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Archive for the ‘SECURITY’ Category

 

A group photo of Porgera community women and men who say they were raped or<br /><br />
violently abused at the gold mine owned by Barrick Gold Corporation.

A group photo of Porgera community women and men who say they were raped or violently abused at the gold mine owned by Barrick Gold Corporation. 

Eleven women and girls who were raped, gang-raped or violently molested in the Papua New Guinea Highlands have reached an out-of-court settlement with the world’s biggest gold miner, having refused to accept the “insulting” compensation paid to 120 fellow victims of the company’s security guards.

“It would be like accepting lollies as compensation,” one of the 11 told Fairfax Media. Identified only as Jane Doe 10, she was 14 when she and two teenage friends were raped in 2010 at the Porgera mine, owned by the Barrick Gold Corporation.

The Porgera community says security guards and mobile police at the mine have raped more than 200 women and girls over the past two decades. It says men and boys have been beaten, shot and killed for entering the open pit or tailings dumps or going near the mine’s property.

The 11 women were preparing to sue Barrick Gold in the United States, convinced they would be unable to find justice in PNG. The human rights group EarthRights International had been scheduled to file a lawsuit late last month in Las Vegas because the Toronto-based miner has major operations in the state of Nevada.

But the women reached an undisclosed settlement which is likely to be well above the 21,320 kina ($10,430) they say Barrick offered most of them. The settlement also covered the families of three people allegedly killed in violence at the mine.

Barrick says 90 per cent of the women who came forward with allegations accepted packages ranging from 23,040 to 32,740 kia under a “remedial framework” established in October 2012. It says the payouts were determined not by Barrick but an independent group of PNG women’s advocates, and they were at “the upper end of civil court judgments in sexual assault and rape cases” in the country.

These women had to agree never to seek further damages, a provision condemned by MiningWatch Canada, which investigated the abuses – as did Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and legal clinics at Harvard and New York University law schools. But Barrick said the UN High Commission on Human Rights reviewed the remedial framework and the legal waiver was consistent with UN guiding principles.

The mine’s ever-expanding waste dumps, EarthRights says, give impoverished Porgera women and girls little option but to enter the company’s property to scavenge for remnants of gold or to cross the site to reach agricultural land, commercial areas, schools and other villages.

The oldest of the Porgera 11, now aged in her 80s, alleges she was raped many times. Jane Doe 10, now 19, is the youngest, along with another girl who was also 14 when they and an older teenager were seized by three mobile policemen at the mine.

The officers each raped one of the girls. One officer has died but two are awaiting sentencing this month for their crimes.

“I brought disgrace to my community and my parents,” Jane Doe 10 said, speaking through an interpreter. When she returned to school she had been mocked, such is the social stigma associated with rape. She promptly left school and gave up on an education. She married young but, when her husband learned about the rape, he assaulted her and abandoned her with their young child.

The remedial framework compensation package was very low by local customary standards, say Jane Doe 10 and another of the 11 women, Jane Doe 2. To accept it would “add disgrace to the disgrace”, Jane Doe 10 said.

Jane Doe 2 was collecting firewood near the mine’s tailings dump when two security guards raped her. She said they threw her against sharp stones and she still carries the injuries. Her husband’s response to the rape was to beat her and abandon her.

Then security guards at the mine raped her daughter, also near the dump.

“We are both victims,” Jane Doe 2 said, “and now I am finding it difficult to look after my kids as well as my daughter’s.

“I treated Barrick as one of my sons. I have given my land to Barrick. But in return Barrick has not shown any respect … so now I am going to file a lawsuit,” she said on the eve of the aborted action in Las Vegas.

Mother and daughter say they still have no choice but to return to the scene of their rapes to find scraps of gold.

In 2008, EarthRights says, Barrick’s chief executive wrote in a letter to Porgeran leaders that claims of gang rape were “most distasteful, to say the least as you know these allegations to be untrue”.

Asked if it was slow to accept the abuses, Barrick’s vice-president, communications, Andy Lloyd, told Fairfax Media: “When allegations first surfaced, the company attempted to investigate the claims but was unsuccessful in identifying victims or perpetrators.

“When Human Rights Watch came to us with credible information, we acted immediately, terminating the employees implicated in the assaults and handing over all information to the PNG police. We regret that we were unable to uncover these assaults sooner.”

