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GSN 2012 Awards announced: White House deputy of homeland security recognized for leadership at annual gala

GSN Awards 2012

Hundreds of the best of the homeland security community’s federal, state and municipal government officials, government contractors, systems integrators, IT vendors and physical security product and solutions providers all came together the night of November 29 in a ballroom of the Washington, D.C. convention center to receive accolades.

The GSN awards dinner, which has become a Washington tradition over the last four years, offered a chance for the excellence and civic-minded spirit of homeland security efforts nationwide to be recognized.

Not only were the best tools and technologies acknowledged , but the people and groups who use them, from local police departments in Florida and Washington state, to the White House, were honored at the event.

During the awards ceremonies, Richard Reed, Deputy Assistant to President Obama for Homeland Security, received the second annual Government Security News/Raytheon Award for Distinguished Leadership and Innovation in Public Safety and Security. Reed was chosen for tireless work in his key role in leading the development of national policy related to resilience, transborder security and community partnerships. He has been described as the president’s eyes and ears during disasters. In crises, such as the Gulf oil spill, H1N1 pandemic, and Haiti earthquake, Reed has sprung into action at the White House, coordinating information and gathering people to cope with these catastrophes.

Reed told Government Security News in an interview after the dinner that gatherings like GSN’s awards ceremony were invaluable in demonstrating that the hard work of creating a resilient, strong response to crises is performed by thousands of individuals, like those in attendance. Gatherings that bring the diverse emergency response and homeland security communities together can broaden perspectives and spur new ideas, he said.

Reed has been a determined, mostly behind-the-scenes, captain of federal emergency response efforts during the Bush and Obama administrations, helping prepare for, and respond to, some of the worst natural disasters the nation has known, from one of the deadliest tornado seasons in history in the Midwest, to historic wild fires in the west, and massive storms in the eastern U.S.

Reed said the key to capable response to such staggering events lies not only in federal hands, but in enabling state, local and even personal responses. Getting resources and training in place before disasters happen goes a long way in an effective response and recovery, he said. “The true first responders are friends, neighbors and co-workers” in the immediate aftermath of a disaster, said Reed. Local police, firefighters and other agencies arrive second, he said. Enabling people with information concerning what resources are available or where they can go for help or supplies empowers them, said Reed.

Government Security News managing partner Adrian Courtenay has made the GSN/Raytheon award an annual tradition. The prize is sponsored by the Raytheon Company, a technology and innovation leader specializing in defense, homeland security and other government markets throughout the world, which is headquartered in Waltham, MA.

Notable 2012 government excellence award winners included the local police departments in Tampa and St. Petersburg, FL, for their ground-breaking work in preparing for the Republican National Convention in Tampa this past summer. The departments put together comprehensive plans to gently defuse potentially volatile political demonstrations at the event. Both departments were also praised for implementing an innovative interoperable communications network during the GOP convention.

The Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory was recognized for its groundbreaking work on a small radiation detector. The Naval Air Systems Command won an award for its work on the Kestrel Wide Area Persistent Surveillance program, which developed an aerostat for long-term surveillance capabilities to protect ground soldiers in Afghanistan.

The complete list of GSN’s 2012 Award winners appears below: 

CATEGORY 1 – VENDORS OF IT SECURITY PRODUCTS AND SOLUTIONS

 

Best Anti-Malware Solution

 

Invincea

 

Best Identity Management Platform

 

Alert Enterprise

 

Best Certificate Management Solution

 

Entrust

 

Best Compliance /Vulnerability Assessment Solution

 

Agiliance

 

Best Data Security/Loss Management Solution

 

WAVE Systems

 

Best Endpoint Security Solution

 

StillSecure

 

Best Forensic Software

 

Silvertail

 

Best Intelligence Data Fusion and Collaborative Analysis Solution

 

Lookingglass Cyber Solutions

 

Best Intrusion Detection/Prevention Solution

 

Intellidyne

Vanguard Integrity Professionals

 

Best Network Security/Enterprise Firewall

 

Black Lotus

 

Best Privileged Access Management Solution

 

Kikusema

Xceedium

 

Best Real-Time Dynamic Network Analysis

 

Fidelis Security

 

