department of homeland security

Northrop Grumman Wins $95 Million Contract From DHS

Northrop Grumman Corporation has been awarded a $95 million contract by the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Office of Biometric Identity Management (OBIM) to develop increments one and two of the Homeland Advanced Recognition Technology (HART) system. Northrop Grumman will serve as systems developer and integrator for this 42-month effort. HART is the organization’s next-generation recognition program, replacing the Automated Biometric Identity System (IDENT) built in the 1990s.

Johnson Controls And DHS Sign Cooperative R&D Agreement On CyberSecurity

In an effort to improve cyber-threat information sharing and analysis, Johnson Controls, a global leader in energy efficiency, integrated solutions and building controls, announces a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Office of Cybersecurity and Communications. The agreement will help secure our nation’s critical infrastructure from those with malicious intent.

Taminco Chemicals Rely on Milestone Video for Employee Safety and Federal Regulation

Milestone Systems’ open platform IP video management technology is helping Taminco USA to manage employee safety and to uphold federal regulations for the production and transportation of hazardous materials. Taminco manufactures compounds and solutions for agricultural, personal and home care, energy and water treatment chemicals. The Department of Health, Department of Homeland Security and Department of Transportation heavily monitor the shipping of these substances, so it is essential that a sophisticated surveillance system monitor every step of the process, from delivery of raw materials to the shipment of end products.

Viscount Awarded Contracts to Secure Sites for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

Viscount Systems (OTCQB:VSYS), a leading provider of IT-based security software and services, today announced that it has been awarded additional contracts to secure U.S. Federal Government facilities in Washington, D.C., and Ohio for the Department of Homeland Security – United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

Multi-Application Detection Equipment Expected To Address New Airport Security Threats

In its newest study on the market for explosives, weapons and contraband (EWC) detection equipment for airports, IHS found the market to be worth more than $740 million globally and to have a CAGR of 6% over the next four years. Due to new and evolving security threats to the aviation industry, in July 2014, […]

House Passes Bill To Improve Airport Security In Wake Of LAX Shooting

In the wake of November’s deadly shooting at Los Angeles International Airport, the House of Representatives on Tuesday passed a bill to tighten security at the nation’s airports. The measure, introduced by Rep. Richard Hudson (R-N.C.), is named in honor of Gerardo Hernandez, the Transportation Security Administration screener who was shot to death Nov. 1 […]

On Photography, Cops Need To Get A Clue

We can’t expect privacy in public, but neither should police officers and public employees. Security cameras operated by the Department of Homeland Security are installed in front of a federal building in New York. (Photo: Mark Lennihan, AP) Last week, Buzzfeed reporter Benny Johnson went to work on a list of the seven ugliest federal […]

Border Security: Why Obama’s $2B Border Crackdown Could Have High Political Costs

This, it is safe to say, is not what President Obama had in mind when it came to election year politics about immigration. On Monday, Mr. Obama will ask Congress for $2 billion to help his administration speed deportations of the tens of thousands of families and unaccompanied minors from Central America now flooding across […]

DHS Biometric Program Gets $250 Million From Senate

A Senate subcommittee recently approved a request from the United States Department of Homeland Security for nearly a quarter-of-a-billion dollars to be used on a state-of-the-art biometric system. The Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on DHS green-lighted more than $47 billion to go towards the agency as part of a request made for funding in fiscal year […]

Biometric Identity Verification Is Coming To Las Vegas’ McCarran Airport

Biometrics assume certain human parts are unique; that the patterns of our fingerprints and irises vouch for who we are. Later this summer, screening at McCarran Airport will include an option using those measures “to speed travelers through airport security.” Called CLEAR, the service already operates at nine airports across the country, boasting more than […]

U.S. Customs And Border Protection To Open Biometric Test Facility

In step with other custom ports of entry around the world utilizing biometric passport controls, U.S. Customs and Border Protection  has announced it will open its test facility for biometric identification technology in Landover, Maryland at the end of the month. CBP Commissioner Gil Kerlikowske revealed details of the center, which will test devices that […]

Border Control: USA Still Waiting On Biometric Exit Says IBIA

The Department of Homeland Security’s policy chief David Heyman explains: “The United States did not build its border, aviation, and port infrastructure with exit screening in mind.” The IBIA released a report this week detailing what it has dubbed as the unfulfilled mandate of biometric exit in the United States. The document is largely based […]

