• ASIS International awards Florida school Selects money for security

    Orlando, Florida, Palmetto Elementary School is located in one of the city’s highest crime areas; the school has won a $20,000 from ASIS International for security enhancements; the money will be used for the addition of both indoor and outdoor surveillance cameras to act as both a deterrent for potential wrongdoers and to enable the school’s security team to identify those who have committed crimes on the school’s large campus

  • Senators concerned about terrorists entering U.S.

    U.S. lawmakers have lingering concerns about the ability for terrorists to enter the country following last week’s Senate hearing that investigated how two Iraqi nationals with terrorist ties were able to enter the United States and live in Bowling Green, Kentucky for several years; A Government Accountability Report (GAO), released on the same day as the hearing, found four critical gaps in preventing terrorists from entering the United States

  • Bill to allow DHS to seize authority over U.S. coastlines

    The House is currently considering a bill that would cede control of America’s coastlines to DHS; under the proposed National Security and Federal Lands Protection Act, the Secretary of the Interior would forfeit authority of all public coast lands to the Secretary of Homeland Security, whenever the DHS chief sees fit

  • Mica says TSA needs more independence from DHS

    According to Representative John Mica (R-Florida), the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) needs more independence from DHS so that it may operate more efficiently; in an interview with Bloomberg, Mica, the chairman of the House Transportation committee said, TSA should be given “the authority to whack and hack some of the bad out”

  • Troubled radiation screening program gets additional $300 million

    The Advanced Spectroscopic Portal (ASP) procurement program has hit another snag in its short-lived, yet troubled life; a recent unreleased Government Accountability Office (GAO) found that DHS plans to spend more than $300 million dollars to purchase several hundred ASPs, radiation detection equipment, that has not been fully tested and may not even work at all

  • Judge orders DHS to clarify whether Secure Communities is mandatory

    On Monday, a New York judge ordered federal immigration officials to provide clarification on whether or not states and local law enforcement agencies had the ability to opt out of the controversial Secure Communities immigration enforcement program; the judge’s ruling comes as part of a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit launched by several immigration and legal rights groups

  • Texas gets second UAV

    Border agents in south Texas will be getting additional help thanks to the deployment of a second unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) in the area; currently there are four UAVs deployed along the U.S.-Mexico border and three of them are based in Arizona; the second drone is expected to arrive later this year or in the early part of next year.

  • Boston threatens to withdraw from Secure Communities

    On Monday Boston mayor Thomas M. Menino announced that he will withdraw the city from the controversial Secure Communities program unless changes are made; Boston was among the first cities in the United States to test the program in 2006, but now Mayor Menino is one of the many growing voices that have taken aim at the Secure Communities program

  • Ground Zero mosque clears legal hurdle

    Last Friday, a federal judge dismissed a lawsuit attempting to block the construction of a mosque near Ground Zero in lower Manhattan; the mosque would be built in a building which once housed the Burlington Coat Factory located two blocks from site of the World Trade Center; the mosque may have cleared its legal hurdles, but before it can begin construction the developer’s must also overcome some large financial hurdles; an estimated $100 million is needed to complete the project, and the money has not yet been raised

  • Five years on: Israel-Hezbollah 2006 war

    Five years ago today, a war broke out between Israel and Hezbollah after Hezbollah fighters made a foray into Israel, killing several soldiers and carrying the bodies of two of them back into Lebanon; despite the uneven scale of death and damage — Israel has inflicted much more damage on Hezbollah and Lebanon — the war was initially perceived as an Israeli defeat because Israel was unable to stop Hezbollah from firing rockets into Israel during the entire conflict; more recently, though, this initial conclusion has been revised somewhat, with some analysts pointing out that the Israel-Lebanese border has been quiet during the past five years — the longest period it has been so quiet; a respected Israeli military analyst says that the 2006 war was an Israeli failure — and unless Israel changes its definition regarding who the real enemy is, the next Israel-Hezbollah war will be and Israeli failure as well

  • Divorce leads to approval of GPS tracking in New Jersey

    A divorce case in New Jersey has resulted in the first time a state court has approved the use of GPS devices to track individuals; last week a New Jersey appellate court ruled against a man who sued his ex-wife for placing a GPS device in the car she and her husband shared

  • Natural enzyme can defend against terrorists' nerve agents

    Chemicals called organophosphates, found in common household insecticides, can be just as harmful to people as to insects; organophosphates could be released on an industrial scale, through an act of terror or accident, attacking the nervous system by inactivating an enzyme called acetylcholinesterase (AChE); scientists are devising drugs to treat and prevent the toxic effects of organophosphates and related chemicals

  • Can DHS seize -- and hold for months -- U.S. citizens' laptops?

    On Friday, a federal judge heard arguments in a lawsuit that challenged the government’s right to search laptops, cell phones, and other electronic devices at the border and hold them indefinitely; civil liberties groups say the policy violates a travelers’ First Amendment right to free speech and the Fourth Amendment’s protection from unreasonable search and seizure; according to the civil liberties groups, more than 6,500 travelers have been subject to such search and seizure of their electronic devices from October 2008 to June 2010

  • North Carolina jail investigated for immigration violations

    A jail in North Carolina is currently under federal investigation on charges that local law officers mistreated detainees held as part of an immigration enforcement program; the investigation comes at the request of the state’s American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) which requested that DHS officials investigate the Wake County jail based on fifty-seven complaints made by individuals detained there in 2009 and 2010; the complaints stem from the 287(g) program which allows local police officers to enforce federal immigration laws

  • Mica cuts 40 percent from House transportation spending

    Last Thursday, Representative John Mica (R-Florida) unveiled the House Transportation Reauthorization bill which would allocate $230 billion to infrastructure projects over the next six years; the bill has generated fierce criticism as it would cut transportation spending for America’s roadways by nearly 40 percent