Best Continuous Monitoring Solution

 

ForeScout

Redseal

 

Best Security Incident/Event Management Solution (SIEM)

 

NetIQ

 

CATEGORY 2 – VENDORS OF PHYSICAL SECURITY PRODUCTS & SOLUTIONS

 

PHYSICAL SECURITY ACCESS CONTROL & INDENTIFICATION

 

Best Biometric Identification Solution

 

Fulcrum Biometrics

 

Best Integrated System for HSPD 12/FIPS 201 Compliance

 

Brivo

 

Best Platform for Physical and Logical Access

 

Alert Enterprise

 

COMMUNICATIONS

 

Best Interoperable First Responder Communications

 

Covia Labs

 

Best Mass Notification Systems

 

AtHoc

 

Best Regional or National Public Safety Communications Deployment

 

Desktop Alert

 

DETECTION PRODUCTS

 

Best Explosives Detection Solution

 

AS&E

 

Best Long Range Detection Systems

 

Vidisco

 

Best Nuclear/Radiation Detection

 

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

 

VIDEO SURVEILLANCE

 

Best Intelligent Video Surveillance Solution

 

Panasonic

 

Best Thermal/Night Vision/Infrared Cameras

 

HGH Infrared Systems

Vumii

 

Best Network IP Cameras

 

Axis Communications

 

Best Video Storage/Digital Transmission Systems

 

Panasonic

 

OTHER PRODUCTS

 

Best Perimeter Protection Solution

 

Senstar

 

Best Crash Barriers

 

Nasatka

 

Best Physical Security Information Management (PSIM) Solution

 

NICE Systems

 

SERVICES

 

Best Disaster Preparedness or Disaster Recovery & Clean-up Service

 

High-Rise Escape Systems

 

Best Facility Security/Force Protection Service

 

Whitestone Group

 

Best Homeland Security Training/Higher Education Solutions

 

Bellevue University

 

Category 3: Government Security News 2012 Government Excellence Awards

 

Most Notable Airport Security Award

 

Defense Manpower Agency

 

Most Notable Maritime/Port Security Program

 

Ohio Department of Public Safety/Northern Border Initiative

 

Most Notable Railroad/Mass Transit Security Program

 

Denver Regional Transportation Authority

 

Most Notable Critical Infrastructure Program, Project or Initiative

 

U.S. Veterans Administration Hospital, Tucson, AZ

 

Most Notable Cyber Security Program, Project or Initiative

 

U.S. Department of Energy

 

Most Notable Emergency Response Implementation

 

U.S. National Guard

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)

 

Most Notable Law Enforcement Interdiction, Arrest or Counter-Terrorism Program

 

Orange County Intelligence Assessment Fusion Center

 

Most Notable Municipal/County Programs, Projects or Initiatives

 

Seattle, Washington Police Department

Tampa and St. Petersburg, Florida Police Departments

 

Federal Government

 

Naval Air Systems Command (Kestrel Wide Area Persistent Surveillance)

GSN 2012 Homeland Security Awards program open for entries

The Government Security News 2012 Homeland Security Awards Program officially opened for entries on May 1, once again featuring 45 Awards in three broad Categories:Best Vendors of IT Security Products and Solutions, Best Vendors of Physical Security Products and Solutions and the 2011 Government Excellence Awards.

Returning as corporate Sponsors of the 2012 Program are BRS Laboratories of Houston, TX -- a leading software development company for video behavioral recognition software that deploys easily and rapidly on large scale video networks and provides actionable information without inundating end users with false alarms -- and Entrust, Inc. , of Dallas, TX, which offers physical/logical access, mobile security, certificate management and other identity-based solutions to governments and large enterprises.  Additional sponsors will be announced, and profiles of all 2012 sponsors, will be published in coming weeks. Companies interested in joining the ranks of sponsors of the 2012 Awards Program should contact GSN Publisher and World Business Media President, Edward Tyler, at 212-344-0759, ext. 2001.

The cost to submit an entry in the 2012 program is $295 for vendors of IT security and physical security products and solutions. As in previous years, there is no cost for entries in the 10 categories of awards for federal, state and local government agencies. Vendors of IT and physical security products and solutions may nominate themselves or be nominated by colleagues or government clients, while government agencies or departments may similarly nominate themselves or be nominated by other agencies, colleagues or vendors.

