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January 2008


International consulting firm Deloitte carries out an annual survey of IT security at international financial institutions. Its latest report highlights management challenges at banks, insurance companies, and brokerages around the world.

    Legal Report

    Campus Security

    A federal appeals court has ruled that a university student who was sexually assaulted by a football recruit may sue the university. The court noted that several sexual assault and harassment complaints had been filed against the university’s football program but the university failed to take action.

    Employment Law

    The family of an employee who died of a heart attack while playing basketball at work is entitled to worker’s compensation. Playing basketball during breaks, while voluntary, occurred frequently and was condoned by senior managers.

      Terrorism Insurance

      A bill (H.R. 2761) that would reauthorize the government-based terrorism insurance program for ten more years has been approved by the House of Representatives. The Senate has agreed to consider the measure. It has been referred to the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee.



        A bill (H.R. 1680) that would regulate the sale and purchase of ammonium nitrate has been approved by the House of Representatives. The bill is now pending before the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee. Ammonium nitrate is a critical ingredient used in making explosives.

          Campus Security

          A bill (S. 2084) introduced by Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) to help colleges and universities improve campus safety in the wake of the Virginia Tech shooting has been approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee and is currently pending before the full Senate. The bill would establish a matching grant program to help schools purchase and install surveillance equipment and establish hotlines for reporting potentially dangerous students and situations. Grant money could also be used to secure school facilities.

            Food Safety

            A bill (H.R. 3610) introduced by Rep. John Dingell (D-MI) contains several provisions designed to increase the safety of the food supply.

            Under the bill, all importers must meet U.S. food-safety standards and they must obtain certification before they are allowed to import food. The government would also be required to establish a program through which those companies importing food into the United States could agree to increase food safety and security in exchange for an expedited inspection process. In addition, the bill would mandate that the federal government conduct research on food testing and sampling methodologies.

            In the case of a food-safety issue that poses a health risk, the government would be required to issue an immediate recall notice.

              Rail Safety

              A bill (H.R. 2095) introduced by Rep. James Oberstar (D-MN) that is designed to improve railroad safety has been approved by the House of Representatives and has been taken up by the Senate. The bill is currently pending in the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee.


                Retail Theft

                A new Arizona law (formerly S.B. 1547) establishes a state task force to investigate organized retail theft. Composed of law enforcement, public safety, and judicial professionals, the task force would investigate organized retail theft in the state and determine where the problem is most prevalent and how it can be combated.


                  Data Protection

                  California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has vetoed a new law (formerly A.B. 779) that would have required retailers to increase security in an effort to prevent identity theft. The bill would have required that retailers implement security standards established for credit card information. In addition, retailers would have been responsible for notifying consumers that their credit card information had been compromised and for replacing the cards.

                    SM Online

                    Muslim Engagement

                    Read the British government’s strategy for confronting Muslim radicalization and promoting moderate Islam in the fight against violent extremism.

                      No Fly Zone

                      Check out which airlines have been banned from entering the European Union’s airspace because of safety concerns.


                        The manager of a grocery store did not slander an employee when he told other workers that the employee had failed a drug test, a state appeals court ruled, because the statement was true.

                          Concealed Weapons

                          A federal district court struck down an Oklahoma law allowing employees to carry weapons onto the private property of their employer.

                          Border Security

                          The status of border security initiatives is reviewed in a new GAO report. The paper examines the ease with which radioactive materials might be smuggled into the United States.

                            Pandemic Preparations

                            Federal Executive Boards, which link federal and community leaders in major cities, could be a valuable asset during an influenza pandemic.

                              Piracy Rising

                              The high seas are once again experiencing a surge in the scourge of piracy, according to the International Maritime Bureau.

                                Cyberthreat Forecast

                                What are the five worst cyberthreats anticipated for 2008? Find out from Georgia Tech’s Information Security Center.


                                  A restaurant that had employees clock in 15 minutes before the start of their shift violated labor laws, a federal judge ruled, because they were not paid for those 15 minutes.

                                  Tech Spending

                                  A new survey reports that IT security spending in 2006 constituted 20 percent of an organization’s IT spending, up from 15 percent in 2005.

                                    Site to See

                                    Which IT security risks are legitimate? This month’s “Site to See” is a clearinghouse for the real dangers you may encounter surfing the Internet.

                                      Airport Screening

                                      Undercover government investigators smuggled the components for improvised explosive and incendiary devices past airport screeners last spring and summer, a GAO representative told Congress. The GAO fears these bombs could bring a plane down if detonated in mid-air.


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