The Department of Homeland Security’s Non-Cooperative Biometrics Program will evaluate cutting-edge technologies, such as facial recognition and tattoo identification, and integrate them into current investigation tools. The program specifically focuses on technologies to aid in the fight against child exploitation, but because those are some of the most technologically challenging cases, the program has implications for other missions as well.
To help government and industry connect, network and learn about requirements and solutions, SIGNAL Media offers Event eNews websites for several major AFCEA International events that feature near real-time coverage as well as daily wrap-ups of speakers and panel discussions. The sites offer attendees the opportunity to follow along or see what they may have missed, and global security professionals who could not attend a conference stay abreast of the discussions that take place there. In addition, Twitter feeds and content comment sections can foster continued conversations well after events come to a close.
Notwithstanding the public rhetoric about the value of the public-private partnership and collaboration with the private sector, the reality is the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) instead has moved to disenfranchise its long-standing engagement with many of the private sector owners and operators of the nation’s critical infrastructure.
A recent study indicates the communities of microbes found in and on the human body can be used to identify individuals, much like fingerprints and other biometric data. The discovery could lead to a new form of biometrics supporting the identification of criminals and enhancing personalized medicine.
In less than four months, we will mark another anniversary of September 11. It may not be an especially notable anniversary—as would the 15th or the 20th—but it nonetheless can provide an opportunity to assess where the United States and its people stand roughly midway through the second decade of homeland security.
First of all, let us acknowledge that “homeland” remains a euphemism for “domestic.” September 2001 forced us to accept that we no longer could defend U.S. interests only at a distance, but instead we must defend our territory within our territory in ways we have not needed to do for a century. Realistic or not, this remains an unpleasant development for Americans to accept.
The Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS's) Science and Technology (S&T) Directorate today announced the winners of the S&T’s first innovation prize competition: The Vreeland Institute Inc., Copake, New York, and Certa Cito LLC, Rochester, New York. The competition, “Indoor Tracking of the Next Generation First Responder” focused on the challenge of keeping track of first responders when they are inside buildings, tunnels and other structures.
The good news: There's no such thing as a killer sun flare that could destroy Earth. But annual losses due to power outages throughout the United States caused by solar storms are estimated at more than $100 billion, officials say. Engineers from several government agencies and industry partners have teamed up to explore solutions to better predict, and thus mitigate, adverse impacts solar storms have on power grids.
The Small Business Administration (SBA) could not fully determine federal agencies’ compliance with spending requirements on programs established to stimulate small business grow and development because most federal agencies surveyed submitted incorrect data, according to a Congressional investigative report.
The Government Accountability Office (GAO), an independent investigative arm of the U.S. Congress, found the SBA cannot fully determine if all 11 agencies analyzed met spending requirements for fiscal 2013, citing that nine of the 11 participating agencies failed to follow SBA’s guidance on submitting data on total extramural research and development obligations, the office reported.
As nations teeter on varying threatening precipices of instability around the world posed by terrorist aggressions in the Middle East, tensions on the Korean peninsula and continuing piracy issues off of the Eastern shores of African nations, the list of threats in the United States is no shorter or less worrisome.
We all appreciate and value the opportunities to hear from government. The AFCEA Homeland Security Conference afforded industry and government officials alike the chance to talk and share ideas. One topic of conversation piqued my interest that I think will resonate with both industry and government.
AFCEA Homeland Security Conference and Expo Online Show Daily: Day 2
Quote of the Day:
"Standards are like toothbrushes: Everyone has one and no one wants to use someone else's."
—Dan Cotter, director of interoperability and compatibility with the DHS's science and technology First Responders Group
Look out social media aficionados—the FBI could be watching your every post. Well, maybe not every one, and maybe not of everyone. But as social media has become a recruitment tool for terrorists, the popular public platforms have become a new hub for law enforcement as they ramp use of automation technology to scour for actionable intelligence.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) has announced its first business accelerator program, EMERGE!, aimed at entrepreneurs who have innovative ideas that address the unique needs of the homeland security community and whose wearable technologies could be adapted for first responder operations.
Cybersecurity is one of the critical homeland security priorities, along with the threats posed in the varying domains of aviation, border security and maritime, said Alejandro Mayorkas, deputy secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). On top of those concerns, add unrest from around the world that poses a threat to national security. As such, securing the nation means the U.S. government simply cannot do it alone.
Enter private industry to the homeland security stage, Mayorkas said Tuesday during the Homeland Security Conference in Washington, D.C.
Knowing the cybersecurity threat might be half the battle toward mitigating problems, but the popular push and mounting trend toward increased information sharing, particularly between industry and the federal government, is not the be all and end all, according to one security expert.
The U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday ended its stalemate and voted to fund the Department of Homeland Security though the end of the fiscal year in September. The vote means the department avoids a shutdown and the furloughing of staff members.
Lawmakers voted 257-167, with most Republicans voting against the bill. The Senate had passed its version of a clean bill last week. President Barack Obama is expected to sign it.
At issue was a mostly Republican-led disagreement over the White House’s controversial immigration order to grant temporary work permits to an estimated five million immigrants who entered the United States illegally. The bill passed Tuesday carries no immigration provisions.
The next big cyber attack likely will strike critical infrastructure assets in the United States, which could bring the world’s remaining superpower to its knees, according to cybersecurity experts. This would constitute a crippling assault against national assets such as power facilities, transportation networks, nuclear plants or the drinking water supply, these experts warn.
Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson voiced a hesitant optimism Thursday that U.S. Congress will come together to fully fund the department before tomorrow’s deadline that could shutter parts of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
Without a successful vote by Congress, at 12:01 a.m. Saturday, the DHS will begin furloughing about 30,000 employees, including most of the headquarters staff, while another 200,000 will work without pay, Johnson said during a press briefing to discuss the need for Congress to pass an appropriations bill to fully fund the department.
The U.S. Coast Guard is engaged in a major overhaul of airborne reconnaissance capabilities. Ultimately, the various aviation reconnaissance programs will allow the service to shed aging platforms, add unmanned systems, enhance interoperability, improve efficiency and perform its missions more effectively.
The Coast Guard is adding three types of manned, fixed-wing aircraft to its overall reconnaissance fleet—the HC-130J long-range surveillance aircraft and the HC-144A and C-27J, both of which are medium-range reconnaissance platforms. The service also is investigating the possibility of adding small unmanned aerial systems (UASs) in the short term and larger UASs over the long term.
In case you missed it, CBS’s newsmagazine "60 Minutes" this weekend featured a segment with Dan Kaufman, director of the Information Innovation Office (I2O) for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), who talked about the office’s efforts to outsmart hackers, sex traffickers and those seeking to do harm to the United States.
After a successful three-year logistics run in Afghanistan aiding the U.S. Marine Corps, an unmanned aerial asset may be repurposed for battles of a slightly different kind, if officials from the Department of the Interior have their way. The unmanned version of the K-MAX medium-lift helicopter, used in the war zone to ferry cargo, might find a new mission in the United States—fighting wildfires under the purview of the federal agency tasked with protecting the country’s natural resources.