According Adrian Courtenay, managing partner of World Business Media, several new categories created in 2011 to acknowledge successful initiatives of federal, state or local agencies in responding to emergencies, countering terrorism and preventing crime will again be included in 2012. These categories are “Most Notable Emergency Response Implementation – Federal, State or Local”; “Most Notable Law Enforcement Interdiction, Arrest or Counter Terrorism Program – Federal, State or Local”; and “Most Notable Counter Terrorism or Crime Prevention Program”.

In the 2011 contest, the Bastrop Country, TX, Unified Command (including county, state and federal government agencies) was awarded the trophy for “Most Notable Emergency Response Implementation” in battling 2011 Texas wildfires in Bastrop County. The United States Customs and Border Protection, Detroit Sector, was winner in the “Most Notable Law Enforcement Interdiction or Arrest” category for a dramatic arrest on St. Clair River in Detroit, and the Los Angeles Police Department was recognized for having the “Most Notable Law Enforcement Counter Terrorism or Crime Prevention Program.”

Another category that was new in 2011, “Most Notable Cyber Security Program or Technology – Government or Military”, will also be continued, in recognition of the emergence of Cyber Security as a vitally important component of overall security for any nation. The winner of this award in 2011 was the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The 2012 Awards Program will once again culminate with a gala awards dinner in the fall, at a venue to be announced shortly. In the 2011 program, the “GSN/Raytheon Award for Distinguished Leadership and Innovation” was introduced and presented to Admiral Thad Allen (US Coast Guard-ret.), who came out of retirement twice in recent years to serve his country, first in heading up the federal response to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, and later in managing the response to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

In remarks for the 2011 Awards Dinner audience, Admiral Allen said the continuing work of technology companies and first responders was key in any disaster. He urged everyone to become a “lifelong rapid learner” to better cope with disasters, both man-made and natural. He also said “reconciling opportunity and competency” when disaster strikes is essential to any effective recovery, and being on top of the latest, most effective technology is a product of being a lifelong rapid learner. He also said clear communications is also a key to effective response and amplified his call for a nationwide interoperable first responder radio network. 

Photos of the 2010 awards reception and dinner are available at www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/, and video interviews with Admiral Allen, as well as sponsors and winners in the 2011 Awards program, are available at the GSN Video Center at www.gsnmagazine.com/videocenter.

Entry forms and other information about the 2012 Awards Program are available at www.gsnmagazine.com/hsa2012/welcome.

GSN 2011 Awards Program opens for entries on April 26

Government Security News has announced that its 2011 Homeland Security Awards Program  will officially open for business and start accepting entries in the program’s 45 awards categories on Tuesday, April 26.

The 2011 program contains a number of exciting new categories, reflecting the dynamically changing threat environment, in all three of the overall awards groupings: Best Vendors of IT Security Products and Solutions, Best Vendors of Physical Security Products and Solutions, and the 2011 Government Excellence Awards.

The cost for each entry in the 2011 program is $295 for vendors of IT security and physical security products and solutions. As in previous years, there is no cost for entries in the 10 categories of awards for federal, state and local government agencies.

Vendors of IT and physical security products and solutions may nominate themselves or be nominated by colleagues or government clients, while government agencies or departments may similarly nominate themselves or be nominated by other agencies, colleagues or vendors.

Adrian Courtenay, Managing Partner of GSN’s parent company, World Business Media, LLC, cited two intriguing new categories in the government sector that have been selected to acknowledge solid “boots on the ground” achievements of federal, state or local agencies in responding to emergencies, countering terrorism and stopping crime. These categories are “Most Notable Emergency Response Implementation – Federal, State or Local” and “Most Notable Law Enforcement Interdiction, Arrest or Counter Terrorism Program – Federal, State or Local.”

Acknowledging the increasing importance of cyber security and the threat of cyber war among nation-states, Courtenay also pointed out that the government awards in 2010 have been expanded to include a category titled, “Most Notable Cyber Security Program or Technology – Government or Military.”

