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  1. Facebook has issued a statement after a video showing a fatal shooting was uploaded onto the social media network by the alleged murderer. Cleveland Police say that Steve Stephens broadcast the killing of an unidentified elderly man on Facebook on Sunday evening and is the target of a manhunt as of this writing. [Update: The victim has been identified as 74-year-old Robert Godwin Sr. Facebook issued a statement clarifying that the shooting was uploaded by Stephens after the murder, not broadcast on Facebook Live.] Stephens also posted two more videos in which he claimed to have to committed other murders and said he was going to “kill as many people as I can,” before his account was shut down by Facebook. In a statement to journalists, a company spokesperson said “This is a horrific crime and we do not allow this kind of content on Facebook. We work hard to keep a safe environment on Facebook, and are in touch with law enforcement in emergencies when there are direct threats to physical safety.” Though Facebook’s policy prohibits content that glorifies or incites violence, that rule is inherently difficult to enforce on a social media platform that encourages its users to post photos and videos in real time or soon after they are taken. Facebook Live launched to all users almost exactly one year ago and while the majority of videos are innocuous, the feature has broadcast, both accidentally and on purpose, heinous acts of violence. These include the shooting of a toddler, the torture of a teenager with special needs and sexual assaults in Chicago and Sweden. The Chicago case prompted questions about whether people who watch crimes live but don’t report them can be legally charged and what jurisdictions are responsible. Furthermore, once media has been put on platforms like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, it’s easy for other users to save and re-share. This means victims and families are forced to re-experience the trauma and is an especially insidious problem in cases where livestreaming was arguably used by perpetrators as a psychological weapon. Source
  2. Technology Plays Role in Every Aspect of Crime, Europol Says New and emerging technologies are being used by criminal gangs operating in nearly every aspect of crime, a new report from Europol has warned. The 2017 Serious Organised Crime Threat Assessment (Socta) revealed that criminal gangs across Europe are adept at exploiting new technologies to help them arrange and carry out crimes. Cybercrime is now one of Europol’s top priority crime threats. “For almost all types of organized crime, criminals are deploying and adapting technology with ever greater skill and to ever greater effect. This is now, perhaps, the greatest challenge facing law enforcement authorities around the world, including in the EU,” the report said. “Cybercrime is a global phenomenon affecting all Member States and is as borderless as the internet itself. The attack surface continues to grow as society becomes increasingly digitised, with more citizens, businesses, public services and devices connecting to the internet,” the report added. Of particular concern is the rise of Crime-as-a-Service (CaaS), where people can buy goods and services on the dark net to help them carry out crimes, ranging from hacktivism to terrorism. The underground criminal marketplace is enabling crime that would otherwise be out of reach for criminals, the report said. “This allows even entry-level cyber-criminals to carry out attacks of a scale disproportionate to their technical capability,” the report said. “Criminal forums and marketplaces within the deep web or darknet remain a crucial environment for cybercriminals to communicate and are a key component for CaaS.” Europol highlights malware and cyber-criminal services as one of the main elements of CaaS, alongside stolen goods, counterfeit medicines, illicit drugs, child sexual exploitation materials and the trafficking of firearms. Ransomware is becoming the leading threat in terms of malware, the report said, having a greater impact on victims than other types of malware. It’s increasingly targeting individuals as well as public and private organizations. Also growing in frequency and scale are network intrusion attacks, with the purpose of stealing private data or intellectual property. It’s not just highly organized crime that is adopting technology though. The report states that criminals are using social media posts to find out when potential burglary victims are away, and targeting them accordingly. Europol has also recorded the use of free online navigation tools to scout out neighborhoods to target. “Criminals have always been adept at exploiting technology. However, the rate of technological innovation and the ability of organized criminals to adapt these technologies have been increasing steadily over recent years. Developments such as the emergence of the online trade in illicit goods and services are set to result in significant shifts in criminal markets and confront law enforcement authorities with new challenges,” said Rob Wainwright, director of Europol. “Technology is a key component of most, if not all, criminal activities carried out by organised crime groups in the EU and has afforded organised crime with an unprecedented degree of flexibility. This flexibility is particularly apparent in the ease with which criminals adapt to changes in society,” the report concludes. “The internet, the multitude of online platforms and communication channels it hosts have had a huge impact on society, strengthening and transforming the economy, driving innovation and shaping social interaction. However, it is also a key enabler of criminal activity and plays a role in all types of criminality.”
