Allan Pinkerton’s Effect on Modern Day Private Security and Law Enforcement

The Beginning

Allan Pinkerton was born in Glasgow, Scotland, on August 25, 1819 and moved to the United States in 1842. Before being named America’s first private eye, Pinkerton worked as a barrel maker in Chicago Illinois. His fist interaction with law enforcement came when he was out gathering wood and “discovered the lair of a gang of counterfeiters and had them arrested” (“Biography: Allan Pinkerton’s Detective Agency”, 2013). Pinkerton’s assist in the arrest of the counterfeiters led to him being appointed as deputy sheriff of Kane County.

After becoming deputy sheriff of Kane County, Allan Pinkerton became Chicago’s first full time detective. Shortly after, in 1850 Allan left the Chicago police department and created his own detective agency. The Pinkerton National Detective Agency, one of the first agencies of its kind “provided a wide array of private detective services and specialized in the capture of train robbers and counterfeiters” (“The New Nation”, n.d.). With this revolutionary agency came the Pinkerton Code, according to “History” (2013) the code was: accept no bribes, never compromise with criminals, partner with local law enforcement agencies, refuse divorce cases or cases that initiate scandals, turn down reward money (agents were well paid), never raise fees without the client’s pre-knowledge, and keep clients apprised on an on-going basis.
In your opinion, which of Pinkertons Codes is the most important?

Comunicating with other agencies
No divorce or scandalous cases
Keeping clients apprised on an on going basis
No reward money
Never raise fees without client’s knowledge
No bribes
Never compromise with criminals

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Kate Warne

Allan Pinkerton and the Pinkerton National Detective Agency had a large impact on law enforcement and the private security industry. Right from the start, Pinkerton’s agency worked with law enforcement agencies all across the country to apprehend criminals. In 1856 Pinkerton hired the first female detective in the United States, Kate Warne. Innovations like these have had an impact on the type of people that work in law enforcement and in the private security industry and how these separate agencies work together.
Allan Pinkerton, seen here with President Lincoln and Major General John A. McClernand, saved Lincoln’s life by warning him of an assassination attempt
The Early Years

The early years of the agency were focused on the protection of railroad shipments for several railways. Pinkerton was asked to create a railroad police agency and the result was the North West Police Agency. Allan Pinkerton was also “under contract with the federal government to investigate counterfeiting and protect the Post Office from robbery” (Clifford, 2004, P. 51). However, the Pinkerton National Detective Agency was destined for greater things. In 1861, “Pinkerton uncovers and foils and assassination plot on the life of Abraham Lincoln and conducts him safely through the ranks of treason to his first inauguration” (“History”, 2013). Between 1861 and 1865 Pinkerton was the head of the Union Intelligence Service, this was the beginning of what we now know as the United States Secret Service.
Impact on Modern Day Law Enforcement and Private Security

Allan Pinkerton and the Pinkerton National Detective Agency had many impacts on modern day law enforcement and private security. Pinkerton’s agency had many firsts in both fields; they were hired by both the government and private businesses to investigate and capture criminals and provide security to businesses and government officials. The agency is famous for pursuing outlaws like Jesse James, Butch Cassidy and his Wild Bunch, and the younger, but when it comes to impacting private security and law enforcement, the creation of the first criminal database played a huge role. The Pinkerton Agency filed news paper clippings and mug shots as a way to help with future investigations. Innovations like these are what gave the framework to modern day private security and law enforcement.

10 Reasons Why We Need The Police!

Why The Police Are Important

We hear it all the time, “these police officers are harassing people for no reason”, or “I am not going to be no snitch and tell the police anything” or the most popular one, “Snitches end up in Ditches! If we did not have law enforcement here are a some things that would happen:

People selling drugs anywhere they want to (especially at our children schools).
Pedophiles running rapidly through our children.
Car wrecks without consequences.
Assault and Battery at will.

