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Security

WNYC News

Security Up at Area Theaters Following Colo. Shooting

Saturday, July 21, 2012

The NYPD will continue to beef up security at area movie theaters this weekend after a gunman killed at least 12 at a midnight premiere of the new Batman movie in a Denver suburb Friday.

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WNYC News

Agent In Underwear Bomb Plot Produced Intelligence Coups

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

He turned over what authorities say is an intact device. And, he reportedly supplied key information that led to a drone strike that killed one of the key figures in the 2000 attack on the USS Cole.

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WNYC News

CIA Informant Posed As A Would-Be Bomber To Foil Underwear Bomb Plot

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

The CIA along with Saudi Arabian intelligence planted a mole who obtained the bomb from al-Qaida. The informant then turned over the bomb to U.S. intelligence.

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WNYC News

CIA Thwarts New, More Sophisticated Underwear Bomber

Monday, May 07, 2012

The CIA said no airliners were ever in danger and it was planned for the anniversary of Osama bin Laden's death.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Backstory: The Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act

Thursday, April 26, 2012

The Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, or CISPA, is a controversial surveillance bill currently making it ways way through the House of Representatives. Declan McCullagh, chief political correspondent and senior writer at CNET, explains the bill, and why privacy advocates are so alarmed by it.

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The Takeaway

Secret Service Agents to be Investigated for Misconduct

Monday, April 16, 2012

Eleven Secret Service employees are accused of bringing prostitutes back to their hotel in Cartagena ahead of President Obama's visit for a summit in Colombia. The agents and officers have been placed on leave while the agency investigates their conduct. Although prostitution is legal in parts of Colombia and no law was broken, if the reports are true, the employees still violated rules of conduct. Tim Weiner, author of "Enemies: A History of the FBI," has won the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award for his work on national security. Weiner explains what happened and why the employees' alleged indiscretions could have put the President Obama's life at risk.

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WNYC News

Post 9/11 Security Upgrade to NYC Transit Lags

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

WNYC

A new report says the first phase of the NY MTA’s security upgrade after 9/11 won’t be done for another two years, and that cost keeps rising.

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Transportation Nation

Security Shake-Up Planned For Port Authority Of NY-NJ

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Former chief of U.S. Homeland Security Michael Chertoff announces security changes at the NY-NJ Port Athority with PA Executive Director Foye (right). (photo by Jim O'Grady)

(New York, NY - WNYC) The Port Authority of NY & NJ, which owns the World Trade Center,  announced Thursday that it is overhauling its security operations. The changes will start with the hiring of a Chief Security Officer.

The position is a new one. Former chief of U.S. Homeland Security Michael Chertoff recommended the creation of the job after reviewing security at the authority and finding no one person in charge. "I was surprised by the lack centralized accountability," he said at a press conference held at NY-NJ Port Authority headquarters in Manhattan.

He also said security arrangements across the authority's many departments "lack coordination" and that "decisions are made by managers at individual facilities."

A NY-NJ Port Authority press release added that Chertoff, whose security firm was hired to conduct a review, found "the absence of a clear sense of mission and inadequate lines of responsibility and operational control over the organization."

Chertoff stressed the security upgrade comes "not because of a crisis" but because "historically, the Port Authority has been the target of plots."

Pat Foye, executive director of the Port Authority, said a national search for a chief security officer would begin immediately.

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The Takeaway

New WikiLeaks Document Dump

Monday, February 27, 2012

This morning the anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks began publishing more than 5 million emails from a Texas-based global security analysis company that has been compared to a shadow CIA. WikiLeaks has not explained how it acquired the documents, which belong to the company Stratfor but it's widely believed that WikiLeaks was given the information by the hacker group Anonymous. Hackers linked to Anonymous claim to have stolen emails from Starfor last year. Noah Shachtman is a contributing editor of Wired Magazine and a Fellow at The Brookings Institution.

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The Takeaway

Google's New Privacy Policy Raises Many Concerns

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Google recently announced a new privacy policy that has users and privacy advocates up in arms. Effective March 1, this new policy will consolidate information from users' various products — from Gmail to YouTube to the Android mobile phone operating system — in order to "better tailor its services" for customers. But the move could potentially violate a users' privacy simply to better target advertising. Estimates say between 50-75 percent of the world's internet users utilize at least one of Google's products.

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Transportation Nation

Bill Would Require Independent Study of X-Ray Body Scanners

Thursday, January 26, 2012

The TSA testing new scanning technology at McCarrin Interational Airport in Las Vegas. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

(Michael Grabell, ProPublica) Sen. Susan Collins, the top Republican on the homeland security committee, plans to introduce a bill in the coming days that would require a new health study of the X-ray body scanners used to screen airline passengers nationwide.

The Transportation Security Administration began using the machines for routine screening in 2009 and sped up deployment after the so-called underwear bomber tried to blow up a plane on Christmas Day of that year.

But the X-ray scanners have caused concerns because they emit low levels of ionizing radiation, a form of energy that has been shown to damage DNA and mutate genes, potentially leading to cancer. ProPublica and PBS NewsHour reported in November that the TSA had glossed over cancer concerns. Studies suggested that six or 100 airline passengers each year could develop cancer from the machines.

Shortly after our report, the European Union separately announced that it would prohibit X-ray body scanners at its airports for the time being “in order not to risk jeopardizing citizens’ health and safety.”

The new bill drafted by Collins would require the TSA to choose an independent laboratory to measure the radiation emitted by a scanner currently in use at an airport checkpoint. The peer-reviewed study, to be submitted to Congress, would also evaluate the safety mechanisms on the machine and determine whether there are any biological signs of cellular damage caused by the scans.

