• U.K. MPs have doubts about a biometrics IT system for screening students

    The Home Affairs Committee looked at the role of the National Biometric Identity Service (NBIS) in student visa applications as part of a report into migration processes; universities have already voiced their concerns that the enrollment of students will depend on the untested NBIS, and the MPs say they share this concern

  • U.S. military speeds up preparation for attack on Iran's nuclear facilities

    The Obama administration’s six-month exploration of ways short of war to persuade Iran to halt its accelerated march to the bomb has, so far, yielded nothing; these efforts, however, have allowed Iran more time and space to build more centrifuges, enrich more uranium, launch a plutonium path to the bomb, and test more sophisticated missiles; the administration can take a hint, and it is now accelerating preparations for a military attack on Iran’s nuclear weapons facilities

  • DHS wants your comments

    DHS wants concerned Americans to comment on the department’s initiatives; the department seeks comments on strategies in six categories; the deadline for comments is 9 August

  • DHS authorization bill more likely next year

    An authorization bill sets policy and spending priorities for a departmental budget; since its creation in 2003, DHS has never operated under an authorization bill — and the administration has asked Congressional committees not to mark up the FY 2010 DHS bill

  • DHS is searching for buyers for Plum Island facility

    The Plum Island Biosafety level 4 facility — the only type of research lab authorized to handle diseases that are communicable between humans and animals and for which there is no known cure — is aging; DHS has selected a Kansas site for a new, $500 million replacement; DHS is beginning to look for buyers for the Plum Island facility

  • Patent systems may discourage innovation: study

    The traditional view is that patents foster innovation. A new study suggests instead that they may hinder technological progress, economic activity, and societal wealth

  • Sweeping food safety bill passes House

    House passes new, sweeping food safety bill requiring more government inspections and imposing new penalties on those who violate the law

  • Fort Meade leads the competition for new U.S. cyber center site

    Defense Secretary Robert Gates is recommending the Defense Department create a new agency, U.S. Cyber Command, at Fort Meade, Maryland; if Fort Meade is chosen, Maryland will see the addition of as many as 50,000 government and contracting jobs, bringing in salaries of about $1.7 billion annually

  • Cyber-criminals targeting social networks

    Cyber-criminals are drawn to the wealth of personal information supplied by users of social networks

  • $7.7 million in stimulus funds for airport surveillance announced

    The stimulus package committed more than $3 billion for homeland security projects through DHS and GSA; of the $1 billion allocated to TSA for aviation security projects, $700 million is dedicated to screening checked baggage and $300 million is allocated for checkpoint explosives detection technology

  • Coast Guards interdicts smugglers' semi-submersible

    Latin American drug lords now rely on semi-submersibles to smuggle drugs into the United States; the other day, the USCG interdicts one semi-submersible in the Eastern Pacific

  • NYPD to receive stimulus money -- after Justice funds were denied

    New York City officials were livid earlier this week after the Justice Department excluded NYC from law enforcement grants it gave cities that “needed it most” (among these cities: Caribou, Maine; Greybull, Wyoming; and Bayou La Batre, Alabama); DHS will now give NYPD $35 million in federal stimulus money

  • Apple says jailbreaking may knock out transmission towers

    The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) asked the U.S. Copyright Office to instruct Apple to allow “jailbreaking ” — that is, modification of the iPhone’s software without Apple’s approval; Apple responded that modifying the iPhone’s operating system could crash a mobile phone network’s transmission towers or allow people to avoid paying for phone calls

  • Encouraging student technology start-ups

    Wolverhampton University’s program gives students the opportunity to set up their own business while they are still at university

  • Soldiers, first responders will self-power their gear

    Soldiers and first responders will soon power electronic devices such as personal radios using just their own movements