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Morning Security Brief: UN Deal on Syria, iPhone Hacker, Biometrics Exit Program, and More

By Laura Spadanuta

►  The United Nations Security Council's five permanent members have agreed on a deal regarding Syria's chemical weapons, according to the New York Times. The resolution will require that Syria give up its chemical weapons, however, there are no automatic specified penalties if Syria fails to comply with the resolution. According to the Times "the deal, when approved by the 15 members of the Security Council, would amount to the most significant international diplomatic initiative of the Syrian civil war." If the resolution is approved and Syria fails to comply, it would be eligible for economic sanctions or military action. Additionally, Reuters reports that the UN is looking into reports of seven chemical weapons attacks in Syria.

► The House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Border and Maritime Security held a hearing on implementing the 9/11 Commission’s recommended “Biometric Exit" program, reports Aviation News. Proposed legislative language calls for the biometric to be in use at 10 major U.S. airports in two years and at 30 in six years. The program would apply only to foreigners, and it is designed to help reduce visa overstays. Aviation News notes that while the legislative language to implement the program is in the Senate’s version of immigration reform legislation, since the prospects of that bill are uncertain, the bipartisan leadership of the subcommittee also introduced H.R. 3141, the Biometric Exit Improvement Act of 2013 as a way of moving the proposal on its own.

► iPhone fingerprint hacker Jan Krissler gives an interview to Ziet Online, excerpted in English on boing boing, about the limits of the uses of fingerprint biometrics as a security measure. Krissler said he thought iPhone might have used vein pattern recognition instead of the fingerprint they used, but he acknowledges that if someone gets access to the vein pattern they could replicate that as well.

► The Washington Times reports that Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) has listed requirements for a bill that would curb NSA domestic surveillance. According to the article, the bill would "require phone data be deleted more quickly and agents to let a secret court know immediately every time they want to dig through the data."

► A five-story residential building that collapsed in Mumbai has left unknown numbers of people trapped or dead; security issues thwart attempts to rescue people trapped in southwest Pakistan's massive earthquake; and the Congressional Research Service lists answers to frequently asked questions about security clearances.

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