• "Absent individualized suspicion": DHS "search at will" policy violates the Fourth Amendment

    Customs agents can now instruct you to log on to your laptop so they can read your e-mails and personal files and examine which Web sites you have visited; they can make a copy of your hard drive, and of any other storage device, so the government can comb through the contents more leisurely; this contents, without your knowledge, may be shared with any other government agency; it can be kept in perpetuity; the same applies to your BlackBerry, iPhone, and other digital devices; customs agents can do all that, according to DHS policy, “absent individualized suspicion”; a law professor says the government’s substitution of “search at will” for “reasonable suspicion” is a flagrant violation of the Fourth Amendment

  • Victims of food-poisoning on Hill in support of S. 510

    Food safety debate intensifies as food-borne illness victims lobby for stronger food laws; new bill, S. 510s would increase FDA inspections of food processing plants, especially of high-risk facilities, require imports to meet U.S. safety standards, establish science-based minimum safety standards for growing fresh produce, and give the agency mandatory recall authority

  • Congress allocates funds for planning Kansas biolab

    Congress allocates $32 million for planning and design of the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility in Manhattan, Kansas; the money for construction of the 520,000-square-foot lab and the transferring of research equipment from Plum Island, New York — about $915 million — will be released only if security concerns are satisfactorily addressed

  • Trust for America's Health calls on Senate to reform U.S. food safety

    Approximately 76 million Americans — one in 4 — are sickened by food-borne diseases each year. Of these, an estimated 325,000 are hospitalized and 5,000 die. Medical costs and lost productivity due to food-borne illnesses in the United States are estimated to cost $44 billion annually

  • New DARPA director seeks to deepen relations with universities

    Under the Bush administration, the relationship between DARPA, the Pentagon’s research arm, and leading U.S. universities became strained; the new director has embarked on a tour of university campuses to re-energize the government-academia cooperation in defense research

  • Packing heat may backfire

    New study finds that people who carried guns were 4.5 times as likely to be shot and 4.2 times as likely to get killed compared with unarmed citizens; the authors of the study say it is not clear why this is the case, but suggest that it may be the case that guns give a sense of empowerment that causes carriers to overreact in tense situations, or encourages them to visit neighborhoods they probably should not

  • 25 years to Oregon salmonella bioterrorism

    The 1984 Oregon outbreak of Salmonella enterica Typhimurium sickened 751 people and sent 45 to hospitals; the attack was launched by a mystical cult which tried to take over the remote Oregon county

  • Large new dam construction moving ahead in California

    Environmental studies are due out today on a $409 million project to replace Calaveras Dam, a 210-foot-high structure east of Milpitas in the remote, oak-studded hills along the border between Santa Clara and Alameda counties

  • Port Manatee receives $1 million for security

    Tampa Bay-area port receives stimulus package funds to improve port security

  • Panelists call for more investment in anti-piracy technology

    Experts on a panel at the International Maritime Museum of Hamburg call for more investment in anti-piracy technology, and for greater coordination among trading nations to address the threat of piracy

  • Bomb hidden in body in Saudi attack "invisible" to normal detection

    A terrorist in Saudi Arabia tried to kill the Saudi antiterror chief by carrying explosives inside his body; experts say there are “tremendous implications for airport security with the potential of making it even more complicated to get on to your plane”

  • How far should government go to make the Web secure?

    If hackers take over a nuclear plant’s control system, should the president order the computer networks shut down? If there is a terrorist attack, should the government knock users off other computer networks to ensure that critical systems stay online? Should the government be able to dictate who companies can hire and what they must do to secure the networks that affect Americans’ daily life?

  • Kansas City International Airport again to receive stimulus dollars

    Kansas City International Airport will receive a $9.3 million stimulus package grant for new and enhanced closed circuit television systems; the airport’s new inline baggage screening system is already completed so it was not eligible for funding

  • OSI Systems gets a $25 million deal from TSA

    OSI Systems receives $25 million from TSA for advanced imaging technology; the order is placed under the terms of its recently awarded, $173 million contract with TSA

  • DHS, FBI worried about home-grown terrorists

    The risk of al-Qaeda has not disappeared, but in a testimony on the Hill, Napolitano and Mueller say that the United States is facing an increased risk from home-grown terrorists and radicalized immigrants