Returning for its third year as a sponsor of the GSN Awards Program is founding sponsor ArcSight, now a business unit of Hewlett Packard Software and Solutions, whose enterprise threat and risk platform is an integrated product for collecting, analyzing and assessing security and risk information. ArcSight is also a repeat winner in the GSN awards program for its Security Incident Event Management (SIEM) products for collecting, analyzing and assessing security incident event information.

Also returning as event sponsors are General Dynamics C4, located in Phoenix, AZ, a major developer and integrator of secure communications and information systems and technology; and  Mutualink, another GSN award winner, which creates networks of interoperable communities that can instantly share radio, voice, text, video and data files, and telephone communications in a secure environment.

The fourth and final sponsor to date in the 2011 Awards Program is Behavioral Recognition Systems, Inc., of Houston, TX, also known as BRS Labs, whose software uses the fascinating, scientifically developed cognitive reasoning and artificial intelligence of behavioral analytics to leverage a stream of intelligence from millions of surveillance cameras worldwide, in order to provide alerts regarding abnormal or suspicious behavior.

Profiles of each of the 2011 sponsors will be posted on the GSN Web site in the coming weeks.

Additional companies or organizations interested in joining the ranks of 2011 sponsors of the GSN 2011 Homeland Security Awards Program should contact GSN Publisher and World Business Media President, Edward Tyler, at 212-344-0759, ext. 2001.

According to Courtenay, the 2011 Awards Program will culminate with the annual awards dinner in early November at a venue to be announced shortly. “It’s going to be hard to top last year’s elegant dinner and spectacular after-dinner keynote presentation by four-star General Barry McCaffrey (USA-Ret.). But we’re going to try!”

In 2010, the GSN awards were presented to a sold-out ballroom at the JW Marriott Hotel in Washington, DC, that included many distinguished government and military officials, academics, law enforcement and public safety professionals from across the country, along with the systems integrators, defense contractors and vendors of products and solutions used in homeland security.

Photos of the 2010 awards reception and dinner are available at:

www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/.

Further information and entry forms for the 2011 Awards Program are available at:

www.gsnmagazine.com/hsa2011/welcome.

OzVision

Alan Avidan, President, indicates that OzVision is pushing the forefront of hosted video services for dealers and users. The company’s government market includes military bases, government facilities, and national monuments such as the Washington Monument, the State of Liberty and Ford’s Theater. Avidan calls for dealers and central services to join in the hosted video movement, which he describes as the future of the industry.

VideoIQ

Scott Schnell, CEO, describes Video IQ’s next generation of video surveillance, where each of its high-definition cameras has video analytics plus half a year of storage with the camera itself, thus eliminating the high cost of storage and networking. According to Schnell, VideoIQ’s cameras with high-definition sensors can track up to 24 objects simultaneously and have 3X the field of view of conventional high-definition cameras with analytics.
Place on: Home Page, Aviation/Port Security, Border Security, Infrastructure Protection, Law Enforcement. First Responders, Maritime/Port Security, Perimeter Protection, Video Surveillance

T3 Motion

Gary Joubert, VP of Sales and Marketing, reports that T3 provides electric vehicles for law enforcement that are used in almost every police department in the U.S., as well as in government agencies around the world. Other markets for the made-in-the-USA T3 series include the military, general transport and the private security business. Recent improvements have been well received, and business is great!

Obama seeks three percent hike in discretionary budget at DHS

Despite official murmurings a few months ago that the fiscal year 2011 budget request for DHS might decline slightly, the budget package unveiled on February 1 actually shows a three percent increase in “discretionary spending” by DHS in 2011, versus the prior year, and modest growth, at approximately the predicted rate of inflation, in the outer years.

“The total fiscal year 2011 budget request for DHS, including fee funded and mandatory spending, is $56.3 billion, a two percent increase over the fiscal year 2010 enacted level,” said Peggy Sherry, the acting  chief financial officer at DHS, in a telephone conference call with journalists on February 1. “The department’s fiscal year 2011 net discretionary or appropriated funding request is $43.6 billion, an increase of three percent over the fiscal year 2010 enacted level.”

