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HOMELAND SECURITY

03 Jul 06. U.S., EU Struggle To Link Homeland Security Networks. U.S. and European Union (EU) homeland security authorities are far behind in efforts to link their counterterrorism networks, especially the ones that connect biometrics to visa data, say experts from both sides of the Atlantic. “We face a lot of technical challenges here, and the trans-Atlantic aspect is one of the greatest,” Phlemon Wright, director for mission operations for the US-VISIT program, told a June 28-29 industry conference here on homeland security. The US-VISIT program, which runs the world’s largest digital database of fingerprints, looks for suspicious profiles among the 1 million people who enter the United States every day, Wright told a June 28-29 industry conference here on homeland security. Its EU-sponsored counterpart, the Schengen Information System (SIS), provides visa verification for 15 of the union’s 25 members and is catching up fast in terms of size. It already manages 70 million individual records and will grow much larger as other European nations join the so-called Schengenland. But Wright said the two systems have no ability to share information to coordinate against terrorist threats. “US-VISIT is not even compatible with the FBI’s computer system, much less across the Atlantic,” he said. The European Union has its own internal coordination problems, too. “Our big challenge is to ensure the procurement, delivery and installation of compatible [SIS] biometrics equipment across the member states’ 3,500 consulates and all external points along the EU’s common frontier,” Keith Wood-Smith told the conference. “It’s a huge task, and it raises a host of practical issues for us, such as hardware reliability and resource restraints.” (Source: Defense News)

05 Jul 06. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has awarded Raytheon Company an indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity contract to provide IT services to DHS under EAGLE, the Enterprise Acquisition Gateway for Leading Edge
solutions. This contract will enable DHS’s 22 agencies to more efficiently procure IT support and leverage their collective buying power. The EAGLE program will run for five years with two one-year renewal options and a total ceiling of
up to $45bn. Raytheon Information Solutions (RIS) will lead the Raytheon team pursuits as prime contractor on task orders within three categories: infrastructure engineering design, development, implementation and integration; software development; and management support services.

05 Jul 06. American Science and Engineering, Inc. announced the receipt of a $1.7m order from an international client for multiple quantities of a customized mobile Z(R) Backscatter(TM) X-ray System for cargo and vehicle inspection.

06 Jul 06. A government consultant, using computer programs easily found on the Internet, managed to crack the FBI’s classified computer system and gain the passwords of 38,000 employees, including that of FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III. The break-ins, which occurred four times in 2004, gave the consultant access to records in the Witness Protection Program and details on counterespionage activity, according to documents filed in U.S. District Court in Washington. As a direct result, the bureau said it was forced to temporarily shut down its network and commit thousands of man-hours and millions of dollars to ensure no sensitive information was lost or misused. (Source: GCN)

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