Security Firms Sue Nashville Police, EarthNow will Surveil the Earth, Israeli Terrorist Attack Thwarted, and More

Security Firms Sue Nashville Police, EarthNow will Surveil the Earth, Israeli Terrorist Attack Thwarted, and More
  • ​​Private security companies filed a lawsuit against the Metro Nashville Police Department in Tennessee for creating an unfair monopoly of security at special events, effectively killing competition, reports Nashville's News Channel 5. Historically, private security companies have policed many special events by hiring off-duty police officers and having the event coordinator foot the bill. More recently, the police department has taken on more of that workload, shifting the cost to taxpayers. Additionally, as of April 1, Metro officers are no longer allowed to work for private security companies. In 2017, 175 police officers worked for private security companies. The lawsuit does not seek monetary damages, but instead seeks an injunction to stop the police department from unfairly monopolizing security work. 

  • EarthNow, a satellite startup, says it has plans to field a constellation of hundreds of satellites to provide global video of the Earth, reports Space News. SoftBank, Airbus, Bill Gates, and OneWeb founder Greg Wyler are investors in the company. EarthNow's mission is to record the planet and provide video in real time to users on the ground. Airbus is the company's manufacturing partner, using production lines made to build thousands of telecom satellites for OneWeb in Toulouse, France, and Exploration Park, Florida. EarthNow is staying very private about the details of its system to keep information away from competitors. Russell Hannigan, EarthNow's founder and chief executive, said the company will provide 20 frames per second video at a "highly competitive" resolution in full color "and a little bit more." A central challenge for EarthNow will be handling the massive amounts of data its video satellites will capture. Hannigan said the satellites will process data in-situ to reduce bandwidth. The satellites will also have a more advanced means of parsing desired information from collected video.

  • A large-scale terrorist attack was averted after an explosives-laden truck was detained at a West Bank checkpoint, according to Israel's defense ministry. The truck was stopped at the Reihan checkpoint between Israel and the West Bank. Inspectors found a "powerful explosive device" in the roof amid the cargo of goods destined for settlers along the border. The Palestinian driver was detained for questioning, reports UPI. The explosive device was meant to mar celebrations of Israel's 70th anniversary, which started Wednesday evening. Earlier Wednesday, a Palestinian man was arrested at the Qalandiya checkpoint, north of Jerusalem, after police found him carrying a knife. Officials said he admitted that he had planned to carry out a stabbing attack. 

  • The National Football League (NFL) allegedly replaced several veteran security representatives last year, and nine filed a federal lawsuit this week charging the NFL with age discrimination, reports the Washington Post. The men were all in their 60s or 70s and allege they were unfairly replaced by younger hires shortly after former D.C. police chief Cathy L. Lanier took over as the NFL's head of security. At every NFL game, one of these security officials coordinates logistics, inspects locker rooms, meets with law enforcement agencies and stadium security personnel, counts any prescription drugs that are distributed, and checks the air pressure in the game balls. Eight of the plaintiffs were assigned to a team's market, and their tenures with the league ranged from 11 to 49 years. All are licensed private investigators and came to their NFL positions after working as police detectives, FBI agents, or state troopers. The nine former security representatives are seeking at least $10 million and say they've "suffered substantial damages, including, but not limited to, lost past and future wages and benefits, emotional pain and suffering, and mental ​anguish.

  • In other news, the U.S. Federal Communications Commission unanimously voted to adopt a measure that prohibits U.S. wireless companies from using federal funds to buy telecommunications gear made by Chinese manufacturers. The theft of more than 700 pounds of explosives from a pipeline work site in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, is under investigation by the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, which is offering a reward of up to $10,000 for information that leads to the recovery of the stolen explosives and/or the arrest and conviction of those responsible. The U.S. Internal Revenue Service website is back up and running after a Tax Day glitch that prompted the U.S. government to give Americans a day's grace to file. The IRS hasn't explained what halted parts of the site for much of Tuesday, except to say it wasn't a cyberattack.