"I don't think we can continue to depend on the emotional response to a particular crisis as continuing to be the driver that allows individuals--and sometimes even philanthropy at the foundation and corporate level--to be the thing that deploys resources," said Tony Pipa, deputy assistant to the administration within the U.S. Agency for International Development bureau of policy, planning, and learning.
"Establishing in operations the recognition of credentials issued by other agencies or third parties – everybody thinks is a good idea. We're not there yet," said Kelli Ann Walther, senior director of the screening coordination office, during a Nov. 29 Center for Strategic and International Studies event on the future of homeland security.
The Homeland Security Department increasingly is able to tap into other countries' fingerprint databases for purposes of identifying individuals, said Robert Mocny, director of US-VISIT. The United States and four other countries--the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and New Zealand--share fingerprint information through a system called the Secure Real Time Platform.
Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, gave an address Nov. 28 on future challenges to homeland security.
The report (.pdf), published Nov. 13 by Center for Strategic and International Studies researchers, finds that R&D has never consumed more than 10 percent of DHS annual obligations and has oscillated between a high of 8 percent in 2004 to a low of 2 percent in 2009.
A draft of the executive order on cybersecurity has circulated in the Obama administration, but President Barack Obama himself has yet to review it, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said Oct. 25. In the meantime, she said, the administration has reached out to the private sector and other stakeholders for their feedback about what the order should look like if Obama does choose to issue one.
The Office of Management and Budget has "ample legal authority to adopt reforms," say authors of the report (.pdf)--who include former OMB executives, including Karen Evans who occupied the equivalent position of federal chief information officer during much of the Bush administration and cybersecurity experts including James Andrew Lewis of CSIS.
Two establishment national security think tanks--one Chinese, the other American--have been holding what a former Homeland Security Department official says could be described as proxy negotiations on cyber war and cyber espionage. Stewart Baker, a former DHS assistant secretary for policy from 2005 through early 2009, notes in a Volokh Conspiracy blog post that Washington, D.C.-based Center for Strategic and International Studies and Beijing-based China Institute of Contemporary International Relations also published earlier this summer a description of issues raised in discussions.
Congress should reinstate the 5-year-term provision for the top position at the Transportation Security Administration, Tom Blank, a former TSA executive, said July 10.
Why the provision might merit a veto isn't clear to all observers. "My reaction when I saw the language is it's not worth vetoing," said James Lewis.