News

Disease outbreak worries put pressure on US customs officers

When a deadly infectious disease like Ebola breaks out overseas, the responsibility to keep infected individuals out of the United States partly falls on customs officers with little medical training who staff long lines of travelers waiting to enter the country.

FBI tightening use of national security letters after extensive review, but typo problem persists

The FBI has made notable strides in bringing its practices around national security letters more into compliance with the law, but not when it comes to typographical errors, says a new report from the Justice Department's inspector general.

Worries mount over law enforcement using technology to disrupt protests amid Ferguson unrest

While the use of military-style tactics and equipment to quash protests in Ferguson, Mo., last week drew widespread concern about police infringing on First Amendment rights, some civil liberties advocates are increasingly concerned about software that law enforcement could potentially exploit to thwart protests as well.

Education Dept: Unaccompanied migrant children entitled to US education

The basic education rights of the tens of thousands of unaccompanied children who have migrated across the southwestern border this year are no different from those of other children in the United States, the Education Department said in guidance released last week.

Report: DHS needs to improve cyber threat data sharing with critical infrastructure sectors

A voluntary program to share cyber threat data with organizations across 16 critical infrastructure sectors has expanded over the past year. But the Homeland Security Department's watchdog recently said enrollment has been slow and the quality of information shared needs improvement.

CDC sends 'disease detectives' to Africa to stop Ebola spread, boosts US preparation

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said 55 "disease detectives" and other highly trained experts are in four West African countries, helping to stop the spread of Ebola there.

IG blames ICE for poor planning, communication in releasing 2,000-plus detainees in 2013

Poor planning, budget limitations, increased apprehensions and lack of communication with Homeland Security leaders and the White House led Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials to release more than 2,000 immigration detainees--including some criminals--in early 2013, the department's watchdog found.

CBP launches new mobile app to help travelers expedite entry into United States

Travelers to the United States will now be able to submit their passport information and customs declaration form through a new smartphone or tablet app as a way to expedite their entry process, the Customs and Border Protection agency said recently.

NNSA needs to reevalute proposed expansion of biological research labs, assess needs

The National Nuclear Security Administration should reevaluate its needs for biological research facilities as it considers expansion of such labs, the Energy Department's internal watchdog said in a recent audit.

In letter, federal judge criticizes Senate bill aimed at reforming NSA surveillance programs

A federal judge, who has served on the secret national-security court, said that certain provisions within a new Senate reform bill overhauling surveillance programs would "undermine the twin goals of protecting privacy and national security."

DHS secretary: Apprehensions at southern border have declined "considerably"

Since mid-June, the number of illegal immigrants - including scores of unaccompanied children - crossing into Texas have "gone down considerably," Homeland Secretary Jeh Johnson said Aug. 9.

White House, African nations announce security intiaitive to counter terrorism, other threats

To deal with terrorist groups, drug trafficking and other threats in Africa, the United States and six African countries recently announced a partnership to enhance security governance and capacity.

DHS offers online, open-source collaborative environment to help improve software

A new online environment to help developers and researchers test their software for security weaknesses and vulnerabilities - and improve them - is open for business, the Homeland Security Department...

CDC surging efforts to curb Ebola outbreak in Africa, contain any potential spread in US

In the U.S., the CDC said Aug. 6 that it has updated infection-prevention protocols for hospitals to treat any travelers who may have been exposed to the disease. The protocols also cover airport and airline personnel and labs handling specimens from suspected cases.

DHS selects two universities to lead new maritime research center, study potential risks

DHS's Science and Technology Directorate selected the Stevens Institute of Technology based in Hoboken, N.J., and the University of Alaska Anchorage will each receive $1 million to co-lead the Center of Excellence for Maritime Research.

IG: Space-based sensors being developed to detect nuclear detonations needs greater oversight

The Energy Department inspector general said it could not independently validate whether space-based sensors being developed to detect nuclear detonations globally will be delivered on time and on budget to the Air Force.

House OKs bills to deal with migrant children at border, goes on summer recess

The House briefly delayed its summer recess to pass two bills on Aug. 1 in response to the influx of unaccompanied minors crossing the southwestern border. Both bills appear destined to go no further.

House Intelligence Committee declassifies report on intelligence satellite cost-savings

The U.S. intelligence community could save billions of dollars in satellite costs without compromising capabilities, according to a report from the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.

Top RAND researcher: Open up border security data

Analysis of data related to border issues could illuminate the threats and challenges at the border and also help understand the effects of border security measures on trade, said Jack Riley, the vice president of RAND's national security research division.

Gulf between Republicans and union over TSA privatization still vast

Without a reliable way to compare the costs of Transportation Security Administration screeners to contractors, views on the merits of privatized airport security remained widely divergent during a House hearing July 29.