Seattle Police Win Approval To Use Facial Recognition software

Seattle Police just won approval to use facial recognition software Seattle police just won approval to use facial recognition software. But privacy advocates say that endangers the privacy of every Seattle citizen. Critics fear sophisticated software that can capture images of people on the move, then use a vast database to instantly identify them. Seattle police have a more modest plan — comparing mug shots to surveillance video, using technology paid for by the federal Department of Homeland Security.  “It could not be used to ID citizens who are not either actively involved in a criminal process or that the officer did not reasonably suspect was involved in criminal activity,” said city councilmember Sally Bagshaw. But in the face of controversies over the police access to surveillance cameras, and the special Wi-Fi network they also got a federal grant to install. So privacy advocates are skeptical.  “As we’ve learned the NSA and the FBI will gain access to any hardware that you install whether you want to or not,” said Lee Colton.  Supporters say using facial recognition software simple automates what police now do by hand. But critics say that automation is the problem. “It vastly increases the amount of pursuing individuals who may be not quite so suspicious, not quite such clear suspects who are really less valuable leads for them and yet now they have time to do that,” said David Robinson of the Seattle Privacy Coalition.  Public Safety Chair Bruce Harrell tailored the program to win […]

Seattle Considering $1.6 Million Facial Recognition Surveillance System

Seattle considering $1.6 million facial recognition surveillance system In Seattle, Washington, the City Council will soon decide on whether or not they should approve an ordinance that green-lights a $1.6 million federal grant, a large chunk of which will be used to purchase sophisticated facial recognition software that supporters of the measure say would help stop crime. Those Department of Homeland Security dollars would let the Seattle police pay for software that digitally scans surveillance camera footage and then tries to match images of the individuals caught on tape with any one of the 350,000-or-so people who have been photographed previously by King County, Washington law enforcement. “An officer has to reasonably believe that a person has been involved in a crime or committed a crime” before they begin to use the program, Assistant Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best told KIRO-TV this week Once the facial recognition software is initiated, though, it scours a collection containing close to a half-a-million area residents — including many who may never have been convicted of a crime. That database, members of the local Seattle Privacy anti-surveillance collective say, is composed of more than just the mug shots of convicted criminals. Images of anyone ever arrested and booked are included in that system, regardless of whether or not they were ever ultimately convicted of a crime. And according to a recent post on the Seattle Privacy website attributed to founding member Jan Bultmann, there has already been mention of perhaps someday including the […]

Department Of Homeland Security Seeks Technology To Create License Plate Database

Catherine Herridge  is reporting today on privacy concerns over the federal government’s apparent push to track license plates as a way to find fugitive undocumented immigrants.   License Plate Readers: Keeping Us Safe or Violating Our Privacy? Here’s more from  Fox News Latino : The federal agency tasked with arresting and deporting undocumented immigrants, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, put out an official request last week for contractors to submit bids for commercial technology that would help the agency its law enforcement officers tap into the National License Plate Recognition Database, or NLPR. “The database should track vehicle license plate numbers that pass through cameras or are voluntarily entered into the system from a variety of sources (access control systems, asset recovery specialists, etc.) and uploaded to share with law enforcement," the request for proposals stated ."NLPR information will be used by DHS/ICE to assist in the location and arrest of absconders and criminal aliens.” The technology that ICE wants developed for the agency would allow agents to use smart phones to quickly snap a photo of a license plate and quickly determine the plate is on a "hot list" of "target vehicles." License plate readers, however, would automatically record information on all vehicles that cross their paths instead of just suspect vehicles. "This system is supposed to be for the Immigrations and Customs Enforcement branch of DHS, for the tracking of illegal immigrants," said J.J. Green, a national security correspondent in Washington D.C. for WTOP radio. The ACLU […]

$7M In New Surveillance Cameras To BeIinstalled On Boston Buses

Privacy SOS Despite the fact that the crime rate on public transit systems in Boston is  declining , the MBTA has just announced that it intends to install brand new surveillance camera systems inside hundreds of buses throughout the city. The Boston region’s millions of commuters and hundreds of thousands of residents can once again thank the federal Department of Homeland Security for yet another hit to our privacy.    From  Boston Magazine : The MBTA is retrofitting 225 buses in its fleet with new high-tech cameras that show the insides of the vehicles from multiple angles. Not only will the transit authority be able to get a better look at who’s riding the bus, but each installation includes a four-screen monitor housed at the front of the vehicles, affording other riders utilizing the transit system a chance to see what’s happening during their commute. So far, only 10 vehicles have been retrofitted with the new devices, but MBTA officials said by summertime 215 more vehicles will feature the same updated technology. Money to pay for the cameras came in the form of a federal grant from the Department of Homeland Security. The MBTA is relying completely on the nearly $7 million allocation to purchase and install the cameras and multi-view surveillance screens. The T spent none of its own money on this particular project, officials said. According to the Boston Magazine report, the system enables MBTA police to wirelessly link into the surveillance cameras on each bus, raising […]