Now that is just a start of what this world would become. This world would be in total dispair and hopelessness. Could you imagine working at you job everyday and someone could just take what you have anytime they want to because there is no consequences for their actions?Could you imagine making your money and not being able to put it in the bank because the banks are getting robbed every minute of the day? Could you imagine sitting with your family watching television and someone kicks in your door and robs you, kills your loved ones, rape your children and nothing will be done about it?

Not to mention the saying “Snitches End Up in Ditches” quote, that is just insane. Have you noticed the neighborhoods where the neighbors tell the police if they see something suspicious, are the nice neighborhoods. Criminals know that if they come to those neighborhoods and commit a crime, someone is going to tell, therefore, they are cautious about committing crimes in those neighborhoods. Look at the neighborhoods where people are selling drugs and committing other crimes, no one is taking a stand to report these people. therefore, they will continue to commit crimes in those neighborhoods. How is the police going to know that your neighbors are committing a crime unless someone tells them? Do you want a pedophile, murderer, rapist, drug dealer or an arsonist living next door to you?

So every time the police pull you over, or patrolling a certain area or just sitting somewhere scanning for law breakers…give them a break because they are bringing law and order to our world.

Law Enforcement in the Wild (Mild) West

The Wild West conjures up images of gunslingers, bandits, and harsh justice. It also suggests that it was a time of lawlessness and near anarchy in a place that barely held onto the concept of civilization.

It was also a period, in which legendary lawmen set out to successfully tame this wild place with their trusty Colt revolvers and Winchester rifles.

The story of the Wild West has become an idealistic tale of how a few brought law and order to a savage land. It’s a quaint story, however, it’s just that: a story.

In truth, the the Wild West as many know it, is mostly myth with a grain of truth mixed in it. It was perpetuated by dime-store novels, sensational news articles, and (later) the movies of the early and mid 20th century.

In truth, the Wild West was mild. With a few exceptions, most of the towns in the region and era had low incidents of violent crimes. Strict laws, coupled with strong presence of law enforcements and community vigilance made the streets of these rough-and-ready towns relatively safe. In some cases, they were safer than the well established streets of New York City during this era.

Although the presence of legendary lawmen such as Wyatt Earp, Bat Masterson, Doc Holliday, and Wild Bill Hickok may have helped “civilize” the Wild West, it was the presence of numerous law enforcement agencies, strict regulations, swift judicial justice, and the vigilance of the populous that actually helped to settle this region.
Where Did the Crimes Take Place?

Contrary to popular belief, most cities (with the exceptions of the big ones) and towns in the West were not the scene of many violent crimes. Outlaws knew to stay away from most of them. Not only was law enforcement strong, the system was backed up by judges who handed out very stiff and swift penalties (i.e. public hangings). The crimes that often existed in towns were public drunkenness or rowdiness.

Shootouts were rare. It was not uncommon for merchants, saloon operators, and the sheriffs to regulate and restrict gun use within their businesses or jurisdiction. In some cases, signs were posted at the entrance of a town restricting or banning gun use. A visitor to one of these town would have to turn in their weapons to the sheriff during their duration they stayed there (Most likely, this was centered on cowboys who came into town to drink, gamble, and get rowdy).

Also, those that enforced the laws had a tendency to use their guns for something else. As one story goes, many justices of the peace used their guns to whack rowdies on the head rather than shoot them. Others used them as hammers for construction (considering that many had to build their own homes or jails).

Certain vices did exist. Prostitution and gambling were rampant in several towns. Although illegal, they were not always enforced. In fact, city commissioners, mayors, and law enforcement members were often involved in them, considering how lucrative they were. Still, those involved in it made sure to prevent more severe crimes from happening by whatever means necessary.

Most crimes took place on isolated or sparsely populated rural roads and regions where wagon trains or stagecoaches traveled. Still, these increasingly became safe; wagon trains often hired armed men to protect them while stagecoach companies – especially those owned by banks – had armed guards with sawed-off shotgun on board.

There were train robberies. However, the powerful owners began supplying armed guards on them as well. In some cases they hired the Pinkerton Detective Agency to help protect the trains from robbers.

