York security firm is the first to get Government CCTV certification

Picture - Claire Bond, Street Ranger York based Eboracum UK Ltd's use of Body Worn CCTV has been certified against the Surveillance Camera Commissioner's code of practice. Security firm Eboracum was established in 2011 and now provides a range of services in York.

These include security guarding, facilities management and community projects. The company also provide a Street Ranger service to the York Business Improvement District. Body worn CCTV has become an essential piece of equipment and is now deployed with operatives across the company.

Praised by local Police and the City Council enforcement officers, Body Worn CCTV has enabled the provision of evidence leading to successful prosecutions. Aside from prosecutions, Body Worn CCTV has also been used to deter assaults on staff, prevent crime and also inhibits aggressive behaviour. To demonstrate transparency and integral processes, the company decided to undertake voluntary certification against the Surveillance Camera Commissioner's Code of Practice.

The code of practice, issued by the UK Secretary of state is intended to ensure that individuals and wider communities have confidence that public body surveillance cameras are deployed to protect and support them, rather than spy on them. Eboracum's procedures, privacy impact assessment and processes were audited by the SSAIB (Security Systems and Alarms Inspection board). Eboracum UK has taken steps to ensure that their Body worn CCTV systems operate within a legal framework and meet the standards of the Surveillance Camera Commissioner's code of practice.

This includes data security, appropriate usage, control of records and promoting a culture of honesty. Carl Nickson, Director of Eboracum UK said

Although accreditation is voluntary, I feel that it is important to demonstrate a transparent and compliant approach to the use of CCTV. We are leading from the front as the first Security Company to achieve this accolade and I hope that others will follow.

Achieving this accreditation outlines that even small-medium businesses can put privacy, compliance and transparency at the top of the agenda.

'I would have paid to do the work I was doing'

Name: Roberto Mignone, 53, from Italy Job title: UNHCR's representative to Libya, based in neighbouring Tunisia. Years at UNHCR: Almost 25, working in Mozambique, Guatemala, Colombia, Sweden, Australia, India and Costa Rica, then at headquarters in Geneva, as part of a team responding to emergencies worldwide.

Why did you become an aid worker? I was a backpacking through Asia, and I met Karen refugee children from Myanmar in a village in northern Thailand. I was giving them sweets and I was thinking 'I hope, one day, I can come back with something better.' That's when I knew I wanted to work in this field.

The Karen were the first displaced indigenous people I met. But since joining UNHCR in 1993, I have worked with other indigenous people in Guatemala, Panama, Colombia, Costa Rica and the Philippines. Working with them has become my priority and favourite area of work, because they are particularly vulnerable, and they are disproportionately affected by conflict.

You have no doubt that they need protection.

  • 'I would have paid to do the work I was doing'

    As UNHCR's Principal Emergency Coordinator, Roberto Mignone walks through a camp for earthquake survivors in Portoviejo, Ecuador in April 2016. (C) UNHCR/Santiago Arcos Veintimilla

  • 'I would have paid to do the work I was doing'

    Currently UNHCR's Representative to Libya, Roberto Mignone is interviewed at the UN Refugee Agency's headquarters in Geneva in December 2017. (C) UNHCR/Susan Hopper

What is the most rewarding/challenging thing about your job? Being the representative in Libya is the most challenging job I've ever had. Our access to Libya is very, very limited.

Because of security restrictions we can only send one person at a time from our base in Tunis to get into Libya. Then there is all the paraphernalia to move around. You need two armed vehicles, you need two armed close protection from diplomatic police, which is very paralyzing.

So this is one huge challenge which implies remote management of our national team there. There is more than one government. The one we are working with is in Tripoli, then other authorities around the country.

We don't have a memorandum of understanding, but our presence is tolerated. If I could change one thing, it would be being able to work from there. More than six years of violent upheaval in Libya began with the uprising that removed ruler Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.

We work with half a million people displaced within the country by conflict. These includes 200,000 displaced and 300,000 who were displaced but have recently returned, but are still in a fragile situation. Then we work with refugees in the mixed migration movement, and there, also it is very complicated, because the authorities don't recognize these people are refugees, and they don't recognize our role.

So now we have decided to evacuate thousands of refugees from Libya, because the situation is too dangerous for them. While it is a challenge, we are making progress. So far this year we have had 950 people released from these horrible detention centres.

Among them was an eight year old boy. I wrote a letter recently for another 2,280 who will be released, so to have these people taken out of detention will be pure protection work at its best. Among the cases that stand out is that of some 30 women who were enslaved by extremists in Sirte.

When the city was liberated, they were detained by Libyan authorities on the basis that they were the partners of extremists. So we had them released, then we had them resettled to a safe country. What was the best day that you had at work?

When I was in Colombia I carried out 250 missions to the deep field by horse, on foot, by small boat, going to communities in the remote jungle. One time I remember we went to the Choco region - on the Pacific coast bordering Panama. We had to take a boat for two days, across the ocean and then up a river, to where the Embera indigenous people were confined by drug traffickers.

When we reached the village, everyone ran away, because, at the time, the only people who visited them meant them harm. So we spent a few days there and, little by little, they began to trust us. We explained 'we're here to protect you, we are not the bad guys,' so they understood that.

