A panel discussion on how the digital revolution sparked the popular uprising that ousted Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak will be held Monday, Feb. 28 at 6:30 p.m. in the National Press Club Ballroom.
Civil liberties and Privacy
February 23rd, 2011 -
We now have an Iron Triangle of Cybersecurity. At the points are security, privacy and information sharing. Each one is enabled by the other two, and each one is, at the same time, in conflict with the other two. How can we achieve the balance that we so badly need?
January 31st, 2011 - by Wendell Shingler
What is going on in this country? I see that TSA and Secretary Napolitano are being sued for doing their jobs. One-time wrestler and former-Minnesota governor Jesse Ventura has filed a law suit for screening him at airports as a violation of his Fourth Amendment rights. Funny, for a person who made a living running around without a shirt on TV and in movies, why would he be so concerned about someone screening him?
January 17th, 2011 -
A public forum will be hosted Tuesday on Capitol Hill discussing Attorney General guidelines for law enforcement domestic intelligence as it relates to homegrown radicalism. Participants include Rep. Rush Hold, Chairman of House Intelligence and Michael Isikoff, national investigative correspondent for NBC, among others.
Sheriff Dupnik’s politicization of Arizona shootings a sad day for politics, law enforcement and the pursuit of justice
January 10th, 2011 - by Chris Battle
What kind of law enforcement professional would blithely discuss possible motives about a heinous and shocking crime to the media, to national television, while the investigation was ongoing? What kind of law enforcement professional would do such things without a shred of evidence? And, most important, what kind of man would make such an incendiary, partisan and politicized charges in the midst of chaos and grief when nineteen people had been killed or wounded during a tragedy that has led to national mourning?
November 25th, 2010 -
Sorry, we couldn’t resist. If you haven’t already seen it, you’ve definitely heard about it … SNL’s skit on 1-880-TSA Sexy.
November 24th, 2010 -
By Kate Kennedy
Oh TSA. In the current aviation security environment, that sentiment almost speaks for itself. We’ve got screaming toddlers, screaming more than usual. We’ve got publically humiliated cancer survivors, forced to remove prosthetics in public. We’ve got a passenger stripping to his underwear to prove he is not a threat, only to get arrested anyway. All of this could have been avoided. The national uproar over the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) new pat-down procedures and Advanced Imagine Technology (AIT) machines is a perfect example of what happens when you leapfrog over the necessary step of building and launching a strategic communications plan.
November 24th, 2010 - by Chris Battle
Let’s take a moment and view this patdown controversy through they eyes of the TSA. Nobody wants to be profiled. Nobody wants to go through scanners. Nobody wants patdowns. Frankly, nobody wants the TSA at the airports at all. And yet we all want the TSA to project us while we fly. The public is going to have to have a serious discussion about finding a balance between privacy and security. The obvious answer is profiling, despite the campaigns of professional privacy lobbyists against it.
November 24th, 2010 -
TSA Administrator John Pistole puts a video up on YouTube explaining security procedures and, subtly, addresses the patdown controversy.
November 23rd, 2010 - by Steven Bucci
America is once again going through one of the periodic dust-ups between security and privacy that mark our society as a truly free one. It was barely a year ago when the now infamous “Underwear Bomber” tried to ignite his chemically enhanced boxers to bring down an airliner over Detroit. At that time, nearly all the pundits and the most vocal citizens railed that TSA, DHS, and the President himself had let the American people down, and we had to do better. Now that TSA has done what “The People” called for, they are again vilified. Come on, folks, let’s get real.
The uproar or apparent uproar of scores or maybe even several hundred travelers, several of whom may have actually visited a TSA checkpoint recently, has refocused media attention on full body scanners. Those worried that TSA really wants to see or feel their junk should take pause. The narcissistic paranoia gripping the country, fueled by cable news, has distracted us from the reasons for the more thorough screening. Finding new, creative ways to deliver opinions helps to cut through the noise and get noticed. Animated bears – or dogs, I can’t tell – seems to be the latest fad. All the kids are doing it. Now for something completely different here is an attempted defense of TSA in animated form. Enjoy.
