Feeds

Santa running short on surveillance gear this year

Crisis at the North Pole

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Every year at about this time, we try to bring our beloved readers a story or two to boost the holiday cheer. And this year is no different.

Our first heart-warming tale centers on an undergraduate at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. The unnamed student requested a copy of Mao's Little Red Book from the school's interlibrary loan program in the hopes of writing a cracking paper for his fascism and totalitarianism class.

Instead of receiving the book, the student found two Department of Homeland Security agents waiting at his parents' house. It seems the book along with the student's extensive travels set alarm bells ringing at Homeland Security central. The agents did bring the book to the house but didn't leave the material with the student.

You can find out more on the student here.

Our second story of holiday cheer takes place in Washington D.C. where the ever vigilant staff at Dulles Airport stopped a 9-month-old boy from boarding a flight with his mom.

Offensive diaper? Ugly baby syndrome?

No. The toddler in question couldn't board the plane because his name is on the "no-fly" list of suspected terrorists.

"We pointed down to the stroller, and he sat there and gurgled," mom Sarah Zapolsky told Reuters. "The desk agent started laughing. ... She couldn't print us out a boarding pass because he's on the no-fly list."

Of course, babies aren't the only ones to end up on the no-fly list. Democratic Senator Ted Kennedy of Mass, Republican Representative Don Young of Alaska and Democratic Representative John Lewis of Georgia are part of the not so exclusive club too.

(Perhaps there is a stinky diaper theme after all.)

And so are possibly hundreds of Peter Johnsons who share a flagged and all too common name.

The TSA has dedicated a whopping seven full-time staffers to dealing with the thousands upon thousands of mistaken "no-fly" incidents.

If you're lucky, you'll see Santa fly through the night sky as you're waiting at the airport for the guard to finish up the cavity check. Mistletoe never felt so good.

Our last story has Human Rights Watch accusing the US government of torturing prisoners in Afghanistan by playing Eminem and Dr. Dre for 20 days.

Torture?

That's like a bad ass, free festival. The fun, however, is sure to end now that the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) has caught wind of the music abuse. Read all the details here.

Well, friends, it seems clear that we all have a lot to be thankful for this holiday season. Please be sure to wish the government agents wire-tapping your phone a Merry Christmas or whatever when sending your best to loved ones. We're all in this together. Now we just have to figure out what this is. ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
Big Content outs piracy hotbeds: São Paulo, Beijing ... TORONTO?
MPAA calls Canadians a bunch of bootlegging movie thieves
Google Glassholes are UNDATEABLE – HP exec
You need an emotional connection, says touchy-feely MD... We can do that
Lawyers mobilise angry mob against Apple over alleged 2011 Macbook Pro crapness
We suffered 'random bouts of graphical distortion' - fanbois
Just don't blame Bono! Apple iTunes music sales PLUMMET
Cupertino revenue hit by cheapo downloads, says report
US court SHUTS DOWN 'scammers posing as Microsoft, Facebook support staff'
Netizens allegedly duped into paying for bogus tech advice
Feds seek potential 'second Snowden' gov doc leaker – report
Hang on, Ed wasn't here when we compiled THIS document
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
New hybrid storage solutions
Tackling data challenges through emerging hybrid storage solutions that enable optimum database performance whilst managing costs and increasingly large data stores.
Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL
Discussing the vulnerabilities inherent in Wi-Fi networks, and how using TLS/SSL for your entire site will assure security.