In releasing his overall budget request, President Obama proposed a freeze in government spending for a portion of the discretionary domestic spending plan for three years, but he specifically exempted homeland security expenditures from that freeze. “It won’t apply to our national security – including benefits for veterans,” said Obama in remarks he made in the White House on February 1.

Some observers speculated that the slight bump up in DHS spending may have resulted from the nationwide trauma caused by the failed Christmas Day underwear bombing attempt, and the urgent call for stronger screening measures at the country’s airports. However, a DHS official who participated on the conference call with journalists, but requested anonymity, would not attribute the budget increase to that terrorist attack.

“As part of the budget process, we examined different scenarios and options,” explained the official. “Those are discussions that are internal to the Administration and what you see in the budget release today is the end product of all those budget deliberations.”

Among the thousands of individual line-items for specific programs and planned procurements are the following highlights:

Advanced imaging systems – The 2011 budget requests an additional $214.1 million to install about 500 extra advance imaging technology machines at airport checkpoints, above and beyond the 500 systems that had already been planned. These funds will place such whole body scanners in 75 percent of the country’s largest airports, said Sherry.

Explosive detection – Beyond body scanners, DHS will seek an additional $85 million to bolster international flight coverage by federal air marshals, an increase in $60 million for an additional 800 explosive trace detection machines and a $71 million bump up to pay for an additional 275 K-9 teams at airport check points.

Border Patrol – The new budget envisions a decrease of 180 personnel in the ranks of the Border Patrol, which will be achieved largely through attrition. A DHS official suggested that the overall operating effectiveness of the Border Patrol will not be affected by this decline in personnel slots because the Border Patrol has almost doubled in size during the past five years. “A lot of the agent workforce, the substantial portion of it, has only a couple of years experience,” said this DHS official. “As they become more seasoned and more mature in their jobs, their effectiveness will increase, and because we are not doing the extensive hiring of 2,000 to 3,000 new agents a year, we can afford to put less into training improvement.”

Cyber-security – By contrast, DHS is planning a substantial beef-up in its cyber-security efforts. The new budget seeks $379 million to develop the National Cyber Security Division, which will attempt to safeguard the dot.gov and dot.com domains, and limit the nation’s vulnerability to computer attacks. DHS wants to add another $5 million to the $5 million that was in last year’s budget for the National Cyber Security Center, which one DHS official characterized as “still in its infancy.” The budget envisions an increase in the Center’s staffing to 40 people and the enhancement of its expertise, so it can integrate with other cyber-centers throughout the federal government.

Terror trials – Contrary to media reports that a terror trial in Manhattan might require a billion dollars in security measures, the 2011 budget request for DHS includes only $200 million for such security measures, which would be available through the traditional urban area grant programs. “The department took a look at it and we think $200 million is really our best estimate of the costs,” said the DHS official.

Federal contracting – In what it calls “re-balancing the workforce,” DHS is planning to rely less on outside vendors and more on internally recruited and trained personnel, particularly in the areas of cyber-security --  where DHS is authorized to hire as many as 1,000 new cyber-specialists – and the intelligence work often referred to as “connecting the dots.” “In our analysis and operations activity, we have a major increase in the number of feds doing intelligence type work,” said Sherry.

Coast Guard – A DHS fact sheet issued by the Office of Management and Budget points out that the budget request includes $538 million for a fifth National Security Cutter and $240 million to produce four new Fast Response Cutters. Even so, the new budget seeks funds for 1,100 fewer active duty Coast Guard personnel. “We are looking to reorganize and restructure certain elements of the Coast Guard to create greater efficiency,” explained a DHS official, “and there are obviously tradeoffs made as part of that to ensure we could continue to recapitalize the Coast Guard.”

President Obama’s budget request was delivered to Capitol Hill and will now undergo months of scrutiny by lawmakers. Fiscal year 2011 begins officially on October 1, 2010.

HID’s Statement about Security Flaws “Meltdown” & “Spectre”

Last week, cyber security researchers revealed two major security flaws that allegedly affect processing chips in a large number of devices.  The world was taken by surprise, and virtually every tech company has had to look at the potential impact of these flaws on their products.  Taking the security of HID products extremely seriously, we are in the process of doing a thorough investigation of these flaws, which are known as “Meltdown” and “Spectre.”

