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Archive for October 3rd, 2017|Daily archive page

UK Citizens Could Soon Face Up to 15 years in Prison for Viewing Terrorist Content Online

In Archive, Terrorism, UK on October 3, 2017 at 11:14 PM


People who repeatedly view terrorist content online could face up to 15 years behind bars in a move designed to tighten the laws tackling radicalisation the home secretary, Amber Rudd, announced on Tuesday.

A new maximum penalty of 15 years’ imprisonment will also apply to terrorists who publish information about members of the armed forces, police and intelligence services for the purposes of preparing acts of terrorism.

The tightening of the law around viewing terrorist material is part of a review of the government’s counter-terrorism strategy following the increasing frequency of terrorist attacks in Britain this year.


“I want to make sure those who view despicable terrorist content online, including jihadi websites, far-right propaganda and bomb-making instructions, face the full force of the law,” said Rudd. “There is currently a gap in the law around material [that] is viewed or streamed from the internet without being permanently downloaded.

“This is an increasingly common means by which material is accessed online for criminal purposes and is a particularly prevalent means of viewing extremist material such as videos and web pages,” added the home secretary.

The proposed changes will strengthen the existing offence of possessing information likely to be useful to a terrorist under section 58 of the Terrorism Act 2000 so that it applies to material that is viewed repeatedly or streamed online. Currently the power applies only to online material that has been downloaded and stored on the offender’s computer, is saved on a separate device or printed off as a hard copy.

How exactly investigators would be able to determine that a particular individual has repeat-viewed proscribed content is an open question. (But at the end of last year the UK passed a law requiring ISPs keep web activity logs of all users for 12 months.)

Senior officials say that, thanks to technological advances, it has become possible to identify users even if they do not download footage, but that the law has not caught up.

According to the Home Office the updated offence will ensure that only those found to repeatedly view online terrorist material will be guilty of the offence, to safeguard those who click on a link by mistake or who could argue that they did so out of curiosity rather than with criminal intent. A defence of “reasonable excuse” would still be available to academics, journalists or others who may have a legitimate reason to view such material.

But what about smaller independent outlets, like LeakSource, who believe information should not be censored and that the public has a right to know, both for educational and safety purposes. Will resources such as this be safe? Or will they be unjustly charged, bankrupted with defence fees and jailed for years?

And who decides what is terrorist content? Is it only jihadist related material? Is far-left/right content included? Anti-government opinions and activism? If not now, be assured all this and more could be added in the future. A slippery slope indeed. UK does Orwell best.

h/t Guardian/TechCrunch/TheTimes

Video & Photos of Aftermath Inside Las Vegas Shooter’s Hotel Room Leaked

In Archive, Las Vegas Shooting, Stephen Paddock, Terrorism on October 3, 2017 at 7:22 PM


New video and photos show the scene SWAT teams encountered after blowing the door off the Las Vegas shooter’s room and finding him dead inside – as authorities reveal Stephen Paddock set up cameras inside and outside the room to warn him of approaching authorities.

The video, released by BILD, shows one rifle, still on a bipod, just inside the demolished door to the suite. You can see the damage left after police blew up the door to get to Stephen Paddock, who had already killed himself by that point.

The first photos were obtained by Boston 25’s Jacqui Heinrich from police sources, showing 2 of the 23 weapons used by Paddock during his rampage. The images show the guns – one equipped with a 100 round extended magazine – on the floor of the Mandalay Bay hotel room, numerous rounds of ammunition, holographic sights and bipods. A hammer that was presumably used to break the windows of the room, which was on the 32nd floor, is also seen beside the gun.

Additional photos leaked later on Tuesday, showing a wider view of the hotel room, and uncensored images of a dead Stephen Paddock. One showing Paddock’s body on the floor of the suite surrounded by weapons and spent shell casings, the other a close-up of his face post-suicide with a revolver beside him. (Suicide photo at bottom of post due to graphic nature)

LeakSource has been unable to verify the source of these additional photos, but they may have originated on 4chan, and were first posted on Twitter by Sam Hyde.

h/t @Paulmd199 for research

LVMPD Undersheriff Kevin McMahill confirmed that the leaked photos were authentic at Tuesday night’s press conference. “I can confirm those are in fact photos from inside the room, they are in fact photos of our suspect, and as the Sheriff mentioned previously we have opened up an internal investigation to determine the source of the leaks of those photos to the public,” McMahill said.

Only the 64-year-old’s legs, torso and left arm are visible in the photo, wearing a brown long-sleeve t-shirt, black slacks, slip on loafers, and black gloves. On the floor next to him are two assault rifles, dozens of spent shells and a hammer.

One of the assault rifles has a ‘bump stock’ added to it – making it effectively fully automatic – allowing him to unleash hundreds of rounds per minute.  The branding on the gun indicates it was made by Daniel Defense, a Savannah-Georgia-based company which produces variants of the AR-15 rifle, based off the U.S. Army’s M16.

The photo also shows that Paddock may have left a suicide message. The police have repeatedly said investigations are ongoing and have yet to make public any details about his motivations.

UPDATE 10/04: Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo was asked about the note shown in the leaked photos, answering “it was not a suicide note, I’m comfortable in saying that.”

UPDATE 10/08: In an interview with 60 Minutes, three police officers who stormed Paddock’s hotel room said the note included hand-written calculations about where he needed to aim to maximize his accuracy and kill as many people as possible.

Officer David Newton from the Las Vegas Police Department’s K-9 unit said he noticed a note on the shooter’s nightstand once officers breached the room. “I could see on it he had written the distance, the elevation he was on, the drop of what his bullet was gonna be for the crowd,” Newton said. “So he had that written down and figured out so he would know where to shoot to hit his targets from there.”

Another photo shows how he pushed two sitting chairs together to form a cradle-like space to store at least two other rifles. Another AR-15-style rifle is seen at the foot of the chairs with an extended magazine.

Behind a nearby pillar, about 15 magazines are piled in neat stacks. It’s unclear if they are loaded or spent.

Composite image created by @Paulmd199

Police said Paddock set up cameras inside his hotel suite and in the hallway. Clark County Sheriff told reporters he thinks the shooter might have used them to watch for people approaching his room. The LVMPD Undersheriff clarified that there were 2 cameras located in the hallway on a room service cart, and another placed inside the hotel room door peephole. Police are not aware whether the devices were transmitting — the FBI is investigating their use.

UPDATE 10/04: At Wednesday’s press conference Clark County Sheriff said authorities had confirmed that the cameras – which Paddock was using a baby monitor to view – were not recording.

A SWAT team located Paddock in his room about 72 minutes after the beginning of the deadly attack – but cops estimate he only fired on the crowd for nine minutes, starting at 10:08pm.

Police say Paddock shot at officers as they breached the door, but by the time they made it into the suite, Paddock had committed suicide.

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