Morning Security Brief: Politics at DHS, Afghan Insurgency, and Federal Cyberattacks

By Sherry Harowitz


► According to the Boston Herald, an internal review by the Department of Homeland Security found that the agency “violated both the spirit and the letter of the Freedom of Information law by applying political standards to FOIA requests over the past two years.” The paper reports that the review found a blanket policy requiring political review, and specifically, “the inspector general found that between 500 and 700 requests were diverted to senior political advisers in the department and subjected to extra screening.” The review was conducted in response to Associated Press reports about inappropriate political involvement in Freedom of Information requests.

► While officials say the weekend killings at the United Nations mission in Jalalabad, northern Afghanistan's largest city, were directed by a small band of insurgents that used a Florida minister’s Koran burning as cover, a “reconstruction of Friday's assault, based on unreleased videos, interviews with demonstrators and the U.N.’s own recounting of events, shows a more complex picture and indicates that ordinary Afghan demonstrators played a critical role in the attack,” writes the Wall Street Journal.

► “Cyber attacks against federal websites and networks increased almost 40 percent last year, according to the Department of Homeland Security's U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT),” reports the Federal Times. “Of the attacks reported last year, 12,864, or 31 percent, were classified as malicious code that infected federal networks,” writes FT. Exploits were often made public, the report adds, meaning others would now know how to replicate the attacks.

► Elsewhere in the news, the FBI provides easier access to a host of archived documents, and Wired's Danger Room looks at ongoing concerns about Pentagon efforts to find the next wikileaker.


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