Morning Security Brief: Battling Extremism Domestically, Cloud Security Registry, Gun Laws, and More

By Carlton Purvis

► The White House announced a plan to counter the threat of domestic radicalism through schools, police, and local organizations, including outreach to the Muslim community. The outline for the strategy calls on “all parts of the U.S. government, including the departments of Education and Health and Human Services, to devise ways to help communities identify extremist agendas that could lead to violence,” the L.A. Times reports.

► The Cloud Security Alliance (CSA), a nonprofit that promotes the use of best practices for providing security assurance within cloud computing, announced on Thursday the launch of the CSA Security, Trust & Assurance Registry (STAR). STAR is a free registry that documents security controls offered by different cloud security providers to allow users to assess the quality of providers that they are interested in using. The searchable registry will contain information submitted by providers on two reports – a Consensus Assessments Initiative Questionnaire, a set of 140 questions a company could expect to get from an interested cloud consumer, and a Clouds Control Matrix, a list of “security concepts and principles that are aligned to the Cloud Security Alliance guidance in 13 domains.”

► The Florida Legislature passed a law this week that requires state cities and counties to repeal any local gun laws they may have in effect. The new law also adds fines for local officials who don’t comply with the law. “The result: Local leaders have begun to comply, canceling laws that kept guns out of parks and community buildings, and taking down signs warning visitors not to bring firearms to such places,” The Miami Herald reports. The only restrictions approved by the legislature are those on concealed weapons. Private businesses, however, still get to decide if they allow guns inside or not. 

► Gun advocates including the National Rifle Association and the National Shooting Sports Foundation filed suit in Washington to try and block a law that requires the reporting of multiple sales of semi-automatic rifles in border states. The law requires dealers to report sales of two or more rifles to the same person in a five-day period. About 8,500 gun dealers would be subject to the reporting requirement, NewsDaily reports. The Obama Administration added the rule to held curb the flow of guns to Mexican cartels, but the organizations argue that it would unfairly burden gun sellers and have no effect on cartel violence.

► When the government of the United Kingdom realized that its Forensic Science Service was costing more to keep open that it was bringing in in revenue, it decided that the time had come to close it and find a less costly alternative. The FSS provides forensic services for police in the U.K., including the maintenance and creation of a National Firearms Database, a footwear detection system, and DNA analysis. Some lawmakers are criticizing the process saying there was no orderly plan for a transition to the use of private firms, forcing police departments to rush into contracts with companies who have not been fully vetted to make sure their work meets standards for quality and affordability, the Guardian reports. "This example shows that because of Government cuts and poor Home Office planning, a high quality service that provided good value for money is in danger of becoming more expensive and with less quality-assurance," one official said.

► In other news, the FAA is investigating Rupert Murdoch’s iPad-based newspaper, The Daily, for its use of helicopter drones for news gathering. ♦ And the Air Force is in the market for a new WMD detection system, Wired reports.  



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