• 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

  • Food poisoning outbreaks prompt oversight efforts, II

    President Obama had an organic vegetable garden planted at the White House, and his nominees to the FDA are pushing a more aggressive approach to food safety; many are are pinning their hopes on the Food Safety Modernization Act, which would essentially split the FDA, creating a separate agency to focus on food safety

  • Parliamentary committee: 7/7 bombings might have been stopped

    A Parliamentary committee finds that MI5’s operational decisions prior to the 7/7 attacks in London were “understandable and reasonable”; MI5 had to plot leader and some of his followers in its sights, but could not connect the dots for lack of information and resources

  • Food poisoning outbreaks prompt oversight efforts, I

    In 1973, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) employed 35,000 inspectors; in 2007, the FDA employed 6,700 inspectors; at the same time, food imports into the U.S. increased exponentially

  • Schneier: no need to worry about terrorists poisoning food

    Security maven Bruce Schneier says that fears of food-based bioterrorism are exaggerated: The quantities involved for mass poisonings are too great, the nature of the food supply too vast, and the details of any plot too complicated and unpredictable to be a real threat

  • IT spending to increase on Obama's watch

    New OMB report says that IT spending will increase by 7 percent in fiscal 2010 — to $75.8 billion

  • U.K. information commissioner: data collection trend will be reversed

    Richard Thomas, the outgoing U.K. information commissioner: “If you are looking for a needle in a haystack, it does not make sense to make the haystack bigger”

  • U.S.-Pakistan cooperate in UAV campaign, but it is a qualified cooperation

    The United States offered to give Pakistan a much larger amount of imagery, including real-time video feeds and communications intercepts gleaned by remotely piloted aircraft; information about the UAVs’ operating patterns, blind spots, and takeoff and landing locations is not shared for fear that elements inside the Pakistani intelligence and military would leak it to the insurgents