In these western towns, the citizens were often well armed. Many were good marksmen, considering that they had to use their guns for hunting in this region.
Vigilante Justice

If law enforcement was not readily available, the citizens were. In these western towns, the citizens were often well armed. Many were good marksmen, considering that they had to use their guns for hunting in this region. Also, most of the farmers, merchants, and store owners were veterans from the various Indian Wars, the Civil War, and the Mexican-American War.

In numerous instances, the citizens formed a posse to chase down outlaws. This was what happened in Northfield, Minnesota when the James/Younger Gang (with Jesse and Frank James as members) were chased and hunted down after a botched bank robbery.
from an e-bay promotion
from an e-bay promotion
How Some Law Enforcement Agencies were formed

Law enforcement in the 19th century was not exactly professional. It didn’t involve police training or academies as is common these days. Police, sheriff or deputies were often given to the most able person or to someone who wanted it.

It was not uncommon for entrepreneurs, former gunslingers, criminals and political appointees of the local government to band together and form police squads. This was how legendary lawmen such as Wyatt Earp and his brothers, Bat Masterson, and Luke Short got their start. Many of them were simply guns-for-hires.

These groups or “commissions” turned out to be effective; however, there were others that operated on a fine-line of the law. It was not surprising to discover that some of them became outlaws, themselves.

Vigilante committees were also popular during this time. Often, citizens banded together to protect others and their own self interests. Some of them grew to be powerful entities and were often seen as the law enforcers in a town or community. They sprouted up nearly everywhere in the United States, including San Francisco, which had a very powerful presence.

Historian Roger McGrath points that many of these committees were maligned by a perception that they were lynch mobs. In reality, according to McGrath, they were well organized, had a chain of command, and were seen as being more effective than the police force in the town. Also, they were respected by the community they served.

While vigilance committees and locally appointed sheriffs kept the peace in towns, the state and territorial governments of the Wild West also flexed their executive muscles. Rangers were formed. They had statewide jurisdiction, meaning they had more powers than the other two entities. States such as California and Colorado utilized their services. One state, however, would eventually be associated with the rangers.

The United States Marshal Service is the oldest federal law enforcement agency in the United States. In the American West they were acting as a branch of the federal government and were called upon by state governors and the President to assist local law enforcement agents in capturing and arresting outlaws.

The Texas Rangers were (and still are) the most famous. Formed in 1835 they served both the Republic of Texas (1836-1845) and the state of Texas. In their long, storied history, they had served many roles such as detective, riot police, and fugitive trackers. In the Wild West days, they were credited for tracking down notorious outlaws such as John Wesley Hardin.

There were also national law enforcement agencies helping to patrol the West. The United States Marshal Service is the oldest federal law enforcement agency in the United States. In the American West they were acting as a branch of the federal government and were called upon by state governors and the President to assist local law enforcement agents in capturing and arresting outlaws. One such example was their involvement in the arrest of the Dalton Gang in 1893.

The Pinkerton Plays a Role

Finally, there was the private firm, Pinkerton Detective Agency. Founded by Allan Pinkerton in 1850, they opened offices in the West. They were hired by state and federal governments to hunt down outlaws such as the Hole-in-the-Wall Gang (better known as Butch Cassidy’s Wild Bunch) led by Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. They were also hired by companies – especially by railroad owners – to protect their assets. Their services would become the foundation of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), as well as being one of the few enduring original private investigation firms still in existence today.

The Wild West had its share of lawlessness; however, it wasn’t as rampant as once believed. For the most part, several law enforcement agencies and the pioneers in the area kept crime in check and help to tame a place once considered inhospitable.

Regulate The Internet!

With the advent of Web 2.0 and UGC (User-generated Content), the Internet has completed its transformation into an anarchic and lawless ochlocracy (mob-rule). The Internet is a mass medium and like all media it must be regulated. The laws that apply offline must and, in due time, as legislators are exposed to the less savory aspects of the Web, will apply online.

