• Privacy advocates: fusion centers threat to civil liberties

    U.S. intelligence fusion centers — in which federal, state, and local authorities collaborate in collecting, analyzing, vetting, and disseminating intelligence to first responders on the ground in an effort to disrupt terrorist or criminal activity — have grown dramatically since 9/11: DHS now recognizes 70 such centers, and they engage 800,000 state and local law enforcement officers; privacy advocates worry

  • U.K. Tories charge government's legal dodge over Comms database debate

    The U.K. government last year revealed plans for creating a massive central database of e-mail, Web browsing, telephone, and social networking data; U.K. law mandates that such a database be approved by parliament; Tories charge that the government is using the European rules obliging data retention by ISPs — rules which come into effect today — to begin assembling this centralized system, or its prototype

  • A wave of food recalls fuels drive for food safety reform

    The FDA told consumers Monday to stop eating anything containing pistachios; the FDA was tipped off by Kraft Foods on 24 March, after the company found salmonella in routine testing and recalled some trail mix

  • Gates expects Israel to hold back on Iran -- at least in 2009

    U.S. secretary of defense Robert Gates says he does not think Israel would attack Iran’s nuclear facilities in 2009: “I guess I would say I would be surprised…if they did act this year”

  • U.S. cybersecurity law to give feds unprecedented Internet control

    Lawmakers draft legislation giving the U.S. government unprecedented authority over the U.S. critical infrastructure, including the power to shut down or limit traffic on private networks during emergencies; the legislation is intended to protect a broad range of the U.S. infrastructure — including networks for the country’s banking industry, utilities, transportation, and telecommunications — from cyber attacks

  • DARPA wants stealthy 3D building-interior mapping kit

    SWAT teams, special forces units, and first responders often are called upon to storm buildings in which terrorists hide; would it not be better if these units had up-to-date, accurate pictures of the insides of the structures they are about to storm? DARPA thinks it is a good idea

  • Full-body imaging systems deployed to airports

    Millimeter wave and backscatter technologies may be a popular alternative to searches, but privacy remains an issue

  • Sudan attack: update

    Israel used “dozens of aircraft” to destroy an Iranian arms convoy in Sudan in late January; UAVs were used for BDA (bomb damage assessment); sources: there was another Israeli attack in Sudan, in early February, and an attack on a ship in the Gulf of Aden

  • Dubious distinction: U.S. produces most cybercriminals -- and victims

    Cybercriminals defrauded victims out of an estimated $265 million, with the average victim losing about $1,000; two out of three cybercriminals — and 93 percent of victims — were Americans

  • GAO: TSA lax on U.S. security of commercial trucking, buses

    Billions of dollars have been invested in improving air travel security; critics charge that ground transportation security has been treated as an after thought; there are more than a million U.S. companies which help transport 65 percent of the daily freight across the United States; busing companies carry 775 million passengers a year, more than the airline industry; GAO says both trucks and buses operate virtually free of security restrictions

  • DHS to focus on employers in new immigration emphasis

    The new policy will aim enforcement efforts at those who hire illegal workers; DHS says immigration raids will continue

  • Chemical company wants to limit disclosure on plant explosion

    An explosion in a chemical plant in West Virginia plant killed two employees and raised fears about the safety of chemical plants located near residential areas; the plant owner, citing a terrorism-related federal law, is trying to limit what the federal chemical safety agency can disclose to the public

  • Napolitano unveils DHS efficiency review initiative

    DHS secretary Janet Napolitano unveils an efficiency review initiative that will examine ways to make the department more efficient in six areas: acquisition management, asset management, real property management, employee vetting/credentialing, hiring/on-boarding, and information technology

  • The notion that cybercrime exceeds drug trade is a myth

    The number of $1 trillion — as in “cybercrime now generates $1 trillion a year for cybercriminals” — appears to be a myth, even it if is repeated by IT security and communication companies

  • U.S. intelligence chief: Mexico not on brink of collapse

    There is a debate among different U.S. intelligent services about how close to a collapse Mexico is; Dennis Blair, director of national intelligence, says the drug cartels’ escalating violence is a product of their weakening state not their strength