► The European Union’s European Commission is revising its data protection rules . Arstechnica reports that “the EU wants to cover most aspects of an individual's personal data and how it can be used. For example, rules for how someone's personal information can be used in a police or criminal justice setting will be changed, as well as how citizens can securely transfer their data to places outside the EU.” Another contemplated change is one that would give individuals a right to demand that all of their personal information be purged from any Internet site. The Commission is accepting public comment through January 15, 2011.
► In an effort to remove barriers to cross-agency information-sharing, the White House has issued an executive order to establish more uniform procedures for the handling of what is called Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI). The ruling notes that presently, agencies employ their own ad hoc rules, creating a confusing patchwork that “has resulted in inconsistent marking and safeguarding of documents, led to unclear or unnecessarily restrictive dissemination policies, and created impediments to authorized information sharing.” Nothing will happen right away, however. Details regarding how a unified regime for CUI categorization will work will be developed over the coming months and years per the order. The patchwork of CUI classifications has been cited as an impediment to homeland security intelligence information-sharing and analysis efforts. (See related story on sensitive but unclassified information from Security Management archives for more background.)
► In other news, the Wall Street Journal reports that "Osama bin Laden and other al Qaeda leaders are believed to be providing strategic and philosophical guidance from Pakistan to Yemen-based al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, or AQAP, the group Washington believes was behind last week's attempt to ship bombs in packages to the U.S." And the U.S. Treasury Department has issued a release stating that it has "targeted the financial and support networks of Pakistan-based terrorist organizations Lashkar-e Tayyiba (LET) and Jaish-e Mohammed (JEM). Treasury took action against Azam Cheema, who helped train operatives for the November 2008 Mumbai attacks and was the "mastermind" behind the July 2006 Mumbai train bombings."