Morning Security Brief: Emergency Alert System Fails, NSA Fishbowl, Employee Verification, and More

By Carlton Purvis


►Residents of Dallas County, Missouri, say they never heard the warning sirens before a tornado touched down Wednesday, destroying a mobile home park and killing one person. The nearest siren was only two miles away, but depending on the wind, “sometimes they can hear them. Sometimes they can’t,” said Jason Wendladt, the emergency management director for Dallas County. The county says it's too expensive to install warning sirens in all of the rural areas. Residents of the Scenic View Mobile Home Park say no one knew at all that a tornado was coming. One person happened to have a weather radio on and alerted the rest of the park. Several people were injured by flying debris as they tried to make their way to shelter, the Springfield News-Leader reported.

►The National Security Agency (NSA) says it has a found a suitable smartphone for storing classified information and secure communications. Margaret Salter, technical director at NSA's information assurance directorate, spoke about the "Fishbowl" project, which focuses on voice use of smartphones, at the RSA Conference this week. “Current ‘Fishbowl’ phones, as they are called, are beefed-up highly secured Motorola Android smartphones that use double-encryption for voice traffic and a unique routing scheme for 3G network traffic back to the NSA first for security purposes,” Network World reports. NSA will be posting it’s Fishbowl standard on its Web site.

►Employee verification is becoming big business in India as more firms are looking to verify job applicant information. Because of increased occurrences of applicants fudging information – fake documents and fake degrees are among the more common ways -- employers are turning to backgrounding companies. The screening industry had grown 30 to 40 percent a year in India since 2007, reports The Economic Times.

►Latin American drug cartels are trying their hand at politics, threatening politicians and even placing their own candidates, according to Organization of American States. ♦ Airline labor unions are up in arms over the possibility that the Obama administration will halve funding for a program that trains pilots on using firearms in the cockpit.♦ And ammunition and supplies are running low for Syrian rebels and they are unable to conduct offensive operations, according to a rebel commander.


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