From: Homeland Security News Wire
To: Scott Jenkins,
Subject: Week in Review
Date: Sat May 03 11:03:50 MDT 2014
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Friday 2 May 2014 vol. 8 no. 102

Week in Review

Russia may launch crippling cyberattacks on U.S. in retaliation for Ukraine sanctions

U.S. officials and security experts are warning that Russian hackers may attack the computer networks of U.S. banks and critical infrastructure firms in retaliation for new sanctions by the Obama administration, imposed in response to Russia’s actions in Ukraine. Cybersecurity specialists consider Russian hackers among the best at infiltrating networks and some say that they have already inserted malicious software on computer systems in the United States.

The Troubles
Sinn Féin’s president Gerry Adams arrested over 1972 murder

Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams was arrested on Wednesday for questioning about one of the most notorious IRA murders during the Troubles. Detectives in Antrim questioned Adams about the execution of Jean McConville, a widowed mother of 10 who was dragged from her west Belfast home in 1972, tortured, and shot in the back of the head. McConville was one of the “Disappeared” – IRA victims whose bodies were buried so they would never be found -- and her body was not discovered until 2003. Adams’s arrest and questioning follows a ruling by a court in the United States which compelled Boston College to hand over to the Police Service of Northern Ireland recorded interviews with veteran IRA members about McConville’s murder.

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DHS cancels acquisition of BioWatch’s Generation 3 technology

Owing to concerns about BioWatcheffectiveness and high cost, DHS has canceled plans to install an automated technology meant to speed the 24-hour operations of the program, the nation’s system for detecting a biological attack.ASeptember 2012 GAO report estimated that annual costs to operate the Generation 3 technology would be “about four times more” than the existing BioWatch system.

Innovative U.S. cybersecurity initiative to address cyberthreats

Cyberattacks on computer networks around the world reached 1.7 billion in 2013, up from 1.6 billion in 2012. The administration’s 2012 Enhanced Cybersecurity Services(ECS) program, launched to protect the private sector from hackers by letting approved companies access classified information on cyber threats and sell cybersecurity services to critical infrastructure targets, is still in its early stages fourteen months after its launch.

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Western intelligence: Assad plans to retain residual chemical weapons capability

Israeli intelligence officials say the regime of President Bashar Assad in Syria may be concealing a small amount of the chemical weapons in its possession, while pretending that it is fully cooperating with the process to remove all chemical weapons from Syria. This assessment is similar to conclusions reached by the U.S. and U.K. intelligence communities in the past two weeks. The Israeli view is that the retention of chemicals by the Assad regime has to do with the ongoing fight against the rebels, and is not an indication that the regime is contemplating their use against Israel. A senior intelligence source also said that unlike the consensus in the intelligence community a year or two ago, the Israeli defense establishment no longer considers bringing down the regime in Damascus as necessarily positive for Israel.

DHS mulling deportation policy changes

As part of an ongoing review of immigration deportation policies, DHS secretary Jeh Johnson is considering limiting deportations of undocumented immigrants who do not have serious criminal records. If adopted, the new policy would affect tens of thousands of immigrants who could have been deported because they committed repeat immigration violations such as re-entering the country illegally after being deported, failing to follow deportation orders, or missing an immigration court date.

Homeland Security, Criminal Justice, Law & Public Policy - Master of Science Legal Studies 100% online - CALU Global Online
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One in twenty-five people sentenced to death is innocent: study

A new statistical studyreports that one in twenty-five people imprisoned under a death sentence is likely innocent. This means that at least several of the 1,320 defendants executed in the United States since 1977 were innocent. Between 1973 and 2004, 1.6 percent of those sentenced to death in the United States, or 138 prisoners, were exonerated and released because they were proven innocent. The study’s authors say the number of innocent people sentenced to death is higher than one in twenty-five, but it is difficult to identify innocent people on death row because more than 60 percent of prisoners in death penalty cases are removed from death row and resentenced to life imprisonment.O, and once that occurs, their cases no longer attract the intense reviews which the legal system provides for prisoners on death row. Most innocent defendants who have been sentenced to death have not been exonerated, and many -- including the great majority of those who have been resentenced to life in prison -- probably never will be," the authors say.

Rail security
More crude oil shipments by rail mean more accidents, but security measures lag

American rail companies have long operated under federal laws, making it difficult for local officials to gather information on cargo and how rail companies select their routes. An increase in the number of trains transporting crude oil, accompanied by a series of derailments and explosions, has highlighted the dangers of transporting hazardous substances by rail.In February, the Department of Transportation announced that railroads had voluntarily agreed to apply the same routing rules to oil trains that they currently apply to other hazardous materials. Critics say more needs to be done.

Security clearances
U.S. approves fewer security clearances

A new report by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence(ODNI) shows that the number of new security clearances provided by the federal government, both initial clearances and renewals, has decreased by 9 percent since 2011. The number of approved clearances decreased for the second consecutive year in fiscal 2013, to just over 777,000.One observer saidthe reduction is a response to a period in the mid-2000s when “basically everyone needed a clearance.”

Former DHS IG altered oversight reports, shared information

Charles Edwards, the acting DHS inspector general from 2011 through 2013, has been found to have routinely shared insider information with other department leaders, according to a new report from a the Homeland Security and Government Operations Committee published last week.

Infrastructure protection
New York public transit systems preparing for sea-level rise

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), which operates many New York state public transit lines, is beginning measures to factor for future sea-level rises within its projected five-year capital plans.Tobey Ritz, chief engineer of capital engineering at Metro-North, said: “It’s not so much for us to pick which study [of sea-level rise] is right, but to look at the entire range [of sea-level rise predictions], look at the time frames that are predicted and then consider when is the right time to act.”

Florida moves to protect coastal roads from sea level rise

Alton Road is a few blocks west of the Atlantic Ocean, and is Miami Beach’s lowest point, at 2.8 feet above sea level. Trouble is, as a result of sea level rise, inundation tide now routinely reaches 3.4 feet above sea level. Geologist have long warned of the impact sea level rise would have on Florida’s coastal infrastructure, and they view Alto Road as Ground Zero, saying that at some point in the near future, water from flooding will not recede. The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) is taking steps to protect coastal transportation infrastructure from sea level rise.

Oklahoma worries that fracking-induced earthquakes threaten the state’s bridges

Many residents in Oklahoma are questioning whether hydraulic fracking is to blame for the sudden increase in earthquakes, but for transportation officials, the security of the state’s 6,800 bridges is the immediate concern. There are 468 bridges in Oklahoma which are classified as “structurally deficient,” and most were not built with frequent earthquakes in mind. Earthquakes have become so common, however, that inspectors have had to inspect bridges several times a week.

New scanning technique may end on-board liquid restrictions

A new machine which can identify the chemical composition of liquids sealed within non-metallic containers without opening them is one of three candidates announced Monday to be in the running to win the U.K.’s premier engineering prize, the MacRobert Award. Already being deployed in sixty-five airports across Europe, this innovation can protect travelers by screening for liquid explosives and could spell the end of the ban on liquids in hand luggage.

Legion of the Rearguard - Dissident Irish Republicanism from ISBS
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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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State, Political Community and Foreign Relations in Modern and Contemporary Syria
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