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Susan Smith-Harmon

Susan Smith-Harmon

Quinn signs bill to regulate use of drones in IL

Wednesday, 28 August 2013 02:34 Published in Local News

   CHICAGO (AP) - Illinois will regulate the use of drones by law enforcement under a bill signed into law by Gov. Pat Quinn.

   The Chicago Democrat signed the measure Tuesday. Quinn spokesman Grant Klinzman says the governor signed the law to protect people's right to privacy.

   Drones are sophisticated, unmanned aircraft that authorities are considering for aerial surveillance. The law requires authorities to obtain a search warrant before using a drone to collect information.

   Bill sponsor Democratic state Sen. Daniel Biss has said the law helps maintain a reasonable expectation of privacy.  The American Civil Liberties Union praises the new law as appropriate and reasonable.

   The legislation outlines a few exceptions, including when the Department of Homeland Security decides surveillance is needed to prevent a terrorist attack.

 

Pro-Assad group hacks NY Times website

Wednesday, 28 August 2013 02:41 Published in National News

   Its back up now, but the New York Times website was unavailable for several hours Tuesday after an apparent hack attack.  Several people reported being redirected to a Syrian web domain when they tried to access the paper's website.  

   Marc Frons, chief information officer for The New York Times Company told the paper that the attack was carried out by a group known as "the Syrian Electronic Army, or someone trying very hard to be them."  The Syrian Electronic Army is a group of hackers who support President Bashar al-Assad of Syria.   The group attacked the company’s domain name registrar, Melbourne IT. 

   The S.E.A. also hacked the administrative contact information for Twitter’s domain name registry records and then tweeted about it.  Twitter reports that the attack affected one image server and that the problem has been corrected.

   On August 15, the group attacked The Washington Post’s Web site through a third-party service provided by a company called Outbrain. The S.E.A. also tried to hack CNN and succeeded in disrupting The Financial Times in May.

   The NY Times reports that this is the same group that had attacked Twitter accounts for dozens of outlets including The Associated Press. Those attacks caused the stock market to plunge after the group planted false tales of explosions at the White House.

 

   Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster says the drugstore chain Walgreens is overcharging customers on about 20 percent of the items it sells.  

   Koster has filed a civil lawsuit against the Illinois-based retailer after undercover investigators in his office visited eight stores across the state, including two in the St. Louis area.  

   Koster says in some cases, the price posted on the shelf was for a sale that had long expired.  In other cases, the retailer promised discounted prices for rewards members, then charged the regular price at the checkout.  

  Koster says anyone who feels they were overcharged, or who witnesses deceptive pricing should call the Missouri Consumer Hotline at 1-800-392-8222 or visit his website.

   In response to the lawsuit, Walgreens issued the following statement: 

   "We have a 112-year history of acting in our customers' best interests, and that will continue to be our focus. While we won't comment on the complaint itself, we were disappointed and disagree with the attorney general's comments. However, we are prepared to have a constructive dialogue about the issues he raised and address any appropriate concerns." 

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