Egyptian Court Sentences 75, IBM Had Secret Access to NYPD Video, Alabama Shooter Arrested, and More

Egyptian Court Sentences 75, IBM Had Secret Access to NYPD Video, Alabama Shooter Arrested, and More
  • On Saturday, an Egyptian court sentenced 75 people to death for their involvement in pro-Muslim Brotherhood protests five years ago, reports the Wall Street Journal, following a mass trial of more than 700 defendants. Charges against those sentenced to death included the murder of citizens and policemen, terrorizing people, and possessing weapons. Others were given prison terms of varying lengths by the Cairo Criminal Court. The defendants can challenge the verdict in a higher court and ask for a retrial. Rights groups protested that the trial was unfair. ​Other mass trials for the group's members and supporters have been held; in one, a Minya court issued death penalty verdicts for 683 defendants in 2014 for charges of murder and violence.

  • The Intercept reported that IBM used secret access to New York City Police Department (NYPD) camera footage to develop object identification technology. With access to images of thousands of unknowing New Yorkers offered up by NYPD officials as early as 2012, IBM was creating new search features that allow other police departments to search camera footage for images of people by hair color, facial hair, and skin tone. NYPD told The Intercept that "Video, from time to time, was provided to IBM to ensure that the product they were developing would work in the crowded urban NYC environment and help us protect the City…. vendors who enter into contractual agreements with the NYPD have the absolute requirement to keep all data furnished by the NYPD confidential during the term of the agreement, after the completion of the agreement, and in the event that the agreement is terminated." The department eventually decided not to integrate the analytics program into its larger surveillance architecture, and phased out the IBM program in 2016. IBM released some of these capabilities in a 2013 product release, and later version expanded on them.
     
  • A shooter at a McDonald's restaurant near Auburn University in Alabama Sunday morning killed one and injured four others. A 20-year-old male from Tuskegee, Alabama, died in the shooting. Four other people were injured in the shooting, one of them seriously, reports the Auburn Plainsman. Auburn University sent an AU Alert to all students at about 3:00 a.m. Police say a preliminary investigation suggests an altercation occurred just prior to an exchange of gunfire that resulted in the injuries. It is not believed to be a random shooting, and the university does not believe it is a threat to campus. A 17-year-old whose name was not released was apprehended by Auburn police and members of the U.S. Marshals Service Fugitive Task Force from an Auburn home. The 17-year-old was arrested on a warrant charging him with murder as an adult. He was taken to the Lee County Jail where he is being held on $150,000 bond, according to AL.com.

  • In other news, seven people were wounded Sunday in Paris after being attacked by a man armed with a knife and an iron bar; the suspect was arrested and is believed to be an Afghan national. Unarmed security guards at Fifth Third Bank in Cincinnati were praised for their swift, heroic actions after a gunman entered the lobby and began shooting Thursday.  Despite repeated requests from Florida Governor Rick Scott, the state's legislative leaders have officially refused to steer $58 million to school districts to help them hire more campus police officers.