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Category Archives: Defense

TSA Is Taking Steps to Improve Expedited Screening Effectiveness, but Improvements in Screener Oversight Are Needed

Aviation Security: TSA Is Taking Steps to Improve Expedited Screening Effectiveness, but Improvements in Screener Oversight Are Needed, GAO-16-707T: Published: Jun 7, 2016. Publicly Released: Jun 7, 2016. “In 2015, TSA screened or oversaw the screening of more than 708 million passengers at more than 450 U.S airports. In carrying out the screening process, TSA… Continue Reading

State Department releases Country Reports on Terrorism 2015

“[June 1, 2016] the State Department is issuing the Country Reports on Terrorism, which describes the counterterrorism landscape during the last calendar year and fulfills an important congressional mandate. The report allows us to regularly assess our effectiveness and make informed assessments about policies and priorities and where to place resources. In 2015, the United… Continue Reading

Scanning and Imaging Shipping Containers Overseas: Costs and Alternatives

Scanning and Imaging Shipping Containers Overseas: Costs and Alternatives, CBO, June 2, 2016: “Each year, about 12 million shipping containers enter U.S. ports. After the September 11, 2001, attacks, concern arose that terrorists might use containers to smuggle weapons of mass destruction—particularly nuclear weapons—into the country. To reduce that threat, the federal government implemented several security… Continue Reading

GAO Reports – Midway Atoll, Medicare, Aviation Security, Federal Air Marshall Service, Housing for Special Needs

Midway Atoll: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Faces Many Competing Priorities, GAO-16-382: Published: Jun 2, 2016. Publicly Released: Jun 2, 2016. Medicare: Utilization and Expenditures for Complex Wheelchair Accessories, GAO-16-640R: Published: Jun 1, 2016. Publicly Released: Jun 1, 2016. Aviation Security: Airport Perimeter and Access Control Security Would Benefit from Risk Assessment and Strategy Updates,… Continue Reading

CRS – Who Is a “Veteran”? — Basic Eligibility for Veterans’ Benefits,

Via FAS – Who Is a “Veteran”? — Basic Eligibility for Veterans’ Benefits, Scott D. Szymendera, Analyst in Disability Policy. May 25, 2016. “The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) offers a broad range of benefits to U.S. Armed Forces veterans and certain members of their families. Among these benefits are various types of financial… Continue Reading

GAO Reports – Disaster Recovery, DoD Financial Management, Human Trafficking, Immigration Detention, Imported Food Safety, Rail Grant Oversight

Disaster Recovery: FEMA Needs to Assess Its Effectiveness in Implementing the National Disaster Recovery Framework, GAO-16-476: Published: May 26, 2016. Publicly Released: May 26, 2016. DOD Financial Management: Greater Visibility Needed to Better Assess Audit Readiness for Property, Plant, and Equipment, GAO-16-383: Published: May 26, 2016. Publicly Released: May 26, 2016. Human Trafficking: Actions Taken… Continue Reading

GAO Reports – Border Security, Medicare Program, Prisoner Operations

Border Security: DHS Surveillance Technology Unmanned Aerial Systems and Other Assets, GAO-16-671T: Published: May 24, 2016. Publicly Released: May 24, 2016. Medicare Program: Continued Action Required to Address Weaknesses in Provider and Supplier Enrollment Controls, GAO-16-703T: Published: May 24, 2016. Publicly Released: May 24, 2016. Prisoner Operations: United States Marshals Service Could Better Estimate Cost… Continue Reading

Defense Divided: Overcoming the Challenges of Overseas Contingency Operations

Stimson Center: “As the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have drawn down, the Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) budget, initially intended for “emergency” war funding, has been used increasingly for purposes far afield of its original design. Despite troop withdrawals and recapitalization of the equipment used in the wars, large amounts of defense spending have continued to be assigned… Continue Reading

Study identifies metadata mining of telephone data by NSA

“Privacy protections against government surveillance are often scoped to communications content and exclude communications metadata. In the United States, the National Security Agency operated a particularly controversial program, collecting bulk telephone metadata nationwide. We investigate the privacy properties of telephone metadata to assess the impact of policies that distinguish between content and metadata. We find… Continue Reading

Space Budgets From Around The World

Space Program Spending As A Percent of GDP – Percent change, 2008 to 2014 – Data clearly indicates US is not even close to the top of the list. Continue Reading

DHS IG Security Audit Security Identifies Workplace Violations

Information Technology Management Letter for the Office of Financial Management and Office of Chief Information Officer Components of the FY 2015 Department of Homeland Security Financial Statement Audit,May 6, 2016. “We recommend that OFM, in coordination with the DHS Chief Information Officer and Chief Financial Officer, make improvements to its financial management systems and associated… Continue Reading

The Intercept announces greater access to Snowden archive

Via The Intercept: The Intercept Is Broadening Access to the Snowden Archive. Here’s Why – “Today, The Intercept is announcing two innovations in how we report on and publish these materials. Both measures are designed to ensure that reporting on the archive continues in as expeditious and informative a manner as possible, in accordance with the… Continue Reading