Press

Man in Switzerland filmed neighbours’ young daughters with camera hidden in pen

A 52-year-old resident of the northern Swiss town of Lucerne was found guilty of downloading child pornography and filming his neighbours’ young daughters using a camera hidden in a pen.

The Local
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The father of three had been downloading child pornography between 2011 and 2015, while also running an online forum where such images could be shared. 

The man was apprehended thanks to an Interpol warrant. He was found guilty of secretly filming his neighbour’s young daughters as they used his toilet. He had previously also uploaded images of children from a nudist beach in Austria, reports Swiss news portal 20 Minutes.

Both the young girls were interviewed by investigating authorities, who confirmed that the man had not physically abused them. 

The accused was also found guilty of appropriating a CD of family photos while housesitting his neighbour’s home.

According to an expert who testified in court, the accused had suffered abuse as a child. The court in Lucerne sentenced the man to two years imprisonment, although that sentence was later changed to a course of therapy, and a 34,000 Swiss franc fine. 

While the court judged that the acts were of limited harm, the presiding judge stated that there was a high chance the man could reoffend

Govt to stop wiretap reform – Bonafede

Freezing of case time-outs after 1st ruling being considered

Redazione ANSA

(ANSA) – Rome, July 11 – Justice Minister Alfonso Bonafede said Wednesday that the government will sink a reform of the use of wiretaps in investigations that was approved by the previous centre-left administration. “The wiretap reform will be stopped because the modifications introduced appear a harmful step back on the road to quality and effectiveness in investigations,” Bonafede told the Senate’s justice committee.
    The reform was in response to years of rows over the publication of wiretaps of people not involved in probes, embarrassing them without due cause.
    Bonafede also said he the 5-Star Movement/League government wants to change to Italy’s statute of limitations to prevent people getting off simple because their cases have timed out, saying this was “fundamental priority”.
    He said one option was for the time-out periods to be frozen after a first-instance ruling on a case.
   
 
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Surely we can find, and stop, high-tech spies

It’s rumored that the U.S. intelligence community has commissioned The Eagles to rewrite some of their famous lyrics to serve as a deterrent to Russia and China. The hope is that this new song will stop the apparently unabated espionage activities occurring in the National Capital Region, known as the NCR. It’s called “You Can’t Hide Your Spyin’ Eyes.”

BY MORGAN WRIGHT

Concerns about enhanced technical espionage have circulated for a long time. A very provocative technology, currently being used by law enforcement and our military, is a cell-site simulator. Known as an IMSI-catcher, or commercially as a Stingray, it’s a box about the size of an oversized pair of sneakers.

 

IMSI stands for International Mobile Subscriber Identity. This is how the Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) finds you, regardless of country, and delivers a call to you or allows you to make one to a destination of your choice. Several reports surfaced in 2017 that showed the Department of Homeland Security was worried about IMSI catchers. 

 

In a Nov. 17, 2017, letter, Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) asked the DHS National Protection and Programs Directorate if there was any evidence of foreign IMSI catchers operating in the National Capital Region. A pilot study had been conducted from January to November of the same year. The short answer was yes. The longer, typical government response was:

“The Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) National Protection and Programs Directorate (NPPD) has observed anomalous activity in the National Capital Region (NCR) that appears to be consistent with International Mobile Subscriber Identity (IMSI) catchers. NPPD has not validated or attributed such activity to specific entities or devices. This information was reported to our Federal partners at the time it was observed.”

Now that it’s been established that nefarious electronic hijinks abound in the NCR, surely there must be a way to find it and stop it. Right? The short answer is no. The government answer is even more terrifying:

“NPPD is not aware of any current DHS technical capability to detect IMSI catchers. To support such a capability, DHS would require funding to procure, deploy, operate and maintain the capability, which includes the cost of hardware, software, and labor.”

The previous statement might make you think this is a newly discovered problem of which DHS is just becoming aware. But our Canadian neighbors found the same activity near their Parliament in 2017. In 2014, the Harvard Journal of Law and Technology said that “Hostile foreign intelligence services can and, almost certainly, are using the technology in this country for espionage.”

About two weeks ago, the Senate passed a spending bill that included language directing the Pentagon to divulge the use of IMSI catchers near U.S. bases and facilities. It’s not the first time the use of electronics has caused security concerns. A 20-year-old Australian student discovered the location of several military bases overseas by simply looking at the heatmap posted by Strava of running routes that had been shared.

You’d have to go back almost another 20 years to find when the threat of IMSI catchers became a real issue. The notorious hacker Kevin Mitnick was captured in 1996 using the same technology DHS is worried about in 2018. The hacking victim who helped the FBI track Mitnick down — Tsutomu Shimomura — was very well acquainted with the technology.

