Boston Commuters Face Random ChecksRiders of Boston's commuter trains and subway system will be discouraged from carrying backbacks or briefcases on board during the Democratic National Convention. According to a story in the Boston Globe, transit officials said yesterday that any passenger who does have a bag or parcel may be subject to having it searched. This policy, which goes into effect July 26 and will last through convention festivities, is in addition to a random-check policy that riders will face beginning July 1. Joseph Carter, police chief for the Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority (MBTA), told the Globe, that the inspections "will be conducted on a systematic, random sampling basis, to eliminate the element of discretion." Civil liberties advocates are concerned that police will target people who they believe look like terrorists or otherwise suspicious.Full story.Internet Industry Leaders Unite Against SpamInternet bellwethers AOL, Microsoft, Yahoo and others are teaming up to fight spam by using existing technology and best practices rather than look to new technology.According to a story in The Register, the new organization, the Anti-Spam Technical Alliance (ASTA), which also includes EarthLink, British Telecommunications and Comcast, intends to start by removing open relays from their systems. Spammers control open relay machines remotely and use the devices to send spam. Full story.Linux Vendors Fix Security HolesLinux vendors have released two patches for holes in a networking component of the operating system that could allow a denial-of-service attack or enable an attacker to take control of a system.According to an article in TechWorld, the vulnerabilities open Unix and Linux users to attacks, but a source said that in most cases those attacks would have to come from users on the local network. Full story.