• D.C. continues to struggle with orderly evacuations

    Last week’s earthquake that struck less than ninety miles outside of Washington, D.C. exposed the city’s continuing difficulties in effectively evacuating its residents; after the 5.9 magnitude earthquake struck the region, commuters were left stranded for hours as road traffic ground to a halt and trains became overcrowded and delayed due to speed restrictions because of the quake

  • Expert warns facial biometrics could compromise privacy

    As facial biometric technology becomes increasingly ubiquitous, IT experts warn that these systems can easily be abused and therefore require stringent privacy policies and data encryption

  • DHS announces 2011 grants, $800 million less than 2010

    Last week DHS announced that it would begin distributing more than $2.1 billion in grant money to state and local agencies for fiscal year 2011, nearly $800 million less than last year; the reduction in grant money comes as a reflection of the U.S. government’s attempts to cut spending and find cost savings

  • Texas bills government $349 million for illegal immigrants

    Earlier this month in a letter to DHS secretary Janet Napolitano, Texas governor Rick Perry blamed the federal government for failing to secure the border and requested $349 million to help cover the costs of detaining illegal immigrants; when she was governor of Arizona, Napolitano would also regularly send the Department of Justice invoices seeking reimbursements for illegal immigration-related expenses by the state of Arizona

  • TSA seeks to reduce workforce to cut costs

    In an effort to reduce the size of its workforce the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is seeking to offer early retirements to its employees

  • Detecting bioterror attacks

    About 80 percent of the U.S. population lives in the thirty largest cities in the United States; the government has deployed a secret system of biosensors to detect bioterror attacks; the location of the sensors, and the pathogens they search for, are kept secret so terrorists would not be able to tamper with the sensors or evade them (officially, even the list of cities where the system is deployed is kept secret)

  • San Jose halts gang violence, ends ICE partnership

    Two months after it began its alliance with immigration officials to crack down on gang violence, the San Jose Police Department in California announced that it was ending its partnership with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency; on 24 June, two ICE agents stepped in to help San Jose which was struggling to contain its highest murder rate in twenty years

  • U.S. makes nuclear fuel available to other countries

    The United States announced the availability of a reserve stockpile of low-enriched uranium (LEU) for use in nuclear fuel; the LEU is derived from down-blended surplus military material; the LEU will be made available to countries interested in nuclear power generation, thus making it unnecessary for these countries to develop their own uranium-enrichment technology

  • North Dakota receives $10 million for border security

    To help secure the U.S.— Canada border, North Dakota will receive more than $9.6 million in DHS grants; the funds are aimed at helping local law enforcement agencies prevent a terrorist attack, secure the border, and bolster emergency preparedness

  • Obama administration seeks hold on tough Alabama immigration law

    The Obama administration has requested a federal judge to temporarily block a tough new immigration law set to take effect in Alabama on 1 September

  • Poor oversight, cost overruns plague Coast Guard’s modernization efforts

    More than $7 billion and ten years later, the U.S. Coast Guard has only built two ships out of its original twenty-five year, $24.2 billion plan to replace its aging fleet with more than 250 new or upgraded vessels; given the service’s procurement track record, Congress is hesitant to continue funding a program plagued by cost overruns, delays, and management problems

  • Chinese TV shows cyber-attack software

    A Chinese government TV station, perhaps inadvertently, shows a government cyberattack aimed at Falun Gong computers; the video identifies the software as being written by the Electrical Engineering University of the People’s Liberation Army; the video — which has been removed from the TV station’s Web site — provides direct evidence of Chinese government involvement in cyberattacks

  • DHS awards $19 million to nonprofits for security

    On Tuesday DHS announced that it had awarded nearly $19 million to nonprofit organizations around the country that are considered to be at high risk of terrorist attack.

  • Mitigating mail-borne threats

    Mark V. Michel, the U.S and Canada business development manager of PowderSafe, a firm which specializes in developing mail processing security systems, recently spoke with Homeland Security NewsWire’s executive editor Eugene K. Chow; in the interview, Michel discusses the continued threats from mail-born substances, why even a hoax letter can still be damaging, and methods to mitigate the threat

  • Detroit police to stop responding to unverified burglar alarms

    As of Monday, 22 August, the Detroit police department will no longer respond to burglar alarms unless security companies can verify the need for an officer; the policy is aimed at reducing the number of false alarms and allowing officers more time to focus on critical duties; more than 98 percent of all burglar alarms are false alarms; critics of the new policy fear that it will exacerbate safety conditions in a city already plagued by crime and slow police response times