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US, Canada officials seek to improve joint emergency response through simulations

The United States and Canada recently completed the initial phase of a cross-border, information-sharing experiment to improve responses to emergencies that might affect both nations.

Interaction with 'Ebola czar' varies, but largely beneficial, says government panel

Despite the varying level of interaction between federal homeland security and health officials with the the White House-appointed "Ebola czar," Ron Klain has improved coordination on the issue, said most testifying at a Senate hearing in which Klain was absent.

Secret Service taking steps to improve training, communication amid missteps, acting director says

The new acting director of the Secret Service recently told congressional lawmakers that he's addressing communications failures and gaps in training that allowed a White House fence jumper in September to get as far as the East Room of the mansion.

Nearly 18,000 people died in terrorist attacks in 2013, new global report shows

In 2013, nearly 18,000 people around the world were killed in terrorist attacks, a 61-percent increase from the prior year, according to the recently published annual Global Terrorism Index report. Most of the terrorist incidents were concentrated in only a handful of countries – Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nigeria and Syria – collectively accounting for nearly 15,000, or 82 percent, of the fatalities.

DHS needs to improve FOIA processing, cost reporting, congressional investigators say

Although the Homeland Security Department pledged three years ago to steadily reduce backlogged Freedom of Information Act requests, the number has risen even higher, congressional investigators said.

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FierceMobileGovernment

On the heels of action by Google and Apple, yet another mobile messaging technology is expanding its use of encryption to protect user information – a move that has drawn criticism from law enforcement agencies. The Facebook-owned mobile messaging platform WhatsApp is working with Open Whisper Systems to provide end-to-end encryption, according to a  blog post.

FierceGovernment

Refund fraud associated with prisoner Social Security numbers remains a problem, but the Internal Revenue Service isn't sharing that information with Congress or state and federal prison officials, a recently released Sept. 25 Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration report says. Fraudulent tax returns filed using a prisoner's social security number rose from more than 37,000 returns in 2007 to more than 137,000 in 2012, TIGTA found.