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// by Homeland Security Today

Let’s get a grip on alerts

Since February 2003, the national alert level has cycled from yellow to orange five times, and we can expect this pattern to continue in the future. While the color alert system has been mocked in the press, no one has offered a reasonable alternative.

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// by Homeland Security Today

Dude, where’s my grant?

Everyone knows that federal money is slow in coming but no one was sure exactly where the bottleneck lay. A pair of official studies looked at the problem—and revealed some surprising answers.

 

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// by Homeland Security Today

Building a better nose

It was on the Seattle to Banbridge Island ferry that I first got an idea of the magnitude of the challenge facing border security officers. One day in April, a Washington State Patrol trooper surveyed the holding area where dozens of cars waited to board the ferry. He was about to walk his bomb-sniffing dog by the cars in an attempt to screen some of the 12 million or so vehicles that use the Washington ferry system annually.

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Tom Richey, Microsoft Corp.

Director, Homeland Security, Microsoft Corp.

Redmond has been quiet for a longtime.Microsoft, the Redmond, Wash., software giant that powered the“new economy” of the 1990s, that defined personal computing, whoseoperating system runs roughly 90 percent of all computers in homes andoffices around the world, has been very quiet when it comes to homelandsecurity.

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// by Homeland Security Today

The Trauma in America’s Trauma Care

In the event of a terrorist attack, America’s emergency healthcare network would constitute the front line—but it’s facing an attack of its own; one that’s quieter and more gradual, but in many ways just as deadly.

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// by Homeland Security Today

Hackers for Profit

The person breaking into your computer isn’t just doing it for fun anymore—now viruses are becoming big business.

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// by Homeland Security Today

Setting Up the System

Since its inception, contractors have wondered how the Department of Homeland Security would purchase the tools of its trade. Now the chief DHS procurement officer gives some insight into the system, its requirements and the future of the Department’s purchasing.

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// by Homeland Security Today

The State Defense Forces

Never heard of the state defense forces? You’re not alone, neither have millions of Americans. One Army officer, however, shows how they can fill a critical gap.

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// by Homeland Security Today

Proximity’s Price

In Oklahoma City and Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, terrorists got just close enough to their targets to do terrible damage. Since then officials have tried to learn from the experience—but can they implement the lessons fast enough?

 

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// by Homeland Security Today

Rail security: Embryonic and in need of money

Long before the Madrid train bombings that killed 190 people and injured 1,500 on March 11, American counterterrorists whose job is to imagine the most Tom Clancy-like attacks, agreed that Washington, DC’s underground Metro was vulnerable not just to conventional bombings, but to elaborate attacks that could decimate the city’s expansive mass transit system.



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// by Homeland Security Today

Security holes in aerial advertising

Despite the good intentions of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), the agency is hampering the security of aerial advertising operations, General Accounting Office (GAO) auditors told Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge in a March 5 report, Aviation Security: Factors Could Limit the Effectiveness of the Transportation Security Administration’s Efforts to Secure Aerial Advertising Operations (http://www. gao.gov/atext/ d04499r.txt).


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// by Homeland Security Today

First responder grant standards, streamlining get congressional attention

Long-simmering issues regarding federal first responder grants and funding are beginning to boil on Capitol Hill. Lawmakers are frustrated over the amount of funding available for state and local governments, how funds are dispersed and whether cities will be reimbursed for costs when the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) raises the threat level.


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Give local government the tools for homeland security

The ultimate goal of homeland security is to prevent terrorist attacks—and should an attack occur, to minimize injuries, loss of life and property damage. If homeland security strategies fail in these goals, the results can be dramatic and catastrophic. The work of homeland security involves a complex partnership between federal, state and local governments.

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State homeland security grants: What constitutes pass-through?

Applications for the 2004 State Homeland Security grants, administered by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), were due to DHS by November 30, 2003. As most first responders probably know by now, the states are required to pass through 80 percent of these funds to the local level. What you may not know is what exactly “pass-through” means, and what the implications are of your state’s pass-through approach on your ability to seek and obtain funds from the program.

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// by Homeland Security Today

Don’t Call Us DARPA

DHS’ research chief—and his agency—are trying to carve out their own identities

Dr. David Bolka has a bone to pick with folks who confuse his shop with DARPA.



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// by Homeland Security Today

Spreading a new safety net

An experiment now being conducted in Tennessee could mean greater security for the entire country.

A network of sensors being deployed across the state of Tennessee could prove to be the forerunner of a national defense system alerting authorities to the first signs of a bioterrorism attack.

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Smiths Industries: Explosive growth in a volatile field

A pioneer in homeland security, UK-based Smiths Industries has developed an innovative approach of growing in the homeland security field through an aggressive acquisition drive in the United States and Europe and through careful selection of key growth areas such as a new screening system to detect anthrax in the mail.

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