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FBI official, privacy advocate clash over PATRIOT Act

March 22, 2005 Representatives from the FBI and the privacy community on Tuesday clashed over how provisions in a 2001 anti-terrorism law known as the USA PATRIOT Act are being used to access information. "We at the FBI do not want your secrets, unless of course you are a terrorist or a spy,"...

Officials criticize system for tracking foreign students

March 17, 2005 A system intended to track foreign students has been improved since its 2003 inception, but personnel issues are causing delays and potentially deterring students from pursuing degrees in the United States, witnesses at a joint hearing of two House subcommittees warned Thursday. The Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS),...

Intelligence chief faces difficult task, lawmaker says

March 3, 2005 The nation's new intelligence director must work to coordinate disparate federal agencies, a Democratic member of the House Intelligence Committee said Thursday. "It's so important to have one boss" overseeing U.S. intelligence operations, Rep. C.A. (Dutch) Ruppersberger, D-Md., said at a summit sponsored by the Center for Homeland and Global...

Homeland Security allows access to restricted funds

January 19, 2005 Recipients of federal homeland security grant money who are currently prevented from accessing those funds because of federal and state regulations will be given a one-year window to access the money while developing policy more in line with federal requirements, Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge said Wednesday. "Money has been...

Ridge outlines security efforts for Bush's inauguration ceremony

January 11, 2005 When President Bush is sworn in for a second term Jan. 20, people attending the ceremony will encounter unprecedented security, Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge said Tuesday. Anyone who attempts to disrupt the inauguration next week "will be repelled by multiple levels of security," Ridge said during a press conference...

Report calls for Homeland Security reorganization

December 13, 2004 The current structure of the Homeland Security Department hampers the ability of its secretary to successfully implement security measures, according to a report released Monday. "The organization is weighed down with bureaucratic layers, is rife with turf warfare and lacks a structure for strategic thinking and policymaking," David Heyman, director...

Defense Department, privacy group spar over data request

December 9, 2004 Lawyers for a public-interest group and the Defense Department clashed Thursday over the group's demands that the agency release information about a data-mining project. The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) in May requested information through the Freedom of Information Act from the Defense Intelligence Agency regarding its use of Verity...

Omnibus bill orders agencies to appoint chief privacy officers

December 6, 2004 The omnibus spending bill for fiscal 2005 includes privacy provisions crafted to prevent the unlawful transfer of or access to confidential information. The language, which would prohibit federal agencies from monitoring individuals' Internet use, is included in the part of the bill, H.R. 4818, that would fund the Transportation and...

Park Service systems face cuts to bolster core operations

November 29, 2004 The Bush administration is placing too much emphasis on information technology, security and maintenance at national parks and not enough on core operating programs, according to the conference report to the omnibus spending bill Congress passed earlier this month. The assertion comes nearly five months after the House passed a...

Official says more work is needed on port, cargo security

November 16, 2004 President Bush's assertion that the country is safer but not safe enough describes the current state of Homeland Security Department efforts to secure the nation's ports and cargo, a key department official said Tuesday. "It's a puzzle we're building," Homeland Security Deputy Secretary James Loy said at a maritime and...

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