• Lawmakers charge FEMA ignored evidence about trailers' health risks

    Lawmakers charge FEMA with manipulating scientific data about the potential danger posed by a toxic gas emitted in trailers still housing tens of thousands of survivors of hurricanes Katrina and Rita; more than 40,000 trailers are still being used by families displaced by Katrina in August 2005 and Rita weeks later

  • New direction charted for wartime contracting

    Government watchdog organizations say the cost of the war in Iraq has ballooned, in part, because of the dearth of trained acquisition professionals assigned to the theater and the failure of federal agencies to establish a uniform set of procurement policy guidelines

  • Fingerprint scanning pulled from Valley schools

    Arizona school district began to fingerprint students without notifying parents, or asking for the parents’ permission; the parents rebelled, the State Senate is discussing a bill to outlaw such fingerprinting, and the school district retreated: Fingerprinting will stop, and the fingerprint database will be deleted

  • NSA, other spy agencies enlisted in effort to address cyber vulnerability

    Prepare for another heated NSA-domestic spying debate: The Bush administration issues secret directive on 8 January — informally known as the “cyber initiative” — expanding the intelligence community’s role in monitoring Internet traffic; the goal is to protect against a rising number of attacks on federal agencies’ computer systems

  • U.S. school bus system vulnerable to attack

    Billions of dollars have been invested in shoring up security for ports, railways, motor coaches, and air travel — but practically nothing has been done to improve security of buses carrying millions of children every day to and from school; President Bush gave TSA a year to develop a national assessment of school bus security, but TSA has yet to develop such a plan

  • GAO critical of DOE's handling of Russian nuclear scientists program

    In 1994, the U.S. Department of Energy established the Initiatives for Proliferation Prevention (IPP) program to engage former Soviet weapons scientists in nonmilitary work in the short term and create private sector jobs for these scientists in the long term; GAO finds problems in how the program was managed, and questions accuracy of reported achievements

  • OMB wants privacy review details in FISMA reports

    U.S. government agencies will have to provide more details about the privacy reviews they conduct as part of annual reporting in compliance with FISMA

  • FBI takes biometrics database proposal to U.K.

    FBI, U.K. National Policing Improvement Agency in talks over the U.K. joining the FBI’s ambitious Server in the Sky database project; new database, in which the FBI plans to invest some $1 billion, will track down the world’s most wanted criminals and terrorists

  • New York City wants feds to install more bioterror sensors

    New York City wants more bioterror sensors installed on city streets; DHS, which funds 90 percent of the program, says it is willing to install a few of the units now, at a cost of $100,000 each, but that it would rather wait for new, improved sensors before paying for a city-wide roll out

  • Intensifying search for solutions to food safety problem

    Solutions to the food safety problem fall into two broad categories: government-mandated reforms and reforms generated by the food industry itself; the three major recommendations for government action: Creating a food-supervision superagency; giving the FDA mandatory food recall authority; and tightening supervision of imported food

  • Global patent explosion threatens patent regulatory system

    Global hunger for inventions and new technologies sparks an explosion in patent applications, threatening to swamp the system responsible for dealing with them; another problem: Massive, systematic Chinese campaign, encouraged by the Chinese government, to steal Western trade secrets and violate intellectual property rules

  • Generation ID: Worries about kiddyprinting

    There is Generation X and Generation Y; now there is Generation ID: Thousands of children across the U.K. have had their fingerprints and DNA taken without explicit informed parental consent; children — and privacy — advocates say this is dangerous

  • FBI asks U.K., other countries to participate in U.S. terror database

    The FBI’s Server in the Sky project would allow countries to search and swap biometric data on some of the world’s most wanted criminals; project is similar to the EU’s Prüm Treaty

  • FBI in a $1 billion effort to build world's largest biometric database

    FBI servers occupy an underground facility the size of two football fields; the organization’s database now contains 55 million digital prints; the plan is not only to increase this number, but also add palm patterns, iris patterns, face shapes, scars, and data on people’s voices and walking patterns

  • Top 10 overseas security trends for the U.S. private sector in 2007

    Advisory group says theft of trade secrets (did somebody say China?), cyber attacks, and home-grown radicalism were among the major 2007 threats to U.S. businesses operating abroad — and that 2008 will see intensification of these threats