Morning Security Brief: New Law Arms Teachers, DHS Must Turn Over Documents, and School Searches E-mails
South Dakota becomes the first state to pass a law to arm school teachers, the government must release documents on the safety of airport scanners, and administrators at Harvard search the e-mail accounts of employees to uncover who leaked information to the press.
►South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard has approved a bill (H.B. 1087) that will allow school boards in the state to arm school employees or hire security officers to guard schools. The new law is designed to help poorer schools improve security by arming employees and does not create a requirement for such employees to carry weapons. Though many other states have introduced measures to arm employees, the South Dakota measure is the first to become law.
► A federal judge has awarded the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) access to documents regarding the safety of full body scanners used at airports. The judge ruled that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) must turn over two reports on the safety of the radiation put out by the scanners and slides that provide details on the software used in the scanners. DHS had previously claimed that it was not required to release the documents. In late January, the DHS announced that it would pull the scanners from all U.S. airports.
► According to an article in The New York Times, Harvard administrators have searched the e-mail accounts of 16 resident deans to try and discover who leaked reports of a cheating scandal to the press last August. After the university suspected that almost half of the students in a government class cheated on the final exam, the administration sent out an e-mail to the resident deans suggesting that they ask students to withdraw voluntarily rather than being forced out. This e-mail was leaked to the press. The e-mail accounts of the resident deans were searched six months ago but the deans were only told last week, a practice that the deans say violates school policy.