“Later that night, the FBI radio surveillance team from Quantico, Virginia, arrived at the Sprint cellular telephone switch office. The team talked to me a little about the technology they had toted along in the station wagon, especially something called a cell-site simulator, which was packed in a large travel case. The simulator was a technician’s device normally used for testing cell phones, but it could also be used to page Mitnick’s cell phone without ringing it, as long as he had the phone turned on but not in use. The phone would then act as a transmitter that they could home in on with a Triggerfish cellular radio direction-finding system that they were using.”

This wasn’t Shimomura’s first brush with cell phones. In 1993, in front of a congressional oversight committee, he showed how easy it was to use a software hack to listen in on the calls of nearby cellular phones. The problem isn’t new. In fact, it’s quite old.

If you take DHS’s response at face value, it appears NPPD does not have its own technical capability. If DHS has no organic ability, how did it detect anything in the first place? With a little help from other solutions. Project Overwatch, for example.

According to the RSA presentation, “Project Overwatch has been a multinational effort between USA, Germany, and Australia to create a solution leveraging GSMK’s patented Baseband Firewall technology.” This began six years ago.

In February 2017, at the RSA Security Conference in San Francisco, a demonstration of Project Overwatch showed the detection of rogue IMSI catchers — the same technology DHS used, but did not disclose, in its letter to Sen. Wyden.

The warnings were there. The threat was there. Six years ago, we worked with our allies to develop a solution to counter this growing form of technical espionage. So why is Congress just now worried about this?

It’s inconceivable that this electronic eavesdropping that targeted the White House, Congress, our federal law enforcement and intelligence agencies, and who knows what else, should have gone on for this long without a warning to the relevant oversight committees. And the public.

When it comes to our national security, no one should be allowed to, as The Eagles might say, “Take It Easy.”

Morgan Wright is an expert on cybersecurity strategy, cyberterrorism, identity theft and privacy. Previously Morgan was a senior advisor in the U.S. State Department Antiterrorism Assistance Program and senior law enforcement advisor for the 2012 Republican National Convention. Follow him on Twitter @morganwright_us.

Florida kindergarten teacher busted for abusing 5-year-old boy after mom puts recorder in his backpack

Kandy Escotto, noticed her 5-year-old son, Aaron was being bullied by his kindergarten teacher, so she took matters into her own hands.

 
While doing his homework, Aaron would often refer to himself as a “bad boy.”

 
 

“I said, ‘Why do you say something like that?’ ” Escotto said. “He said, ‘That’s what the teacher tells me when I don’t do my work.’”

 
Escotto said this was unusual behavior for her son, and complained to Banyan Elementary’s school principal Cheri Davis about his kindergarten teacher Rosalba Suarez.

 
Suarez, a teacher for 33 years was a recipient of the teacher of the year award. Despite this,  Escotto knew she wasn’t treating her son fairly. Davis told her she needed proof that the teacher was bullying her son before any action could be taken.

 
So, Escotto got proof. She sent her son to school with a hidden camera over a four day period and got 32 hours of audio.

 
The audio files reveals that Suarez called the young boy a “loser,” and made fun of him for not being able to bubble on a test correctly.

 
“For me to hear the things that she was saying to him,” Escotto told the Miami Herald. “She picked him out, she singled him out, she humiliated him in front of the whole class. She talked about me in front of him. No 5-year-old should be able to go through that. That affected my family, affected him.”

 
“It was very upsetting being that I myself heard what was being said to a little boy,” Escotto said.

 
She set up a meeting with Davis and Suarez, but they failed to take any action to correct the situation. After hiring an attorney, the school switched Aaron to a different classroom. Escotto said it’s unclear if she will take further legal action.

 
Davis, did not respond to a request for comment and Suarez hung up on a reporter when asked to comment.

 
Spokeswoman Jackie Calzadilla for Miami-Dade County school district released this statement: “We work diligently to ensure the well-being of every child entrusted to our care. Any action that runs contrary to the values we instill in our school community will not be tolerated. The district will conduct a thorough review of this matter and, if the allegations are substantiated, we will take any and all appropriate disciplinary actions.”

By DOMINIQUE JACKSON

Hidden camera found in girls’ toilet in UP school; principal, 3 teachers arrested

A hidden camera in girls’ toilet in a school in Maharajganj district of Uttar Pradesh has sent shock waves among the students and the parents. Girl students of Everet English-Medium School in Maharajganj district came to know about the hidden camera in their school toilet when a video footage was circulated and leaked on their WhatsApp group on Thursday morning. The parents came to know about the incident when some students refused to attend the school.

Agitated parents rushed to the school and gheraoed the Principal. They also informed the police which recovered the hidden camera installed in one of the girls’ toilets in the school premises. “The camera was wi-fi enabled and recording could be done with the remote after activating the wi-fi,” said the police.

On the complaint of agitated parents, the police lodged a case against the management of the school and arrested the Principal and three teachers in this connection. Parents fear that the camera might have been installed for long and the accused must have made many video clips of their daughters using the toilet.

