• Tensions arise over White House reorganization plan

    President Obama plans to merge the staffs of the White House National Security Council and Homeland Security Council — while stipulating that John Brennan, his homeland security adviser, will still be reporting directly to the president; tensions rise

  • Hardin, Montana, wants to take in Guantanamo prisoners

    Hardin, Montana (pop. 4,300) had a problem: it invested $27 million in a 464-bed modern prison facility which is standing empty; the city council offered to use it to house Guantanamo prisoners; Montana’s congressional delegation objects

  • ABI Research: DHS a "potential goldmine" for wireless kit providers

    Obama’s stimulus package earmarks $6.8 billion for wireless communications upgrades and new deployments; the health care and education market will receive some of it, but the real money is in selling wireless equipment to DHS and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), a new ABI Research report says

  • U.S. Air Force uncomfortable with the idea of a pilotless bomber

    Secretary of Defense Robert Gates said he is considering making the next-generation long-range bomber a pilotless aircraft; USAF chief begs to differ, saying “We would have to think seriously” about having a nuclear-delivery aircraft without a pilot

  • IG: TSA's financial data jeopardized by lax controls

    Inspector General reports finds that TSA’s financial statements are vulnerable to tampering; TSA does not review computer accounts to ensure people who have left the agency are locked out, and does not check the privileges associated with each active account regularly to ensure that level of access remains necessary

  • Scientists unsure how Tasers work

    There is a growing interest in nonlethal weapon, and Taser stun devices are among the most heavily used — and researched — nonlethal systems; scientists are still unsure how, exactly, these devices achieve their stunning effect

  • U.S. will create cybersecurity czar

    President Obama is set to name a cyber security czar; announcement to be timed with the release of the administration’s much-anticipated cybersecurity review; the czar would have two bosses — the national security adviser and the White House economic adviser — in order to strike a balance between homeland security and economic concerns

  • Seismographs accurately detected North Korea's nuclear test

    In 1998 the U.S. Senate rejected the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) partly owing to fears that countries could cheat by claiming that small covert weapons tests were earthquakes; the quick and accurate detection of the North Korean test shows that the currently deployed system of sensors works

  • Staffs of White House's national security, homeland security merge

    President Obama has announced the merging of the White House’s Homeland Security and National Security Council staffs; John Brennan, the president’s homeland security adviser, will still report directly to the president — but the staff merger effectively takes away Brennan’s own staff

  • Opposition growing to LNG project near Baltimore

    Virginia-based gas company AES wants to build a liquefied natural gas terminal in eastern Baltimore County; the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission placed 169 conditions, mostly related to safety and environment, on its approval of the project; residents in the neighboring communities say the company is far from meeting these conditions

  • Court: use of GPS to track criminals requires warrant

    The New York State’s supreme court ruled that the police cannot use GPS to track a criminal suspect without a warrant; majority decision said: “the use of these powerful devices presents a significant and, to our minds, unacceptable risk of abuse”

  • New security measures on passenger planes may hurt cherries growers

    About a quarter of the cherries grown in Washington state — some 1.3 million 20-pound boxes — are flown in the cargo hull of passenger planes to Pacific Rim countries like Japan and Korea; growers of highly perishable crops like cherries worry that a new requirement that all cargo on U.S. passenger flights undergo a security scan could create lengthy delays, leaving crops to rot in hangars as they await inspection

  • France opens naval base in the Gulf

    President Nicolas Sarkozy today opens the first French military base in the Gulf; France is eying multi-billion dollar deals for nuclear reactors and sophisticated weapons for countries in the region

  • Wanted: high school hackers, crackers, and other digital deviants

    The Pentagon is looking for a few good high-school hackers; in an effort to counter sustained Chinese and Russian hacking of U.S. government and industry networks, the Pentagon is launching a new military-funded program aimed at leveraging an untapped resource: the U.S. population of geeky high school and college students

  • GAO: U.S. government agencies weak on cybersecurity

    GAO reports says that 23 out of 24 major U.S. government agencies have weak cybersecurity programs, potentially placing sensitive data at risk to exposure