Morning Security Brief: NSA Won’t Read Your E-mail, Border Security Savings, Emergency Communication, and More

By Carlton Purvis

►The head of the NSA said the agency would not read citizens’ personal e-mail if a new law is enacted to let private companies share data with the government. “To help protect the private sector, he said it was important that the intelligence agency be able to inform them about the type of malicious software and other cyber intrusions it is seeing and hear from companies about what they see breaching the protective measures on their computer networks,” MSNBC reports. "It doesn't require the government to read their mail or your mail to do that. It requires them, the Internet service provider or that company, to tell us that that type of event is going on at this time. And it has to be at network speed if you're going to stop it," General Keith Alexander said.

►Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has plans to close nine Border Patrol stations in the next six months. The interior stations, some hundred of miles from the border, will be closed to as part of a strategy to better concentrate resources at the borders. All but two of the stations are in Texas. The others are in Riverside, California and Twin Falls, Idaho. The agents from the stations will be moved to posts closer to borders. CBP predicts it can save $1.3 million per year with all nine closed.

►President Barack Obama signed and Executive Order on Friday tasking DHS, the Pentagon, and the FCC with commanding and implementing the government’s Emergency Telecommunications Service and developing capability to reach anyone in the country and the rest of the world and maintaining that communication during in “critical” situations. “Survivable, resilient, enduring and effective communications, both domestic and international, are essential to enable the executive branch to communicate within itself and with: the legislative and judicial branches; State, local, territorial and tribal governments; private sector entities; and the public, allies and other nations,” the order reads.

►In other news, city workers in Placentia, California, found a backpack full of grenades in a storm drain Monday morning. Police say there was no immediate threat to public safety and that the items had been there a while. ♦ Efforts to overhaul the nation’s chemical safety law have bipartisan support. “Since the 1970s, levels of PBDE flame retardants have dramatically built up in breast milk and babies' blood worldwide, and the chemicals have been linked to cancer, neurological deficits, impaired fertility and developmental problems. But the chemical safety law has made it difficult for the EPA to take action,” the Chicago Tribune reports. ♦ And concerns are growing over medical devices that can communicate wirelessly, iHealthBeat reports.



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