  3. A new law that took effect in California on January 1, 2017 punishes conviction of distributing ransomware with a prison sentence of up to four years. In the past, ransomware cases were tried under existing extortion statutes. According to the bill's sponsor, California State Senator Bob Hertzberg, "This legislation provides prosecutors the clarity they need to charge and convict perpetrators of ransomware." Source
  4. The director of the F.B.I. reignited the factious debate over a so-called "Ferguson effect" on Wednesday, saying that he believed less aggressive policing was driving an alarming spike in murders in many cities. James Comey, the director, said that while he could offer no statistical proof, he believed after speaking with a number of police officials that a "viral video effect" -- with officers wary of confronting suspects for fear of ending up on a video -- "could well be at the heart" of a spike in violent crime in some cities. "There's a perception that police are less likely to do the marginal additional policing that suppresses crime -- the getting out of your car at 2 in the morning and saying to a group of guys, ‘Hey, what are you doing here?'" he told reporters. Mr. Comey was wading back into a dispute from last fall that pitted him against some of his bosses at the White House and the Justice Department and one that roiled racial tensions over confrontations between police officers and minorities. He first raised the idea in October that a "chill wind" had deterred aggressive policing. But Obama administration officials distanced themselves from Mr. Comey at the time. They said they had seen no evidence to support the idea of a "Ferguson effect," named after the 2014 shooting by a police officer of an unarmed black man in Ferguson, Mo., which sparked widespread protests. Obama administration officials declined to comment on Wednesday about Mr. Comey's latest remarks, which were sharper in tone than his previous statements. But some dissenters said he was needlessly stirring up an unproven and divisive notion. "He ought to stick to what he knows," James O. Pasco Jr., executive director of the National Fraternal Order of Police, said in a telephone interview. The organization has more than 330,000 members. "He's basically saying that police officers are afraid to do their jobs with absolutely no proof," Mr. Pasco said. ARTICLE SOURCE
  5. Claudia Ochoa Felix, who is reportedly a Mexican cartel boss, may make a power grab for El Chapo’s empire A WOMAN known as the “Kim Kardashian of organised crime” may instigate a brutal and bloody gang war in the wake of last week’s arrest of drug king pin Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman. The glamorous bikini-and-stilettos clad Claudia Ochoa Felix heads the ruthless hit squad Los Ántrax but drug policy experts fear she could attempt to take El Chapo’s place. Felix is known for posting provocative photographs to social media. In one, her sons are pictured surrounded by piles of cash. In another, she brandishes an AK47 like a fashion accessory. Felix’s Twitter account, which hasn’t been used since 2014, largely shows her with her three children, while her Instagram account is private and many posts have since been deleted. No stranger to a selfie, the mother-of-three was thrust into the spotlight after incorrect reports emerged that she can been tortured and killed. Felix, who reportedly denies she is La Emperatriz de Los Ántrax, or the Empress of anthrax, was installed as leader of the group following the arrest of boyfriend and former boss, Jose Rodrigo Arechiga Gamboa, The Mirror reported. However it’s the potential power vacuum left by Guzman which some experts fear could lead to a brutal and deadly drug war. Gunman was arrested last Friday in Los Mochis, a seaside city in his northwestern home state of Sinaloa. Officials said Guzman’s “almost obsessive” desire to see actor Kate Del Castillo contributed to his recapture. Guzman, 58, left his mountain hide-out because troops were circling him, but his hope of seeing her again also led him to the city. The drug lord had been on the run for more than six months after escaping from maximum-security facility Altiplano Prison on July 11. If he stays in the Mexican prison, it is believed it will be business as usual as he will run the cartel from behind bars. But if the US succeeds in having him extradited, which could potentially take months, it could cause an internal battle to claim power. In a blog post for the Houston Chronicle, Drug policy expert and Mexico crime author Nathan Jones said: “If Guzman is extradited, he could lose significant operational control over proxies, which could adversely impact internal Sinaloa cartel cohesion. “It is possible sub-networks such as Los Antrax or the Gente Nueva (enforcer paramilitary apparatuses) could potentially break free and into internecine conflict with the Sinaloa Cartel.” Los Ántrax is the much-feared assassin wing of the Sinaloa Cartel. In 2014, Felix reportedly addressed rumours about her apparent involvement in the cartel during a press conference in her hometown of Culiacan, Sinaloa state, according to Vice. “My children are being subjected to bullying, my mother is suffering from anxiety, and I am devastated and without peace, and now my physical integrity is threatened,” she said. She claimed it wasn’t her in a large majority of the photos and asked authorities to look at investigating who was running the accounts. http://www.news.com.au/technology/online/social/claudia-ochoa-felix-fears-the-kim-kardashian-of-crime-could-spark-drug-gang-war/news-story/744a404b09765a6bbc107ed0afe9f60d