Morning Security Brief: NYC Stop & Frisk Law, Money Laundering and Digital Currency, and More

By Lilly Chapa

►The New York City Council passed policies that will severely curtail the city’s stop and frisk practice, which was implemented after 9-11, reports The Atlantic Wire. "The two bills, known together as the Community Safety Act, passed during a late-night meeting of the Council that began after 11 p.m.," reports the New York Times. The measures will create independent oversight of the police department and give those affected by the controversial practice legal recourse. Since 2002, the New York Police Department (NYPD) has stopped and frisked five million people – and 80 percent of those have been blacks and Latinos – under a law that has been the focus of judicial scrutiny and a civil rights lawsuit. Mayor Michael Bloomberg is expected to veto the measures, but since they passed by a more than 2-to-1 vote, the council can overturn the veto. Bloomberg and NYPD Police Commissioner Ray Kelly will continue to lobby the city council to ease the restrictions, according to the media reports. 

►Thomson Reuters Fraud Prevention and Investigation unit has released a report on the rising use of digital currency in money laundering. The white paper, entitled Technology in the Fight Against Money Laundering in the New Digital Currency Age, offers insights on how criminal and terrorist organizations are using digital currency to profit from drug trafficking, prostitution, extortion, and other crimes. The paper also discusses the challenges of detecting, investigating, and apprehending the criminals. The white paper reports that the Financial Action Task Force, an intergovernmental organization, estimated that up to $3.45 trillion per year is laundered through the world’s legal and illegal financial systems. Law enforcement specialists said that although the U.S. has strong federal laws against money laundering, state-by-state laws are inconsistent, which makes it more difficult to prosecute tech-savvy criminals. 

►The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) should increase interagency communication and strengthen the assessment of its efforts to stem illegal cross-border activity, according to a U.S. Government Accountability Office report released today. The organization found that the CBP releases information on the number of apprehensions and activity levels along the border but does not inform program results or resource allocation decisions. Earlier this year, the GAO tasked the CBP with developing performance goals to measure its progress, but the CBP has not laid out timeframes for implementing the goals, according to the report.



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