Morning Security Brief: Nationwide Emergency Alert System, Postal Service Campaign Touts Security, Body Scanners, and More

By Carlton Purvis


►The first nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System will occur Wednesday, November 9, at 2 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. Across the nation, a three and a half minute set of beeps and tones, followed by a voice repeating, “this is a test,” will be broadcast simultaneously on all regularly scheduled television, radio, cable, and satellite programs. FEMA and the FCC have worked with broadcasters for years to develop a message system that the president could use to communicate with the public in case of a national emergency. "A national test of our Emergency Alert System, with the vital communications support and involvement of participants, is a step towards ensuring that the alert and warning community is prepared to deliver critical information that can help save lives and protect property," Damon Penn, FEMA's Assistant Administrator of National Continuity Programs, said.

►The U.S. Postal Service is trying to reverse the decline in mail volume and postage sales by targeting small businesses with a new ad campaign. “A refrigerator can’t be hacked. An online virus has never attacked a corkboard. Give your customers the added security that a printed statement or receipt provides,” says the narrator in the 30-second ad. In an attempt to slow the migration of first-class mail to electronic communications, the postal service says it will stick with the advertising campaignBloomberg reports.

►TSA plans to have an independent study assess the radiation risk from body scanners. Although the radiation emitted from the machines is low, some scientists have said that it can still increase the risk of cancer. At a Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee hearing earlier this week, TSA administrator John Pistole said the agency would have an independent study done to assess the safety of the scanners. Pistole said that "the agency has already conducted several independent studies showing that the radiation is equivalent to the dose received in about three minutes of flying at typical cruising altitude,” ProPublica reported.

►In other news, undocumented immigrants often experience racial profiling and get wrongfully arrested and deported without hearings or counsel, according to a new report from the Chief Justice Earl Warren Institute on Law and Social Policy at UC Berkeley examining the Secure Communities program. ICE slammed the report saying that it was inaccurate, misleading, and failed to look at the successes of the program, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports.⇒ Olympic officials are discussing the addition of 6,000 military troops to supplement the 10,000 private security personnel planned for the 2012 Olympic Games.⇒ And a dramatic video shows a Brazilian Federal Police officer crashing his car into a plane to stop smugglers from taking off with equipment headed for the black market.



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