Morning Security Brief: New Call Database Revealed, TSA Changes, and School Security
By Ann Longmore-Etheridge
A major phone company has maintained a metadata database of U.S. phone calls. Conneticut schools continue to upgrade security after the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre. The TSA's passenger precheck continues to expand.
► According to CNN, AT&T has maintained a long-time database of the details of U.S. phone calls that is being used in federal and local investigations. The database is allegedly linked to a U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency program called the Hemisphere Project. A PowerPoint slide presentation on the program was prepared for law enforcement agencies. "The PowerPoint documents were turned over in response to a public records request made to West Coast police agencies... in Washington state," says CNN. The database allegedly contains metadata including the phone number, the location the call originated from, and how long the call lasted. Searches can reveal calls as little as an hour old.
► The Atlanta Journal-Constitution features an interview with U.S. Transportation Security Administration head John S. Pistole. "The agency is moving from what Pistole calls 'a one-size-fits all approach'— where everyone is a potential terrorist — to 'a risk-based intelligence-driven' system, where people with passive travel histories are expedited through security. This is being done through TSA PreCheck. The program began in October 2011 with Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport as one of the first four eligible gateways. PreCheck is in 40 airports now, a number expected to double by the end of year," the newspaper reports.
► A new school year is starting in Connecticut, and the Stamford Advocate discusses some of the additional security measures being put in place in schools throughout the state in reaction to last year's massacre of students and teachers at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown. "Nearly all districts, large and small, have invested heavily in security. It is a multifaceted approach that calls for more training and creating programs that reach into the community. Some districts shifted operating funds around in their budget's to cover the costs and others requested large bond packages in the new fiscal year. Most are counting on the state to chip in as well," the Advocate notes. Connecticut schools have asked for $20.8 million from a state school security grant program. The Stamford school district has asked for $2 million to upgrade CCTV, add intercoms, and other security improvements. The NewsTimes also has a piece on new school security measures being completed in Danbury, Connecticut. At some area schools, these include double buzzers, unarmed school safety officers, keycard entry for teachers and staff, panic buttons, and cameras that link to the local police department.