Barrick bought the mine in 2006 and many assaults predate its arrival. However, a local human rights activist, Karath Mal Waka, from the Akali Tange Association, who acted as translator for Jane Doe 2 and Jane Doe 10, says sexual assaults persist. He says an eight-year-old was raped recently at the mine.

Mr Lloyd replied: “There have been no cases of Barrick employees involved in sexual assaults since 2010. We are aware of an incident similar to the one you are describing, however it did not occur on the mine site and it did not involve a Porgera Joint Venture employee.”

Asked about the shooting of men and boys – which a local association has put at 14 deaths in the past 10 years – Mr Lloyd said: “The mine’s security guards do not carry lethal ammunition.”

Mr Waka says more than 100 rape victims – girls and women, many married – were not covered by the remedial framework and he wants Barrick to reopen that program for them. Mr Lloyd was unaware of any extra claims and said the framework was advertised widely over many months.

The amount to be paid to the 11 women is not known. It is unlikely to approach the hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars that juries in the US can award to rape victims.

When Fairfax Media covered the story in February 2011, one woman described how she and three others were raped by 10 security personnel, one of whom forced her to swallow a used condom that he had used while raping the other victims.

A 26-year-old woman was allegedly raped while collecting native vegetables near the mine in January 2011 – after Barrick had taken action. Because she resisted, her genitals were repeatedly burnt with a hot rod, the Porgera Alliance alleged.

Jethro Tulin, executive officer of the Akali Tange Association, said before the settlement: “Barrick has been raping our wives and daughters and killing our fathers, brothers and sons for years.”

Catherine Coumans, of MiningWatch Canada, said: “Barrick tried to push the problem under the rug for many years despite regular reports of human rights abuses committed by its security forces, documented by numerous researchers and human rights organisations.”

In a joint statement after the settlement, Barrick and EarthRights International said: “All claimants are pleased with this resolution.”

Mr Lloyd said Barrick took action at all of its mines around the world after after the Porgera allegations came to light, and it had “zero tolerance” for human rights abuses.

“Since then, thousands of employees have undergone human rights training, we implemented a new global human rights policy, we have carried out human rights training for local police forces [including in PNG], we have formed a partnership with White Ribbon to carry out awareness and prevention programs aimed at stopping violence against women in communities where we operate.

“In PNG, we worked with leading human rights experts to develop the remedy program, perhaps the first of its kind ever implemented by a mining company. We are also funding community-based initiatives … to combat violence against women.”

Barrick is negotiating to sell the Porgera mine. Any liabilities from future victim claims would remain with the mine, Mr Lloyd confirmed.

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A MYSTERY man involved in a chilling double murder that rocked the city five years ago ended up shot and his body charred in a campsite fire pit.

For the first time, police can reveal the full extent of the brutal killing spree that left three people dead in 2009 and the massive investigation over three states to solve the crimes.

Until now, it was believed two men killed Burleigh Waters security firm owner Sandy Davie and wife Sue.

However, police say a third man was involved in the bloody executions and later murdered.

Mr Davie, 60, was stabbed 10 times at a property he was patrolling and his body left in the toilet with the word “dog” scrawled in blood on the door.

Sue Davie, 50, was killed at her home in Robina the same night, bashed with a claw hammer and stabbed three times through the chest.

Bones belonging to Victorian man Anthony Ward were found in a fire pit at a remote campsite near Tenterfield, NSW, just weeks after the double murder.

His few remains were discovered after police tracked the mobile phones of murder suspects Cameron Stewart and Vladimir Garcia as they fled the Gold Coast.

The exclusive insight into the Davie murders, which stunned the city, come after the Supreme Court rejected an appeal over the conviction and 25-year jail sentences of Stewart and Garcia.

The court suppressed Ward’s involvement and his brutal murder so the pair could have a fair trial.

NSW police have issued arrest warrants to Stewart, 38, and Garcia, 36, for Ward’s murder.

Police believe Ward, a computer company owner, travelled from Melbourne with the pair for a high stakes robbery.

However, Stewart and Garcia, both ex-employees of Mr Davie, cited bitterness over being accused of theft three years earlier and wanted to “settle old scores” with their old boss.

Legal reasons prevent the Bulletin Newspaper revealing Ward’s connection to Stewart and Garcia.

However, police say Ward, 40, had never met the Davies.

Investigating officer Detective Sergeant Mick Bolin said it was a joint operation between Queensland, NSW and Victorian police.

