Morning Security Brief: Background Investigations, Immigration Stats, Phone Security, and Anti-Counterfeiting Language
Federal background investigators' handling of personal data they collect needs better oversight. Immigration enforcement claims are challenged. AT&T reportedly told by government not to buy certain phone equipment from a Chinese company. And draft of anti-counterfeiting agreement no longer has most controversial provisions.
► While the government has implemented privacy policies with regard to background investigations, it has not followed through with oversight to ensure that policies are followed, according to a Government Accountability Office (GAO) Report on the Office of Personnel Management's Federal Investigative Services Division , which handles 90 percent of all federal background investigations. The GAO calls the agency "a major steward of personal information on U.S. citizens." But, the GAO report finds, "Without oversight processes for monitoring investigators’ and customer agencies’ adherence to its PII [personally identifiable information] protection policies, OPM lacks assurance that its privacy protection measures are being properly implemented."
► The Federal for American Immigration Reform is taking issue with the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) claims about immigration enforcement progress (reported in yesterday's Morning Security Brief). DHS "Secretary Napolitano neglects to mention that while deportation of criminal aliens has risen, the total removals are roughly the same, and the number of non-criminal aliens removed has dropped substantially," writes the group in a release. It goes on to point out that "In the critical area of worksite enforcement, administrative arrests have fallen by 77 percent, criminal arrests are down 60 percent, indictments are down 64 percent, and convictions have fallen by 68 percent since 2008."
► Bloomberg is reporting that "AT&T Inc. was threatened by the U.S. National Security Agency with loss of government business if it bought equipment for a next-generation phone system from China’s Huawei Technologies Co., the Washington Post reported, citing several unidentified people with knowledge of the matter."
► The Washington Post reports that the Office of the United States Trade Representative has posted the nearly finalized text of the controversial Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), and "we can see how much of this accord has shriveled away," writes the Post's Rob Pegoraro. For example, "ACTA no longer demands that countries hold Internet providers responsible for copyright infringement committed by their subscribers."