Given this complex situation that has shaken the world of computer security, we have analyzed all HID products for these two vulnerabilities in processors, and we present our initial findings here.  While we design defense-to-attack into our product development practices and the vast majority of our products are not vulnerable to Meltdown or Spectre, the third-party operating systems that are beyond our control may be.  Consequently, we urge customers to be sure to install the latest patches for the operating systems of their devices. 

We would encourage all customers to review the following information carefully.  HID’s Technical Support team is available if you have any questions or require further clarifications.  For detailed technical conversations, you can also email [email protected].  If you want to communicate something in a confidential manner, we urge you to visit the security pages at www.hidglobal.com/security-center where you will find HID’s guidelines and responsible disclosure policy.

We have arranged the following information in generic “product groupings” and have addressed specific areas.  If you cannot locate your product of interest, please do not hesitate to contact us.

All HID products, drivers, etc installed on Windows, Linux or MacOS

All products, drivers, interfaces, applications etc. that HID has authored rely on the underlying operating system principles of third-parties, and the associated processor hardware, and, therefore, MAY be vulnerable to Spectre and Meltdown, depending on the platform that you have installed these on.  We urge you to contact the developer of the operating system to obtain and install the latest patches provided.

All HID products, drivers, etc installed on iOS or Android

All “apps” that HID has authored rely on the underlying operating system principles of a third-party, and processor hardware, and therefore MAY be vulnerable to Spectre and Meltdown, depending on the platform that you have installed these on.  We urge you to visit your device manufacturer website for their input on next steps you should take.

All HID products delivered through Web Presence

All of our hosted infrastructure has industry-standard best practices applied, preventing malware of any kind from being applied and/or installed.  For the Spectre or Meltdown vulnerabilities to be exploited, malware would have to be installed into our systems.  Despite our defense in depth, we are actively working with our vendors to understand patching approaches to the underlying third-party computing platforms to providing protection from Spectre and Meltdown vulnerabilities

We utilize industry-standard security modules (HSM) and we are working with our vendors to understand their position.   We will update customers in the event we have relevant information, but at this stage we are a “closed system” and the attack surface is small and heavily protected.

All HID products delivered as a Virtual Machine

HID products delivered as a virtual machine may be susceptible to Spectre and Meltdown vulnerabilities, because the virtual machine is running on a third-party virtualization platform.  Therefore, it is the third-party platform that will require patching and updating.  We urge you to contact the provider of your virtualization platform for further information and patches.

All HID Products delivered as an Appliance

All of our products delivered as appliances have industry-standard best practices applied in order to prevent malware of any kind being installed.  Malware would have to be installed for the Spectre or Meltdown vulnerabilities to be exploited.  Nevertheless, HID is actively working with our vendors to understand patching approaches to the underlying computing platforms and we will update this post in the event that have more information

Specific Point Product Discussions

HID Lumidigm Fingerprint Sensors

Our devices are not vulnerable to the Spectre or Meltdown attacks; however, the third-party operating system support in the connected host may be vulnerable depending upon your patch level.  We urge customers to ensure that the latest operating system patches available are installed in these upstream computing platforms.

HID Fargo Card Printers

Our current shipping printers are not vulnerable to Spectre or Meltdown attacks.

Cards and Credentials (including ActivID tokens)

None of our physical card or credential technologies are susceptible to either of Spectre of Meltdown

Controllers

The Spectre and Meltdown issues do not affect our “VertX Evo”, “EDGE EVO”, and “EDGE EVO Solo” controllers.

Similarly, our Mercury controller product lines are not vulnerable to Spectre or Meltdown attacks

Credential Encoders

HID credential encoders themselves are not vulnerable to either Meltdown or Spectre attacks; however, the host systems may be and we urge customers to upgrade to the latest patch level available.

Embedded Modules

None of our embedded range of products are susceptible to Spectre or Meltdown; however, because these are connected devices, any upstream devices may be vulnerable.  We urge customers who are using connected devices to check the patch level of the host device system and to make appropriate decisions on patching based on upstream third-party system processor platforms.