Cameron Stewart, who with Vladamir Garcia is serving a 25-year-sentence for the murder of Alexander Sandy Davie and wife Sue Davie, is alleged to have also murdered accomplice Anthony Ward. image www.crimefiles.net

Cameron Stewart, who with Vladamir Garcia is serving a 25-year-sentence for the murder of Alexander “Sandy” Davie and wife Sue Davie, is alleged to have also murdered accomplice Anthony Ward.

The enormity of the local investigation involved weeks of ground work in Victoria.

Police investigations traced mobile phones from interstate to the streets surrounding Mr Davie’s home in the days before the double murder as his killers studied his routine. He was ambushed as he patrolled a recycling business over a long weekend on May 3, 2009.

Because of the long weekend, Mr Davie was not discovered for nearly two days after the murder, his body lying in a pool of blood, face down in a toilet and his hands bound with zip ties. The security guard had been stabbed four times in the back, four times in the left bicep and once each in the neck and ear.

Forensic officers did not find a single defensive wound.

Vladamir Garcia, who with Cameron Stewart is serving a 25-year-sentence for the murder of Alexander Sandy Davie and wife Sue Davie, is alleged to have also murdered accomplice Anthony Ward.image www.crimefiles.net

Vladamir Garcia, who with Cameron Stewart is serving a 25-year-sentence for the murder of Alexander “Sandy” Davie and wife Sue Davie, is alleged to have also murdered accomplice Anthony Ward.

Almost two hours later, police went to Mr Davie’s home to break the news to his wife, Sue, only to find the home locked. After forced entry, police found the home ransacked and Mrs Davie’s lifeless body in the bed.

She had been clubbed with a hammer and stabbed three times in the chest with such ferocity that the weapon passed through her body and punctured the mattress.

She also had no defensive wounds.

Detectives honed in on Garcia and Stewart as suspects, with leads the pair repeatedly claimed they were “going to get Davie”.

Gold Coast murders (supplied photos of victims) Sue Davie and husband Sandy Davie.image www.crimefiles.net

Gold Coast murders (supplied photos of victims) Sue Davie and husband Sandy Davie.

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LATEST TECH SOFTWARE TO AID POLICE WORK IN PREVENTING CRIME

Such a hypothetical scenario may seem like something out of a futuristic crime drama, but the technology is real, developed in a partnership between the US’s largest police department and Microsoft, and the latest version has been quietly in use for about a year.

The project could pay off in more ways than one: the NYPD could make tens of millions of dollars under an unprecedented marketing deal that allows Microsoft to sell the system to other law enforcement agencies and civilian companies around the world. The city will get a 30 per cent cut.

Microsoft Press Shop Australia

The Domain Awareness System, known as the dashboard, gives easy access to the police department’s voluminous arrest records, 911 calls, more than 3000 security cameras citywide, number plate readers and portable radiation detectors. This is all public data – not additional surveillance.

Right now, it is used only in NYPD offices, mostly in the counterterrorism unit. Eventually, the system could supply crime-fighting information in real time to officers on laptops in their squad cars and on mobile devices while they walk the beat.

A video wall shows New York police officers an interactive map of an area in the city.A video wall shows New York police officers an interactive map of an area in the city. Photo: AP

“It works incredibly well,” said Jessica Tisch, director of planning and policy for the counterterrorism unit.

For example, officers used the system during a deadly shooting outside the Empire State Building in August. Dozens of 911 calls were coming in, and it initially looked like an attack staged by several gunmen. But officers mapped the information and pulled up cameras within 500 feet of the reported shots to determine there was only one shooter.

Analysts are cautious about the potential profits, saying that largely depends on Microsoft’s sales efforts and whether any major competition arises. While there are other data-drilling products made by other companies, they say the NYPD’s involvement could set the dashboard apart.


Microsoft Store Australia

“This is the kind of stuff you used to only see in movies,” said analyst Rob Enderle of Enderle, a technology analysis firm. “Getting it to work in a way that police departments can use in real time is huge.”

The venture began in 2009 when the NYPD approached Microsoft about building software to help mine data for the Lower Manhattan Security Initiative, a network of private and public cameras and other tools monitored by the department’s counterterrorism bureau. Development cost the department between $US30 million and $US40 million, officials said.

