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  • Geebo 8:00 am on April 17, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Albuquerque, , , , , , , , ,   

    OfferUp user assaulted outside of police station, BBB warns of car scam, and Amazon’s board to vote on facial recognition 

    OfferUp user assaulted outside of police station, BBB warns of car scam, and Amazon's board to vote on facial recognition

    As we always say, when meeting someone for an online transaction you should always make the transaction at a local police department. It can go a long way in helping to ensure your safety. However, that was not the case for a man in Albuquerque. This man was meeting someone through OfferUp to sell a camera. The suspect posing as a buyer lured the man out of the view of the police department’s security cameras before trying to rob the man. The victim was dragged about 20 feet after the suspect drove off while holding on to the camera. If someone tries to get you away from the police station it may just be a trap.

    ***

    The Better Business Bureau of Minnesota and North Dakota is warning residents of the two states to be aware of phony car scams that are proliferating in the area. They’re reporting that there are a number of phony car dealerships who are advertising cars on craigslist for a price well below market value. The phony dealerships then ask for the money to be wired to them before cutting off all contact with the victim. When buying a car online from a dealership, always do a web search to make sure such a dealership exists and money should never be wired for a transaction under any circumstance. It’s too easy for scammers to make off with your money while remaining anonymous.

    ***

    Previously, we’ve discussed how high-ranking Amazon employees have called Amazon’s environmental practices into question. Now it seems that shareholders are also getting ready to decide on another one of Amazon’s business practices. Next month the board will vote on whether or not Amazon should ban the sale of their facial recognition software called Rekognition to governments and governmental agencies. We’ve posted before about how a number of civil liberty groups complained about Amazon trying to sell Rekognition to police departments as the tool could be easily used to violate civil rights. Combine Rekognition with all the Amazon Echoes in people’s homes and Jeff Bezos’ ownership in the Washington Post and you could see how some board members may view this all as a privacy overreach on Amazon’s part.

     
  • Geebo 8:00 am on April 4, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Albuquerque, , , Officer Daniel Webster   

    Another police death linked to Armslist 

    Another police death linked to Armslist

    Previously, when we’ve discussed Armslist, better known as the craigslist of guns, we’ve talked about two different police shootings. One happened in Boston that left the officer with considerable medical issues, and the other one that happened in Chicago resulted in the death of a police commander. Now the controversial online firearms marketplace is back in the news linked again to the death of another police officer. The controversy surrounding Armslist is that the guns sold through their platform fall under a loophole in the law that doesn’t require any kind of background check between a private seller and a buyer. In too many cases, not even an ID is asked for. This loophole is known as the gun show loophole since it first allowed private sellers at gun shows to sell their firearms without having to conduct a background check.

    An unfortunate incident occurred in Albuquerque, New Mexico in 2015 when Police Officer Daniel Webster was shot by an assailant who had purchased the murder weapon through Armslist illegally. During the trial, the seller of the gun testified that the gun in question was supposed to be recalled since it had a problem of occasionally firing when dropped. Instead of turning the gun in the seller decided to make some money instead. He sold it to a man who contacted the seller through Armslist. The sale took place in a restaurant parking lot and the buyer claimed he had no ID on him. An ID is supposed to be required to sell a gun privately in order to trace the gun if needed. Instead, the seller allowed the buyer to just write any name down on a bill of sale. The accused gunman used an alias on the bill of sale and walked away with the firearm. The gunman was also a previously convicted felon who was banned by law from owning a gun.

    Armslist doesn’t help matters when they use what we call the ‘Backpage defense’. Armslist contends that they’re well within their First Amendment rights to facilitate the sale of guns between private citizens and also try hiding behind the Communications Decency Act of 1996. Much like Backpage tried to defend their profiting off of human trafficking as free speech. While Armslist doesn’t physically sell firearms to people, they do very little to discourage the illegal sale of firearms outside of making users click on a button that says they’re over 18 and they’re legally able to purchase a gun. That’s not exactly what should be called reasonable steps to help prevent illegal gun sales. That seems to be enough for Armslist through as they continue to make money off of the blood of shooting victims which includes fallen police officers.

     
  • Geebo 10:04 am on February 13, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Albuquerque, , , , , motels   

    Trafficking victim sues Backpage and motel where she was trafficked 

    Trafficking victim sues Backpage and motel where she was trafficked

    As we have stated in the past, just because Backpage is gone that doesn’t mean that the damage they’ve done to their victims has magically disappeared. Many of the victims of Backpage sex trafficking have had to deal with both physical and psychological damage done to them by their traffickers who Backpage helped facilitate. To that end, a number of lawsuits have been filed against Backpage seeking damages for the suffering Backpage allegedly had a hand in creating. One lawsuit recently filed even seeks damages against the motel where the victim was trafficked through Backpage. This is not the first of such lawsuits.

    In this instance, the victim is suing a motel in Albuquerque, New Mexico along with Backpage. The unidentified victim is alleging that not only did Backpage actively edit their ads to remove any reference to the trafficking of underage girls, but the motel “had a duty to exercise reasonable care in discovering that the danger of human trafficking.” The victim, in this case, was 17 when a man claiming to be her boyfriend prostituted her through Backpage at the motel in question.

    The attorneys for the victim state that…

    …the motel failed to properly train staff to look for signs of human trafficking, failed to prevent traffickers from renting a room and didn’t install security devices that could have helped deter or identify human traffickers.

    While there are many motel and hotel chains that are trained in recognizing the signs of human trafficking there are many more who either aren’t trained or just don’t care. I’m sure we can all think of a motel in our own areas that are used primarily for such purposes. Lawsuits like these should be a lesson for other motels to put an end to this practice whether the victims were trafficked online or not.

     
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