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Tag: Homeland Security

Homeland Security Detected No Evidence of Cyberattacks During Election

ballot box flintBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Fears that hackers would target the U.S. election were assuaged late Tuesday after no evidence of attacks or intrusions were suspected.

Homeland Security said it fielded no reports of cyber breaches, the USA Today reports. 

Still, the threat of a cyberattack appeared to discourage voters, who expressed much less confidence that their vote would count, according to exit polls.

“All the discussions this year about security gave states another measure of protection,” said Pamela Smith, president of Verified Voting, a non-partisan, non-profit organization that advocates for elections accuracy.

Trump Ignores Federal Briefing That Indicated Russia Behind Election Hacking

Donald Trump

Donald Trump

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

In typical Donald Trump fashion, the Republican presidential candidate doesn’t buy the federal government’s belief that Russia is trying to influence the election by hacking Democrats.

Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul said Tuesday that he warned Trump about the Russian hacks, but Trump promptly rejected the information, CBS News reports. 

“I think he has in his mind that there’s not the proof,” McCaul, a Trump supporter, said at the event in Austin, according to video obtained by Politico. “Now he hasn’t had the briefing I’ve had, but I made it clear that in my judgment it was a nation-state.”

During the final debate last week, Trump again said he didn’t believe Russia was responsible for the hacks.

“She has no idea whether it’s Russia, China, or anybody else,” Trump said. “Hillary, you have no idea.”

The federal government indicated for the first time earlier this month that Russia is behind the hacking of U.S. political groups.

“The U.S. Intelligence Community (USIC) is confident that the Russian Government directed the recent compromises of e-mails from US persons and institutions, including from US political organizations,” the Department of Homeland Security said in a joint statement with Director of National Intelligence James Clapper.

Other Stories of Interest

To Combat Hackers, Homeland Security Hires New Experts in Cybersecurity

hacker-artBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Homeland Security is facing an increasing threat from hackers.

To combat the challenge, Homeland Security held its first-ever Cyber and Tech Job Fail July 27-28 in Washington D.C.

The Federal Times reports positive results: 14,000 applicants, 2,500 walk-in candidates, 842 on-site interviews, 400 prospective job offers and 120 new employees.

Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson made the announcement as part of October’s National Cybersecurity Awareness Month celebrations.

“We thank Congress for new legal authorities in support of our cyber recruitment and retention efforts,” Johnson said. “The department is maximizing its use of these authorities to build our cyber workforce. We also thank the Office of Personnel Management for granting DHS the authority to hire 1,000 cyber professionals this calendar year.”

Attorneys Sue FBI, Homeland Security for Surveillance Records of Black Lives Matter

Photo by Steve Neavling.

Photo by Steve Neavling.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI and Homeland Security have been sued for documents on the agencies’ surveillance of Black Lives Matter protesters.

The suit was filed by the Center for Constitutional Rights and the Milton A.Cramer Center at Case Wester Reserve University School of Law, Salon reports. 

The human rights lawyers said the agencies have failed to release the documents of surveillance.

Federal surveillance of the movement began after Ferguson police killed Michael Brown. In July 2015, an Intercept report revealed that Homeland Security was collecting information on peaceful protests.

The new lawsuit allege police also used a “cell site simulator,” or a “Stingray,” to monitor the protests and individual activists.

ICE HSI Special Agent Makes Heroic Rescue of Child, Woman in Burning Car

This is the remains of the SUV that crashed, via Homeland Security.

This is the remains of the SUV that crashed, via Homeland Security.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

When Homeland Security Investigations Special Agent John DeJohn was driving home from a fishing trip in Corpus Christi, Texas, he spotted an SUV that had crashed in a field.

DeJohn, of HSI Houston, sprinted to the vehicle and discovered it was on fire.

The special agent found a young girl screaming for help, pinned underneath the SUV. Her mouth was bleeding and she appeared to have a broken leg.