Seattle Latest City To Install DHS Surveillance Equipment

Seattle Latest City to Install DHS Surveillance Equipment Add Seattle to the list of local governments taking money from the Department of Homeland Security to put their citizens under federal surveillance. Seattle newspaper The Stranger reports : If you’re walking around downtown while looking at a smartphone, you will probably see at least one — and more likely two or three — Wi-Fi networks named after intersections: “4th&Seneca,” “4th&Union,” “4th&University,” and so on. That is how you can see the Seattle Police Department’s new wireless mesh network, bought from a California-based company called Aruba Networks, whose clients include the Department of Defense, school districts in Canada, oil-mining interests in China, and telecommunications companies in Saudi Arabia. Perhaps wiring the city with high-tech, federally funded surveillance equipment is what Seattle mayor meant when he described the city’s budget as “a moral document. It puts resources behind our vision of the city we want to see.” Apparently, part of those resources are coming from the federal government and they are earmarked for use to putting the city under the vision of the Department of Homeland Security. When pressed for details about his department’s new monitoring agreement with DHS, Seattle Police Department Detective Monty Moss said he “is not comfortable answering policy questions when we do not yet have a policy,” as reported by The Stranger . The paper continues: But, Detective Moss added, the SPD “is actively collaborating with the mayor’s office, city council, law department, and the ACLU on a […]

FBI Exploring New Facial And Behavioral Recognition From Surveillance Cameras

(Before It’s News) B4INREMOTE-aHR0cDovLzIuYnAuYmxvZ3Nwb3QuY29tLy1kcU4zZmMtcW0zSS9VbnZ1bTYxeWlwSS9BQUFBQUFBQVZuOC83NXFBd2tNN0xIUS9zMjAwL0NDVFYtY2FtZXJhLW9uLXBvbGUtMzAweDIwMC5qcGc= image credit: freefotouk/Flickr Madison Ruppert Activist Post The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is reportedly considering new video analytic software that would enable identification of suspects in videos and still imagery based on both facial and behavioral recognition. This type of technology has been under development for quite a while, with a patent awarded for behavioral recognition software last year. Indeed, it has been said that the future of CCTV is in the field of behavioral recognition and so-called “remote biometrics.” However, the system that the FBI is working on could also scan footage against records of objects and places in addition to people, in order to detect possible suspects and their location. “The FBI is currently undertaking a major issue study of video and digital image processing and video/digital image analytic capabilities to identify current capabilities, assess gaps, and develop a roadmap for the FBI’s future video analytics architecture,” the bureau stated in a contracting notice published on Oct. 30. Contractors are to submit written proposals by Nov. 13 and up to 30 vendors will be invited to present their technology at FBI headquarters on Dec. 11. Unlike the facial recognition systems that are increasingly being rolled out across the United States with the FBI’s help , this technology would analyze backgrounds. The Department of Homeland Security, meanwhile, is funding research on more accurate long-distance facial recognition technology . The new technology would compute “the degree of similarity among pedestrians, graffiti designs, buildings in […]

Cambridge MA Blocks Surveillance Cameras

How one Mass city watches the watchers, and how others should follow suit On February 2, 2009, the Cambridge City Council voted in unanimous opposition to the installation of eight Department of Homeland Security cameras at major intersections on the basis that “the potential threats to invasion of privacy and individual civil liberties outweigh the current benefits” of accepting the DHS funds. While six such cameras were installed all the same, the council and a vocal citizenry has since successfully opposed their activation. At a follow-up meeting earlier this month, all nine Cambridge councilors reaffirmed their position: the cameras must remain off until police prove beyond doubt that their department has the capacity to balance investigative methods with civil liberties. Such aggressive civilian oversight of law enforcement should serve as a model not only for the Boston region, but for the whole country. Since 9-11, police chiefs, sheriffs, and commissioners have had an open invitation to request any range of surveillance and tactical gear from federal coffers, often without accountability checks to ensure that deployment squares with the Bill of Rights. Between DHS, the Department of Justice, and the Department of Defense, local overseers can secure every conceivable toy that they could ever covet without spending a dime of their own. From drones, to armored vehicles, to Long Range Acoustic Devices, which are essentially giant human dog whistles, it’s a veritable buffet via federal grants. Since these checks are written by the feds, such arrangements are often executed without […]

Biometric Exit Improvement Act: Wrong Solution To Broken Visa And Immigration System

Email Print PDF Several Members of Congress recently released the Biometric Exit Improvement Act in an effort to enhance the U.S.’s security and immigration system. However, the law triples down on a costly policy that adds little real security. Instead of feel-good but ineffective strategies, Congress should reconsider the biometric exit requirement and push the Administration to faithfully execute the U.S.’s existing immigration laws. Biometric Exit Has Consistently Not Been Implemented The requirement for an integrated entry-exit system has been in place since the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996. In the following years, several other bills were passed that called for an entry-exit system, with increasing requirements for biometric technology, leading to the creation in 2003 of US-VISIT, a program focused on developing a biometric entry-exit system. The Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 explicitly required and called for the acceleration of US-VISIT’s efforts to create an automated biometric entry and exit data system. While the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) made progress on the entry portion of US-VISIT, the exit system largely went nowhere. Congress repeated its demand for a biometric exit system in 2007, setting a deadline of 2009. That deadline came and went with only two small pilot programs. Since then, DHS has continued its slow move to meet this requirement in what the Government Accountability Office (GAO) has called “a long-standing challenge for DHS.” [1] The Biometric Exit Improvement Act would be at least the third law to call […]