• FTC to examine cloud computing privacy concerns

    The FTC says it wants to examine potential threats to consumer privacy and data security posed by cloud computing services; David Vladeck, director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection: “The ability of cloud computing services to collect and centrally store increasing amounts of consumer data, combined with the ease with which such centrally stored data may be shared with others, create a risk that larger amounts of data may be used by entities in ways not originally intended or understood by consumers”

  • China offers Internet pirates bulletproof havens for illegal file sharing

    Most bulletproof hosts which allow music, video, and software to be illegally shared online are located in China, where criminals are able to take advantage of low costs and legal loopholes to avoid prosecution; despite officials in Beijing talking in tough terms about computer crime — hacking potentially carries a death sentence in China — the authorities rarely cooperate with other countries to take action against hi-tech criminals; as a result, just a handful of firms in China are responsible for hosting thousands of criminal enterprises online; one example: more than 22,000 Web sites which sent pharmaceutical spam were hosted by six bulletproof servers in China

  • Solid Oak sues China, Lenovo for stealing Green Dam code

    The Chinese government wanted to install a Green Dam around the computers used by Chinese – officially for the purpose of preventing the spread of pornography and other unseemly digital contents; the plan was abandoned after it became clear that the true purpose was to control the spread of political contents and help the government better monitor political dissent; U.S. software security firm charges that in the process of creating the dam, the Chinese government and Chinese companies – but also several non-Chinese companies which stood to gain from participating in the scheme — stole its code; it mow demands $2.2 billion in compensation

  • Boston mayor wants to block Yemeni tankers from Boston Harbor

    Yemen is disintegrating, and jihadists are moving in; the mayor of Boston says it is unsafe to allow tankers delivering liquefied natural gas from Yemen into Boston Harbor; “They cannot be coming into a harbor like Boston, where there is less than 50 feet between the tankers and residential areas,’ the mayor says of Yemeni tankers’

  • Holiday cheer from – and for – those on the frontline

    Tech. Sgt. Nathan Gallahan posts holiday greetings from Afghanistan; what do U.S. soldiers carry with them in the war zone? “The only possessions these soldiers had were what they could carry on their back and holiday cards from school children from across our beautiful nation”

  • Delays in delivery of bunker-busting weapons to U.S. Air Force

    The 14-ton steel pencil – aka God’s Rods — is the ideal weapon for destroying Iran’s underground nuclear weapons facilities; marrying the bunker-busting ordnance to the bat-winged B-2 Spirit Stealth bomber would mean a smaller strike force and fewer casualties in the event of a military action against Iran; it is reported that there are delays in delivering the bombs

  • India, Israel discuss counter-terrorism, intelligence sharing, arms delivery

    India and Israel both face Islamic militants and nuclear-armed, or would-be nuclear armed, adversaries; the defense and intelligence cooperation between the two countries has been steadily growing, and is now in the open

  • 46 out of 56 U.S. states and territories not in compliance with REAL ID

    The original deadline for compliance with the Real ID Act was May 2008; 56 U.S. states and territories were not in compliance as of that date, so DHS extended the deadline to 1 January 2010; as the deadline approached, DHS realized that 46 of the 56 states and territories were not in compliance, so the deadline has been extended yet again, to April 2011; as of October 2009, 25 states have approved either resolutions or binding legislation not to participate in the program

  • DoD bill will fund biological attack sensors

    The $636 billion Defense bill will send money to Michigan for bioterror research; $1.6 million will go to Dexter Research Center in Dexter, Michigan, to continue its development of a security sensor meant to protect military installations from chemical and biological attacks; Kettering University in Flint, Michigan will receive $1.6 million to help DoD with its Chemical Agent Fate Program

  • Maine to receive more than $3 million to aid bioterror research

    Research institutions in Maine will receive more than $3 million for bioterrorism research; a grant of $1.9 million will go to Orono Spectral Solutions to continue its development of an infrared detection system for chemical and biological agents; another $1.3 million will be set aside for Sensor Research & Development in Orono, for real time test monitoring of chemical agents, chemical agent stimulants and toxic industrial chemicals

  • Obama administration makes stopping nuclear terror key goal

    The administration, in its February 2010 Nuclear Posture Review, will declare that stopping nuclear terrorism is its central aim on the nuclear front; countering nuclear terrorists — whether armed with rudimentary bombs, stolen warheads, or devices surreptitiously supplied by a hostile state – will become a task equal to the traditional mission of deterring a strike by major powers or emerging nuclear adversaries; shift in nuclear emphasis would mean devoting less money to modernizing bombers, missiles, and submarines, and more to surveillance satellites, reconnaissance planes, and undercover agents

  • Digital Sandbox launches risk analysis initiative for Hampton Roads, central Virginia

    Infrastructure catalog is essential first step in risk management strategy; Digital Sandbox will identify and catalog potential natural hazards and terrorist threats as well as critical infrastructure and key resources throughout the area.

  • Interim U.K. CCTV regulator is appointed

    The U.K. government appointment of an interim CCTV regulator in an effort to improve the public’s power in regards to the technology; the regulator will advise the government on matters surrounding the use of CCTV in public places, including the need for a regulatory framework.

  • DHS investigates counterfeit operation

    DHS suspects that there is a connection between the sale of counterfeit clothing and funding of terrorist actitivites; the Fresno police raids a clothing store in Fresno, California, and confiscated half a million dollars worth of phony designer jeans, T-shirts, handbags,
    and shoes.

  • Senator Cochran’s earmark savvy benefits Mississippi biodefense center

    Republican Senator Thad Cochran of Mississippi is famous for his support of federal earmarks and regularly ranks near the top among senators for the number and size of his annual earmark haul; on Sunday the Senate passed a $1.1 trillion omnibus federal spending bill for the 2010 fiscal year, and Cochran managed to insert $150 million worth of earmarks for Mississippi; among the beneficiaries is Jackson State University’s National Center for Biodefense Communications, which conducts research and compiles data on bioterrorism threats to agriculture, and which is slated to receive $750,000 through the bill