is never the answer, and never will be. Be aware that the job of punishing and stopping crimes is what police are for. Stay calm and don’t make any rash decisions. You aren’t alone, and you can get out of this.

  2. 2

    Talk to someone. Tell a friend who you are CERTAIN you can trust, an understanding family member, or a smart and calm teacher.

  3. 3

    Once you have cleared your head, think about what you’re going to do. The person you talked to might have already suggested some things you should do. Take them into account.

  1. 4

    Make a plan. Make sure that the plan can’t go wrong. If it does happen to go wrong, it won’t be anything that you will regret.

  2. 5

    Now, put your plan into action. Call the police and go ahead with it. They may require you to go through another blackmailing session so they have proof the person is blackmailing you. If so, don’t worry. The police will be close by and get to you within seconds. You don’t have to go through with it. They can simply make sure you are well away from the person. Note: Sometimes the risk  can be so serious, that the Police can`t be involved.

  • Talking to somebody regularly while all of this is happening or writing down everything can help get out all of those mixed up, strong feelings.
  • Do things to make sure you’re calm and healthy while this is happening. Don’t just let go and panic-try to maintain your daily schedule and stay calm.
  • Don’t panic and think, “I don’t have anyone, I’ll never get out of this!” Even if you live hundreds of miles away from family and friends, there are lifelines and counselors who are specially trained to help. If you have nobody, pick up the phone and call a hotline, or schedule an appointment with a counselor. Face to face contact is probably the best. Tell this person everything-starting from who the person is, how it started, and why they are blackmailing you.
  • Make sure there is no danger involved, and nothing against the law. It may be tempting to punch the person blackmailing once the cops have got them, but that is not a good idea. Your plan should involve authorities of some kind, unless the information the blackmailer is threatening to reveal could land you in jail.
  • Never try to do this alone.

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Celebrities – Stalking and Kidnapping


Sourse: Valerie Ferrari

We hear so much about the paparazzi sticking cameras in celebrities’ faces and stalking them for days just for a photo or two and how sick celebrities are of being hounded in this obnoxious fashion.

Paparazzi harassment, however, pales in comparison to kidnapping threats. Celebrities must ever be on their guard against threats against them and their families. They must be sure to have extraordinary security measures in place at all times to protect themselves and their loved ones.

In 2005, a painter employed on David Letterman’s ranch in Montana hatched a plan to kidnap Letterman’s baby son and his nanny. Kelly A. Frank, 43, was caught before he could execute the despicable plan because he confided the plot to a man who in turn told the police. Frank said he had a key to the house and knew where the baby slept. He intended to kidnap the nanny so she could take care of the child until he collected a $5 million dollar ransom.

Frank was sentenced to 10 years in jail in a plea bargain. David Letterman was stalked for years prior to this by a deranged fan, Margaret Ray, who believed they were married. She continually broke into his home in Connecticut house. Margaret Ray was sent to prison, where she served 10 months and, after she was diagnosed with schizophrenia, she served 14 months in a mental institution. She later committed suicide at age 46.

Madonna was forced to cancel a concert in 2004 when she received corresponding threatening her children, Lourdes and Rocco. The correspondence contained details that badly frightened Madonna since she readily discerned that her home and staff were being watched.

In 2001, Australian actor Russell Crowe, of Gladiator fame, was informed by the FBI that they were taking a kidnap threat against him seriously and insisted upon accompanying him to the Academy Awards to protect him. Crowe later revealed that the threats came from al-Qaeda.

That’s just a mere sampling of plots that were discovered before any harm could be done. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. In 1985, Julio Iglesias’ father, Julio Iglesias, Sr., was kidnapped by Basque terrorists and held captive for 2 weeks, repeatedly threatened with death. Spanish police were able to rescue him unharmed one day before the ransom money was to be paid. The incident was far from over for the Iglesias family. The singer’s father was deeply traumatized and suffered for a long time after the rescue.

In 1973, John Paul Getty III, the grandson of billionaire John Paul Getty, was kidnapped by the Italian Red Brigades in Rome and held in the Calabrian Mountains. His father did not have enough money to pay the $17 million ransom demand, and while his rich grandfather initially refused to help. John Paul Getty did not wanting to give in to the kidnapper’s demands and reportedly said: “I have 14 other grandchildren, and if I pay one penny now, then I will have 14 kidnapped grandchildren.” Several weeks later, when one of his grandson’s ears arrived in an Italian newspaper’s mail, he agreed to help. John Paul Getty III’s life continued to deteriorate after his return. He later took a mixture of prescription drugs that put him a 6-week coma and left him paralyzed and blind.

Celebrities pay hundreds of thousands of dollars every year to take every imaginable security precaution, including 24-hour bodyguards, to deal with the ever-present spectre of kidnapping and stalking. They cannot know what goes on in the minds of the deranged and criminal in every instance, and, tragically, as the John Lennon murder case illustrates, sometimes the attacker can appear in a non-threatening situation that then turns deadly.

Published by ABP World Group Ltd. Security Solutions
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Norwegian/Maltese Child Abduction -Maltese father wins child ‘abduction’ case


Friday, 4th February 2011

Toddler to stay with dad after mum claims abduction

The young son of a couple who met on the internet will remain in Malta with his Maltese father after a court dismissed his Norwegian mother’s claim he had been abducted.

Madam Justice Anna Felice ruled the island was the child’s habitual residence after the couple had travelled to Malta intending to establish their residence here.

The child’s parents met over the internet in 2008 and the mother travelled to Malta and remained here until January the following year. On her return to Norway she discovered she was pregnant and the father moved to Norway to be with her.

Following the birth of the child in September 2009, the father found out the mother had another child from a previous marriage. This child had been removed from her care and placed in a foster home, the court heard.

The second child was born suffering from withdrawals from the medication the mother used to take and the Norwegian Social Services intervened. This led to both parents fearing the child would be taken away from them and they decided to leave Norway and come to Malta when the child was only a few days old.

They immediately had the child registered as a Maltese national and established a home together. However, their relationship ended last year and the father was awarded care and custody of the child in January 2010. The mother returned to Norway.

Claiming the father had abducted the child, she submitted a request to the Department for Standards in Social Protection for the child to be returned to Norway.

The father argued that, as he and the mother had come to Malta when their son was only a few days old intending to establish their residence here, this was not a case of child abduction.

The Family Court heard that, in terms of the Hague Convention on child abduction, no court was obliged to order the return of a child if the contesting parent had consented to the child travelling. Nor was the court obliged to order the return if this could expose the child to physical or psychological danger.

Madam Justice Felice noted it resulted from the evidence the couple had intended to establish their residence here and that this country constituted the child’s habitual residence. It also resulted that the mother suffered from mental illness and that her state of health was poor.

The court, therefore, refused the mother’s request to order the return of the child to Norway.

Source: Times Of Malta

Published by: ABP World Group International Child Recovery Services

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