Morning Security Brief: Crash Investigation, Private Sector Perks in Immigration Bill, and EU Demands Privacy Talks

By Teresa Anderson

► The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has announced that the Asiana Airlines jet that crash-landed at San Francisco International Airport was coming in at a dangerously low speed., reports The Los Angeles Times. According to Deborah Hersman, chairwoman of the NTSB, the on board flight recorders indicate that the pilot was warned four seconds before impact that the Boeing 777 was operating at a speed so low that it could not stay in the air. Information has also surfaced that the pilot of the plane, Lee Kang-kook is experienced in flying other types of aircraft but had only 43 hours of flight experience with the Boeing 777. However, Hersman warned that it is too early to make definitive conclusions about the cause of the crash and that the investigation is ongoing.

► The new immigration bill currently under debate in Congress includes $46 billion in border security measures that could benefit aerospace, technology, and security companies, reports The Los Angelese Times. For example, the bill would set aside $7.5 billion to build a 700-mile fence that would have the latest high-tech surveillance and sensors. The new 20,000 border patrol agents would be equipped with 4,595 sensors, 507, radiation detectors, and 820 pairs of night vision goggles. The new bill would also benefit the private prison industry, which would be charged with housing illegal immigrants caught crossing the border, reports The Wall Street Journal.

► The United Kingdom has scrapped talks on espionage due to begin today in Washington, D.C., reports The Guardian. Instead, discussions will be devoted to privacy and the recently disclosed National Security Agency (NSA) surveillance program. According to an article in The Guardian, the disclosure of the NSA’s program has “triggered a transatlantic crisis of confidence and threatened to derail crucial free trade talks” between the European Union and the United States. In related news, The New York Times is reporting that more than a dozen classified rulings by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISA) court have expanded U.S. government powers. In one ruling, FISA gave the government more powers under the “special needs” doctrine, which allows the government to act more broadly to address danger to the public. That case exempted government requirements to obtain warrants for searches under the Fourth Amendment. The special needs doctrine also led the FISA court to allow the collection of metadata, such as the time of phone calls and numbers dialed, by the NSA. The court ruled that the collection of such data does not violate the Fourth Amendment so long as the government has a valid reason before actually examining the contents of the phone calls.


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