Inevitably, the legal situation varies across countries and continents. Internet penetration has reached different levels at different times in different places. Thus, the following observations and recommendations are not universally valid or applicable. In some locales, various aspects of cyberspace have been tackled by governments and legislatures, albeit rarely fully and satisfactorily. In others, the field is wide open and the Internet resembles the Wild West at its worst moments.

Laws and regulations passed and intermittently enforced against cybercrime attempt to prevent and constrain only a few obviously illegal acts. Spammers, spyware purveyors, child pornographers, and terrorists are the blatant tip of a much subtler iceberg of malicious and pernicious misconduct.

These are the minimal, initial steps that have to be taken in order to forestall a meltdown of this indispensable utility, the Internet:

1. Slander, Libel, and Defamation vs. Free Speech

The legal status of owners, editors, administrators, Webmasters and moderators of Websites, bulletin boards, forums, boards, groups, lists, wikis, UGC Websites, online news sources, search engines and portals, and blogging communities should be equated to that of publishers and journalists in the print and electronic media. Consequently, they should be held liable to civil damages and to criminal charges arising from actionable libel and defamation posted on their properties if they don’t act promptly to comprehensively remedy said libel and defamation.

Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and hosting services should be obligated to disclose to law enforcement agencies and/or to plaintiffs the full personal data of anyone who break the law by publishing or sending libelous, slanderous, defamatory, harassing, or threatening content on or via the Internet.

2. Privacy

The right to privacy of computer users should be embedded in consumer protection laws, allowing for criminal penalties to be imposed on the perpetrators of privacy breaches and for civil damages to the victims.

Individuals and firms who accumulate personal data of suppliers, employees, customers and users or who gain access to them in the normal course of business should be obliged to protect and safeguard such information and to promptly notify those potentially affected of any incident involving the compromise of their personal data. Failure to act reasonably diligently to prevent identity theft should become a criminal offense.

Exceptions should be made only for law enforcement needs and even then only pursuant to warrants issued by especially-designated courts (the equivalent of FISA-mandated courts in the USA).

3. Copyright and Intellectual Property

Intellectual property laws should be considerably relaxed and fair use provisions considerably expanded to accommodate and reflect the nature, possibilities, and constraints of digital renditions of information.

Owners, editors, administrators, Webmasters and moderators of Websites, bulletin boards, forums, boards, groups, lists, wikis, UGC Websites, online news sources, search engines and portals, and blogging communities should be held liable to civil damages and to criminal charges arising from infringements of copyrights and other intellectual property rights posted on or via their properties if they don’t act promptly to comprehensively remedy said infringements.

Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and hosting services should be obligated to disclose to law enforcement agencies and/or to plaintiffs the full personal data of anyone who break the law by violating copyrights and other intellectual property rights on or via the Internet.

4. Anonymity

Anonymous or pseudonymous publishing of libelous, slanderous, defamatory, harassing, or threatening content on the Internet – including via e-mail, instant messaging, mashups, or wikis – should be explicitly and specifically made illegal.

Owners, editors, administrators, Webmasters, and moderators of Websites, bulletin boards, forums, boards, groups, lists, wikis, UGC Websites, online news sources, search engines and portals, and blogging communities should be made responsible to obtain the full names and countries of domicile of registered users, posters, contributors, and participants. Upon the first request of an injured party or a law enforcement agency, they should be obligated to make these personal data public in conjunction with libelous, slanderous, defamatory, harassing, or threatening content published.

Providing false personal data to owners, editors, administrators, and moderators of bulletin boards, forums, boards, groups, lists, wikis, UGC Websites, online news sources, and blogging communities should be made a criminal offense as well as give rise to civil damages.

Providing false personal data or remaining anonymous while sending or posting libelous, slanderous, defamatory, harassing, or threatening correspondence (for instance, via e-mail) should be made a criminal offense as well as give rise to civil damages.

Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and hosting services should be obligated to disclose to law enforcement agencies and/or to plaintiffs the full personal data of anyone who break the law by anonymously or pseudonymously publishing or sending libelous, slanderous, defamatory, harassing, or threatening content on or via the Internet.