“Usually, you purchase software that you try to work with, but we wanted this to be something that really worked well for us, so we set about creating it with them,” said Richard Daddario, the NYPD’s deputy commissioner for counterterrorism.

Officers were involved throughout the process with the programmers, offering advice on what they need during an emergency.

“It was created by cops for cops,” Tisch said. “We thought a lot about what information we want up close and personal, and what needs to be a click away. It’s all baked in there.”

The system uses hundreds of thousands of pieces of information. Security camera footage can be rewound five minutes so that officers can see suspects who may have fled. Sensors pick up whether a bag has been left sitting for a while. When an emergency call comes in, officers can check prior 911 calls from that address to see what they might be up against.

Prospective clients can customise it to fit their organisation.

Dave Mosher, a Microsoft vice president in charge of program management, said the company started to market the system in August and is looking at smaller municipalities, law enforcement agencies and companies that handle major sporting events.

He would not say whether any clients have been lined up and would not give details on the price except to say that it would depend on how much customisation must be done.

Shawn McCarthy, an analyst with research firm IDC, described the partnership – and outcome – as unusual in the tech world. “I see huge potential, but so much depends on the price and competition,” he said.

No firm timetable has been set on when the dashboard will be rolled out to the entire 34,000-officer department.

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The ‘Stanford Prison’ Experiment on inmates & guards

Like the ‘Pavlovs dog’ experiment, the Stanford prison experiment was a psychological study of human responses to captivity and its behavioral effects on both authorities and inmates in prison. The experiment was conducted in 1971 by a team of researchers led by psychologist Philip Zimbardo at Stanford University. Undergraduate volunteers played the roles of both guards and prisoners living in a mock prison in the basement of the Stanford psychology building.

Prisoners and guards rapidly adapted to their roles, stepping beyond the boundaries of what had been predicted and leading to dangerous and psychologically damaging situations. One-third of the guards were judged to have exhibited “genuine” sadistic tendencies, while many prisoners were emotionally traumatized and two had to be removed from the experiment early. Finally, Zimbardo, alarmed at the increasingly abusive anti-social behavior from his subjects, terminated the entire experiment early.

Now all this reaction from a group of people who were not even in the real life situation.Does that imply that the real scenario has even far more reaching consequences?…Hmmmmmmm..!

Supermax

A 21st century jail-within-a-jail that’s exclusively reserved for the most sinister of criminals is also the heart of our counter-terrorism strategy.

HACKING TEENAGER DOES SOME SERIOUS DAMAGE

British teenager Ryan Cleary is released on bail following charges of hacking into a law enforcement agency’s website.

The group claiming to be behind attacks on Sony and CIA are anxious over anonymity but thrive on publicity as leaked chatroom logs show.

Leaked discussions between members of the internet hacking group LulzSec, seen and published by The Guardian, provide the first insight into the team behind a series of audacious online attacks.

LulzSec claims to have been behind attacks in recent weeks on websites around the world, including the UK’s Serious Organised Crime Agency (Soca), the US Senate and the CIA, as well as the games firms Nintendo and Sony.

Some of the imagery used by LulzSec online.Some of the imagery used by LulzSec online.

Leaked logs from LulzSec’s private chatroom reveal how one hacker known as “Sabu“, believed to be a 30-year-old security consultant, in effect controls the group of between six and eight people, keeping the others in line and warning them not to discuss their exploits.

Another, “Kayla“, provides a large botnet – a network of infected computers controlled remotely – to target websites with distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks, which make those sites work inefficiently or not at all.

A third member, “Topiary“, manages the public image, including the LulzSec Twitter feed.

Bailed ... Ryan ClearyAccused … Ryan Cleary. Photo: AFP

The logs reveal that the members are obsessed with their coverage in the media, especially in physical newspapers, sharing pictures of coverage they have received in the Wall Street Journal and other papers. They also engineered a misinformation campaign to make people think they were a US-government-sponsored team.

Members express their enmity towards a rival called the Jester – an ex-US military hacker who usually attacks jihadist sites, but has become embroiled in a dispute with WikiLeaks, LulzSec and the notorious hacker group Anonymous over the leaked diplomatic cables and, more recently, LulzSec’s attacks on US government websites, including those of the CIA and Senate.

A lone-wolf hacker, originally thought to be the Jester, temporarily crippled LulzSec’s website at the weekend. Another activist known as Oneiroi later claimed responsibility for the attack but did not give an explanation.


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