Four Years After 9/11, TSA Still Wrestling With Jurassic Technology
In This Issue:
1. Editor's Note: Four Years After 9/11, TSA Still Wrestling With Jurassic Technology
2. Today's Top Story: Katrina Aftermath
- Louisiana Governor Blasts Faulty Wireless Networks
- Police Struggle With Communications In Katrina's Wake Related Stories
- Web Publishers Post High-Res Satellite Images Of Katrina Devastation
- In Central New Orleans, Web Company Keeps Spinning
- Opinion: Katrina Sharpens Focus On Emerging
- InformationWeek's Complete Coverage Of The IT
Response To Hurricane Katrina
3. Breaking News
- Symantec Enterprise AV Open To Multiple Attacks
- Windows Firewall Flaw No Vulnerability, Says Microsoft
- 64-Bit Computing Comes Into Focus
- VoIP Marks Latest Microsoft-Google Battleground
- Top 10 Mobile-Device Privacy Policies
- Microsoft Blasts Massachusetts' New XML Policy
- Services Firms Create More IT Jobs In August
- Odd Byte: Top 10 Words Used In Spam
- Large WiMax Network Launched In U.K.
- Deutsche Telekom To Offer Fast 3G, Converged Service
4. In Depth: Back To School!
- More Teachers Use Tech For Administration Than Teaching
- Students, And Security Threats, Head To Stanford
- Thousands Expected To Attend In-Person Graduation Ceremony
For Online Degrees
- Indiana Seeks Linux On Every High School Desktop
- Merger To Create Major E-Learning Player
5. Voice Of Authority
- Blog: E-Health Records Off-Limits To Parents Of Teens
- Quick Poll: Should parents have complete access to their
teens' electronic medical records?
6. White Papers
- Ensuring Data Protection For Growing Businesses
7. Get More Out Of InformationWeek
8. Manage Your Newsletter Subscription
Quotes of the day: Education
"We all learn by experience, but some of us have to go to summer
school." -- Peter De Vries
"I have never let my schooling interfere with my education." -- Mark Twain
"Grammar school never taught me anything about grammar." -- Isaac Goldberg
"Education would be so much more effective if its purpose were to
ensure that by the time they leave school every boy and girl
should know how much they don't know, and be imbued with a
lifelong desire to know it." -- Sir William Haley
"The school of hard knocks is an accelerated curriculum." -- Menander (342 B.C. - 292 B.C.)
1. Editor's Note: Four Years After 9/11, TSA Still Wrestling
With Jurassic Technology
Nearly four years after 9/11, the Homeland Security Department is
still coming to grips with the massive mission it's been handed.
While the department this week has contributed resources to aid
the victims of Hurricane Katrina, it must also be ever-vigilant
in focusing on its primary goal of preventing terrorist attacks
in the United States. One of Homeland Security's most challenged
agencies has been the Transportation Security Administration,
which early on was saddled with outdated technology and
questioned at every turn about how it will collect, use, and
secure information about air-travel passengers. A former
top-level TSA executive spoke with me about what the agency is
facing and some new technologies that should be deployed to help
prevent the next terrorist attack.
As assistant secretary of homeland security for the TSA, David
Stone spent 18 months overseeing a $5.6 billion budget and 54,000
personnel whose mission is to secure our country's mass transit,
rail, highway, maritime, and aviation travel. He left the agency
in June to focus on the development and implementation of
private-sector security technology designed to prevent terrorist
attacks on our transportation infrastructure.
To that end, Stone earlier this week officially joined the
advisory board of Vidient Systems Inc., a maker of
video-surveillance software. Stone, who spent part of his career
as federal security director at Los Angeles International
Airport, recently received a demonstration of Vidient's
SmartCatch video behavior-recognition software at San Francisco
International Airport. What Stone likes about SmartCatch is its
emphasis on prevention rather than on static monitoring and
response. "SmartCatch looks for anomalies captured on video and
sends flags to security personnel," Stone says. "The system works
in real time, which is where we should be heading."
While Stone is impressed with Vidient's technology, he also knows
firsthand that TSA is struggling to update older equipment on a
budget that forces the agency to prioritize its technology
implementations. One of TSA's priorities for this year and next
is to install explosives-detection trace portals at airports. In
the trace portal pilot program under way in at least 30 airports,
passengers walk through portals similar to the walk-through metal
detectors. Puffs of air are blown at passengers, and samples are
then collected and analyzed for explosives. TSA is committed to
spending about $100 million on the technology through the end of
fiscal 2006. You can read more about where TSA is headed and how
that money will be spent in my blog entry.
Top 10 Mobile-Device Privacy Policies
People are storing more types of confidential information on
mobile computing devices, and an expert in the field tells you
how to keep it all under wraps.
Microsoft Blasts Massachusetts' New XML Policy
Even as millions of dollars worth of Office business hangs in the
balance, Microsoft says it will not support the OpenDocument
format likely to be adopted by the state of Massachusetts this
month as its standard XML format.
IT Tools: Security Comparison
Security attacks are constantly evolving, making it difficult to
stay ahead of potential threats. So we invite you to benchmark
your approach against 2,540 of your U.S. peers with this fast,
informative, and confidential security tool from InformationWeek
and Accenture, a management-consulting and technology-services company.
Closing the gap between administrative and instructional use in
grades K-12 appears to be more a question of where computers are
located in the school, as opposed to the number of computers
available, a new study says.
Parents don't have automatic access to their teenagers'
electronic medical records, and, suggests Eric Chabrow, himself
the father of two teens, perhaps they shouldn't. What do you
think? You can join the discussion on his blog and or take our
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5 Top Federal Initiatives For 2015As InformationWeek Government readers were busy firming up their fiscal year 2015 budgets, we asked them to rate more than 30 IT initiatives in terms of importance and current leadership focus. No surprise, among more than 30 options, security is No. 1. After that, things get less predictable.