• Aussies to create private-public partnership to strengthen infrastructure

    The Australian federal government has established a $20 billion Building Australia Fund to help finance critical infrastructure projects; trouble is, the country’s tender process is erratic and complicated; new measure aims to correct this

  • Kiwis plan for critical infrastructure investment

    New Zealand’s government plans massive increase in investment in infrastructure; Finance Minister Michael Cullen: “We will deliver more investment…. You will be hearing a lot more about infrastructure from the Labor-led government in the months ahead”

  • Nuclear fuel cycle echnology R&D, $15 million awarded

    U.S. Department of Energy awards funding ranging in value from $200,000 to $2,000,000 to 34 organizations to do reasearch into spent fuel separations technology, advanced nuclear fuel development, fast burner reactors, and advanced transmutation systems, advanced fuel cycle systems analysis, advanced computing and simulation, safeguards, and advanced waste forms

  • Report calls for long-term homeland security capacity

    The U.S. homeland security effort should be long-term in nature and less dependent on the political vagaries of the annual budgeting process; security efforts will be more sustainable if they are “dual use” and offer broader societal benefits beyond just security

  • DHS prepares for attack during transition

    Elaine Duke, DHS’s undersecretary for management: “A lot of acts of terror take place in times of political change, and there’s an awareness of that…. So we’re looking at — when our political employees leave — who acts in their place … in case of an incident”

  • Microchips in e-passports easily forged

    Dutch researcher uses his own software, a publicly available programming code, a £40 card reader, and two £10 RFID chips to clone and manipulate two passport chips to a point at which they were ready to be planted inside fake or stolen paper passports; the altered chips were then passed as genuine by passport reader software used by the UN agency that sets standards for e-passports; the researcher took less than an hour to alter the chips

  • Calls for tougher debit card regulation

    On Tuesday the Justice Department announced the indictment of eleven people for stealing and selling more than 40 million credit card and debit card numbers; watchgroups say this is evidence, if one were needed, that federal laws governing debit cards should be tougher — and more uniform

  • Backed against the wall

    The very term “having one’s back against the wall” implies that one is in a tight spot; this is not necessarily the case, as the wall may often be used as a tool or weapon allowing the individual being attacked to defend himself and gain control of the situation

  • New DNA sequencing techniques convince FBI of Ivins's culpability

    Since 2001 techniques for sequencing microbial DNA have vastly improved and there has been a massive effort to sequence more anthrax samples

  • IG says delays in bioterrorism lab threatened D.C.'s capabilities

    Washington, D.C. took ownership of the 5,285-square-foot Biosafety Level 3 lab, in which dangerous pathogens such as anthrax, tuberculosis, typhus, and yellow fever can be quickly analyzed; trouble is, the project is nine years behind schedule

  • New Mexico's new driver's license

    The state’s new licenses are several steps closer to what the Patriot Act will require in the way of approved identification

  • FEMA's still struggles with IT security issues

    DHS’s IG reports that “These issues collectively limit FEMA’s ability to ensure that critical financial and operational data is maintained in a manner to ensure confidentiality, integrity and availability”

  • Bullet-tagging technology to help combat crime

    U.K. researchers develop new bullet-tagging technology: tags are applied to gun cartridges by being embedded in cartridge coatings made from polylactic acid, sucrose ester, and tetrahydrofuran; the tags attach themselves to the hands or gloves of anyone handling the cartridge, but a portion of the tag remains on the cartridge even after it has been fired, making it possible to make a definite link between a cartridge fired during a crime and whoever handled it

  • Battle rages over Baltimore port security

    Congress mandates that port security equipment purchased with DHS grants must be produced in the United States; DHS argues that if better equipment is produced by non-U.S. company, it should be allowed to buy it; the debate intensifies

  • 2001 anthrax attacks chief suspect kills himself

    Bruce Ivins, the FBI’s chief suspect in the 2001 anthrax attacks — after the previous main suspect, Steven Hatfill, has been exonerated — commits suicide; scientist kills himself after being told that the government was about to file criminal charges against him