Morning Security Brief: Tiananmen Square Quiet, DARPA Competition, Guard Industry Research, and More

By Ann Longmore-Etheridge

►On this 25th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square crackdown on student protesters, there is no remembrance occurring at the site, even though thousands gathered in Hong Kong. According to The Washington Post, "The only indicator of that day’s lingering effect: Swarms of police patrolling the square and stationed every few feet on the roads leading up to it. For weeks, security in Beijing had grown tighter, and by Wednesday, the heart of the capital was in lockdown. Tens of thousands of informants were recently mobilized to look for suspicious activity, according to state media. Foreign journalists were called in and warned. Meanwhile, authorities had jailed or escorted out of the city those most likely to criticize the Communist government." The entire in-depth reporting can be read at the Post.

►ZDNet reports on the two-year competition begun by the U.S. defense research organization, DARPA, in which more than 30 teams of computer security experts will create automated security systems to quickly defend against digital attacks. DARPA plans to hold its Cyber Grand Challenge (CGC) final competition in conjunction with DEF CON, one of the world's largest computer security conferences, in 2016, the site notes. "According to DARPA, the first-of-its-kind competition takes aim at a security problem that is becoming increasingly serious, particularly with the increasing number of networked devices flooding into the marketplace as part of the Internet of Things phenomenon. DARPA anticipates that the competition will not only accelerate the development of capable, automated network defense systems, but also encourage the diverse communities now working on computer and network security issues in the public and private sectors to work together in new ways."

►Michigan State University criminologists have released the results of research into the security guard industry that shows it "remains plagued by inadequate training and standards in many states." The research shows that "formal training of the nation's 1-million-plus private security officers is widely neglected," and "by and large, security guards say they're unprepared to handle problematic people and physical altercations and to protect themselves."

►Two security guards at an Oakland, California, high school were caught on CCTV using force against a handicapped, special needs student who was entering an elevator. When the student and the security officer appear to argue over control of the student's wheelchair, the incident escalates until the student is dumped from the wheel chair, kicked in the head, dragged into the elevator, and thrown out and spit on after the elevator reached another floor. reports, "'The event was egregious to begin with. There's no excuse for an adult to behave like this in a violent manner,' said Troy Flint, the Oakland Unified School District Spokesman.... He also says that district is taking a hard look at how to restructure their employee training to better train employees to deescalate disputes."


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