Readers – Physical Access

None of our physical access reader products are affected by the Spectre or Meltdown vulnerabilities. However, our reader products are connected upstream and we urge customers to check these upstream devices for vulnerability and to upgrade all third-party operating system patch levels to guard against any potential threats.

Readers – Logical Access

None of our logical access reader range of products are susceptible to Spectre or Meltdown. However, these are (typically) USB-connected devices and the host may be susceptible.  We urge customers to check the patch level of the host device system and to make appropriate decisions on patching based on upstream, third-party system processor platforms.

DHS, DOJ Report: Three Out of Four Individuals Convicted Of International Terrorism and Terrorism-Related Offenses Were Foreign-Born

WASHINGTON – On January 16, 2018, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) released a report revealing that three out of every four, or 402, individuals convicted of international terrorism-related charges in U.S. federal courts between September 11, 2001, and December 31, 2016 were foreign-born. Over the same period, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement removed approximately 1,716 aliens with national security concerns. Further, in 2017 alone DHS had 2,554 encounters with individuals on the terrorist watch list (also known as the FBI’s Terrorist Screening Database) traveling to the United States.

This report was prescribed by Executive Order 13780, Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States, which declared that “it is the policy of the United States to protect its citizens from terrorist attacks, including those committed by foreign nationals,” and directed a series of actions to enhance the security of the American people.

The actions directed by Executive Order 13780 have—among other things—raised the baseline for the vetting and screening of foreign nationals, improved our ability to prevent the entry of malicious actors, and enhanced the security of the American people.

“My top priority as Secretary of Homeland Security is to ensure the safety and security of the American people,” said Secretary Nielsen. “This report is a clear reminder of why we cannot continue to rely on immigration policy based on pre-9/11 thinking that leaves us woefully vulnerable to foreign-born terrorists, and why we must examine our visa laws and continue to intensify screening and vetting of individuals traveling to the United States to prevent terrorists, criminals, and other dangerous individuals from reaching our country. Without legislative change DHS will continue to see thousands of terrorists a year attempt to enter the United States, and while we must be right every time, the terrorists only need to be lucky once. Therefore, DHS has personnel deployed around the world and along our borders working with our global and domestic law enforcement partners to stop terrorists before they enter the homeland.” 

“This report reveals an indisputable sobering reality—our immigration system has undermined our national security and public safety,” said Attorney General Sessions.  “And the information in this report is only the tip of the iceberg: we currently have terrorism-related investigations against thousands of people in the United States, including hundreds of people who came here as refugees.  Our law enforcement professionals do amazing work, but it is simply not reasonable to keep asking them to risk their lives to enforce the law while we admit thousands every year without sufficient knowledge about their backgrounds.  The pillars of President Trump’s immigration policy—securing our porous borders, moving to a merit-based immigration system that ends the use of diversity visas and chain migration, and enforcing our nation’s laws—will make their jobs easier and make the United States a safer place.”

The report reveals that at least 549 individuals were convicted of international terrorism-related charges in U.S. federal courts between September 11, 2001, and December 31, 2016.  An analysis conducted by DHS determined that approximately 73 percent (402 of these 549 individuals) were foreign-born.  Breaking down the 549 individuals by citizenship status at the time of their respective convictions reveals that:

  • 254 were not U.S. citizens;
  • 148 were foreign-born, naturalized and received U.S. citizenship; and,
  • 147 were U.S. citizens by birth.

According to information available to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), since September 11, 2001, there were approximately 1,716 removals of aliens with national security concerns. 

As mentioned above, in FY 2017, DHS encountered 2,554 individuals on the terrorist watchlist (also known as the FBI’s Terrorist Screening Database) traveling to the United States. Of those individuals, 335 were attempting to enter by land, 2,170 were attempting to enter by air, and 49 were attempting to enter by sea. Where consistent with the law, such individuals are denied entry into the United States, while in some cases law enforcement authorities are notified and can take appropriate action.

From October 1, 2011, to September 30, 2017, a total of 355,345 non-U.S. citizen offenders, were administratively arrested after previously being convicted of an aggravated felony, as defined in 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(43), or two or more crimes each punishable by more than one year (felony offenses).  During that same period, a total of 372,098 non-U.S. citizen offenders were removed from the United States after conviction of an aggravated felony or two or more felonies. 