5. Licensing and Anti-trust

All licensing requirements, content laws, and regulatory supervision that now apply to the print and electronic media should apply to Websites, bulletin boards, forums, boards, groups, lists, wikis, UGC Websites, search engines and portals, online news sources, and blogging communities. The Internet should be subjected to supervision and regulation by the relevant governmental oversight agencies (e.g., in the USA: FCC, FTC, SEC, and others).

Competition (anti-trust) laws and regulations shall be extended to apply to the Internet or, where they are already applicable, shall be enforced to ensure search neutrality, equal access to information, equal access to computing platforms, and fair competition.

6. Truth in Advertising and Misrepresentations

The owners, editors, administrators, Webmasters, and moderators of Websites, bulletin boards, forums, boards, groups, lists, wikis, UGC Websites, online news sources, search engines and portals, and blogging communities should have to truthfully describe the nature of their Internet properties and all other pertinent information items that may be required by a reasonable user – including their ownership structure, privacy policies, sources of information, affiliations, potential and actual conflicts of interest, outstanding lawsuits, risks associated with making use of their Internet properties and other pertinent disclosures.

Misrepresentations should be explicitly and specifically outlawed and carry both criminal penalties and civil liabilities.

It is not too late to restore a semblance of lawfulness to the Internet. True, the Web has been hijacked by stalkers, criminals, big business, and scammers. Even honest users are clueless as to what is and is not allowed. As far as the overwhelming majority of surfers are concerned, voluntary codes of conduct and the much-vaunted Netiquette have utterly failed to render cyberspace safe or, indeed, serviceable. The invisible hand of the market is, indeed, nowhere to be seen.

It is time for legislators and regulators to step in. Even a moderate dose of legislation and the willingness not to succumb to either to mob or to business pressures will go a long way towards restoring the Internet to its original purpose: the civilized and lawful – not to mention pleasurable – exchange of information and opinion over computer networks.

The Best Tips To Become A Police Officer

Job security is at the top of the list of any individual or family member in order to achieve peace of mind in this age of uncertainty. A secure job provides an individual and their family a stable and reliable income that will assist in the current up and down nature of the global economy. A career in law enforcement can offer the stability of a reliable job and produce greater rewards beyond financial gain. When a person becomes a United Kingdom Police Officer they are becoming a symbol of justice and a pillar in the community which they protect.

With a job available to people in law enforcement, the question arises how to become a police officer. The first step in deciding if a career in law enforcement is right for you is with a self evaluation. When an individual steps up to the role of community protector there is a certain requirement for personal sacrifice for your country and your community. Some of the key personality characteristics associated with police officers are confidence in yourself and the ability to display respect to others. The best way to discover how to become a police officer is by taking a careful look at who you are and what you represent as an individual. A moral individual who shows respect for others and has the confidence to assert themselves are some of the important features necessary in deciding how to become a police officer.

On the road to discover how to become a police officer applying to the position is the next step following a successful self assessment. Remember that when you start the process of applying to a law enforcement position that the recruitment procedure is created to weed out the weak and uplift the strong so give it everything you have. The completion of the application is the first step in how to become a police officer. Remember that honesty is key and modesty will only harm your chances so detail all that you can offer the police agency. With the acceptance of your application the next step in how to become a police officer involves an extensive assessment. The police assessment is a collection of verbal, written and interactive exams that tests the individual’s intelligence and ability to interpret data. This exam is a standardized exam with all forty-three agencies in England and Whales so help is available to those who truly desire to pass the assessment. The final step related to how to become a police officer is an assessment of your financial and security history being reviewed along with your medical history. The final part of this phase will incorporate a physical exam that will test your abilities in relation to real world circumstances.

There is a great deal of work required in how to become a police officer but the rewards will be great. Along with the financial stability associated with being a UK Police Officer, there is a sense of personal pride as you protect your community.

