Morning Security Brief: Fort Hood Security, Body Cameras for Border Protection, Cyber Hygiene, And Kerry Talks Middle East Peace

By Mark Tarallo

► In the aftermath of Wednesday’s shooting at Fort Hood, in which a troubled Iraq war veteran killed three people and wounded 16 others before taking his own life, officials and experts examined several security issues on Thursday, the New York Times reported. Those issues included questions about how effectively military installations can keep out unauthorized guns; how prepared they are to deal with threats from within, including from soldiers or contractors intent on doing harm to others on the base; and what lessons Army officials had learned from a similar 2009 rampage. Wednesday’s gunman, Specialist Ivan Antonio Lopez, 34, went on his shooting spree in his Army uniform after sneaking a high-powered handgun onto the base, just as the 2009 gunman, Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, had done. Specialist Lopez bought his gun at the same shop near the base where the 2009 gunman bought his weapon. Each shooting started in a medical support area for troops, and each ended when the gunman confronted a female police officer rushing to the scene.

► The new head of U.S. Customs and Border Protection told a congressional panel week that he believes in the merits of body-worn video cameras for border patrol officers, but technology and privacy challenges have stood in the way of implementation, according to FierceHomelandSecurity. Gil Kerlikowske, who became CBP commissioner in March, told the House Appropriations Homeland Security Subcommittee on Wednesday that his agency is exploring the use of such cameras, but hurdles remain. The devices themselves must be able to function in all types of weather conditions, such as North Dakota winters and Arizona desert summers, and CBP has to store all the data they generate. Additionally, body-worn cameras bring privacy concerns. "Is the camera on when the [officer] is talking to a person who's the victim of domestic violence or sexual assault?" Kerlikowske said.

► The Center for Internet Security (CIS) and Council on CyberSecurity (CCS), working with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the National Governors Association (NGA) and the Governors Homeland Security Advisors Council (GHSAC), launched the Cyber Hygiene Campaign on Thursday. The Campaign makes recommendations for organizations to adopt immediate and low-cost defense measures against cyber attacks, according to Digital Journal. The measures are also connected to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Framework for Improving Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity. The Cyber is also designed to support DHS's launch of the Critical Infrastructure Cyber Community (C3) Voluntary Program--to assist owners and operators of critical infrastructure systems in using the NIST Framework to improve their network security. NIST released the Framework in February.

► Speaking in Rabat, Morocco on Friday, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry made clear that the United States' patience and involvement in Middle East peace talks are not indefinite, the Washington Post reported. “We are not going to sit there indefinitely. This is not an open-ended effort,” Kerry said. “It’s reality check time.” Kerry added that he and the White House “are going to evaluate very carefully where this is and where it might go.” The comments came after Israel announced it would not release 26 long-serving Palestinian prisoners, the final members of a group of 104 whose freedom was part of last summer’s agreement to start talks. Kerry has made 11 trips to Israel in the past year, shuttling between seemingly endless late-night negotiating sessions with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.


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