Girl students alleged that they had seen their social science teacher hanging around the girls’ toilets in a suspicious manner for the past many days. One of the girls had complained to her class teacher about feeling awkward in using the toilet when the teacher was hanging around.

They told parents and the police that it could be handiwork of the social science teacher. The police seized his mobile and laptop and sent for the forensic examination. The Principal, however, pleaded that it could have been the handiwork of some outsider.

“We have been running the school for the past 20 years but such a thing has never happened. It could be the handiwork of some outsiders to defame the school,” said the Principal.

“Investigations are underway and we have seized mobile phones, computers and laptops of all teachers for getting it examined by experts,” said the police.

By Srawan Shukla

South Korean women protest in Seoul over hidden sex cameras

Tens of thousands of women gathered in Seoul on Saturday calling for a crackdown on spy cam pornography, in one of the country’s biggest ever female-only protests.

Perpetrators film or photograph women with hidden cameras in public spaces.

Although distributing pornography is illegal in South Korea, the videos and pictures are shared widely online.

Organisers say women live in constant fear of being photographed or filmed without their knowledge.

Carrying placards and banners with messages like “My life is not your porn”, the women were mostly teenagers or in their 20s – seen as the main victims of the hidden cameras.

“Those men who film such videos! Those who upload them! Those who watch them! All of them should be punished sternly!” they chanted.

The women covered their faces with masks, hats and sunglasses as instructed by the organisers.

Demonstrators said around 55,000 women took part, although police put the figure at around 20,000.

The recent protests began after police arrested a 25-year-old woman in May for secretly photographing a male colleague who posed nude for university art students. She then shared the picture online.

Demonstrators believe police only acted so swiftly because it was a female perpetrator, and pointed to instances of police closing cases with female victims because they could not find the photographers or track them online, because they posted on foreign servers.

While the law mandates a maximum five-year prison term or 10 million won ($8,970; £6,770) fine for creating sexual images, and a maximum seven year sentence and 30 million won ($26,900; £20,200) fine for distributing them for profit, protesters say many receive far lighter punishments.

The recent protests began after police arrested a 25-year-old woman in May for secretly photographing a male colleague who posed nude for university art students. She then shared the picture online.

Demonstrators believe police only acted so swiftly because it was a female perpetrator, and pointed to instances of police closing cases with female victims because they could not find the photographers or track them online, because they posted on foreign servers.

While the law mandates a maximum five-year prison term or 10 million won ($8,970; £6,770) fine for creating sexual images, and a maximum seven year sentence and 30 million won ($26,900; £20,200) fine for distributing them for profit, protesters say many receive far lighter punishments.

By BBC

Discovery of camera hidden in hospital toilet sparks investigation

POLICE have launched an investigation after a hidden camera was discovered in a toilet at a Co. Armagh hospital.

In a statement, the trust that operates the hospital said it was working with police over an allegation about a former member of staff.

By Gerard Donaghy

The device was found in ceiling tiles of a toilet in the radiography department of Craigavon Area Hospital.

According to Belfast Live, members of the public have access to the toilet as well as staff.

As part of their investigation, the PSNI are looking into historic cases of voyeurism at the hospital, believed to date back to before February 2015.

The hospital is part of the Southern Health and Social Care Trust.

In a statement, they said: “The Southern Health and Social Care Trust is co-operating fully with a PSNI investigation following an allegation against a member of staff.

“The member of staff is no longer an employee of the Trust.”

Doug Beattie, Ulster Unionist MLA for Upper Bann, described the alleged offence as ‘despicable’.

“This is a place of sanctuary, where by its very nature our most vulnerable people go,” he said.

“For anybody to take advantage of this, if proven by police, is absolutely despicable.”

Chinese peeping Tom installed secret cameras to film couples in love hotels and sell footage online

Man accused of selling footage through popular social media platform

by Nectar Gan

A man has been arrested in southwest China on suspicion of installing webcams in hotels to film couples having sex and then selling the footage online, according to local media reports.

When the couple went to bed they looked up and saw a hole in the ceiling, which they examined and found a camera had been hidden inside pointing directly at the bed.

The two immediately called the police, who soon arrived and took out the camera.

Police found no memory cards inside so concluded it was a real-time webcam that sent footage to another platform.

“My whole body just froze up,” said the woman, who then decided to spend the night sleeping in the car with her husband.

The next day, the couple went to the hotel to demand an explanation, but the hotel said it was not aware the camera was there.

After further investigation, a second webcam was found in a room on the same floor.

Hotel staff told police they remembered that a man had booked two rooms at the hotel in March and checked in on his own. The two rooms he had booked turned out to be the ones that had the cameras installed.

