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Tag: Homeland Security

Homeland Security ‘Spilled’ Classified Information 100+ Times Last Year

homeland2department-of-homeland-security-logo-300x300By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Homeland Security “spilled” classified information more than 100 times lat year, and 40% of those breaches came from one office, Bloomberg View reports.

Lawmakers and authorities warned that classified information is at risk until Homeland Security can better protect sensitive intelligence.

A “spill” is “the accidental, inadvertent, or intentional introduction of classified information into an unclassified information technology system, or higher-level classified information into a lower-level classified information technology system, to include non-government systems,” a Homeland Security official explained.

That may mean using a personal e-mail to send or receive classified material, using the wrong kind of copier or failing to properly classify sensitive information.

An internal document obtained by Bloomberg View revealed 119 classified spills in fiscal year 2015. The Office of Intelligence and Analysis in Washington had the most spills. 

U.S. House Committee Demands Answers After Homeland Security Lost 165 Firearms in 3 Years

U.S. Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah.

U.S. Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Congressional leaders are demanding answers from Homeland Security following the discovery that it lost 165 firearms in three years.

Rep. Jason Chaffetz, chairman of the U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, requested Homeland Security inventory records and policies, the Daily Caller reports. 

The discovery of lost firearms, badges and cellphones was made by the news site, Compete Colorado.

The loss of the firearms “shows that the department is consistently unable to safeguard sensitive property,” the congressmen wrote.

“The fact that hundreds of badges and cell phones are missing gives rise to a variety of different security threat possibilities,” the letter said. “It is particularly troubling, however, that the department cannot account for its entire inventory of firearms.”

Between 2006 and 2008, Homeland Security lost 289 firearms, according to the DHS Office of Inspector General.

Inspector General: Remote Border Patrol Facilities Riddled with Security Issues

border patrol 3By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Most of the remote Border Patrol facilities along the southwest border are riddled with security issues, according to a report by the Homeland Security Inspector General.

Seven of the 11 facility, known as “Forward Operating Bases,” were inspected and found to have security lapses, such as inoperable cameras, ABC News reports. 

Some have problems with providing safe drinking water to employees, and one facility had inadequate living conditions.

“Because of their proximity to the U.S.-Mexico border, it is essential that FOBs are equipped with proper, functioning surveillance equipment,” the report stated.

The report also criticized customs officials for failing to perform required inspections and keeping documentation of repairs.

“Without regular inspections and timely maintenance and repairs, CBP cannot ensure it will continue to provide adequate security, safety and living conditions,” read the report.

Mayor of Texas Town Wants Federal Probe Over Arabic Flag Expressing ‘Love for All’

Photo via Twitter.

Photo via Twitter.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The mayor of a Texas town is calling for Homeland Security and the FBI to investigate a large flag with Arabic writing found hanging off a downtown building.

Huffington Post reports that the flag read, “Love for all,” in Arabic.

But Lubbock Mayor Glen Robertson said he’s still “concerned on several levels” and wants federal authorities to investigate.

“It has been brought to my attention that an Arabic flag has been hung from one of the upper floors of the Omni building,” Robertson said in a letter sent to City Manager James Loomis. “I am requesting that the flag be removed immediately, that we get an accurate translation of the flag, and that Chief Stevens notify the Department of Homeland Security, the FBI, and our Lubbock County Sheriff’s Department.”

“I fully understand that we must gather more facts before we make a knee jerk reaction but I am concerned on several levels,” he added.

The flag, which includes a heart, was posted around Valentine’s Day.

Other Stories of Interest

Teen accused of Hacking into CIA Director’s Email And Dumping Records of FBI Was Arrested

hacker-artBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A 16-year-old boy accused of hacking into the CIA director’s e-mail account and publicly dumping data about FBI and Homeland Security agents has been arrested.

The UK’s South East Regional Organized Crime Unit arrested the boy on Feb. 9, saying he has been arrested on “conspiracy to commit unauthorized access with intent to commit further offenses contrary to Section 2 Computer Misuse Act 1990 and conspiracy to commit unauthorized acts with intent to impair, or with recklessness as to impairing operation of a computer contrary to Section 3 Computer Misuse Act 1990.”

The teenager, known as “Cracka,” is accused of breaching the private e-mail account of CIA Director John Brennan by using social engineering techniques.

At the time of the hacking, “Cracka” said he broke into the systems in retaliation for U.S.’s support of Israel.

Hackers Unload Information on 20,000 FBI Employees After Doing Same for Homeland Security

Screen Shot 2016-02-09 at 8.02.48 AMBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Hackers unveiled the contact information for 20,000 FBI employees Monday evening, a day after releasing similar data on nearly 10,000 Homeland Security employees.

The information was released on Twitter, via @DotGovs, indicating the hacks are in retaliation for the U.S. government’s ties to Israel.

“When will the US government realize we won’t stop until they cut relations with Israel..” the tweet reads.

The hackers broke into a Justice Department database.

The information on FBI and Homeland Security officials contained their names, titles, phone numbers and e-mail addresses.

The Justice Department, which is investigating, said private information, such as Social Security numbers, didn’t appear to be breached, CNN reports. 

“The department is looking into the unauthorized access of a system operated by one of its components containing employee contact information,” said Justice Department spokesman Peter Carr. “This unauthorized access is still under investigation; however, there is no indication at this time that there is any breach of sensitive personally identifiable information. The department takes this very seriously and is continuing to deploy protection and defensive measures to safeguard information. Any activity that is determined to be criminal in nature will be referred to law enforcement for investigation.”

Homeland Security Should Explain Cuts in Aerial Surveillance, Says Longview News-Journal

homeland2department-of-homeland-security-logo-300x300By Editorial Board
Longview News-Journal

Extreme views of how to deal with illegal immigration range from building a fence along the entire border between the United States and Mexico to those who think it would be possible to deport the more than 10 million illegal immigrants now living here.

Neither of those strategies is ever going to work, though, and the more time we spend considering them is that much less we have to come up with real solutions.

No matter where you position yourself on the political spectrum, immigration into the United States ought to be done legally. The fact so many disregard the law completely suggests it is deeply flawed and needs to be fixed.

Still, until that time, we should only tolerate the legal process, which means U.S. security forces should stop as many of those trying to sneak in as possible. There are sensible ways to do that and one of those is through aerial surveillance of routes known to be used by those guiding illegal immigrants into this country.

That is why we find it so surprising the federal Department of Homeland Security is suggesting cutting the number of flight hours almost in half for this year.

But it gets worse.

Right now the Texas border is experiencing a surge in illegal immigration mostly from Cubans trying to get to the United States. A loophole in immigration law written years ago allows for favorable treatment of Cubans if they can make it to the mainland.

Secondarily, an influx is coming from Central America, where life-threatening conditions make any risk from illegal immigration seem negligible.

Homeland Security Releases List of Countries with Visitors Who Overstayed Their Visas

visasBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Homeland Security released an estimate of foreign visitors who overstay their permits to be in the U.S., Pew Research reports. 

About 416,500 people remained in the U.S. this year after their visas expired in fiscal 2015. That’s out of 45 million people whose visas expired during that period .

Canada led the list of overstays with an estimated 93,035 still in the U.S. Mexico was second with 42,114, followed by Brazil with 35,707.

Homeland Security released the data under pressure tom Congress.

But the information is incomplete because it’s difficult to track how many people have remained in the U.S.