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Tag: HOMELAND SECURITY

U.S. Might Use Facebook, Twitter to Broadcast Terrorism Alerts

The U.S. government is considering using Facebook and Twitter to issue terrorism warnings, as part of its revamped terror alert system. According to a draft of a Homeland Security plan obtained by the AP, the government would broadcast the warnings via Facebook and Twitter "when appropriate," and only after federal, state and local officials have already been alerted. But these warnings won't...

Talking Cyber-Security With Homeland Security Advisor (and Former Hacker) Jeff Moss

Share To get a look at the world of cyber-security from an insider, Switched turned to noted and notorious hacker Jeff Moss, a.k.a Dark Tangent. Moss got his start hacking the phone system before founding DefCon, the long-running annual hacker convention in Las Vegas, in 1992. He then took his l337 skillz to big industry by founding the network security consultancy firm Black Hat. Moss's...

Homeland Security to Develop Cell Phones That 'Smell' Poisonous Gas

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security wants to make us into walking poison detectors. According to Physorg, as part of a program called Cell-All, the department will develop by the end of the year 40 cell phone prototypes that can detect poisonous gas in the air. Officials say cell phones available today can be modified to do this by simply inserting a chip that costs less than $1. When the...

Senators Propose National ID Cards to Curb Illegal Immigration

As the Department of Homeland Security continues to urge states to adopt its national identification card program, Senators Chuck Schumer and Lindsay Graham have proposed a radically new alternative -- another national identification card. Homeland Security's Real ID initiative, which began in 2005, requires motor vehicle authorities in each state to compile Social Security numbers, birth...

Feds Promise Faster Action, Transparency in Laptop Searches

Yesterday, the Department of Homeland Security promised to introduce reforms to its practice of searching laptops at U.S. Customs checkpoints, reports the Wall Street Journal. At present, policy allows checkpoint agents to randomly search the electronic devices of anyone passing through customs -- U.S. citizen or no -- without probable cause, or the traveler's permission. Powerful entities like...

Under Bush, the NSA Snooped on 'All Americans,' Says Former Agent

Remember those pesky little warrant-less wiretaps George W. Bush defended back in the day? Remember how he said that only those guilty of talking to terrorists would be targeted by surveillance? Well, it turns out -- surprise, surprise -- that wasn't exactly the whole truth. In an interview with MSNBC's Keith Olbermann last week, Russell Tice, a former National Security Agency (NSA) analyst,...

The 'Anti-Aircraft Weapon' for Cyber Attacks

Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, the target of public scorn following the government's bungled reaction to Hurricane Katrina, was back in front of the press recently discussing his plans to secure government computers against cyber attacks. The Einstein program, started in March, was one of the first major cyber security initiatives tackled by the U.S. government. The first step...

Hackers Rack Up $12,000 Bill on Homeland Security Phones

We never miss an opportunity to remind you to secure the devices you rely on at home, things like your wireless Internet connection or your e-mail password. Sometimes, though, we take for granted that government officials are doing the same. That, unfortunately, isn't always the case. At least, it isn't when it comes to FEMA, a part of the Department of Homeland Security, which recently...

U.S. Authorities Can Now Seize Laptops Arbitrarily, Indefinitely

Thinking about taking your laptop across the border for your next trip up north or down south? News hitting the wires today indicates that you might want to re-think that plan, unless you feel like being separated from your precious gadgets. According to Reuters, the Department of Homeland Security has given border agents the right to seize any piece of electronics equipment they feel like, even...

Spy Satellites to be Pointed at U.S. Citizens

The domestic wiretapping program run by the NSA was disturbing enough to privacy advocates, but a new program moving forward that would allow law enforcement and security agencies to use spy satellite imagery may give the members of the ACLU a collective embolism. Democrats on the House Homeland Security Committee have held up the the program while trying to figure out some of the more pressing...

Department of Homeland Security Considers Mind-Control Tech

The DHS (Department of Homeland Security) is considering offering a contract to PRI (the Psychotechnology Research Institute), where a group of researchers claim to have developed software that can pick out terrorists and even train individuals to pick out terrorists -- subconsciously. The technology, called Semantic Stimuli Response Measurements Technology (SSRM Tek), is said to gauge a...

Homeland Security's New Flashlight Blinds and Disorients

If you've ever stared directly into a flashlight, you've definitely experienced temporary blindness and disorientation, right? Well, multiply that feeling by about a million, and you've got a super flashlight that the Department of Homeland Security is funding. Developed by a small California-based company called Intelligent Optical Systems, the LED based device is not intended to help you find...

Getting Off of Government Watch Lists

Wired's Ryan Singel has posted an interesting and useful column about removing yourself from government watch lists. Ryan's "first rule for most people in getting off a watch list is to accept that you are not on a list." Instead, he suggests that more often than not you are the victim of a poor matching algorithm or a vague listing for someone else. If you're having problems printing out...