IACP and Bank of America Identity Crime Prevention Web Site Wins Award
http://IDSafety.org , a Web site created by the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) and Bank of America, has been named best in its class by the Interactive Media Awards.
IDSafety.org is the first step in a three-year partnership between the IACP and Bank of America to help consumers and law enforcement officials better understand and respond to identity crime. The Web site’s goal is to help both consumers and law enforcement officials prevent and report identity crime, investigate perpetrators, and help victims.
“The IACP is thrilled to receive this award for IDSafety.org,” said Joseph Carter, chief of the MBTA Transit Police Department in Boston and president of the IACP. “But more importantly, we hope that our efforts, combined with a best-in-class Web site, will help stem the tide of identity crime. We joined with the Bank of America because both law enforcement agencies and the banking industry must be better prepared to help victims of identity crime, and we believe IDSafety.org is an important first step.”
Ron Green, a senior vice president in information security at Bank of America, said the site offers law enforcement officers and consumers a critical element they can use: information. “Awareness and understanding are fundamental to dealing with identity crime,” Green said. “To a very large extent, these crimes depend on victims and investigators having a lack of knowledge. By making customers and law enforcement officials aware of the threats and the steps they need to take, we are better able to help those affected by identity crime and reduce the number of victims.”
The best in class award is the highest honor bestowed by the Interactive Media Awards, acknowledging the best in planning, execution, and overall professionalism. The IDSafety.org Web site passed through a comprehensive judging process, achieving very high marks in each of the judging criteria. Only a handful of sites in the IMA competition earn the distinction each year.
The IACP and Bank of America formed a partnership because responding to identity crimes poses a significant challenge to consumers, financial institutions, and law enforcement agencies. All too often, victims of identity crime are uncertain about the steps they should take if they suspect or discover identity crime. A report from the Federal Trade Commission found that in 2005 barely one-third of identity crime victims called police to report their losses.
The IACP National Law Enforcement Policy Center has issued a policy and an accompanying concepts-and-issues paper on domestic violence.
Experts estimate that a woman has between a one-in-three and a one-in-four chance of being physically assaulted by a partner or ex-partner during her lifetime. Given this high rate of calls for service, an effective law enforcement response must include a comprehensive policy that holds perpetrators accountable and a response that is consistent. Any comprehensive policy must be part of a developed, coordinated community infrastructure that can provide support to maximize victim safety, implement sanctions against perpetrators, and offer rehabilitation opportunities for abusers.
A copy of the IACP policy and the concepts-and-issues paper can be downloaded from the IACP Web site at www.theiacp.org . In the Research Center area of the site, select the category Violence against Women to reach the documents.
Interpol Internet Child Abuse Task Force
Interpol Secretary General Ronald K. Noble has announced the creation of a special task force to tackle a new threat posed to children on the Internet. Noble revealed that through its support in online child abuse investigations, Interpol had identified a disturbing new trend of criminals using modelling sites to gain access to children.
The sites do not contain sexually graphic pictures but instead serve as a front enabling pedophiles to contact the site owners to gain direct physical access to the models and also buy abuse images.
“This trend requires the urgent attention of law enforcement, but the significant investigative resources required are simply not available in most national police forces, which is why Interpol is launching Project Guardian,” said Noble. “The officers dedicated to this task force will also investigate emerging evidence of the involvement of organized crime behind many of these sites, which result in the sexual exploitation of children on a daily basis.”
The project would be integrated into one of Interpol’s planned global anticrime centers, focusing on the fight against trafficking in human beings and child abuse. Using Interpol’s Child Abuse Image Database (ICAID) and its specialized recognition software, investigators are able to connect images from the same series of abuse or those taken in the same location with different victims. To date, ICAID has assisted in the identification and rescue of more than 500 victims around the world.
Funding from the G8 (an eight-nation group comprising the seven leading industrialized countries and Russia) has also led to the creation of the International Child Sexual Exploitation database (ICSE), which will be piloted later this year using the Interpol communications system. ICSE will give national investigators improved access to Interpol’s existing database in addition to those held by police in other countries, enabling them to automatically check images and establish if a victim has already been identified.
FBI Launches E-Mail Alert System on Public Web Site
To improve public safety and law enforcement partnerships, the FBI recently launched a service that sends out e-mail alerts when new and vital information is posted on its public Web site.
“Through these alerts, the FBI’s breaking news and information comes straight to you—to your PC, laptop, or wireless device,” said John Miller, assistant director for public affairs. “It’s a fast, effective way of keeping our partners and the public informed about terrorist threats, missing kids, wanted fugitives, emerging scams, major cases, and more. And most importantly, it will help us do a better job of catching criminals and keeping the American people safe.”
Signing up is easy. Just click the red envelope icons found on the FBI’s main Web site at www.fbi.gov and on the Web sites of its 56 field offices across the United States. No personal information is required, just an e-mail address to which the alerts will be sent. Subscribers select which topics they want updates on, such as new Internet scams and warnings, most wanted terrorists, top 10 fugitives, and national and local press releases.
The alerts are sent as soon as updates are posted on the FBI Web site. They are also available in daily, weekly, or monthly digests.
Since launching the service in October, the FBI has sent more than 600,000 e-mail alerts to nearly 14,000 subscribers. Through its Web site, the FBI has also begun providing RSS (Really Simple Syndication) news feeds for press releases, top stories, and other breaking news. Go to www.fbi.gov/rss.htm for details.
Force Protection Equipment Demonstration
The Force Protection Equipment Demonstration (FPED) will showcase commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) force protection equipment to leaders and decision makers at all levels from the U.S. Department of Defense, federal departments and agencies, state and local law enforcement, and corrections agencies. Live demonstrations of equipment provide an opportunity to observe and become familiar with equipment that has applications across a wide range of force protection categories.
After the attack on the Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia on June 25, 1996, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff directed the services to investigate and identify COTS equipment designed to reduce the vulnerability of Defense Department personnel and facilities to terrorist attacks and to demonstrate the use of that equipment. FPED was the result.
FPED VI will be conducted at the Stafford Regional Airport from August 14–16, 2007, and will include more than 600 new and returning exhibitors. As in the past, FPED is cosponsored by the Joint Staff’s Directorate of Operations for Combating Terrorism, the U.S. Department of Energy, the Technical Support Working Group, and the National Institute of Justice.
FPED VI will be open from 10:00 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. daily, and night vision demonstrations will be held from 8:30 p.m. until 10:00 p.m. on the evenings of August 14 and 15. Special demonstrations will feature unmanned aerial vehicles in flight, fire-retardant products, robotic ground vehicles, and spike strips designed to shred tires. Attendees should plan on attending for at least two days in order to review everything brought to FPED VI.
Equipment demonstrated at FPED VI will be organized into 20 different equipment categories, including access control and waterside security equipment. Equipment brought to the venue will be available within 90 days of the demonstration end date and will include biometrics, night vision and optics devices, vulnerability assessment and analysis software, explosive ordnance disposal equipment, and armored and utility vehicles, among other products.
Admission is free, but the show is not open to the public. Nongovernment civilian attendees must have a government sponsor with a professional affiliation to force protection or homeland security. Register online through July 31; after that date, register by fax or on site. Persons who register online will receive a show badge, attendee instructions, a daily schedule, and a parking pass through the mail. Details on FPED VI are available at www.fped6.org . ■