From: Homeland Security News Wire
To: Scott Jenkins,
Subject: U.S.: Nigeria's military can't rescue girls | Encrypted e-mail growth | Nuke waste safety
Date: Wed May 21 11:05:47 MDT 2014
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Wednesday 21 May 2014 vol. 8 no. 117

In Today's Issue

African security
U.S. officials: Nigerian military too corrupt, inept to defeat Islamists, rescue girls

U.S. officials have been unusually frank – and unusually public -- in their assessment of the competence and effectiveness of the Nigerian military. The officials presented their analysis last Thursday, when they were questioned by lawmakers about whether the Nigerian military was capable of rescuing – or even locating – the more than 260 girls abducted by Boko Haram last month. U.S. military and intelligence officials said that even with international help, the Nigerian military was too corrupt and too incompetent to play a meaningful role in rescuing the girls. “We’re now looking at a military force that’s, quite frankly, becoming afraid to even engage,” Alice Friend, the Pentagon’s principal director for African affairs, said of the Nigerian military. “The Nigerian military has the same challenges with corruption that every other institution in Nigeria does. Much of the funding that goes to the Nigerian military is skimmed off the top, if you will.” There is another obstacle to U.S. military help to Nigeria: Friend told lawmakers that finding Nigerian army units which have not been involved in gross violations of human rights has been a “persistent and very troubling limitation” on American efforts to work with the Nigerian military.

Snowden revelations spur a surge in encrypted e-mail services

The Edward Snowden revelations about National Security Agency(N.S.A) surveillance programs have fueled a surge of new e-mail encryption services. "A lot of people were upset with those revelations, and that coalesced into this effort," said the co-developer of a new encrypted e-mail service which launched last Friday. The company notes that its servers are based in Switzerland, making it more difficult for U.S. law enforcement to reach them.

Radiation risks
Cesium chloride blood irradiators increase dirty bomb risk

Federal officials want to halt the use of blood irradiators used by hospitals and blood centers to ensure that blood is properly treated before transfusions occur. The irradiation devices contain cesium chloride, a highly radioactive powder which terrorists could use to make a dirty bomb. A 2008 reportby the National Academy of Sciences recommended stopping the licensing of new cesium chloride radiation sources, thereby encouraging the adoption of alternative sources with a less dispersible form of radioactive cesium, including cobalt-60 or X-ray irradiators.

Nuclear waste
Safety of nuclear waste storage questioned

The aftermath of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings, and the Chernobyl accident, offers proof that high doses of radiation can have pernicious effects on plant and animal life. The largest human-made radiation risk, however, lies in nuclear waste stored near reactors or in underground repositories like the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant(WIPP) in Carlsbad, New Mexico.

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Wireless camera network offers new possibilities for security systems

Advances in computer technology are opening up new possibilities for surveillance cameras and environmental video monitoring systems. A graduate engineering student used off-the-shelf components to build a prototype device for a solar-powered wireless network of smart cameras with potential applications in security systems and wildlife monitoring.

Researchers crack supposedly impregnable encryption algorithm in two hours

Without cryptography, no one would dare to type their credit card number on the Internet. Security systems developed to protect the communication privacy between the seller and the buyer are the prime targets for hackers of all kinds, hence making it necessary for encryption algorithms to be regularly strengthened. A protocol based on "discrete logarithms," deemed as one of the candidates for the Internet’s future security systems, was decrypted by École polytechnique fédérale de Lausann (EPFL) researchers. Allegedly tamper-proof, it could only stand up to the school machines’ decryption attempts for two hours.

Homeland Security, Criminal Justice, Law & Public Policy - Master of Science Legal Studies 100% online - CALU Global Online
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The Big One
The next Bay Area’s Big One may be a cluster of major quakes

A cluster of closely timed earthquakes over 100 years in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries released as much accumulated stress on San Francisco Bay Area's major faults as the Great 1906 San Francisco earthquake, suggesting two possible scenarios for the next "Big One" for the region, according to new research. "The plates are moving," the study’s co-author said. "The stress is re-accumulating, and all of these faults have to catch up. How are they going to catch up?"

Also noted

Dramatic increase in MERS cases since March | Italy may build UAV school | DOJ's charges against China reframe security, surveillance debate | Bill would give DHS special hiring authority for cyber professionals | Homeland Security: Hackers break into utility's control system | The legacy of America's nuclear power plants -- spent fuel and no place to put it | With hacking case, U.S. hopes fade that China can play by "rules"

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Homeland Security, Criminal Justice, Law & Public Policy - Master of Science Legal Studies 100% online - CALU Global Online
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Progress and Modernity in Arab Societies
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