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Civil liberties and Privacy

After White House Breach, Public Pushes Back on the ‘Security Nation’

The recent security breach at the White House has a lot of Washington and the nation talking. Most of the White House security is understandable and defendable, but in looking at the most recent security incident and rumors of the Secret Service wanting to expand the security perimeter further, people have had enough of being cordoned off and told to step away from “the People’s House.”

One Year After Boston, Domestic Terror Threat Growing

Today marks the first anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombing. One year later, Boston is preparing for the marathon, and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev awaits trail on murder and terrorism charges. The country may be healing but the threat from domestic terrorism remains.

Homegrown Violent Extremism – Holding Up a Mirror to America

Last week, a Las Vegas couple was arrested for plotting to kidnap and kill police officers. This conspiracy to kill police officers is a case of homegrown terrorism, a growing threat to U.S. national security. When we look at the diversity of violent extremist ideologies and thousands of followers who present a threat to the United States, we are looking into a mirror.

The Cyber Elephant and How to Tame It

The Jainists of India have a parable. It is the story about the blind men feeling the elephant – each one feels something different. Watching the Federal government roll out a cyber “strategy” over the past couple of week has felt just that way. The cyber-elephant is a vast and ever-expanding body, and Washington is mucking around this way because of two basic problems. In its simplistic form, the first challenge is definitional and the second challenge is doctrinal.

Report on UC Davis Pepper Spray Incident One Sided, Impaired By Lack of Balance

Last fall, police used pepper spray during protests at the University of California-Davis, and afterwards, the Reynoso Task Force was tasked with investigating the incident and compiling a report. The lack of balance and impartiality in the Reynoso Task Force membership casts doubt onto its conclusions, some of which are valid. As a result, their report is distinctly one-sided, providing serious criticism of the police while not mentioning the roles and responsibilities of protesters and protest organizers.

Senate bill would offer temp student visas to some illegal immigrants

CQ Homeland Security A new effort from Sen. Michael Bennet would offer temporary student visas to young people brought to the country illegally as children who enroll in college.Bennet’s bill would primarily create a new green card category for graduates in science, technology, engineering and math — known as the STEM fields — that would […]

TSA Holiday Ditty: Grandma Got Molested at the Airport

Here’s hoping TSA has a sense of humor in the stressful holiday travel season.

Republican Presidential Debate Gets F for Patriot Act

The first question asked in the Republican Presidential debate last night was on the Patriot Act—and all the candidates got it wrong. The investigative authorities in the act were described as something extraordinary—something special for the needs of national security. That is just incorrect. It is stunning that a decade after 9/11 so much misinformation about the act still pervades the public debate.

The Newest Hardline Protestor Threat to Police

The newest threat to police from hardline protestors is “doxing” – the photographing of police and publishing their personal details, and sometimes that of their families, to the Internet. This tactic has been used to attempt to intimidate officers during events with protestors calling out officers’ names as they film and telling them they will be “doxed.” This tactic is an import from the hardline protest movements in Britain and should be of significant concern to police at all levels of operations and command, although it does have a very simple remedy.

Moral Equivalence – Really?!?

Over the last few weeks, events have led people with interesting points of view to make claims of moral equivalence between actions in and by the United States and actions by others. The first is between the killing of Anwar al-Awlaki by a U.S. drone strike and the planned assassination of the Saudi Arabian Ambassador to the U.S. by agents of Iran. How can any reasonable person suggest that since the United States took out Awlaki, we have no business criticizing Iran for plotting to kill the Saudi Ambassador? Let’s make accurate comparisons and proper analyses as we evaluate events here and abroad.