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New York police disband unit that spied on Muslims

New York police said Tuesday that they had disbanded a deeply controversial and heavily criticized unit that sent undercover officers to spy on local Muslims. Civil liberty groups welcomed the move, but called on New York authorities to address the damage exerted by unjustified spying based solely on religion. The decision by America's largest police force is the first sign that new commissioner William Bratton is moving away from some of the post-9/11 intelligence-gathering practices of his predecessor, The New York Times reported.

NY City police disband unit that monitored Muslim communities: report

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The New York Police Department has disbanded a surveillance unit that targeted and monitored Muslim communities, The New York Times reported on Tuesday. The unit, which began in 2003, has been largely inactive since the incoming Police Commissioner William Bratton took over the department in January, and its detectives have been reassigned, the report said.

UK names new head of GCHQ after Snowden leaks

Britain Tuesday named a top foreign ministry official as the new head of GCHQ, the electronic eavesdropping agency that came under scrutiny after leaks by former US analyst Edward Snowden. Robert Hannigan, currently the director of defence and intelligence at the Foreign Office, will replace Iain Lobban, who was in the post for six years. Lobban's departure was announced in January, although the government denied it was related to revelations by fugitive National Security Agency contractor Snowden.

Australia's GE Money warns customers of 'Heartbleed' bug

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Financial services firm GE Money has warned Australian customers against "worldwide internet vulnerabilities", urging them to change online passwords after a bug surfaced this month hitting email systems, security firewalls and possibly, mobile phones. "Heartbleed" surfaced in April, when it was disclosed that a pernicious flaw in a widely used Web encryption program known as OpenSSL opened hundreds of thousands of websites to data theft.

Presidential chief of staff to join NSC's standing committee

SEOUL, April 15 (Yonhap) -- The Cabinet on Tuesday approved a measure to add the presidential chief of staff to the standing committee of the National Security Council (NSC), South Korea's top decision-making body on security and foreign policy issues. The move is aimed at making the chief presidential secretary more familiar with security and external issues as those matters are closely related to other issues, officials said. The measure will also improve the efficiency of the committee's operations, they said.

Presidential chief of staff to join NSC's standing committee

SEOUL, April 15 (Yonhap) -- The Cabinet on Tuesday approved a measure to add the presidential chief of staff to the standing committee of the National Security Council (NSC), South Korea's top decision-making body on security and foreign policy issues. The move is aimed at making the chief presidential secretary more familiar with security and external issues as those matters are closely related to other issues, officials said. The measure will also improve the efficiency of the committee's operations, they said.

Washington Post, Guardian win Pulitzer Prize for Snowden leak reports

The Washington Post and The Guardian US won the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for public service on Monday for reporting on the U.S. National Security Agency's secret surveillance programs from documents leaked by Edward Snowden. Pulitzer judges praised the Guardian's coverage for sparking debate on issues of security and privacy and the Post for helping explain how the surveillance programs "fit into the larger framework of national security."

Kenya faces uphill battle to revamp police, stem insecurity

Their capital tarred with the nickname "Nairobbery" and under almost constant threat of attack by Islamist militants, Kenyans are losing patience with the ill-equipped and notoriously corrupt police force. A catalogue of security failures has exposed the inability of Nairobi's underpaid police to deal with the severe security problems, prompting President Uhuru Kenyatta to step in and promise a massive overhaul.

NSA denies exploiting 'Heartbleed' vulnerability

The US National Security Agency on Friday denied a report claiming it was aware of and even exploited the "Heartbleed" online security flaw to gather critical intelligence. The stern denial came amid growing panic among Internet users the world over about the newly exposed flaw, after a report by Bloomberg News said the spy agency decided to keep quiet about the matter and even used it to scoop up more data, including passwords.

NSA denies exploiting 'Heartbleed' vulnerability

The US National Security Agency on Friday denied a report claiming it was aware of and even exploited the "Heartbleed" online security flaw to gather intelligence. The stern denial came amid growing panic among Internet users about the newly exposed flaw, after a report by Bloomberg News said the spy agency decided to keep quiet about the matter to more easily gather intelligence.
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