DeJohn and others who stopped lifted the vehicle and rescued the child.

As the fire was spreading, a passerby cut the seatbelt of the unconscious driver, and the group pushed the car back on its wheels to rescue the bleeding woman.

“We commend Special Agent DeJohn for the heroic action taken to save others on a moment’s notice,” Mark Dawson, Special Agent in Charge of HSI Houston, said in a press release from ICE. “This is a testament to HSI special agents everywhere who are willing put their lives in jeopardy every day to help others.”

DeJohn said, “You don’t ever want to be a hero, because that means someone’s life is in peril.”

Homeland Security: It Will Take More Than a Wall to Stop Illegal Immigrants

Border Fence along Mexico and the U.S.

Border Fence along Mexico and the U.S.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Donald Trump’s continued rhetoric about building a wall at the U.S.-Mexican border is far from enough to stop the increasing number of illegal immigrants from reaching America, said Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson.

“Border security alone cannot overcome the powerful push factors of poverty and violence that exist in Central America,” Johnson said in a statement. “Walls alone cannot prevent illegal migration. Ultimately, the solution is long-term investment in Central America to address the underlying push factors in the region.”

Johnson is urging Congress and the next administration to enact immigration reform and handle the root causes of migration.

Johnson said 77,000 more immigrants were captured at the border this fiscal year compared to the previous one.

More than 400,000 people apprehended at the border in the 2016 fiscal year, which ended in September.

“Fewer Mexicans and single adults are attempting to cross the border without authorization, but more families and unaccompanied children are fleeing poverty and violence in Central America,” Johnson said. “In 2014, Central Americans apprehended on the southern border outnumbered Mexicans for the first time. In 2016, it happened again.”

Homeland Security Memo Says ICE Is Running Out of Money Because of Detention Surge

border fence photoBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Is the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency running out of money because of a surge in the number of immigrants in detention?

The Wall Street Journal reported earlier this week that ICE is on the verge of running out of money unless it receives $136 million to continue operating through Dec. 9.

But after the story was published, a DHS spokeswoman claimed the story was wrong.

Now the Wall Street Journal has a Homeland Security memo that appears to back up the earlier report that ICE is running out of money. The Journal reports today that a memo says, “ICE requests an additional $136 million for this account through Dec. 9, 2016,” and if the agency doesn’t get it, “our funds will run out on November 12.”

“Without the requested funding ICE will not fulfill its detention requirements… Insufficient funding would force ICE to reject any new book-ins, including these recent border crossers that fall within Priority 1 of the Secretary’s enforcement priorities,” the memo says.

Deputy Director of ICE, Daniel Ragsdale, called the memo a “draft which was never reviewed by ICE leadership,” adding, “this type of adjustment is common, and has been done in years past.”

Homeland Security Deputy Secretary to Step Down to Join Private Sector

Alejandro Mayorkas

Alejandro Mayorkas

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Alejandro Mayorkas is stepping down as deputy secretary of Homeland Security after accepting a job in the private sector.

Mayorkas served as the No. 2 at Home Security for the past there years and will step down on Oct. 28, Federal News Radio reports. 

He will join Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP, the Wall Street Journal reports. 

“I began my government service as a federal prosecutor, a position I held for nearly twelve years, and I have been a member of our department for nearly seven years,” Mayorkas said in a staff email. “I have cherished every moment of public service. Thank you for making it so.”

In a press release, Secretary Jeh Johnson said Mayorkas was an effective leader.

“Over the last 34 months, Ali has spearheaded much of our Unity of Effort campaign and employee engagement initiatives, and has taken a leading role on issues ranging from immigration to cybersecurity,” said Johnson in the statement. “His legacy as deputy secretary will be the number of things we did to improve how this department functions, and the significant increase in employee satisfaction we saw this year as a result. We are all grateful for Ali’s many contributions.”

Other Stories of Interest