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State and Local

A Stark Reminder – Cyber Threats Are Real

As happy/relieved as I am to know that the Russians aren’t out to disrupt our water services, it is important to note that a water system in South Houston was the victim of a real cyber attack. (You’ll recall it occurred in direct response to DHS downplaying of the reported situation in Illinois).The would-be attack, and the actual one, are stark reminders that the threat of cyber attacks are real.

NYPD's Raymond Kelly: Can't Wait Around for the FBI

NYPD Commissioner Raymond Kelly: No time to wait for FBI in terror arrest – NY Daily News Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said the NYPD busted a lone-wolf terror suspect without the FBI because it didn’t want to waste any time. Related articles, courtesy of Zemanta: FBI Declined to Pursue NYC Bomber, NYPD Went at it Alone […]

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.

Tom Ridge and Penn State Potential

When the news broke yesterday with rumors and news reports that former DHS Secretary Tom Ridge could be in the running to be the next President of Penn State, I have to admit to some very mixed feelings. They weren’t negative mixed feelings but rather selfish ones. As one of the people fortunate enough to serve under Ridge in the early days of DHS, I got to observe one of the most dynamic individuals I’ve ever met in my life. If his move to Penn State should come to pass, the institution will gain someone who not only can navigate the most dangerous of seas but bring people together in service in ways never done before.

ATF chief, Arizona prosecutor resign amid gun inquiries

ATF chief, Arizona prosecutor resign amid gun inquiries – USATODAY.com The acting director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and Arizona’s top federal prosecutor resigned Tuesday in the midst of congressional and Justice Department inquiries into a controversial gun trafficking investigation that allowed hundreds of firearms to fall into the hands of […]

After Earthquake, DC Government Needs Lesson in Social Media

Ever tried to get on Twitter only to find that frustrating white whale floating in a sea of blue with the message that the network is overcrowded and you should come back later? In the social media world, this is known as the Fail Whale. During yesterday’s mini emergency in Washington, when a 5.8 earthquake shook the city and sent scared and confused folks fleeing from buildings, we experienced a Fail Whale on the part of the Washington DC, government. Increasingly, citizens aren’t turning to government officials for disaster management but to one another. And they’re doing it through social media.

Homeland Security Advisory Council: Empowering Critical Infrastructure and National Resilience

Yesterday, the Homeland Security Advisory Council (HSAC) released the recommendations of its Community Resilience Task Force (CRTF), which argue that it is impossible to build a resilient nation upon protected yet aged, overstressed, exploitable and consequence-amplifying infrastructure foundations.

Disharmony in the Home Team

It is hard to argue that local, state, and federal counterterrorism operations are not still a work in progress. While working together, law enforcement agencies at all levels have combined to thwart a number of plots since 9/11, many challenges that frustrate cooperation still perplex the national counterterrorism enterprise. The remedy is a new organizational culture that places a premium on building trust and confidence between federal, state, and local counterterrorism efforts.

Will San Francisco Ever Get It?

San Francisco is beautiful, historic and diverse. But as nice as that city is, I remain disturbed by its anti-military reputation. The SF Police and Human Rights Commission held hearings on Joint Terrorism Task Force operations in San Francisco. The hearings specifically addressed the FBI Domestic Investigations and Operations Guidelines that allow the JTTF to commence an investigation/surveillance without a direct nexus to criminal activity. I wonder if residents of San Francisco and the SFPD will ever “get it.”

Attorney General Guideline Changes Impacting FBI Intelligence Collection Operations

The media is reporting changes to the Attorney General Guidelines. it looks like expanded authority to conduct physical surveillances, polygraphs of informants and limited attendance at public functions is not much change in terms of intrusion into the civil liberties of our population. I understand that some people may be alarmed; however, I know that the FBI’s agents charged with collecting intelligence within the United States are closely supervised – I was one of them.