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Router Wars

In the quest for greater security, a battle is brewing at the source.

Standing inside the data center, with the door locked and encircled by windowless and bare walls, I felt secure—and a bit detached—from the rest of the world. But the network manager quickly made it clear that this safety wasn’t real—at least in a virtual sense.

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Early warning

For Russian hackers, America is the land of opportunity

Threats to American cybersecurity come in many forms. While they often remain unseen to the public until a major event actually occurs, the frequency and magnitude of hacker activity is increasing as attackers become better organized, more sophisticated and focused on tangible benefits from their attacks.

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Guarding the Queen of the Mississippi

When an accident shut down Mississippi shipping, New Orleans authorities suddenly realized just how vulnerable their critical port might be—and started taking action.

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// by Homeland Security Today

Dark Lessons: Learning from the Blackout of August ’03

As soon as the lights went out, panickedthoughts turned to terror: Nearly a year ago, on Aug. 14, the powergrid collapsed. Some 50 million people from Manhattan to Detroit, alongwithsections of Canada, lost power. In New York, memories still freshof the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, residents and emergency officialsfeared the worst. What was happening? There was little news to access.After all, no one could turn on the TV or get on the Internet.Speculation was all that was left.

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Wireless Options

Responders and emergency managers can select from a broad range of wireless solutions as they seek to improve their communications. All have great advantages—and vulnerabilities.

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Politics at our peril

“Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.”

—Wendell Philips, 1852

“The price of eternal vigilance is indifference.”
— Marshall McLuhan, 1964

The price of indifference is cynicism—and that’s what we’re seeing today.

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Administration drops CAPPS II

One of the crown jewels of DHS’s proposed aviation security program, the Computer Assisted Passenger Prescreening System II (CAPPS II), imploded on July 14, apparently falling victim to the one-two punch of civil libertarians and the desire of the administration not to increase the air travel “hassle factor” in an election year.


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HAZMAT grants: A culture of cooperation

A tanker overturns on the Interstate outside a rural township; drums containing flammable chemicals are punctured in a factory; a fire at a local chemical plant requires the evacuation of nearby residents. Similar events may havehappened in your community. It’s also likely that most members of your community were unaffected or even unaware of these incidents. This is due to the planning, prevention and mitigation efforts of Local Emergency Planning Committees and the first responders who implement their policies. Since 1992, these groups have been aided through the Hazardous Materials Emergency Preparedness (HMEP) grant program, which awards funds to states, territories and tribal governments to support key training and planning activities.

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Dangerous Déjà Vu

Once again, America’s nuclear labs are in the spotlight for security breaches. But there’s a long history behind the current incidents.

 

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Brainspotting

A new brain-scanning technology could provide a key counterterrorism tool.

The latest law-enforcement tool to gain popularity aims to tap involuntary brain waves to help separate the guilty from the innocent.

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George Spohn

Assistant Vice President, Government Services, Hughes Network Solutions

For George Spohn, an awareness of homeland security came early—on April 19, 1995, to be exact.

“I was sitting in the Atlanta airport when the call came in,” Spohn remembered. At the time, Spohn was an executive at Skytel, a wireless communications and messaging company. The Alfred P. Murrah federal office building in Oklahoma City had been destroyed by a terrorist bomb, and the General Services Administration had contacted Skytel to obtain its two-way pagers. Spohn was soon on his way to Oklahoma City to oversee the distribution. “We handed out about five or six hundred units,” he said.

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Seeking Safety in the Skies

There’s no doubt that government and industry are determined to make aviation more secure—the issue now is finding the means to do it.

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Mastering the MANPADS Menace

The programs, the money and the determination are there to reduce the danger posed by man—portable antiaircraft missiles. But will the programs succeed in defeating the threat before terrorists score a success?

 

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Fatal Cruise

With the world traveling on summer holidays, the infamous takeover of the Achille Lauro holds lessons that are relevant today.

They certainly didn’t seem like a bunch of guys on a cruise.

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Travel, privacy and freedom from fear

Like millions of other Americans, I’ll be traveling this summer. I’ll be taking an international flight and then touring countries in the Eastern Mediterranean. The reservations are made, the money is paid, the arrangements were finalized long ago.

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