Crime Fighting Computer Systems And Databases

As crime globalizes, so does crime fighting. Mobsters, serial killers, and terrorists cross state lines and borders effortlessly, making use of the latest advances in mass media, public transportation, telecommunications, and computer networks. The police – there are 16,000 law enforcement agencies in the Unites States alone – is never very far behind.

Quotes from the official Web pages of some of these databases:

National Center for the Analysis of Violent Crime (NCAVC)

Its mission is to combine investigative and operational support functions, research, and training in order to provide assistance, without charge, to federal, state, local, and foreign law enforcement agencies investigating unusual or repetitive violent crimes. The NCAVC also provides support through expertise and consultation in non-violent matters such as national security, corruption, and white-collar crime investigations.

It comprises the Behavioral Analysis Unit (BAU), Child Abduction and Serial Murder Investigative Resources Center (CASMIRC), and Violent Criminal Apprehension Program (VICAP).

VICAP is a nationwide data information center designed to collect, collate, and analyze crimes of violence – specifically murder. It collates and analyzes the significant characteristics of all murders, and other violent offenses.

Homicide Investigation Tracking System (HITS)

A program within the Washington state’s Attorney General’s Office that tracks and investigates homicides and rapes.

Violent Crime Linkage System (ViCLAS)

Canada-wide computer system that assists specially trained investigators to identify serial crimes and criminals by focusing on the linkages that exist among crimes by the same offender. This system was developed by the RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police) in the early 1990s.

UTAP, stands for The Utah Criminal Tracking and Analysis Project

Gathers experts from forensic science, crime scene analysis, psychiatry and other fields to screen unsolved cases for local law enforcement agencies.

International Criminal Police Organization (ICPO) – Interpol’s DNA Gateway

Provides for the transfer of profile data between two or more countries and for the comparison of profiles that conform to Interpol standards in a centralized database. Investigators can access the database via their Interpol National Central Bureau (NCB) using Interpol’s secure global police communications system, I-24/7.

Interpol’s I-24/7

Global communication system to connect its member countries and provide them with user-friendly access to police information. Using this system, Interpol National Central Bureaus (NCBs) can search and cross-check data in a matter of seconds, with direct and immediate access to databases containing critical information (ASF Nominal database of international criminals, electronic notices, stolen motor vehicles, stolen/lost/counterfeit travel and ID documents, stolen works of art, payment cards, fingerprints and photographs, a terrorism watch list, a DNA database, disaster victim identification, international weapons tracking and trafficking in human beings-related information, etc).

Interpol Fingerprints

Provides information on the development and implementation of fingerprinting systems for the general public and international law enforcement entities.

Europol (European Union’s criminal intelligence agency) Computer System (TECS)

Member States can directly input data into the information system in compliance with their national procedures, and Europol can directly input data supplied by non EU Member States and third bodies. Also provides analyses and indexing services.

Public Relations for Law Enforcement Agencies

Law-enforcement agencies, especially police departments often get a bad rap and a bad reputation due to negative publicity or mistakes that might have been made in the field. Sometimes these stories get rather embellished and it is not the Police Department’s fault. Sometimes perfectly honest police officers are made to look like the devil and the mass media hysteria runs away with a story based on a short clip of a video, which is limited in length and does not show the whole picture of what happened.

It is important for law enforcement agencies to be out and about and respected by the public. Whereas some people who receive a speeding ticket are angry at the Police Department, the first time something happens to them the police are the first people they call. It is a love-hate relationship with citizens often and law enforcement and that is too bad. Clearly it does not have to be that way.

Police departments should form community policing units that improve visibility and understanding. Educational programs in the schools are also important for police departments and they obviously will help when it comes time for witnesses to come forward.

Law-enforcement agencies should always be on good terms with the local media and have open communication lines. They should also promote a very strong and robust public relations program so that they do not fall victim to hearsay when problems arise. Please consider all this in 2006.

