Sham trial ends in six-year sentence for Russian blogger

first_img May 5, 2021 Find out more June 2, 2021 Find out more Two Russian journalists persecuted for investigating police corruption News News Related documents cp_russie_condamnation_valov_ru.pdfPDF – 63.69 KB May 21, 2021 Find out more Read in Russian / Читать на русскомReporters Without Borders (RSF) calls again for the immediate release of Alexander Valov, a Russian blogger who was sentenced today to six years in a prison camp and a fineof 700,000 roubles (about 9,000 euros) at the end of a sham trial in the southwestern city of Sochi. After 11 months in preventive detention, Valov was convicted of extorting money from Yury Napso, a Sochi representative in the Russian parliament, despite a lack of material evidence and repeated procedural violations ever since the trial began in early October.When he made his final appearance in court on 19 December, Valov reiterated that the prosecution’s case was based solely on the testimony of Napso and his two assistants and on quotes from telephone taps taken out of context. The Federal Security Service (FSB) tapped his phone on the grounds that he belonged to a “group of citizens with pro-opposition ideas.”Valov is well-known in the Sochi region for criticizing prominent local figures in his blog, BlogSochi, in which he accused Napso taking over part of the Sochi’s beach in order to build a private swimming pool.“We strongly condemn the harsh sentence imposed on Alexander Valov,” said Johann Bihr, the head of RSF’s Eastern Europe and Central Asia desk. “The many procedural violations seen in the course of the trial are evidence of a desire to silence this blogger. We demand his immediate release and a fair appeal hearing in a different region.”All of Valov’s social network accounts were pirated in March and BlogSochi is still inaccessible. Ever since Vladimir Putin’s reelection as president in 2012, the Internet has been under close control in Russia, which is ranked 148th out of 180 countries in RSF’s2018 World Press Freedom Index. RussiaEurope – Central Asia Condemning abusesOnline freedoms Council of EuropeImprisonedInternetJudicial harassment Help by sharing this information News Follow the news on Russiacenter_img Listed as a “foreign agent”, Russia’s most popular independent website risks disappearing RSF_en Russian media boss drops the pretence and defends Belarus crackdown to go further Receive email alerts News Alexander Valov Organisation December 26, 2018 – Updated on January 8, 2019 Sham trial ends in six-year sentence for Russian blogger RussiaEurope – Central Asia Condemning abusesOnline freedoms Council of EuropeImprisonedInternetJudicial harassment last_img read more

Technology Helps Protect Society and Inform Urban Planning

first_imgTechnology is no longer just a business tool – it is also helping to solve social issues. Take the question of personal and public security, which is a growing concern in today’s world. For example, as a parent, have you ever had the awful experience of your two-year old, wandering off in a busy shopping mall? One minute, they are beside you. You turn your head for literally a moment and when you look back, your son or daughter seems to have vanished into thin air. The chances are that the child has just wandered off innocently and there is no abduction involved but the panic of that moment stops you straight in your tracks and you are sick with worry until your child is safely located.At the AirportPicture a busy airport, milling with people.  A bag – abandoned in the check-in area – has been designated as a potential security threat. It may be an innocent mistake on the part of a distracted passenger or it could represent a terrorist attack and present a risk to everyone at the airport? What does security do? How do they quickly identify the owner?Of course, nothing can ever replace the importance of traditional policing, smart intelligence, surveillance and the presence of police on the ground but the Internet of Things, coupled with secure CCTV technology, is certainly putting real-time data at the finger-tips of both police and security personnel.In the Shopping MallTake for example, the case of the missing toddler. Imagine the security guard, using his/her smartphone – loaded with special software – to photograph the parent for immediate upload into the shopping centre’s facial recognition system. Armed with this image, the system instantly searches the footage from that day and identifies when the parent first arrived at the shopping centre with the child.Having extracted this footage, Security can then enroll the child’s face into the online facial recognition system. This automatically searches for the missing child across all the CCTV cameras in the network, tracking the movement of the child in real time – where they have been and where they are right now. Based on the GPS coordinates, the guard closest to the child is automatically alerted and the family is quickly reunited. This whole process – from start to finish – takes minutes, helping to quickly resolve a very traumatic experience for both parent and child. Real-Time TrackingLet’s switch to the scenario in the airport. The IoT-based CCTV system quickly locates the abandoned bag– even if partially obscured. It then jumps back to the relevant footage and enrols the face of the person who has left the bag there. This image is transmitted to all cameras in the network and the person’s location is automatically tracked in real-time. An urgent alert – complete with a photograph of the person and details of the incident – is automatically sent to the nearest Security guard for action.  The likelihood is that the episode was simply an innocent mistake but IoT-enabled personal devices with face recognition technologies, connected to a database of criminals, can proactively warn Police when convicted offenders are in the vicinity.Other DevelopmentsIn other security developments, the New York City Police Department has tested acoustic sensors, which can detect illegal gunshots to provide real-time alerts to police in busy precincts. Many police officers now wear body cams on the beat with studies indicating that they improve self-awareness and help promote the right behaviour from both the police and those they interact with.The bottom line is that police agencies across the world are moving toward more data-driven approaches to solving crimes. Machine learning is particularly good at identifying patterns and can be useful when trying to discern a modus operandi of an offender, particularly in the case of serial crime.Supporting Urban PlanningLet’s switch to a more benign setting. Maybe you work in the local planning authority. How do you make public spaces in the city work better for citizens? What is the air pollution level like at any given moment in time? What streets in the city centre attract the most foot fall?  What is the percentage of car users versus pedestrians and cyclists?Data Is the AnswerThanks to the use of sensors, IoT CCTV and analytics, planners can now better understand foot fall patterns – how many people are going where, how and when. It’s important to say that in this instance, people are not individually identified – rather, the planners are looking at aggregated data to help determine infrastructural requirements, like the number of required cycle ways, car lanes, footpaths, parks and bins.There are other potential benefits. For example, business-people looking to open a new shop could potentially be given accurate figures for foot fall near their proposed location to help them assess the potential for their new venture.Smart parking can also use sensors and devices to help drivers quickly locate parking spaces and reduce congestion and fuel emissions. There are also obvious public security benefits. Apart from detecting and preventing vandalism and crime in real-time, in the event of an accident or say an elderly person falling, the emergency services can be automatically summonsed to the scene.Smart PartnershipsSo, what role does Dell EMC OEM play in all of this? The answer is simple. We collaborate with specialist video surveillance and security partners, like iOmniscinet, Milestone, V-5 Systems and Pelco to power their solutions. Our partners provide the IP while we provide the customised hardware platform, and support services.Of course, it goes without saying that criminals and hackers will try to exploit any vulnerability they can find in new security systems.  All these interconnected networks and devices need the right levels of security, built in from the start to protect both the cities and their citizens. That is where we can also add value. We have a dedicated focus on surveillance with experts available in our IoT lab to collaborate with specialist video surveillance and security partners.As a society, I believe that we need to continue to respect the importance of individual privacy while carefully balancing this against the need to protect the common good.What are your views on technology being used to improve security and urban planning? I would love to hear your comments and questions.last_img read more

