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by CSO Contributor

Dirty bomb Risk from Missing Materials; Appeals Court Backs Serecy of Terror Probe; Justice Dept. OKs Limited Use of Racial Profiling; Microsoft Sues 15 Groups in Attack on Spam

Jun 18, 20033 mins
CSO and CISOData and Information Security

Dirty bomb Risk from Missing Materials

According to a story today in the New Zealand Herald, thousands of containers of radioactive materials used in medicine, industry and research have been lost or stolen worldwide, the General Accounting Office said yesterday. That material could be used to make crude but potentially deadly “dirty bombs.” The GAO said there was a particular need to secure more than 1000 electrical generators, powered by strontium-90, throughout the former Soviet Union. Appeals Court Backs Serecy of Terror ProbeBoston Globe says the ruling overturned a federal judge’s ruling last August that the government must release the names of the detainees and of their lawyers, one of the few federal court rulings over the past year to go against the Bush administration in court battles arising from the war on terrorism. The new ruling will be appealed. The Globe quoted Stephen R. Shapiro of the American Civil Liberties Union, another of the groups making the challenge, saying that the appeals court majority completely ignored a recent report by the Justice Department’s inspector general, ”which documented in great detail the abuses committed by the government in its investigation.”

A federal appeals court, saying it would not second-guess the Bush administration’s policy of secrecy in its Sept. 11 terrorism investigation, ruled yesterday that the government has no legal duty to disclose basic information, such as names, about the 762 individuals rounded up in that probe. A story in todays

Justice Dept. OKs Limited Use of Racial ProfilingThe Boston Globe today, Reuters reports that the U.S. Justice Department issued guidelines yesterday that permit federal law enforcement to use race and ethnicity to identify suspected terrorists, but ban racial profiling in routine police work. For example, under the new rules, federal officers cannot use race or ethnicity when deciding which motorists to stop for traffic violations. But the rules allow race or ethnicity to be used when there is ”trustworthy information” that links persons of a particular race or ethnicity to a criminal incident or organization.

In a separate story in

Microsoft Sues 15 Groups in Attack on SpamThe New York Times today, Microsoft, the world’s largest provider of e-mail accounts, filed lawsuits yesterday against 15 groups of individuals and companies that it says collectively sent its clients more than two billion unwanted e-mail messages. All the large Internet service providers have started filing lawsuits against spammers, says the Times; Microsoft’s suits represent the largest number filed at one time, and reflect Microsoft’s willingness to devote some of its considerable resources to fighting spam. Some say the lawsuits wont do much to curb spam, but Microsofts counsel calls legal action just part of its multipronged approach to the problem.

According to