Morning Security Brief: Software Pirate Pleads Guilty, TSA Seeks Private Screeners, 'Tricorder' Close to Reality, and More

By Ann Longmore-Etheridge

►GSN.Government News reports the "defendant in one of the largest copyright infringement and wire fraud cases ever uncovered and dismantled by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations pleaded guilty on Jan. 8 to pirating and distributing more than $100 million in software worldwide." The man, Xiang Li, ran a Web site that sold the pirated software to buyers.

►The TSA will soon be awarding private security companies with contracts for airports in California and Florida. The TSA will release a request for proposals later this month. HSToday.US writes that personnel from these companies will "replace federal screeners at two new airports in its Screening Partnership Program (SPP)--Sacramento International Airport in California and Orlando-Sanford International Airport in Florida, the agency said Friday. TSA also will recompete services at California's San Francisco International Airport, one of the first five airports to join SPP in its original pilot program in 2004."

►Sci-fi security geeks delight: Dr. McCoy's tricorder is nearing reality and may be used not just for medical purposes, but also to fight terrorism. According to Science Codex, "A University of Missouri engineering team has invented a compact source of X-rays and other forms of radiation. The radiation source, which is the size of a stick of gum, could be used to create inexpensive and portable X-ray scanner." One of the device's designers says that it is harmless when not energized, and when it is, it causes very low exposures to radiation.

►A teenager in Alabama has been released on bail after being arrested for allegedly plotting an attack on his school. The student, Derek Shrout, was caught by a teacher who found a journal authored by Shrout containing plans for terrorist-style attacks. The teen was constructing explosive devices in his home, the Russell County Sherriff's Department has claimed.


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