  • 'I would have paid to do the work I was doing'

    While UNHCR's Deputy Representative in Colombia in 2009, Roberto Mignone visits an Embera village in the Choco region threatened by insecurity. (C) UNHCR/Lorena Nieto

  • 'I would have paid to do the work I was doing'

    Roberto Mignone visits with a Siona indigenous child in Colombia's southern region of Putumayo in 2008. (C) UNHCR/Marie-Helene Verney

I have a picture taken in the village.

I am sitting and a little girl is standing behind me, and she put a hand on my shoulder. It meant that even the children understood that we were there to protect them, not to harm them. That was my best day at work.

I like working in the deep field best of all. I used to think when I was in Colombia, Guatemala and Mozambique, 'are they paying me to do this?' If they had told me, 'no, we are not going to pay you anything, you have to pay,' I would have paid to do the work I was doing. What was your worst day at work?

My worst day was in Guatemala in 1995. It was during the civil war and I was working to protect Mayan refugees who had returned from Mexico to take part in the peace process. Most of those who died in the conflict - which lasted from 1960 to 1996 - were Maya killed by the military.

And we were like physical human shields between the army and the indigenous returnees. They used to alert us when soldiers entered their villages, because they were afraid of them. On this particular day, we got a call from this community told us that the army had them surrounded.

So, I drove like crazy over unpaved roads, and all the time we could hear what was happening on the radio. The soldiers were killing people. Just as we were arriving, we ran into the patrol as it was leaving.

They had just killed 11 people, including a child. It was like they were in a trance, they raised their guns and they could have shot us very easily. Then we arrived at the village, and it was like Dante's Inferno.

There were people crying, it was full of blood and bodies. Normally we have prevented these situations, by being there physically, in the middle. But that time, we came too late.

But it showed us that what we did in other villages worked. Otherwise there could have been more situations like this. The UN Refugee Agency works in 130 countries helping men, women and children driven from their homes by wars and persecution.

Our headquarters are in Geneva, but 87 per cent of our staff are based in the field, helping refugees.

This profile is one of a series highlighting our staff and their work.

Two Romanians Arrested For US Police CCTV Hack

US authorities have issued arrest warrants for two Romanian nationals, for allegedly hacking into 123 police computers linked to CCTV cameras, in Washington DC. The hack came at a hugely sensitive time for the United States, as the compromise of the surveillance cameras happened just days before President Donald Trump's inauguration. If proven, this will not be the first time that criminal gangs have targetted and utilised CCTV systems[1] for ransomware or DDoS attacks.

Two Romanians Arrested For US Police CCTV Hack

Two Arrested

The two people charged are being held in Romania, having been arrested at Bucharest Otopeni airport on 15 December. According to the US statement[2], Mihai Alexandru Isvanca, 25 is currently in custody in Romania, whereas and Eveline Cismaru, 28, is currently under house arrest pending further legal proceedings. "Both defendants are charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and conspiracy to commit various forms of computer fraud," said the US Department of Justice (DoJ).

The maximum penalty for a conspiracy to commit wire fraud is 20 years in prison. The US Secret Service was apparently notified on 12 January 2017 that a number of Metropolitan Police Department surveillance cameras had been compromised. Secret Service agents immediately investigated and found that the MPD surveillance camera computers were compromised between 9 and 12 January, 2017, with "cerber[3]" and "dharma" ransomware variants being found on the computers.

"Other evidence in the investigation revealed a scheme to distribute ransomware by email to at least 179,000 email addresses," said the DoJ. The DoJ also said that Isvanca and Cismaru participated in the ransomware scheme using the compromised MPD surveillance camera computers, along with other people. The investigation has also identified certain victims who had received the ransomware or whose servers had been accessed during the scheme.

"This case was of the highest priority due to its impact on the Secret Service's protective mission and its potential effect on the security plan for the 2017 Presidential Inauguration," said the DoJ. "In partnership with MPD's Chief Technology Office, the Secret Service and MPD quickly ensured that the surveillance camera system was secure and operational prior to the Inauguration and continued to investigate the criminal offences charged."

UK Help

The US Secret Service investigation was also apparently helped by the UK's National Crime Agency and Metropolitan Police, as well as the Netherland's National High Tech Crimes Unit and the Romanian National Police and the FBI. This is not the first time that CCTV systems have been compromised by criminal gangs. In 2016 researchers at security firm Sucuri uncovered an unusual botnet made up entirely of Internet-connected CCTV cameras[4].

That incident recalled a similar case in 2015 when a security firm found a botnet made up of 900 CCTV cameras[5] was launching an attack on an unnamed cloud services provider. Do you know all about security in 2017? Try our quiz[6]! ...[7]




  1. ^ targetted and utilised CCTV systems (www.silicon.co.uk)
  2. ^ US statement (www.justice.gov)
  3. ^ cerber (www.silicon.co.uk)
  4. ^ made up entirely of Internet-connected CCTV cameras (www.silicon.co.uk)
  5. ^ made up of 900 CCTV cameras (www.silicon.co.uk)
  6. ^ Try our quiz (www.silicon.co.uk)
  7. ^ ... (www.trustopen.net)
  8. ^ ... (www.trustopen.net)
  9. ^ ... (www.trustopen.net)