November 17th, 2010 - by Chris Battle
I was thinking about going out and looking for a hooker, but then I realized it was a bad idea. It’s exploitative. I don’t have the money. Should my wife find out, she would have rusted debris surgically inserted into uncomfortable places around my body. And, what’s more — why pay for a prostitute when the TSA will give you the same very personal attention for free?
November 17th, 2010 -
There has been an active and passionate public debate over the use of Advanced Imaging Machines (AIT) and TSA pat-down techniques at airport security checkpoints. Some think the whole body scanners and pat-downs are just what’s needed for aviation security; others think the pat-downs and imaging machines infringe on personal privacy and may not be safe (the machines, that is). But which side holds the majority? Are the machines and pat-downs keeping us safe or do they tread on personal liberty? Take this anonymous Security Debrief survey, and let us know where you stand.
October 27th, 2010 - by Chris Battle
If journalists are going to maintain intellectual integrity, then they must objectively acknowledge–whether they like it or not–that there are indeed Americans still traumatized by the murder of some 3,000 Americans by Islamic extremists who crashed airplanes into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.
The lawsuit filed on Tuesday, September 7, in the Second Circuit challenging the federal government’s border search policy is yet another attempt to complicate and restrict our ability to protect the United States. At issue is the government’s position that its authority to protect the border includes the ability to review and examine the contents of personal electronic devices.
August 20th, 2010 - by Julie Myers Wood
The DHS Office of Immigration Statistics report “Immigration Enforcement Actions: 2009” is a must read for those interested in immigration enforcement. The report sheds an interesting light on the federal government’s argument against portions of Arizona law, S.B. 1070, and it also contains some positive long-term metrics that demonstrate the sustained work of law enforcement in this area. The American public’s view that the government does not have a long-term commitment to enforcement has been one of the biggest stumbling blocks to immigration reform. But results demonstrate some progress and a bipartisan commitment.
A recent blog post on Wire.com “Cyberwar Against Wikileaks? Good Luck With That” was brought to my attention by a good friend. She nominally just wanted my thoughts on the provocative article, but in effect, challenged me to blog on the subject. Some have argued that the U.S. Government could levy its cyber capabilities to stop WikiLeaks from sharing the classified information leaked to the online outlet by a young U.S. soldier. That defined a target is well within the capabilities of several different parts of the government, but it would be entirely self defeating. Using cyber capabilities to silence those with whom we disagree is exactly what privacy and civil liberties advocates fear most about the development of our cyber defenses.
Every now and then you come across an article that cuts through the surface layer of superficial, short-term issues and illuminates the long-term challenges. Ted Alden’s thinking has always been this way, and he nails it in his recent article “U.S. Losing Ground in Competitive Immigration.” Ted lays out a cogent argument for encouraging the world’s brightest to study and stay in the United States. Attracting skilled immigrants to maintain our intellectual and entrepreneurial edge may seem like an economic issue, but it is also a key national security issue. Economic and entrepreneurial dominance clearly strengthens our security. We have that dominance today, but, as Ted points out, there are several factors undermining our ability to maintain that dominance. This article is the best I’ve read on the topic.
August 3rd, 2010 -
By Justin Hienz
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is home to bizarre sights, and the veneer of extreme luxury certainly impresses (or fools) most tourists. But when you pull back the curtain, the UAE is revealed as a developing country with many challenges, security among them. On Sunday, UAE officials announced that it would block BlackBerry mobile services. Clearly, the UAE is striving for security in every way, but at what cost? And are there parallels in our own country that deserve a closer look? Maintaining our individual freedoms is a never-ending struggle.
July 30th, 2010 - by Chris Battle
What has been curiously missing from the Arizona immigration debate is that back in 1996 Congress passed a federal law giving state and local governments (and their law enforcement organizations) the right to enforce immigration law. On the one hand the federal government is suing Arizona for authorizing local law enforcement to coordinate with federal authorities regarding illegal immigration; on the other hand, the federal government is simultaneously requesting such assistance from local governments.