Round-up of news stories from across the EU 25.11.16

EU: Europe's Top Cop Fears Blowback From ISIS 'Squeeze' (ABC News, link):


"As military pressure on ISIS ramps up, foreign fighters who travelled to Syria and Iraq in recent years could return home to Western Europe and pose a domestic threat, the continent’s top law enforcement official said in an interview on Wednesday.

Europol Director Rob Wainwright welcomed the progress made by the U.S.-led coalition against the terror group and predicted its eventual downfall, but told ABC News that Western European nations are challenged with the task of tracking returning foreign fighters and neutralizing any threat they may present."

Facebook Said to Create Censorship Tool to Get Back Into China (New York Times, link):

"SAN FRANCISCO — Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s chief executive, has cultivated relationships with China’s leaders, including President Xi Jinping. He has paid multiple visits to the country to meet its top internet executives. He has made an effort to learn Mandarin.

Inside Facebook, the work to enter China runs far deeper.

The social network has quietly developed software to suppress posts from appearing in people’s news feeds in specific geographic areas, according to three current and former Facebook employees, who asked for anonymity because the tool is confidential. The feature was created to help Facebook get into China, a market where the social network has been blocked, these people said. Mr. Zuckerberg has supported and defended the effort, the people added."

NETHERLANDS: Dutch police use augmented reality to investigate crime scenes (New Scientist, link):

"You’re the first police officer to arrive at the scene: a suspected ecstasy lab. There’s drug paraphernalia everywhere, but which piece of evidence could be most helpful for your investigation? Then, a massive virtual arrow appears, pointing out a bottle of chemicals, accompanied by a note saying: “Bag this please”.

Dutch police are trialling an augmented reality (AR) system that streams video from body cameras worn by officers to experts elsewhere. These experts can then guide the officers by annotating the scene virtually with notes that the officers can see on a smartphone or head-mounted device like Google Glass.

“We now have good enough software and hardware to use augmented reality at crime scenes,” says Dragos Datcu, principal researcher at AR company Twnkls in Rotterdam, the Netherlands."

UK: British ISPs could be forced to block porn sites that flout age checks (Ars Technica, link):

"Telcos could be forced to block porn sites if a stealth government amendment to the draft Digital Economy Bill is waved through by parliamentarians.

The report stage and third reading of the proposed legislation, which seeks to regulate a hunk of areas from Internet infrastructure to intellectual property, will be debated by MPs next Monday (November 28). Age verification for access to online porn also forms part of the government's shopping list. Brits wanting to access fruity material via websites or apps will be subjected to checks to confirm that they are aged 18 or over.

...However, the government—in what lobby group the Internet Service Providers' Association (ISPA) has described as a "significant policy shift"—is now saying that it wants ISPs to act when online smut peddlers fail to use age checking mechanisms on their sites."

UK: Met officer may face charges over Jermaine Baker shooting death (The Guardian, link):

"The Metropolitan police officer who fatally shot Jermaine Baker may face criminal charges following an investigation by the independent police watchdog.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission has referred the matter to the Crown Prosecution Service after uncovering evidence that could point toward a criminal offence.

Baker, 28, from Tottenham, died in 2015 as the result of a single gunshot wound sustained during a Met operation in Bracknell Close, Wood Green.

He was killed as armed police swooped and foiled an attempt to free Izzet Eren as he was being transported from Wormwood Scrubs prison to Wood Green crown court on 11 December."

UK: UNDERCOVER POLICING: Police continue to work with Undercover Policing Inquiry but must maintain anonymity of officers (NPCC, link):

"In order to protect officers and their families while also ensuring we can continue to recruit people for this extremely sensitive and dangerous role, the police services has to protect the operational principle that identities can not be officially confirmed or denied.


Undercover officers are recruited with the clear expectation that the law enforcement agency they are working for will protect their identity during deployment and afterwards, including into their retirement and even after their death. We owe them and their families’ protection from further harm that could be caused by revealing their identities. This means that wherever possible we will take a strong stance of not confirming or denying operational details that could identify officers or put them at risk of harm." (emphasis added)

USA: Obama Advisers Urge Action Against CRISPR Bioterror Threat (MIT Technology Review, link):

"Scientific advisers to President Obama warn that the U.S. urgently needs a new biodefense strategy and should regularly brief President-elect Donald Trump on the dangers posed by new technologies like CRISPR, gene therapy, and synthetic DNA, which they say could be coöpted by terrorists.

In a letter to the president, the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) urges the creation of a new entity charged with developing a national biodefense strategy within six months. Such a strategy was developed in 2009, but it's carried out by several government agencies in an uncoördinated approach, says Piers Millet, a bioterror expert at the Wilson Center in Washington, D.C."


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