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Homeland Security told to improve IT strategy

May 25, 2004 The Homeland Security Department should limit its investment in information technology systems until it better organizes its management framework, according to a new General Accounting Office report. Every successful systems integration project has a clearly delineated plan of action, GAO said in the report (GAO-04-509). While the department is finalizing...

Group of Alaskans sues TSA over screening system

May 24, 2004 A group of four Alaskans on Monday filed suit at the U.S. District Court in Anchorage against the Transportation Security Administration for violating privacy rights with its passenger-screening system. "We are asking the courts to ensure some sort of judicial review on infringements upon the civil liberties of citizens," said...

White House officials call for renewal of anti-terrorism law

May 4, 2004 Bush administration officials on Tuesday pushed for renewal of the 2001 anti-terrorism law known as the USA PATRIOT Act and criticized the "misinformation" that has proliferated regarding its provisions. The PATRIOT Act applies "old tools to a new threat," Asa Hutchinson, the Homeland Security undersecretary for border and transportation security,...

Tax agency blasted for slow pace of computer upgrades

April 7, 2004 Efforts by the Internal Revenue Service to modernize its computer system have "woefully under performed," the chairman of a Senate Appropriations subcommittee said Wednesday. "Schedule slippages and cost overruns have been epidemic," said Alabama Republican Richard Shelby, chairman of the spending subcommittee that oversees the IRS. "Now is an appropriate...

Anti-discrimination group sues TSA over 'no fly' list

April 6, 2004 The American Civil Liberties Union on Tuesday filed suit on behalf of seven plaintiffs who allege that the federal "no fly" list violates airline passengers' rights to due process and freedom from unreasonable search and seizure. The group sued in federal district court in Seattle, requesting that the Transportation Security...

Group aims to set data-sharing standard

March 29, 2004 A nonprofit homeland security organization on Monday unveiled an "open format" system designed to facilitate information sharing among private vendors, state officials and federal agencies. The goal of the Regional Alliance for Infrastructure and Network Security (RAINS) is to "build a multi-vendor, interoperable solution for sensitive information sharing" across security...

Lawmakers introduce first responder, homeland security bills

March 26, 2004 Lawmakers introduced new measures on homeland security this week. Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., introduced a bill, S. 2240, that would create a grant program for port security, authorizing $800 million per year over five years and allowing multiyear grants to help finance larger projects. "We are under funding port security,"...

Official outlines pursuit of 'smart' border, container plans

March 25, 2004 Technology improvements will help the United States protect its borders while still maintaining the country's sense of openness, a Homeland Security Department official said Thursday. "We're pursuing smart border initiatives," Robert Bonner, commissioner of the Customs and Border Protection Bureau (CBP), told the Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee. "Rather than seeking...

Panelists debate changes to anti-terrorism law

March 19, 2004 The anti-terrorism law known as the USA PATRIOT Act requires some fine-tuning, according to panelists at a Friday forum, but they failed to agree to what extent it should be modified. "By and large, I think the concerns about the PATRIOT Act are overblown ... [but] there are a couple...

Democrats call for $14B homeland security spending boost

March 2, 2004 The ranking Democrat on the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee on Tuesday called for the White House to spend an additional $14 billion on homeland security; half of which would be designated for "first responders" to emergencies. The president's current budget proposal is the "clearest evidence" that security is not a...

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