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Federal Law Enforcement Agencies

The united states federal government maintains numerous law enforcement agencies throughout it’s many departments with a myriad of roles and responsibilities. Some of the more well known federal law enforcement agencies are the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), The United States Marshal’s service (USMS) and the United States Secret Service (USSS). Each of these federal agencies has very different roles and responsibilities within the law enforcement community. There are several dozen federal agencies in existence and their responsibilities run the gamut from static protection of federal lands and buildings to proactive patrol, protection and investigations.

Federal law enforcement agencies are able to enforce both federal as well as state laws throughout the united states and possess full police powers granted to them under the United States Code. Most law enforcement officers employed by federal agencies are not referred to as police officers but are officially designated as ‘Special Agents’. Many federal agencies maintain both plain clothes as well as a uniformed division, one well known example of this is the United States Secret Service. Although many in the public are familiar with the neat, well dressed men and women who they see shadowing the president of the united states where ever he goes and speaking frequently in to their coat sleeves, what many people don’t know is that there is also a uniformed division that is responsible for protecting the White House, the US vice presidents official home in Washington as well as protecting foreign diplomatic missions in the Washington DC federal district.

Becoming a member of a federal agency can be a long and involved undertaking. The hiring process can take up to a year or longer in some cases and includes written and physical tests as well as a stringent background investigation. The hiring process typically will include a psychological test and interview as well as a polygraph examination. Failure in any one of the phases of testing during the hiring process results in the applicant being removed from further consideration. Once an applicant has passed all phases of the hiring process and has been approved for hire, they will be placed on an eligible list of applicants. At which point they may be sent to Gynco, Georgia to be trained at the Federal Training Center located there or at one of the satellite facilities.

Becoming a federal officer with a federal law enforcement agency can be a grueling and time consuming process, but the variety of assignments and travel available in federal law enforcement as compared to a typical municipal or even a state agency, make the effort well worth it.

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‘Dronejacking’ may be the next big cyber threat

WASHINGTON: A big rise in drone use is likely to lead to a new wave of “dronejackings” by cybercriminals, security experts warned on Tuesday.
‘Dronejacking’ may be the next big cyber threat
©goce risteski via 123RF
A report by Intel’s McAfee Labs said hackers are expected to start targeting drones used for deliveries, law enforcement or camera crews, in addition to hobbyists.

“Drones are well on the way to becoming a major tool for shippers, law enforcement agencies, photographers, farmers, the news media, and more,” said Intel Security’s Bruce Snell, in the company’s annual threat report.

Snell said the concept of dronejacking was demonstrated at a security conference last year, where researchers showed how someone could easily take control of a toy drone. “Although taking over a kid’s drone may seem amusing and not that big of an issue, once we look at the increase in drone usage potential problems starts to arise,” he said.

The report noted that many consumer drones lack adequate security, which makes it easy for an outside hacker to take control. Companies like Amazon and UPS are expected to use drones for package deliveries – becoming potential targets for criminals, the report said.

“Someone looking to ‘dronejack’ deliveries could find a location with regular drone traffic and wait for the targets to appear,” the report said.

“Once a package delivery drone is overhead, the drone could be sent to the ground, allowing the criminal to steal the package.”

The researchers said criminals may also look to steal expensive photographic equipment carried by drones, to knock out surveillance cameras used by law enforcement.

Intel said it expects to see dronejacking “toolkits” traded on “dark web” marketplaces in 2017. “Once these toolkits start making the rounds, it is just a matter of time before we see stories of hijacked drones showing up in the evening news,” the report said.

Other predictions in the report included a decrease in so-called “ransomware” attacks as defenses improve, but a rise in mobile attacks that enable cyber thieves to steal bank account or credit card information. The report also noted that cybercriminals will begin using more sophisticated artificial intelligence or “machine learning” techniques and employ fake online ads.

Stunned US tech sector ponders future under Trump

WASHINGTON: After disbelief, anger and grief, the US tech sector is looking to come to grips with the presidency of a man described by many of its leading lights as a “disaster” for innovation.
MIH83 via
MIH83 via Pixabay
The major US technology companies, almost uniformly opposed to Donald Trump’s candidacy, saw huge stock declines in the wake of November 8, but most have now rebounded to near their pre-election levels.

