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by CSO Contributor

Senators Work to Stop Data Mining; Congress Pleas to Keep BlackBerrys; Spain Uncovers Hi-Tech Cashpoint Fraud; K Anti-Terror Police Raid Mosque, Make Arrests; $3 Million in Computer Theft

Jan 20, 20033 mins
CSO and CISOData and Information Security

Senators Work to Stop Data Mining

Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii) and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) drafted an amendment Thursday night to the $390 billion federal spending bill now being considered by Congress to temporarilyy stop the Pentagon’s Total Information Awareness project, according to a report in Fridays Mercury News. The paper also reports that Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wis.) on Thursday announced legislation to place a moratorium on all data mining projects in the Pentagon and the new Department of Homeland Security. Other government agencies doing data mining, such as an airline-passenger profiling system being developed by the Transportation Security Administration, would have to file a report on their projects to Congress within 90 days.Congress Pleas to Keep BlackBerrys today reports that, in a rare intervention into a private lawsuit, the chief administrator of the House of Representatives, James M. Eagan III, yesterday pleaded with attorneys in a patent-infringement case to settle their differences in a way that allows the popular handheld e-mailing device to continue operating. Eagen wrote that Congress has invested nearly $6 million in BlackBerry technology, including issuing 3,000 of the black, wireless handsets, in part because of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. According to the Post, Eagen’s worry stems from a federal court jury verdict in November that the BlackBerry infringed on patents held by NTP Inc., an Arlington holding company.

The Washington Post

Spain Uncovers Hi-Tech Cashpoint FraudBBC News today. Two men have been arrested for allegedly attaching camouflaged miniature cameras to cashpoint machines which would record images of people typing in their confidential PINs and relay them to the men waiting in a nearby van. Meanwhile, the replaced swipe card reader transferred information to special computer software that replicated the cashcard’s magnetic strip. According to the BBC, police say the men have used this information to steal an estimated 36,000 euros from cashpoints at different towns on Spains Meditteranean coast.

Spanish police say they have uncovered a new type of fraud involving bank cashpoint machines, according to the

UK Anti-Terror Police Raid Mosque, Make Arrests reports that British anti-terrorist police on Monday raided a London mosque, home to one Abu Hamza al-Masri, of Britain’s most outspoken Muslim clerics, and arrested an unspecified number of people there, according to Scotland Yard. There were no further details of the arrests given—including whether or not Masri had been arrested—and the operation was said to be still under way.


$3 Million in Computer TheftThe New York Times today, Pakistani and American investigators arrested Khurram Iftikhar, a 25-year-old Pakistani college dropout last month. From his home and office in Karachi, Iftikhar allegedly stole more than $3 million worth of computer equipment. He did it using keystrokes, mouse clicks, phone calls and faxes, as well as occasional two-hour flights to nearby Dubai. Iftikhar’s lawyer said his client was innocent and accused investigators of planting evidence in his office. According to the Times, he also pointed out a loophole in Pakistani law that could allow Iftikhar, who is in jail, to be set free. Pakistan has few laws that deal with cybercrimes. Pakistani investigators said Iftikhar could be prosecuted under fraud laws.

According to a story in