Data from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ Fraud Detection and National Security Directorate shows that between 2007 and 2017, USCIS referred 45,858 foreign nationals who applied for immigration benefits to ICE for criminal or civil enforcement action, based on information indicating that such foreign nationals had committed egregious public safety-related offenses within the United States.

Between FY 2010 and FY 2016, CBP identified and prevented the boarding of 73,261 foreign travelers on flights destined for the United States, who may have presented an immigration or security risk.

In October, the Trump Administration sent to Congress a list of legislative priorities that would enhance our national security—such as eliminating the diversity visa lottery and extended family chain migration, funding the wall, closing loopholes in our asylum system, combatting visa overstays, and closing other loopholes in existing law that potentially benefit aliens who pose threats to our national security.

Background on the Executive Order

Section 11 of Executive Order requires the Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the Attorney General, to collect and make publicly available the following information:

  1. Information regarding the number of foreign nationals in the United States who have been charged with terrorism-related offenses while in the United States; convicted of terrorism-related offenses while in the United States; or removed from the United States based on terrorism-related activity, affiliation with or provision of material support to a terrorism-related organization, or any other national-security-related reasons;
  2. Information regarding the number of foreign nationals in the United States who have been radicalized after entry into the United States and who have engaged in terrorism-related acts, or who have provided material support to terrorism-related organizations in countries that pose a threat to the United States;
  3. Information regarding the number and types of acts of gender-based violence against women, including so-called “honor killings,” in the United States by foreign nationals; and,
  4. Any other information relevant to public safety and security as determined by the Secretary of Homeland Security or the Attorney General, including information on the immigration status of foreign nationals charged with major offenses.

The link to the report is available HERE.

Privacy Incident Involving DHS Office of Inspector General Case Management System

On January 3, 2018, select DHS employees received notification letters that they may have been impacted by a privacy incident related to the DHS Office of Inspector General (OIG) Case Management System.  The privacy incident did not stem from a cyber-attack by external actors, and the evidence indicates that affected individual’s personal information was not the primary target of the unauthorized unauthorized transfer of data.

 

Message Received by Affected DHS Employees
This message is to inform you of a privacy incident involving a database used by the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Office of the Inspector General (OIG).  You may have been impacted by this privacy incident if you were employed by DHS in 2014, or if you were associated with a DHS OIG investigation from 2002 through 2014.


On May 10, 2017, as part of an ongoing criminal investigation being conducted by DHS OIG and the U.S. Attorney’s Office, DHS OIG discovered an unauthorized copy of its investigative case management system in the possession of a former DHS OIG employee.


This privacy incident involved the release of personally identifiable information (PII) contained in the DHS OIG case management system and affects two groups of individuals. The first group consists of approximately 247,167 current and former federal employees that were employed by DHS in 2014 (the “DHS Employee Data”).  The second group is comprised of individuals (i.e., subjects, witnesses, and complainants) associated with DHS OIG investigations from 2002 through 2014 (the “Investigative Data”).


The privacy incident did not stem from a cyber-attack by external actors, and the evidence indicates that affected individual’s personal information was not the primary target of the unauthorized exfiltration.
All individuals potentially affected by this privacy incident are being offered 18 months of free credit monitoring and identity protection services. Notification letters were sent to all current and former employees who were potentially affected by the DHS Employee Data on December 18, 2017.  Due to technological limitations, DHS is unable to provide direct notice to the individuals affected by the Investigative Data. Therefore, if you were associated with a DHS OIG investigation from 2002 through 2014, you may contact AllClear ID at (855) 260-2767 for information on credit monitoring and identity protections services.


The Department of Homeland Security takes very seriously the obligation to serve the Department’s employees and is committed to protecting the information in which they are entrusted. Please be assured that we will make every effort to ensure this does not happen again.  DHS is implementing additional security precautions to limit which individuals have access to this information and will better identify unusual access patterns. We will continue to review our systems and practices in order to better secure data. DHS OIG has also implemented a number of security precautions to further secure the DHS OIG network.


We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.  See below for additional information you may find useful.
Sincerely,
Phillip S. Kaplan
Chief Privacy Officer
U.S. Department of Homeland Security

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