Gang rivalry blamed for Honduras factory killings

first_imgBy Dialogo September 10, 2010 Police on Wednesday blamed gang rivalry for an assault rifle attack at a Honduran shoe factory that killed 18 people, Security Minister Oscar Alvarez said. The three or four men armed with AK-47 rifles burst into the factory on Tuesday and sprayed their victims with bullets, a method that is “typical of gangs and the maras,” Alvarez said. The “maras” are criminal gangs that originated on the streets of Los Angeles in the 1980s before spreading to elsewhere in the United States, Canada, Mexico and Central America. The most famous groups — the Mara 18 (M18) and Mara Salvatrucha (MS) count tens of thousands of members in Central America, mostly unemployed youths recruited in impoverished neighborhoods. Police now believe the attack in San Pedro Sula was a settling of scores between the two bands over “a territorial dispute and a drug deal,” according to Alvarez. “This area is considered a Mara 18 stronghold and the people inside (of the factory) were close to the MS,” he explained. Honduras has seen a spike of gang violence this year, which Alvarez attributed to a government policy established in January that he said had reduced drug shipments by nearly 60 percent. Honduras has one of the highest murder rates in the world — 57 per 100,000 people, or 12 every day. San Pedro Sula, with one million inhabitants, is considered the country’s murder capital. In neighboring El Salvador, the maras also made a big show of force on Tuesday and Wednesday by halting bus traffic to press the government to stop a law banning gangs that passed last week. “As gang members, we call on the government to veto the law against gangs and urge it to begin a transparent process of dialogue in order to find a solution to the violence,” the Mara 18 and Mara Salvatrucha said in a rare joint statement. The gangs’ names are derived from the marabunta, killer ants in the Amazon.last_img read more

Did Kobe Bryant break Twitter?

first_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error #ThankYouKobe. You broke Twitter.Or did you?At around 7:40 p.m., shortly after the Lakers concluded pre-game ceremonies for Kobe Bryant’s final game, Twitter went down— and everybody freaked out. According to Mashable, Australia, Asia and parts of America were affected by a “technical difficulty.” In an email to the website, Twitter confirmed the outages saying, “some users are currently experiencing problems accessing Twitter. We are aware of the issue and are working towards a resolution.” This, of course, allowed many fans to make “#ThankYouKobe for breaking Twitter” jokes. Kobe has been a trending topic on Twitter all day and drew a large crowd to Staples Center for the final game of his 20-year career.Can’t see what people are saying about Kobe and Twitter on your mobile device? Click here.last_img read more