Some observers are saying it makes little difference who is in the White House, and others argue Trump is unlikely to carry out the promises – and threats – he made during a bitter campaign.

Trump sent shivers through Silicon Valley during his election bid by pledging to squeeze trade from China, clamp down on immigration which is critical to many tech firms, and even warning that online giant Amazon could have “a huge antitrust problem” if he were elected.

Close to 150 tech icons – including founders of Apple, Wikipedia and Reddit – penned an open letter in July warning the Republican nominee would be an “disaster for innovation”.

Gene Munster, analyst on the tech sector at Piper Jaffray, said the initial beating in tech shares had created a “rare opportunity to buy the fear”. But in a research note last week Munster argued that “the tech industry is in more control of its own destiny than Donald Trump and will work through these problems.”

The analyst said an antitrust probe of Amazon was unlikely, nor does he expect major changes on skilled immigration under Trump. Any tariffs on electronics or components could potentially impact firms like Apple, but would be spread equally over manufacturers because they all rely on imports, Munster noted.

In the meantime, any negative impact could be offset by Trump’s pledge to lower taxes on capital repatriated from overseas, which could be a boon for Apple, Google and others and encourage investment in the US, analysts noted.

The tech sector holds the lion’s share of an estimated $2.5 trillion held by US firms overseas.

“There could be a lot of money that is repatriated by tech companies,” said Bob O’Donnell, analyst and consultant at Technalysis Research in Silicon Valley. “If they could use it for job creation, that could be interesting.”

More broadly, O’Donnell said the tech sector may get “a fresh look at the kinds of services and technologies that people want to invest in” under Trump. For example, a major push on infrastructure investment “could be a big opportunity” to integrate “smart” technology for services such as transportation.

While tech leaders “did a lot of soul searching” after the election, O’Donnell said that “they are smart business people and they realise they have to work in this new environment.”

Although Trump has said little about his agenda for the sector, O’Donnell noted that “tech is a huge part of the economy and you can’t ignore it; but things that might be viewed as special privileges might be taken away.”

Some are concerned that a Republican administration may seek to roll back so-called “net neutrality” that prohibits broadband firms from playing favorites, which could mean difficulties for online video operators like Netflix and Amazon.

Many tech leaders have had to take a new tack after an emotional campaign that featured ugly rhetoric on both sides. Tech leaders clashed with Trump during the campaign on issues ranging from law enforcement surveillance to immigration to gay rights.

Apple chief executive Tim Cook said in a memo to staff that the company’s “North Star hasn’t changed” and that “the only way to move forward is to move forward together,” according to the Wall Street Journal.

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg brushed off the vote by telling a tech conference that “most progress… is made by private citizens,” and that “it would not be right to say (the election of Trump) changes the fundamental arc of technology or progress over time.”

Others were less diplomatic.

Box founder Aaron Levie tweeted after the election, “You know those times where we watch other countries and are like “oh man you guys are crazy.”

“Shit that’s us now.”

Tech investor Anil Dash wrote on Twitter: “I am not moving to Canada, not surprised by white supremacists and misogynists, and not afraid of Donald Trump. We have got to get to work.”

Charlie O’Donnell at the investment firm Brooklyn Bridge Ventures said it’s not time to panic. “If you felt good about what you were doing at your company yesterday, you should feel good about it today,” he said in a blog.

But he also said the election offers a lesson that “we need to start caring about a much wider tent of people than we have been.”

Meanwhile Dex Torricke-Barton, a former Facebook and Google executive, quit his job at SpaceX to work for social causes after news of the Trump election.

“As an immigrant and the son of a refugee, and as someone dedicated to advancing the interests of humanity, I don’t want to watch while the world slips backwards,” Torricke-Barton said on Facebook.

“So I’m choosing to go and make whatever contribution I can — no matter how small — toward making the change we need: standing up for openness, compassion and sound global leadership.”