INFORMATION

Site Map - Government

Maritime security

- A temporary final rule issued by the U.S. Coast Guard reclassifies certain chemicals as dangerous cargo. The rule also sets out two options for vessels to submit electronic notices of arrival--a provision required under federal law. The rule took effect on September 17 and is valid through March 20, 2006. Meanwhile, the Coast Guard is accepting comments for a final rule to be issued in the future. Comments must be received by November 16, 2004. For more details visit SM Online.

Maritime security

- Fed Ex likes to say that it runs the tightest ship in the shipping business. It's the Coast Guard's mandate to run the tightest ship in the ship business, however, and to that end it is developing an automatic identification system (AIS) to monitor ships traveling to and through U.S. waters. A GAO review shows various challenges, such as whether local port authorities are willing to pay for some of the cost of the infrastructure needed to make it work.

Information sharing.

- Adding to the many experts speaking out on how to improve intelligence and information sharing, David M. Walker, Comptroller General of the United States, recently testified before the House Committee on Government Reform that Congress must closely oversee government reorganization of the intelligence community. Congress should also reexamine its committee structure in light of the reorganization of homeland security duties in the executive branch, Walker testified , echoing a key recommendation of the 9-1l Commission.

Intelligence program

- Congress moves ahead on intelligence reform bills

A Shocking State of IT Security

- Throwing money at information security has never been a particularly effective way of preventing or solving IT problems. Indeed, the Department of Energy (DOE) is finding that throwing $2.7 billion (the amount estimated for fiscal year 2004) at its computer security issues may not do the job

FTC Fights Spam With Carrot and Stick

- The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has been at the forefront of efforts to contain the onslaught of spam that still plagues e-mail in-boxes across the world. Most of its efforts have relied on using legal action as a stick. Now it's trying the carrot as well.

Healthy Body, Healthy Networks

- The National Science Foundation (NSF) recently announced 33 new projects through its Cyber Trust program, which promotes research into more secure computer systems.

A Web of Intelligence Networks

- Getting government agencies to share security information means first identifying the networks involved. A congressional briefing by the Government Accountability Office identified nine agencies and 34 networks that support homeland security functions (two of these networks are still under development). The briefing outlines each network and gives examples of how they might work together for counterterrorism efforts. Information Technology: Major Federal Networks That Support Homeland Security Functions is available via SM Online.

Better Controls for Contractors

- Before contract employees can enter the U.S. Coast Guard headquarters, they must be fingerprinted and pass a rigorous screening process.

FTC Fights Spam With Carrot and Stick

- The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has been at the forefront of efforts to contain the onslaught of spam that still plagues e-mail in-boxes across the world. Most of its efforts have relied on using legal action as a stick. Now it's trying the carrot as well. The report first notes that it is still too early to assess the effectiveness of the law, which has been in effect for slightly less than a year. There are some "significant hurdles" facing the FTC in these cases, according to the report: identifying the source of spam, developing enough evidence to hold a person liable for spam, and obtaining monetary rewards (the theoretical maximum civil penalties are typically mitigated by factors such as the defendant's ability to pay, for example). Read A CAN-SPAM Informant Reward System: A Report to Congress report.

State Perspective - Massachusetts

- Interview with Juliette N. Kayyem, Massachusetts' undersecretary of public safety for homeland security.

Nuclear security

- While the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has bolstered security at nuclear plants since 9-11, the GAO cannot yet say whether each plant "has taken reasonable and appropriate steps to address the new design-basis threat," which establishes the maximum terrorist threat that a facility must defend against. Security plans reviewed by GAO lacked "important site-specific information," including where responding guards were to be stationed. Moreover, the GAO noted that the NRC isn't sharing with plants lessons learned from inspections at those plants.

Identity theft.

- FTC addresses the appropriate proof of identity needed by consumers to block identity theft.
 




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