Homeland Security

June 21, 2016
By George I. Seffers

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) started a pilot program last week at Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport to collect biometrics on passengers leaving the country. This marks the first time the United States has collected such information. A CBP official said the government released a request for information last night and hopes to release a request for proposals next year.

May 25, 2016
By George I. Seffers
Project iVe has its roots in a previous Department of Homeland Security and Berla Corporation program known as Blackthorn, which focused on gathering data from navigation devices such as Garmin, TomTom and Magellan.

U.S. Department of Homeland Security researchers are pursuing possible partnerships—both domestically and internationally—to continue developing a toolkit that provides access to the digital data stored by cars used in crimes, including terrorist acts.

May 26, 2016
By Sandra Jontz
ISS Global’s Dfuze software platform incorporates many data elements so law enforcement can log information from crime scenes such as the Boston Marathon bombing in April 2013.

Emerging surveillance technology seems ripped from tech-noir thrillers such as 2002's Minority Report, in which police jail would-be murderers before any violence actually has occurred. Just thinking about crimes gets people in trouble. While the predictive nature of today’s analytic tools might not have reached the same levels as in the futuristic action film, the technologies employed to defend the homeland are pretty close.

May 17, 2016
By Katie Helwig

AFCEA International's annual Homeland Security Conference takes place June 21 and 22 at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center in Washington, D.C., with small business interests well represented during the event.

Experts will be on hand to address year’s theme: “Securing the Nation—Solving Technology and Human Capital Challenges: People, Partners and Priorities.” Sending one representative will not be enough to maximize its value in growing your business.

February 25, 2016
By Sandra Jontz
A screengrab of an interactive Esri story map uses imagery and maps to plot the migration of Syrians to Europe. Courtesy Esri via Twitter

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) granted greater access to some of its Web-based infrastructure geospatial information, a move that facilitates collaboration between agencies and gives the public greater access to data, officials said.

DHS opened 275 geospatial datasets, half of the agency’s offerings through the ArcGIS Online program that manages the Homeland Infrastructure Foundation-Level Data (HIFLD) collection, David Alexander, a geospatial information officer at DHS, said during the Esri FedGIS conference this week in Washington, D.C.

The U.S. Department of Commerce today issued the "Public Safety Analytics R&D Roadmap," which outlines opportunities to spur innovation and improve public safety by making data more accessible and useful for police, firefighters, emergency medical services and other first responders.

April 13, 2016

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced today a partnership with the NASA Center of Excellence for Collaborative Innovation (CoECI) to develop new technology solutions through publicly crowdsourced prize competitions.  

Crowdsourcing and incentive prizes across industry have led to the successful creation of advanced technologies, such as autonomous vehicles and improved data analytics. The DHS Science and Technology (S&T) Directorate is expanding its efforts to solicit innovations like these through its partnership with NASA, according to an S&T statement

April 7, 2016

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology (S&T) Directorate announced today the implementation of a new technology to streamline and improve secure information sharing between the DHS and its partners. The Backend Attribute Exchange will simplify user identification and verification between different organizations for the Homeland Security Information Network (HSIN) by eliminating redundancies while ensuring proper security.

February 1, 2016
By George I. Seffers
The U.S. Coast Guard is increasing its presence in the Arctic region as melting ice makes the area more accessible. Researchers evaluate technologies capable of supporting the Coast Guard mission under the Arctic’s extreme conditions.

U.S. Coast Guard researchers are assessing a wide array of technologies capable of performing in the Arctic’s harsh conditions, including unmanned vehicles, satellite communications and search and rescue systems. Those that work well in this severe environment may reshape the future of maritime operations in the region.

February 5, 2016
By Sandra Jontz
Rob Kerr, chief software architect for Haystax Technologies, demonstrates a predictive analytics tool used to deliver high fidelity threat assessments for Super Bowl 50.

Maybe public safety officials in California can’t exactly call in advance the winner of Sunday’s Super Bowl match up, but they have been using fine-tuned predictive analytics to help protect the scores of people descending on the Bay Area. 

Virginia-based Haystax Technology’s scalable, cloud-based big data tools gives analysts a manageable method to make sense of hundreds of thousands of data leads from numerous sources as they work to mitigate threats.

