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HOMELAND SECURITY

15 Jun 06. Agencies, vendors struggle with HSPD-12, surveys say. Two recent surveys signaled just how much agencies and vendors are struggling to implement Homeland Security Presidential Directive-12. The area most often identified by federal IT security executives and systems integrators as needing attention was physical-access control. In a survey of federal IT security executives released yesterday by Computer Associates International Inc. of Islandia, N.Y., 56 percent said they had seven or more physical-access control systems, and 58 percent said their agencies had yet to make a decision on whether to standardize these systems. Another survey of 44 systems integrators by RSA Security Inc. of Bedford, Mass., found that 59 percent said lack of interoperability in physical and logical access is the most significant challenge. The Office of Management and Budget, through its Executive Steering Committee, is working to solve the issue through a set of standards. The ESC also is trying to set up a nationwide network of providers for registration and enrollment. While final details still are to be worked out, many agency executives still are confused about the mandate, according to the CA survey, which was released in collaboration with Input, a market research firm in Reston, Va. (Source: GCN)

10 Jun 06. Senior Air Force Northern Command and Federal Aviation Administration officials have hammered out a pact that will allow the service to deploy unmanned aerial vehicles over the continental United States during major disasters, according to the AFNORTH commander. “I’m positive that we have an agreement now,” Maj. Gen. Scott Mayes told Inside the Air Force June 5. “If a national disaster is declared, we will be able to use unmanned aerial systems such as Predator and Global Hawk over a disaster area.” He told ITAF that Pentagon and FAA officials have placed their respective signatures on documents that outline the preliminary agreement. The domestic airspace in which unmanned aircraft would be allowed to operate would be determined by AFNORTH, but in conjunction with its parent organization U.S. Northern Command and the FAA, Mayes added. Senior government officials must still approve the plan. “The geographical dimensions of the disaster area would be worked out” at his outfit’s air operations center, the AFNORTH chief added. Aside from securing access to U.S. airspace during times of disasters and conducting air support missions for NORTHCOM, Mayes said the command’s third priority is carrying out Air Force humanitarian assistance missions. The two-star noted the use of unmanned aircraft will be vital in that role because the autonomous aircraft can provide real-time images and data to federal, state and local first responders coordinating rescue and relief efforts. He added that senior AFNORTH officials have already begun exploring UAV usage in U.S. skies during natural disasters in coordinated interagency drills — most recently during the command’s Ardent Sentry 2006 exercise

19 Jun 06. As part of the implementation of the digital radio network for security authorities and organizations (BOS) in Germany, EADS has been selected by the Procurement Office of the Ministry of the Interior (BMI), as being the most competitive bid. BMI had previously requested EADS to conduct extensive lab and field testing. “We are very pleased with this further positive intermediate result,” said Stefan Zoller, the EADS Board Member responsible for Defence and Security Systems. “Following evaluation of the written bid documentation and completion of the practical tests, this announcement is strong proof that EADS is fully capable of meeting the requirements of the security authorities.” The lab tests were conducted in May in the EADS development centre in Helsinki and were attended by representatives of the Procurement Office, the Federal States and the Federal Office for Information Security (BSI). The purpose of these tests was to verif

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