• Border PatrolTrump’s union has long history of discrimination against female Border Patrol agents

    By Robert Lee Maril

    The union representing the agents of the U.S. Border Patrol, the National Border Patrol Council (NBPC), is a direct reflection in many ways of the U.S Border Patrol’s unique institutional history and present culture. That the NBPC leadership endorsed Donald Trump during the primaries is not surprising, nor is NBPC’s continued strong support for Trump to be our next president.As I documented more than a decade ago, the Border Patrol and the NBPC are both run by masculinist and militaristic bureaucracies more self-interested in their own agendas than reflecting the needs of their employees or union membership. NBPC’s endorsement of Trump is nothing less than support from the leadership of a labor union that has always been much too busy with other issues to support their own female Border patrol agents when they are discriminated against and harassed in a hostile work environment.

  • CybersecurityShould NSA and cyber command have separate leadership?

    By Stuart Madnick

    The National Security Agency is the nation’s digital spying organization. U.S. Cyber Command is a military unit focused on cyberwarfare. Does it make sense for one person to lead them both at the same time? I believe that the NSA and Cyber Command should be under separate leadership, so each can pursue its mission with undivided focus and complete intensity. The NSA can gather intelligence. Cyber Command can defend our military networks and be ready to attack the systems of our enemies.

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  • R&DS&T selects RAND Corp. to operate new DHS research center

    DHS has selected the RAND Corporation to operate the Homeland Security Operational Analysis Center (HSOAC), which will conduct technical and operational research and analysis to aid the department. The new center is a federally funded research and development center, and is funded under a five-year contract worth as much as $494.7 million.

  • SurveillanceFrom 2012 to 2014, FBI submitted 561 Section215 applications: DOJ OIG

    The Department of Justice (DOJ) Office of the Inspector General (OIG) last week released a June 2016 report examining the FBI’s use of the investigative authority granted by Section 215 of the Patriot Act between 2012 and 2014. The report notes that from 2012 through 2014 the DOJ, on behalf of the FBI, submitted 561 Section 215 applications to the FISA Court, all of which were approved.

  • Tomorrow’s security professionalsTraining future problem solvers at DHS Centers of Excellence

    DHS Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) says that focusing on the future does not just mean focusing on the technology, research, and development. Focusing on the future also includes the specialized research and education programs at the university-based DHS Centers of Excellence (COEs). It is this approach that has led S&T’s Office of University Programs (OUP), which manages the COEs, to offer grants, internships, and summer research experiences to help undergraduate and graduate students and recent graduates gain real-world exposure to homeland security challenges both in the field and in the lab.

  • Tomorrow’s security professionalsTeaching the next generation of cybersecurity professionals

    By Nasir Memon

    In 2003, I founded Cyber Security Awareness Week (CSAW) with a group of students, with the simple goal of attracting more engineering students to our cybersecurity lab at NYU. Today, with as many as 20,000 students from around the globe participating, CSAW is the largest student-run cybersecurity event in the world. The ability quickly to adapt as new threats are perceived is a top priority for security personnel. That’s a key element of all CSAW competitions – the idea that successful cybersecurity is not limited to mastering what’s known. Rather, students and professionals alike must constantly push their abilities to intercept future threats in an ever-evolving field. The competitors in the CSAW-sponsored games and competitions, which take place in educational settings in the United States and around the world, will — not long from now — be the protectors of our most sensitive personal and national data. We need them to be prepared.

  • Psychopathology & leadershipPresidential candidates may be psychopaths – but this is not necessarily a bad thing

    Oxford University’s Dr. Kevin Dutton has spent much of his career looking at psychopaths and researching psychopathic traits, identifying those which can be of benefit and those which can lead to incarceration. He contends that being a psychopath is not an all-or-nothing affair. Instead, psychopathy is on a spectrum along which each of us has our place. In a new study, Dutton finds that Donald Trump ranks above Adolf Hitler and only just below Idi Amin, Saddam Hussein, and Henry VIII. Hillary Clinton ranks between Napoleon and Nero.

  • CybersecurityDHS S&T awards $1.3 million to small businesses for cybersecurity R&D

    DHS S&T has awarded $1.3 million to thirteen small businesses for the development of new cyber security technology. Each business was awarded approximately $100,000 in preliminary funding through the DHS S&T Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program. The SBIR proposal solicitation, released in December 2015, included four topics developed by Cyber Security Division program managers.

  • Policy makingDo think-tanks matter? Expert says “think again”

    A recently published study found that public sector workers judged studies and reports generated by scholars affiliated with universities to be more credible than reports or studies purported to be from a think-tank or advocacy group.

  • Border PatrolNew Border Patrol chief faces uphill battle to reform agency

    By Robert Lee Maril

    As the first outsider appointed to run the Border Patrol in its 92-year history, former FBI official Mark Morgan starts his new job this week as chief with a target on his back. The selection of Morgan, a career FBI official, to run the 20,000-strong force sends a clear message: The Border Patrol has a culture problem that needs to be fixed. But with just seven months left in the Obama administration, the question remains whether Morgan can right an agency in turmoil or whether his appointment is merely symbolic.

  • CBPFeds tight-lipped on weeding out corrupt border agents

    By Neena Satija

    In a video message intended for the tens of thousands of men and women working to keep drugs and people from illegally entering the United States, then-Deputy Border Patrol Chief Ron Colburn wanted to leave little doubt about the consequences for those who betrayed their mission. But whether most — or even a significant fraction of — corrupt federal border agents really are caught and punished is an open question.

  • Risk assessmentNew tool to measure homeland security risks

    DHS has a broad and complex mission, with priorities that include preparing for and responding to a range of terrorist events, natural disasters, and major accidents.Researchers have applied a tool originally developed to address risks in environmental policy, the Deliberative Method for Ranking Risk, to aid in strategic planning for security.

  • CBPAfter 4 years CBP IA disabled vet still mired in employment procedures

    By Robert Lee Maril

    Lieutenant Commander J. Gregory Richardson (retired), a decorated Naval officer with almost thirty years of military service to his country, maintains that while employed as a GS-14 Senior Security Analyst in the Integrity Programs Division (IPD) at Customs and Border Protection Internal Affairs (CBP IA), his immediate supervisors and the Senior Executive at CBP IA repeatedly ignored his multiple medical issues. The failure of these supervisors, alleges Richardson, led to a deterioration in his medical conditions until, finally, he could no longer endure the pain from which he suffered. He missed many days at work, and this absenteeism, according to documents provided, was a major reason he was fired from IPD. Since 2013 Richardson has been seeking information from CBP about any investigations or reports about him while he was an employee.

  • InnovationDHS awards $3 million in Small Business Innovation Research awards

    The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) last week announced a total of $3.1 million in competitive research awards for twenty-nine small businesses located across twelve states and Washington, D.C. Each business was awarded approximately $100,000 in preliminary funding through DHS S&T’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program. Thirty-one contracts were awarded in ten topic areas.

  • Border securityFederal border officials in El Paso accused of coercion, abuse

    By Julián Aguilar

    Federal officials stationed on the Texas-Mexico border called legal border crossers “whores” and criminals and subjected them to unwarranted searches and coercion, according to a complaint a civil liberties group submitted to the Department of Homeland Security’s inspector general Tuesday.