A month later, police seized the suspect in his flat, and found two hard drives totalling 3 terrabtyes of memory containing the sex tapes he had recorded.

The man was reported to have told police he came up with the idea because he was broke and wanted to earn some quick money by selling the clandestine footage.

He first installed cameras in hotels in his home county about 100km (60 miles) away from Chengdu, but the people who checked in to the hotels were “not ideal”, he said.

Following suggestions from his customers, he decided to install cameras in more expensive hotels in the provincial capital, and bought a fake identity card online.

Through mobile apps, he located love hotels popular among young couples. But the first camera he installed in January was soon discovered by a hotel staff member and thrown away.

Not ready to give up, he tried again in March.

The two cameras he is accused of installing then had been connected to the power strip in the ceiling and could be automatically turned on when the customers plugged in the room key.

The report said footage was directly sent to the man’s phone and then uploaded to a computer.

Police believe the man created a chat group on QQ, a popular social media platform, and started to absorb “members” who would pay a monthly fee for unlimited access to the footage.

In just a few months, the monthly fee rose from 400 yuan (US$60) per month to 2,000 yuan. He had about 10 “members” in total and made 15,000 yuan, he said.

The man has now been officially arrested on the charge of spreading obscene articles. There was no word on whether police would seek to take action against his subscribers.

Man Arrested After Woman Discovers Hidden Camera Installed in Whataburger Toilet

A man has been arrested after police in Abilene say he placed a hidden camera inside the women’s restroom of a Whataburger restaurant.

By Frank Heinz

Abilene police said the device was found in the women’s restroom, but didn’t disclose the specific location inside the restroom and didn’t say how long it may have been there. 


The woman who found the device spoke with KTAB/KRBC-TV in Abilene and said after she used the commode she noticed an “unusual small circle under the rim of the toilet lid.” Upon closer inspection, the woman, who wished to remain anonymous, said she saw what appeared to be a camera lens. The lens was connected to wires which ran under the lid of the tank, which the woman said she ripped out and carried with her to her car where she called police. 


KTAB/KRBC reported that police were investigating to determine if the device was recording photographs or video and if it was transmitting live. 

The victim told KTAB/KRBC she wanted to share the photos because, “I do want to help and make sure women know what to watch out for.”

The man accused of placing the camera in the restroom, TJ Paul Helser, was arrested on Tuesday. He is now facing 14 counts of invasive visual recording which is a state jail felony. 


After the discovery, Abilene police asked restaurant owners and managers to check under sinks, inside toilet tanks and inside fixtures for any electronic device. Should one be found, police ask that the device be left undisturbed and that the police are called. 

To date, Abilene police said no other surreptitious devices have been found. 


After learning of the finding, Whataburger said “this is truly a concerning claim” and that they’ve launched an investigation of their own into the matter. 

CABBIE CAM Lanarkshire taxi driver installed hidden camera in his cab to upskirt female passengers

Police discovered his pervy cam after they raided his home in connection with sick images of children

By David Meikle

A TAXI driver who installed a hidden camera to film under the clothing of unsuspecting passengers is facing jail.

David Whitehead, 53, set up the covert device in a twisted bid to record members of the public as they travelled in his vehicle.

His seedy spying operation saw him capture footage of a passenger but it only came to light when police raided his home in connection with sick images of children.

Officers launched a dawn raid at the property in Cumbernauld, Lanarkshire, after a tip off and discovered extreme clips and pictures.

The disturbing haul of 2503 photos and 1529 videos included horrific footage of abuse.

Whitehead appeared at Airdrie Sheriff Court and admitted taking or permitting indecent images of children between August 2005 and August 2017

He also admitted having the hidden camera in his car between August and September 2013.

The court was told Whitehead was stripped of his taxi licence soon after his arrest last year.

 

Depute fiscal Agnes Meek said: “Information was received by the National Child Abuse Prevention that a device associated with the locus was connected to the internet and had indecent images of children available for sharing.

“Officers sought and were granted a warrant and police attended to execute the warrant.

“A systematic search was carried out and a number of devices were seized.

“The accused while standing in his kitchen in front of officers, stated ‘it is all me, nothing to do with my boy’.

“He was detained and after provided a no comment interview.”

Miss Meek added: “One moving image is 29 minutes long and features several clips put together of child sexual exploitation.”

Sheriff Derek O’Carroll deferred sentence and continued Whitehead’s bail for reports but warned him to expect to be sent to prison.

He added: “Given the nature of the offences you should understand that a custodial sentence is very much at the forefront of this court’s mind.

“I will continue your bail but you should not draw any conclusions from that regarding the ultimate final disposal of this case.”

Whitehead was placed on the sex offenders register.

North Lanarkshire Council confirmed they revoked Whitehead’s taxi licence last year.

His not guilty pleas to possessing indecent photos, possessing extreme bestiality images and possessing cannabis were accepted by prosecutors.