Struggle Against Nature and Nurture

Struggle Against Nature and Nurture

I started watching The Following on Netflix.

If you haven’t seen it, the show is a portrayal of a serial killer.

This criminal has a near cult like following of people who want to kill, like him, and they do.

It is a frightening portrayal of people who murder, gruesomely.

They do it almost nonchalantly, like second nature.

They have no remorse, quite the opposite, they are deeply committed to what they do (e.g. through stabbing, burning, choking, etc.)

And they connect with each other, and the main serial killer, in their brutal acts of murder.

The show is deeply troubling in that there seems to be so many people out there who savor this, and that the authorities struggle to try to stop them.

Last year, the Wall Street Journal explored the science behind violent criminals.

They found in more than 100 studies that “about half of the variance in aggressive and anti-social behavior can be attributed to genetics.”

The study of this is called neurocriminology.

When this predisposition of genetics is combined with “early child abuse,” an individual is more prone to commit violent acts.

This is the old, “nature and nurture,” where our biological predisposition combined with our specific environmental factors, in a sense, make us who we are.

Understanding these contributors can help to both predict behavior and recidivism, and very importantly help with early treatment by “making it possible to get ahead of the problem” through therapy, medication, and so on.

People can be the worst type of animals, killing not only for food or because they are threatened, but actually for the joy of it.

The show is scary, but the reality is even more frightening as we battle heredity and environment.

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Why People Spy

Why People Spy?

There is an interesting article in the Wall Street Journal (31 May 2013) about why people spy.

The former CIA case officer, who recruited others to become traitors and wrote the article says, it comes down to MICES:

– Money: “We give you cash, and you steal secrets.”

– Ideology: The person no longer believes in their system of government or has been abused by the system.

– Conscience: Someone who is looking to atone for the crimes/sins of the system or of themselves.

– Ego: This is a person who responds to stroking of their self-esteem and sense of purpose.

– Sex: A fifth powerful motivator is sex or a relationship that may address people’s feelings of isolation or loneliness.

Thinking about the motivation for spying in terms of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, I have connected the five techniques to turn someone with their basic needs, making the Pyramid of Spying:

– Money fulfills people’s base physiological needs.

– Ideology appeals to someone who has been abused and hates the system and thus is tied to motivations for safety and security.

– Sex/relationships has to do with social needs.

– Stroking someone’s ego fulfills his/her esteem needs.

– Spying for reasons of conscience (e.g. what some would consider becoming enlightened) is driven by the need to self-actualize.

The reason that I turned the pyramid/hierarchy upside down for the motivations of why people spy is that being “turned” and becoming a traitor to one’s country is such an unnatural and abhorrent concept to normal people that they would generally not do it just for the money, revenge, or sex (lower-level needs), but rather they ultimately would need to be driven by reasons of conscience and ego (higher-level needs).

Of course, sprinkling in the money, ideology, and sex makes acting the traitor that much more appealing to some–and helps “grease the wheels” to go outside the bounds of what a normal person does and feels towards their nation–but those are not the primary drivers for committing the ultimate crime against one’s country.

Again, normal people are not motivated to be treacherous and treasonous, but given the wrong dose of motivations, people are turned–this means we know how to use the tools of the trade to our nation’s advantage, but also to be mindful and watchful of those who motivations are being acted on.

(Source Graphic: Andy Blumenthal)

Who Will Protect Those Who Protect Us?

 

This is a video that the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association (FLEOA) sent to Congress to appeal to them not to cut funding to all the activities that our law enforcement officers do for us.

 

While the functions of government can always be more efficient–and we should constantly work to achieve these–federal law enforcement is incredibly important.

 

From the FBI to the Secret Service and from Border Patrol to DEA, we need to support all our federal law enforcement efforts.

 

These agents and officers risk their lives every day for all of us, and it’s time that we stand by them to protect their mission and jobs.

>Preventing Another 9/11 and Enterprise Architecture

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From the tragic events of 9/11 came the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Protection Act, the findings of the 9/11 Commission in 2004, and the Presidential memoranda in 2005 and 2007 to better share information.

ComputerWorld Magazine, 26 May 2008, reports that “nearly seven years after 9/11, information-sharing problems that hobble law enforcement are just beginning to be solved.”

What is the information sharing problem in law enforcement?

There are “20 federal agencies and 20,000 state, county, local, and tribal enforcement organizations nationwide.” The problem is how do you get this multitude of varied law enforcement organizations to share information to identify the bad guys?

While 75% of police agencies use automated systems to manage incident report data, only 25% of those systems are capable of sharing that information.

What’s being done to fix the problem?

First (not mentioned by ComputerWorld), the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) is establishing common terrorism information sharing standards (CTISS) to drive and enable information sharing among Law Enforcement, Homeland Security, Intelligence, Military, and Diplomatic information domains.

Additionally, the Department of Justice is developing a data dictionary/schema to establish a “common vocabulary and structure for the exchange of data.” First, this took the form of the Global Justice XML Data Model (GJXDM) in 2003, and later took form in the National Information Exchange Model (NIEM) in 2005 that extended the effort from “law enforcement to other areas of justice, public safety, intelligence, homeland security, and emergency and disaster management.” (Note: Defense and the Intelligence Community have a comparable data standard initiative called U-CORE.)

This past March, DOJ and the FBI’s Criminal Justice Information Service (CJIS) division “began rolling out the National Data Exchange Initiative (N-DEx), a NIEM complaint database and data sharing network.” N-DEx provides “federated search capability across incident reports residing in state and local record management systems nationwide while allowing those records to be updated and maintained by their local owners.”

The goal is to have “the majority of the country participating” by 2009. The biggest obstacle is that many agencies’ systems have been so customized that integration is now challenging and expensive.

According to the FBI’s website, NDEx will be accessible via the internet and “includes several basic but vital capabilities, including searching and correlating incident/case report information and arrest data to help resolve entities (determining a person’s true identity despite different aliases, addresses, etc.). N-DEx will also create link analysis charts to assist in criminal investigations and identify potential terrorist activity.”

According to the NDEx brochure (available online at the FBI website), law enforcement agencies who participate in NDEX will:

  • “Sign an operational Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)
  • Identify and map incident/case data to the N-DEx Information Exchange Package Documentation (IEPD)
  • Obtain network connectivity through an existing CJIS Wide-Area Network (WAN) or connect over the Law Enforcement Online (LEO). “

The architecture concept here is summed up nicely by Linda Rosenberg, Director of the Pennsylvania Office of Criminal Justice: “Now you don’t have to go back and build these data warehouses and totally redo your entire infrastructure.”

Instead, you plug in to the NDEx and share information that’s been mapped to the common data standards. NDEx provides the target infrastructure, while NIEM provides the data exchange standards. Together, we can share information for better achieving our law enforcement mission—protecting the American people.