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SCORES ARRESTED IN TRANSATLANTIC MAFIA CRACKDOWN

Billed as an operation by police in the US and Sicily to prevent the latest attempt to reforge close ties between the Sicilian and US mafias. Article from the Guardian so may be more in the US Press shortly.

BBC article here: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/7233477.stm
includes links to previous stories.

New York Times piece here; http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/08/nyregion/08mob.html?_r=1&th&emc=th&oref=slogin
sees sweep as aimed at Gambino family. Different spin to British press. Sees Sicilan arrests as minor and considers Gambino family to have close ties to Sicilian Mafia. Gives an account of the activities that Mafia involved in and says Gambino family one of 5 Mafia families in New York

HOMELAND SECURITY PRIVACY REPORT

The continuing top-down approach to terrorism and organised crime involves invasion of citizen privacy. In the US, the Chief Privacy Officer has to prepare an “a report to Congress on an annual basis on activities of the Department that affect privacy, including complaints of privacy violations, implementation of the Privacy Act of 1974, internal controls, and other matters.”
Getting the reports out annually has proved to be like pulling teeth!

SPIES’ BATTLEGROUND TURNS VIRTUAL

And there was me being tongue in cheek in the previous post…Although as the article goes on it is suggested that security services are exaggerating the threat because they hate the idea of a virtual world that they can’t control.
Still, they say pornography provided the push for an amazing amount of Internet software development, so if people need a new way to move money, why not virtual hawala banking?

TECHNOLOGICAL INNOVATION AND DRUG-SMUGGLING

There’s research to be done on technological innovation and organised crime. Here’s a Washington Post article on “submersibles” that can transport cocaine considerable distances underwater.
Todd Sandler years ago wrote a piece in APSR trying to calculate how long it took terrorists to adapt to technological changes introduced by security forces. This raises similar challenges for organised crime. Maybe the Camorra will be first to the moon in an effort to dispose of garbage!

MORE BIG DINNERS FOR THE EXPERTS

To add to Europol and Eurojust, a forum of national experts to clear up problems pertaining to differences in Member States criminal law and European criminal law. Europert? What happened to the Corpus Juris?

STUDIES IN ETHICS LAW AND TECHNOLOGY

There should eventually be some articles of interest to SGOC members in this, although the first issue is all about human enhancement. You can add it to your RSS feeds. The first comment tells you how to enable an RSS feed for this blog too.

GLASGOW GANG LEVELS MATCH LONDON

BBC article includes link to a report by the “Right-leaning” [their words] Centre for Social Justice. These are teenage gangs rather than Scottish McMafias.

AL QAEDA COMMANDER MOVED FREELY IN PAKISTAN

This article in the Washington Post raises questions related to the previous post about Venezuela. Our understanding of networks and their relations with states is very primitive. Equally our understanding of sub-state actors leaves a great deal to be desired. There are several PhDs to be carried out in these areas.

FRANCE SAID TO SUGEST NEW CONTROLS FOR ITS BANKS

I was wondering when the French would get around to this. I dont think the Societe Generale disaster can be called organised crime, but it does demonstrate a failure of mechanisms of fraud prevention and opens another area for researchers, namely the relationship between crime and business and the consequences of the mechanisms now in place within the banking system to alert the authorities to “suspicious transactions”. The state has coopted the banks in its search for “terrorists” and organised criminality, yet the banks’ response remains one of box-ticking rather than cultural change.
But do we want a world where bankers are police officers? Sounds like a finals question…

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