In addition, the bill would require the TSA to place prominent signs at the start of checkpoint lines informing travelers that they can request a physical pat-down instead of going through the scanner. Right now, the TSA has signs in front of the machines noting that passengers can opt out. But the signs mostly highlight the images created rather than possible health risks.

The bill is the latest volley in a back-and-forth between Collins and the TSA. At a hearing in November, TSA administrator John Pistole agreedto a request from Sen. Collins to conduct a new independent health study.

But a week later at another hearing, Pistole backed off the commitment citing a yet-to-be-released report on the machines by the Department of Homeland Security’s inspector general.

“I have urged TSA to move toward only radiation-free screening technology,” Collins said in a statement to ProPublica. “In the meantime, an independent study is needed to protect the public and to determine what technology is worthy of taxpayer dollars.”

The TSA uses two types of body scanners to screen passengers for explosives. The X-ray machines, known as backscatters, look like two refrigerator-size blue boxes and are used at Los Angeles, Chicago O’Hare, New York’s John F. Kennedy, and elsewhere. The other machine, which looks like a round glass booth, uses electromagnetic waves that have not been linked to any adverse health effects. Those machines are used at airports in Dallas and Atlanta, among others.

The TSA says the radiation from the X-ray machines is minute, equivalent to that received in two minutes of flying at altitude. That measurement has been verified in previous tests by the Food and Drug Administration, the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory and the Army Public Health Command.

“All the previous independent testing showed that the machines are well below the national standard,” TSA spokesman Greg Soule said.

A group of vocal critics, primarily based at the University of California, San Francisco, has cast doubt on those tests, suggesting that the device used to measure the radiation isn’t equipped to provide accurate measurements on body scanners, among other flaws.

While not commenting specifically on the drafted legislation, Soule said, “the TSA is committed to working with Congress to explore options for an additional study to further prove these machines are safe for all passengers.”

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The Takeaway

Yemeni President Abdullah Saleh Approved for US Medical Visa

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

For nearly a year, Yemeni President Abdullah Saleh has harshly responded to protesters opposing his government. However, as a long-time partner in America's war on terror, the 200 casualties and 100,000 displaced demonstrators have in large part been overlooked by the U.S. government. Saleh was severely burned in an attack on the presidential palace in June, and has been granted a visa to come to the U.S. for medical treatment.

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The Takeaway

Bradley Manning's Pre-Trial Hearing and a Look at Military Secrecy

Monday, December 19, 2011

In Fort Meade, Maryland, a pre-trial investigation to determine whether or not to court-martial Private Bradley Manning is underway. Manning is accused of passing confidential U.S. military documents onto WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. In theory, the Article 32 hearing could give Manning's lawyers the chance to bring up a broad host of issues connected to the case — about military secrecy, for example, and about the personal difficulties Manning, who is gay, struggled with in the Army. However, over the weekend, Army investigators put strict limits on what witnesses Manning can call in his own defense.

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The Takeaway

US to Send Security Agents to 2012 Olympics

Monday, November 14, 2011

Concerns over security at the 2012 Olympics has prompted the United States to send 1,000 agents, including 500 from the FBI, to provide protection for its athletes in London. The Guardian is reporting this morning that American officials are apprehensive over British anti-terrorism laws and the effectiveness of their police force to handle threats. Their British counterparts, however, are concerned about the U.S. operating outside its jurisdiction. Gordon Corera, the BBC's security correspondent, has the latest from London.

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WNYC News

'Underwear Bomber' Pleads Guilty

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab was arrested for trying to blow up a Detroit-bound passenger jet on Christmas Day 2009. In court today, he insisted that while he is guilty under U.S. law, he is not guilty under Islamic law.

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The Takeaway

Role of the CIA in Yemen

Friday, September 30, 2011

We continue our coverage of the death of Anwar Al-Awlaki, the U.S.-born cleric killed early this morning in northern Yemen. It is still not clear whether the operation was carried out by Yemeni forces or American intelligence but the CIA has had the greenlight to target the leading terrorist figure. Joining us is Eric Schmitt, terrorism correspondent for our partner The New York Times and co-author, along with The Times' Thom Shanker of the book "Counterstrike: the Untold Story of America's Secret Campaign Against Al Qaeda".

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WNYC News

NYPD Dials Down City Security After 9/11 Anniversary

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

WNYC

The NYPD is reducing heightened security measures in the city put in place for the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.

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The Takeaway

9/11: Looking Back and Ahead with Lee Hamilton

Friday, September 09, 2011

All week long, we’ve been talking about the tenth anniversary of 9/11. We’ve spoken with young people, experts, soldiers, and you, our listeners. Today, we're focusing on the 9/11 commission, and what we've done to improve homeland security since the attacks.

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WNYC News

NYPD Ramps Up Security for 10th Anniversary of 9/11

Thursday, September 08, 2011

New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said the city will deploy thousands of additional police officers in the city for the 10th anniversary of September 11, even though there has been no specific terrorism threat to New York.

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The Takeaway

Eric Schmitt on 'The Untold Story of America's Secret Campaign Against al-Qaeda'

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

In their new book, "Counterstrike: The Untold Story of America's Secret Campaign Against al-Qaeda," New York Times reporters Eric Schmitt and Thom Shanker provide an inside look at what goes on behind the scenes of U.S. counter-intelligence, and how national security efforts against terrorism have evolved in the almost ten years since 9/11.

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