THREATs of the Week: June 18, 2017

Technical Threat: Why Printers Add Secret Tracking Dots

Reality Leigh Winner. Courtesy AOL.

(Reality Leigh Winner. Courtesy AOL.)

They’re almost invisible but contain a hidden code – and now their presence on a leaked document has sparked speculation about their usefulness to FBI investigators.

On 3 June, FBI agents arrived at the house of government contractor Reality Leigh Winner in Augusta, Georgia. They had spent the last two days investigating a top secret classified document that had allegedly been leaked to the press. In order to track down Winner, agents claim they had carefully studied copies of the document provided by online news site The Intercept and noticed creases suggesting that the pages had been printed and “hand-carried out of a secured space”.

Is Your Printer Spying On You?

BBC has a great expose on this >>>

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Health Threat: Are Opioid Manufacturers The Real Pushers?

Opioid Manufacturers

(Courtesy: Washington Post)

The people peddling the drugs ripping apart our towns aren’t only on our street corners.

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Raids, Robbery, Ransom: Human Trafficking Is In Plain Sight. Are You Supporting It Without Knowing?

Human Trafficking in California

(Image Courtesy: The Orange County Register)

Those suffering unthinkable psychological, physical and social trauma are part of a global problem that we, as Americans, see, touch and support every day without knowing it.

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Environmental Threat: Corruption & Environmental Devastation

Corruption affects environment

(Image Courtesy: Washington Post)

In 2004, the chief executive of Massey Energy smeared a judge and bankrolled the campaign of a previously unknown judicial rival, who, once elected, ruled favorably on cases affecting the coal company — including at least one the company had lost in a jury trial. Judge Brent Benjamin argued that there was no basis for presuming that the $3 million Massey spent on his campaign might affect his impartiality.

Agency Threat: Veterans Affairs Official Downplays Agent Orange Risks, Questions Critics

Agent Orange Flights

(Image Courtesy: NY Times)

At a meeting in March, a lead analyst in the VA’s compensation service was critical of the media, scientists and the VA’s own administrative tribunal for taking positions that differ from his. The VA said his comments “did not fully or accurately reflect VA’s position” but also said his quotes were being taken out of context.

Here’s the story >>>

Terrorist Threat: Facebook’s Counterterrorism Playbook Comes Into Focus


(Image Courtesy:

Not a threat this week, but a positive note on what the leading social media platform in the world is doing to counter terrorism.

Beyond the stuff you’d expect — work closely with law enforcement, consult terrorism experts, improve content moderation — Facebook is using artificial intelligence to ferret out extremism.

Facebook is still playing catchup, but a new report makes clear that Facebook finally takes the problem seriously.

Get the details on Wired.

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Facebook Is Enlisting Human Experts and AI to Fight Terrorism

“Everyone is a first responder. You’re either stopping the threat or stopping the bleeding.”

More to follow.



(Featured Image Courtesy:

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