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Passenger’s fury as airport security guard poses with her lobster

A businesswoman has criticised an airport security guard for rifling through her luggage and having a photograph taken with one of her live lobsters. Lisa Feinman, who owns the Atlantic Seafood Market in the US state of Connecticut, had carefully packed more than a dozen lobsters in a cooler to fly to a customer in Boston. After the Transportation Security Administration posted the picture on Instagram, attracting thousands of likes, Ms Feinman said she was “personally offended” by the agent’s actions. She added that the TSA should focus on doing its job and “leave our personal property alone”. On Facebook, she wrote: “When is it okay to go through someone’s checked baggage and take photographs? “I packed this checked cooler with care and concern for the lobsters and my customer’s personal property.” Ms Feinman claimed the lobster in the photograph had been purposely packed underneath the other live crustaceans, so the agent “had to dump out 12 other lobsters to get to this guy”.

She also alleged the TSA agent at Logan International Airport in Boston could have broken one of the lobster’s claws because he was not handling it properly. The TSA is yet to respond to Ms Feinman’s claims, but earlier said the lobster had “cooperated quite nicely with the screening process”. According to the agency’s website, live lobsters are allowed through security as long as they are transported in a clear, plastic, spill proof container.

It adds that TSA officers are required to visually inspect lobsters at checkpoints.

Security services must reveal what was known about terror attackers

A former head of UK counter-terrorism once told me his job was a bit like playing the video game Space Invaders, in which the player has to zap aliens moving down the screen at ever-increasing speed. He said: “You’re busy dealing with the ones you can see in front of you, then lots more appear from nowhere.” A simple but vivid description of the scale of the threat posed to the UK public. The police and MI5 say they have 500 current joint terror investigations under way, involving around 3,000 suspects. On top of that there are another 20,000 suspects who have been investigated in the past but are no longer thought to be active, though they might still pose a risk. :: London Bridge attack: Body found in Thames1 :: The victims of the London terror attack2

You can’t arrest and prosecute them all, of course, nor can you put more than a handful under constant surveillance, but there is legislation through which they can be controlled if there is evidence to show a serious risk to the public.

None of the measures appear to have been applied to the five terrorists who carried out the three attacks on Westminster Bridge, the Manchester Arena and London Bridge, even though they were all, to varying degrees, on the radar of our security forces. In 2005, to replace emergency detention legislation introduced after the 9/11 attacks in the United States, the Labour government introduced control orders, a measure that was controversial from the start. Ten suspects released from detention in Belmarsh Prison were immediately put under the orders, which allowed restrictions on items they could possess and use, where they lived and travelled, whom they spoke to and, in some cases, involved electronic tagging.

Image: Manchester suicide bomber Salman Abedi

Critics described the orders as “prison without bars” and court challenges led to some being revoked. In 2012 the Tory government – with Theresa May as home secretary – replaced control orders with terrorism prevention and investigation measures (TPIMs). Some said they were simply the old orders under a different name, while others described them as control orders-lite. They were less restrictive and withdrew the power to force a suspect to live up to 200 miles from their home, though Mrs May reintroduced that measure in 2015. We don’t know why such legislation was not used against the killers before they struck and whether it could have prevented their attacks.

Police and MI5 are reviewing what they knew and did about Manchester Arena bomber, Salman Abedi, and the Prime Minister has said she expects a similar analysis of the London Bridge attackers. Let’s hope it’s done and is published in full. We know that Khuram Butt was under police and MI5 investigation, but his priority was later reduced.

Italian citizen Youssef Zaghba was flagged up to the UK by the Italians as a suspected jihadi, and Rachid Redouane appears to have used an immigration loophole to get into Britain after being refused asylum.

Whatever your politics – and whatever her record in slashing police numbers – no one will disagree with the Prime Minister’s words this week: “Enough is enough.”

References

  1. ^ London Bridge attack: Body found in Thames (news.sky.com)
  2. ^ The victims of the London terror attack (news.sky.com)

China draft cyber law mandates security assessment for outbound data

BEIJING China’s top cyber authority on Tuesday released a draft law that would require firms exporting data to undergo an annual security assessment, in the latest of several recent safeguards against threats such as hacking and terrorism.

Any business transferring data of over 1000 gigabytes or affecting over 500,000 users will be assessed on its security measures and on the potential of the data to harm national interests, showed the draft from the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC).

The law would ban the export of any economic, technological or scientific data whose transfer would pose a threat to security or public interests . It would also require firms to obtain the consent of users before transmitting data abroad.

The proposed law, which focuses on personal information security, comes just a day after state media reported government rewards of $1,500 to $73,000 for citizens who report suspected spies.

It is also an extension of legislation passed in November formalizing a range of controls over firms that handle data in industries the government deems critical to national interests.

Business groups have criticized the November law, which is effective from June, calling rules “vague” and claiming they unfairly target foreign companies with stringent requirements.

Chinese officials denied that the November law targets foreign firms.

Under the rules released on Tuesday, sensitive geographic data such as information on marine environments would also be subject to scrutiny . Destination countries and the likelihood of oversees tampering would also be factored in to any assessments.

The draft is open for public comment until May 11.

(Reporting by Cate Cadell; Editing by Christopher Cushing)