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Posts Tagged ‘courts’

British author denies intention to insult Singapore courts

In Uncategorized on August 18, 2010 at 7:25 am

SINGAPORE, Aug 18, 2010 (AFP) – A British author facing charges for publishing a book on the death penalty in Singapore said it was never his intention to scandalise the judiciary, a court document showed Wednesday.

Freelance journalist Alan Shadrake, 75, who penned “Once a Jolly Hangman: Singapore Justice in the Dock,” described himself in an affidavit filed with the High Court as a “strong believer in the need to abolish the death penalty”.

But he said “it was never and is not my intention to scandalise the judiciary in Singapore,” according to the affidavit obtained by AFP.

The document was filed last week and forms part of Shadrake’s defence in a contempt of court case.

Shadrake, who divides his time between neighbouring Malaysia and Britain, is also facing a separate charge of criminal defamation.

Both offences are punishable by jail and fines.

His 219-page book contains a profile of Darshan Singh, the former chief executioner at Singapore’s Changi Prison who, according to the author, executed around 1,000 men and women from 1959 until he retired in 2006.

It also features interviews with local human rights activists, lawyers and former police officers on various cases involving capital punishment.

Shadrake is out on bail but his passport has been impounded to prevent him from leaving the country.

He appeared in court for the first time on July 30, and the case will be heard again on August 30.

Source: SGGP

Elite US cyber team courts hackers to fight terror

In Uncategorized on August 2, 2010 at 11:19 am

An elite US cyber team that has stealthily tracked Internet villains for more than a decade pulled back its cloak of secrecy to recruit hackers at a DefCon gathering.

Vigilant was described by its chief Chet Uber as a sort of cyber “A-Team” taking on terrorists, drug cartels, mobsters and other enemies on the Internet.

“We do things the government can’t,” Uber said on Sunday. “This was never supposed to have been a public thing.”

Vigilant is an alliance of slightly more than 600 volunteers and its secret ranks reportedly include chiefs of technology at top firms and former high-ranking US cyber spies.

The group scours Internet traffic for clues about online attacks, terrorists, cartels and other targets rated as priorities by members of the democratically run private organization.

Vigilant also claimed to have “collection officers” in 22 countries that gather intelligence or coordinate networks in person.

“We go into bars, look for lists of bad actors, get tips from people…” Uber said.

“But, a significant amount of our intelligence comes from our monitoring the Internet. We are looking at everything on websites, and websites are public.”

He was adamant that Vigilant stays within US law while being more technologically nimble than government agencies weighed down by bureaucracy and internal rivalries.

“Intelligence is a by-product of what our research is,” Uber said. “Our research is into attacks, why they happen and how we can prevent them.”

Vigilant shares seemingly significant findings with US spy agencies, and is so respected by leading members of the hacker community that Uber was invited to DefCon to recruit new talent.

Uber said that Vigilant came up from underground after 14 years of operation in a drive to be at “full capacity” by adding 1,750 “vetted volunteers” by the year 2012.

“We are good people not out to hurt anybody,” Uber said. “Our one oath is to defend the US Constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic.”

Anything that can be looked at legally on the Internet is fair game for Vigilant, with email and encrypted transactions such as online shopping off limits.

The holy grail for Vigilant is finding out who is behind cyber attacks. Inability to figure out who launches online assaults routinely leaves companies or governments without targets to fire back at.

“This is a completely unsolved problem,” Uber said. “We’ve probably been working on it as long as the government has.”

Vigilant has developed its own “obfuscation” network to view “bad actors” on the Internet without being noticed.

He told of uncovering evidence of fraud in the latest presidential election in Iran while testing a way for people to slip information out of countries with oppressive regimes.

The information obtained was given to US officials.

“They expected fraud but they didn’t expect the wholesale fraud that we passed along,” Uber said.

Vigilant’s network claimed a role relaying Twitter messages sent by Iranian protestors in the aftermath of the election.

The group is bent on gathering intelligence by any legal means and then putting the pieces together to see bigger pictures.

“The wholesale tapping of the Internet around the world can’t be done,” Uber said. “We are looking at what people write, how people attack, how attacks happen…we don’t care who that person is.”

Uber is working on a mathematical model to spot when terrorist organizations are recruiting teenagers online. The group has 100 projects in the works.

“Our end goal is to provide software as a service to government agencies so we can get out of

 Skull and crossbones reflected in a computer screen

 the business of intelligence,” Uber said.

Along with technology savants, Vigilant is recruiting sociologists, psychologists, and people with other specialties.

The wall between “feds” and hackers has been crumbling at DefCon, which has become a forum for alliances between government crime fighters and civilians considered digital-age “ninjas.”

Source: SGGP

Binh Duong province courts Hong Kong investors

In Uncategorized on September 8, 2008 at 4:48 pm

Hong Kong (VNA) – A seminar on investment opportunities and environment in Vietnam in general and its southern industrial hub, Binh Duong province, was held in Hong Kong on Sept. 8.

The seminar was co-hosted by a business delegation from Binh Duong province and the Vietnamese General Consulate in Hong Kong and Macau, China, in coordination with the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HK TDC).

Addressing an audience of over 200 Hong Kong businessmen, General Consul Pham Cao Phong said that in the first eight months of this year, Vietnam attracted about 47 billion USD in FDI, he said, adding that Binh Duong has been emerging as one of “hot” destinations.

Phong also asserted that the country’s potentials, political and social stability and the government’s commitments to give favourable conditions for investors will advantage foreign investors to obtain success in their projects in Vietnam .

Hong Kong with a total investment capital of nearly 6 billion USD now is standing sixth among countries and territories investing in Vietnam .

According to Tran Van Lieu, head of Binh Duong’s Industrial Zones Managing Board, the province is leading the country in economic growth rate, an average of 15 percent per annum, and FDI attraction.

So far, Binh Duong has attracted 10.7 billion USD in 1,800 projects from 36 countries and territories. China , including Hong Kong, stands second with 1.6 billion USD in 308 projects.

The provincial official also said Binh Duong will continue improving its investment climate to attract more investment.

On Sept. 11 and 12, Binh Duong businessmen will visit Shenzhen and Dongguan cities of Guangdong province, China , for other activities to promote investment.-