News

Experts warn that using big data to predict terrorist threats won't work

Canada is considering beefing up surveillance laws to collect more information about its citizens, who travel abroad, and share it with international partners as a way to spot and prevent home-grown terrorism. But experts say there's no evidence that such methods can actually work.

New report links cyber espionage group to Russian government

A group called "APT28" that's been collecting intelligence on defense and geopolitical issues is most likely sponsored by the Russian government, according to a new report by cybersecurity firm FireEye.

CBP officer wins job back following US appeals court decision

A federal appeals court said a veteran Customs and Border Protection officer should be reinstated, after he was removed from his position for improperly possessing and disclosing federal information stemming from a 2009 incident.

Recently declassified TSA reports from 2011 said no immediate threats to freight rail, mass transit

Two recently declassified 2011 Transportation Security Administration reports containing sensitive information about threat assessments to mass transit and freight rail systems were recently posted on the open source information website Public Intelligence.

DHS's FOIA backlog nearly doubles due to record-setting, immigration-related requests

The Homeland Security Department's backlog of Freedom of Information Act requests nearly doubled in fiscal 2013 – rising to 51,761 – due to record-setting requests for immigration-related records, a recently released departmental report said.

San Francisco looks to adapt to sea-level rise, climate change impacts

With sea-level rise a top concern among many coastal cities, San Francisco officials have recently adopted a broad plan to help adapt the municipality to the new reality. Its 37-page guidance follows one released by the California State Assembly that reviewed the challenges from the impact of sea-level rise on the state and its economy.

US 'foreign fighters' could have passports revoked, but may still have right to re-enter

U.S. citizens who go overseas to fight for foreign terrorist groups may have their passports revoked by the Secretary of State, but may not be necessarily denied entry back into the country even if they don't have papers, according to a pair of Congressional Research Service reports.

 

Audit: Systems used for reporting, fixing issues at nuclear weapons plant need improvement

Systems developed to identify and correct problems at a U.S. nuclear weapons plant are generally working, but an internal Energy Department audit found certain aspects could be improved by the new contractor now managing the facility.

 

DHS IG slams Secret Service for 'serious lapse in judgment' in 2011 decision

Homeland Security Inspector General John Roth said there was a "serious lapse in judgement" when the Secret Service diverted agents from presidential protection in 2011 to check on an employee's neighborhood dispute.

GAO: State's strategy to counter hostile Iranian activities has gaps, department disagrees

The State Department has gaps in its required strategy and intelligence assessment to counter Iran's growing hostile presence and activities, the Government Accountability Office maintains in a report publicly released Oct. 21.

US customs agency signs deal with Mexican counterpart to facilitate more secure trade

The Customs and Border Protection agency and Mexico's Tax Administration Service last week signed a deal to accelerate trade across the border.

CDC issues new guidance for healthcare workers treating Ebola patients

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued new detailed guidelines to help health care workers better protect themselves when treating patients with Ebola.

Americans worried about Ebola, but confident in health officials, new survey finds

While two-thirds of Americans worry there will be more U.S. Ebola cases over the next 12 months – and nearly half fear a family member will come down with the virus – most think only a handful will emerge, adding they're confident that health officials will contain the disease, a new survey finds.

US domestic and international drug policies at odds, says Brookings panel

While the United States has conditionally tolerated the regulated use of marijuana in two states – Washington and Colorado – national drug policy is at odds with the international drug control regime, said panelists at an Oct. 17 discussion at the Brookings Institution.

California on track to complete early earthquake warning system by 2016, state senator says

Emergency officials in California say that an early warning system, which could give anywhere from 10 seconds to a minute's notice before an earthquake hits, is expected to be completed in 15 months, according to a state senator who held a hearing on the issue last week.

Pentagon forming rapid-response Ebola team to help if other US cases arise

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced that a 30-person emergency medical support team is being created to provide assistance if additional Ebola cases arise in the United States.

FBI director: Device encryption makes law enforcement, nat'l security investigations harder

FBI Director James Comey said that the public has several "misimpressions" that law enforcement and national security officials will be able to get around device encryption to capture suspected terrorists and other bad guys.

Federal appeals court rejects Arizona law denying bail for undocumented immigrants

A federal appeals court struck down an Arizona law Oct. 15 that denied bail to undocumented immigrants charged with certain serious felonies even if they're not a flight risk or dangerous.

Texas hospital, nurses union trade barbs over Ebola protocols, CDC director to testify on Hill

The Texas hospital where the first U.S. patient with Ebola, Thomas Eric Duncan, died last week and two of his nurses have since contracted the disease is pushing back against allegations from a nurses' union that the facility did not follow proper protocols in Duncan's treatment.

CBP needs to strengthen nuclear detection, interdiction capabilities, says GAO

Results from Customs and Border Protection's covert operations, which are conducted to evaluate nuclear and radiological detection and interdiction capabilities at different ports of entry, cannot be used to assess capabilities across all such U.S. locations, a congressional investigation found.