Morning Security Brief: Harsh Report for TSA, Police DNA Collection, College Transcripts Hacked, and More

By Carlton Purvis

►Air travel is no safer than it was before 9-11, two lawmakers said in a harsh report on TSA’s performance on Wednesday. Rep. Paul C. Broun (R-Ga.) and House Transportation Committee Chairman John L. Mica (R-Fla.) said it’s been fortunate that there haven’t been any more terrorist attacks using airliners, but it had nothing to do with TSA. The report also suggests disbanding the agency and says “TSA should set standards for airport and airline security and be open to use of private contractors to carry them out,” the Washington Post reported. Recently TSA said it has confiscated more than 1,000 firearms in luggage since January.

►The St. Louis Police Officers' Association is planning to sue to stop the police department from collecting DNA samples from officers. The association plans to ask for a restraining order to “to prevent the department from collecting any more DNA from officers and order that samples already collected be destroyed because the action is a violation of the officers' constitutional rights and their collective bargaining agreement,” the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported. The department began collecting DNA to help eliminate officers’ DNA from crime scenes. The association says it wouldn’t be against a database where officers could submit DNA on their own.

►A hacker broke into the Santa Clara University computer system to change students' grades, the school said on Monday. The changes came to light after a student reported a grade had mysteriously changed on her transcript, Wired reported. When the university couldn’t find a reason for the change, it opened an investigation and found that the grades of 60 students had been changed between June 2010 and July 2011. The FBI has questioned at least one person, but has not made any arrests.

►In other news, the man who fired at least two shots at the White House was arrested and charged with an assassination attempt on Barack Obama. ⇒ The City of Foley, Minnesota, scraps its plan to hire private security guards to provide police service. ⇒ And a New York judge unsealed the indictment against three Canadians arrested this summer for a credit card skimming operation that defrauded 1,500 ATM users out of $285,000. Using a hidden camera to record pin numbers and a covert skimming device, the men were able to steal the information for more than 1,000 debit cards over a five-day period. The men now face multiple counts of grand larceny, identity theft, burglary, scheme to defraud, and criminal possession of forgery devices.



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