February 8, 2016

The U.S. Coast Guard published guidance February 5 that allows mariners to use electronic charts and publications instead of paper charts, maps and publications. Combining the suite of electronic charts from the U.S. hydrographic authorities and the Electronic Charting System (ECS) standards published this past summer by the Radio Technical Commission for Maritime Services, electronic charts can provide mariners with a substitute for the traditional official paper charts. 

The Navigation and Vessel Inspection Circular, NVIC 01-16 establishes uniform guidance on what is now considered equivalent to chart and publication carriage requirements.

December 1, 2015
By Sandra Jontz
Analysts can use predictive analytics, such as Haystax Technology’s Carbon software, to counter inside threats by continuously monitoring and evaluating employees.

Since the 2009 fatal shootings of 13 people at Fort Hood by a U.S. Army major and psychiatrist and the leaks of some 750,000 classified and sensitive military documents to WikiLeaks by another soldier, the U.S. Defense Department has sought technology to give analysts an advantage in finding insider threats.

The need spread, and now federal agencies employ advanced analytics and cybersecurity solutions to protect against an ever-morphing landscape of breaches, from those outside firewalls to rogue or careless employees. One of those solutions is a product called Carbon.

January 25, 2015
By George I. Seffers

MITRE Corporation officials say they expect a rush of proposals in the final days of the non-profit organization’s Countering Unauthorized Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) Challenge. The deadline for submitting white papers is February 7.

January 7, 2016
By Sandra Jontz

Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, today announced the leaders of the Cyber Threat Intelligence Integration Center (CTIIC). Director Tonya Ugoretz will lead the center, with Maurice Bland as deputy and Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) Research Director Thomas Donahue as part of the team.

A year ago, President Obama directed Clapper to establish the CTIIC in a move to fuse intelligence collected from multiple agencies probing cyberthreats. The center serves to “connect the dots” regarding malicious foreign cyberthreats against the United States, according to an ODNI press release announcing the leaders.

December 16, 2016
Maryann Lawlor

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is now accepting proposals for its upcoming Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program for fiscal year 2016. The Science and Technology (S&T) Directorate and the Domestic Nuclear Detection Office (DNDO) jointly issued the solicitation. S&T and DNDO are seeking technical solutions from small businesses in 13 topic areas. The pre-solicitation is available online.

December 11, 2015

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) today announced its first Innovation Other Transaction Solicitation (OTS) aimed at non-traditional performers such as technology startups to offer solutions to some of the toughest threats facing DHS and the homeland security mission. Awarded through Other Transaction Solicitation HSHQDC-16-R-B0005, the first call for proposals is looking for solutions to improve situational awareness and security measures for protecting

November 16, 2015
By Sandra Jontz
Screen shot from Twitter of ISIL's reported threat of Paris-type attack on Washington, D.C.

A militant group claiming affiliation with the terrorist faction that carried out the deadly choreographed attacks in France on Friday released an alarming video Monday reportedly threatening a Paris-style attack in Washington, D.C.

In a video circulated by several news agencies, a militant clad in a camouflage flak vest vows a new round of attacks by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), singling out an attack on the U.S. capital city.

November 10, 2015
By Sandra Jontz
A service member networks with employers during the Hiring Heroes Career Fair at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California.

Hiring veterans is more than a patriotic gesture—it makes good business sense, offers Susan Fallon, vice president of global strategies and business development at Monster Government Solutions. Business leaders recognize veterans not only for their talents and work experiences, but also for their leadership skills and their adherence to discipline, teamwork, time management and respect for the hierarchy.

“It’s good for employers and good for veterans, who are a tremendously talented and a proven work force—the kind of folks you want in your companies,” Fallon says.

September 28, 2015
By George I. Seffers
To determine facial examiners' skills in matching whether faces in two images are the same person, researchers pushed the boundaries by adding inverted images and photos with backgrounds to the standard face-matching of closely cropped head shots.

Trained forensics examiners from the FBI and law enforcement agencies worldwide were far more accurate in identifying faces in photographs than nonexperts and even computers, according to a new assessment. The assessment provides “the first strong evidence that facial forensic examiners are better at face recognition than the rest of us,” Jonathon Phillips, a face recognition researcher at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), said in a written announcement.

September 14, 2015
By Sandra Jontz

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) added two cities to its Domestic Nuclear Detection Office’s (DNDO) Securing the Cities program, an effort to increase the nation’s capabilities to detect and protect against radiological and nuclear threats. Officials on Monday announced the addition of Houston and Chicago to the program.

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