• Predicting race and ethnicity from irises now possible

    Conventional wisdom holds that irises, like fingerprints, are unique to each individual and have little similarities between ethnic groups or gender, but a groundbreaking new study indicates that biometric scanners can actually predict race and gender based on iris texture alone; the study’s findings are important in that it opens new avenues for research that previously were not thought possible

  • "No containment" for Texas wildfires

    Currently there is no end in sight for the wildfires that are raging out of control in central Texas, despite the best efforts of firefighters to contain the conflagrations; “There’s no containment right now,” said the director of the Texas Forest Service; high winds from Tropical Storm Lee, a severe drought, and a lack of rain have fueled the fire and made it nearly impossible to control

  • DHS awards $19 million to nonprofits for security

    On Tuesday DHS announced that it had awarded nearly $19 million to nonprofit organizations around the country that are considered to be at high risk of terrorist attack.

  • U.S. agencies are still struggling with information sharing

    It is nearly ten years since the 9/11 terrorist attacks, and U.S. intelligence agencies are still struggling to strengthen the information sharing networks that proved broken that September day; according to the latest CRS report, “there remain many institutional and procedural issues that complicate cooperation between the two sets of agencies”

  • U.K. police procurement hub goes live

    The U.K. launches a new, Amazon-style online procurement process which enables police forces to buy specified goods and services online; all forty-three U.K. police forces are expected to be using the hub by June 2012

  • Record number of immigration bills introduced in 2011

    This year state lawmakers have introduced a record number of immigration bills and resolutions according to a new report by the National Conference of State Legislatures; so far in the first half of the year, state legislators have seen 1,592 immigration bills, 16 percent more than the same time period last year

  • Congressman arrested for immigration protest

    On Tuesday a U.S. lawmaker was arrested for organizing a sit-in in front of the White House; Representative Luis Gutierrez (D-Illinois), a staunch advocate for immigration reform, led a protest outside the White House to demand that President Barack Obama stop deporting undocumented immigrants

  • Terrorist recruitment in the United States

    In a report submitted to House Homeland Security Committee hearings yesterday, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) says that since the 9/11 attacks, a growing number of American citizens and residents motivated by radical interpretations of Islam have been involved in plots and conspiracies against American interests at home and abroad

  • Cybersecurity legislation passes House Committee

    Last week new cybersecurity legislation cleared its first obstacle passing through the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee; the bill would authorize the National Science Foundation and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to establish standards across federal agencies as well as research and education

  • The TSA-Chaffetz skirmish: The latest round

    In the past ten days we have witnessed an intense legal-political skirmish between DHS and two of its staunchest critics on the Hill — Representatives Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) and Darrell Issa (R-California); at issue is information that the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) had given the subcommittee headed by Chaffetz ahead of hearings the subcommittee was to hold on airport security; Chaffetz released the information in some of these documents to the press a day before the hearings, then repeated the information in his open-to-the-public opening statement; DHS angrily charged that in revealing the information, Chaffetz had violated the law

  • DHS chastises Chaffetz for disclosing sensitive information

    Last week, DHS officials chastised Representative Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) for disclosing sensitive security information to the press; in a letter, Joseph Maher, DHS’s deputy counsel, scolded Chaffetz, the chair of the House Subcommittee on National Security, Homeland Defense, and Foreign Operations, for openly discussing “sensitive security information” provided by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA); the letter comes in response to Chaffetz’s comments last week that revealed that there have been more than 25,000 security breaches at U.S. airports since November 2001

  • Mica says TSA needs more independence from DHS

    According to Representative John Mica (R-Florida), the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) needs more independence from DHS so that it may operate more efficiently; in an interview with Bloomberg, Mica, the chairman of the House Transportation committee said, TSA should be given “the authority to whack and hack some of the bad out”

  • Mica cuts 40 percent from House transportation spending

    Last Thursday, Representative John Mica (R-Florida) unveiled the House Transportation Reauthorization bill which would allocate $230 billion to infrastructure projects over the next six years; the bill has generated fierce criticism as it would cut transportation spending for America’s roadways by nearly 40 percent

  • Lawmakers introduce raft of border security bills

    Border security continues to be a hot political issue, and lawmakers of both houses and both parties introduce a raft of new border security-related bills; the bills range from a measure to establish health care services along the U.S.-Mexico border to a proposal to educate border patrol agents about child trafficking to a bill calling for compensation to border counties for high level of undocumented aliens relying on county services

  • House introduces new biological weapons legislation

    Last Thursday lawmakers from the House Homeland Security Committee unveiled new legislation designed to help bolster federal efforts to prevent bioterror attacks and the use of other weapons of mass destruction.; under the proposed bill, a new special assistant to the president for biodefense would be created; the bill is called the “WMD Prevention and Preparedness Act of 2011” and Senator Joe Lieberman (I-Connecticut) says he plans to introduce a similar piece of legislation in the Senate soon