Homeland Security Watch

News and analysis of critical issues in homeland security

April 28, 2009

Meanwhile, beyond swine herding

Filed under: General Homeland Security — by Philip J. Palin on April 28, 2009

Today the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs held a hearing on cybersecurity (testimony is available).  I understand the President’s sixty day review is substantively completed, but still going through final vetting.  Computerworld’s current issue includes a great special report on Internet Warfare.  Another helpful report is in today’s New York Times: US plans attack and defense in web warfareUPDATE: Reporting on the Senate Hearing PC World’s headline reads: Experts disagree on cybersecurity role for DHS.  Computerworld leads with, Senator questions wisdom of White House control over cybersecurity.

The Pakistani government and military is hitting back with particular vengeance since the Taliban and its allies moved into (and then out of, sort of) Buner last week.   Some credit Western pressure.  I wonder if it is not more the case of  Taliban over-reaching resolving internal squabbles within the Pakistani elite.  UPDATE: Reinforcing a sense that the Buner imbroglio has had an internal effect, please access today’s lead editorial from DAWN (Pakistan).  Also see DAWN’s coverage of the battle for Buner.

A British trial of three suspected of helping plan the 7/7 attacks has resulted in acquittal.  The new trial of German terrorists is still in its very theatrical opening act (and it is difficult to find good coverage in English). UPDATE: The Associated Press reports, ” An Islamic terrorist suspect, on trial with three others on charges they plotted attacks on American targets in Germany, was thrown out of the courtroom Tuesday after an outburst. Judge Ottmar Breidling threw Adem Yilmaz, 30, out of the Duesseldorf state court for the day after the suspect yelled: “I want back in my cell!”

Yesterday’s earthquake in Mexico (almost like a Cecil B. DeMille film), reminds us that one natural threat does not preclude another.  In the last twenty-four hours tornadoes have been reported in Texas, Oklahoma, KansasIowa, and elsewhere.

Controversy over the right-wing extremism report has been dampened by the emergence of a non-ideological viral threat (and some Friday deck-clearing), but on Monday the Boston Globe offered a strongly worded editorial attacking the I&A product.

Moving back to the hog house for just a moment, there are two aspects of the story that I have not seen covered much: First, is the possibility of an industrial hog operation in Perote, Mexico as the point-of-origin for the new virus. UPDATE:  The Times Online (UK) has a story seeming to confirm Internet chatter on the Perote point-of-origin.

Second, there is a  mounting controversy regarding whether twitter will help or hurt our effective response.

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2 Comments »

Comment by Arnold

April 28, 2009 @ 11:23 am

Regarding Twitter and use of Google to spot pandemics, some interesting thoughts posted on the “Net Effect” blog at Foreign Policy:

http://neteffect.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2009/04/27/twitter_mining_vs_viral_mining

http://neteffect.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2009/04/27/twitter_mining_vs_viral_mining

Comment by William R. Cumming

April 28, 2009 @ 11:25 am

Odd how Mother Nature sometimes orders up simultaneous events.

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