Pope Francis's visit to South America begins with security concerns as massive crowds gather to greet the pontiff; Congressmen question CFATS effectiveness; Cisco to acquire security company Sourcefire, and more.
► The Associated Press is reporting that Pope Francis's visit to Rio De Janeiro, Brazil is already proving a challenge for his security detail, calling an incident that happened yesterday "a nightmare for security officials." On Monday the pontiff's chauffer reportedly drove on the wrong side of the road, where crowds had not been cleared, allowing for many to get closer to his car. The news report also says that "Other parts of the pope's route to the city center weren't lined with fencing, giving the throngs more chances to get close, with uniformed police nowhere in sight to act as crowd control," and that at least three dozen "Vatican and Brazilian plainclothes security officials struggled to keep the crowds at bay." Rev. Federico Lombardi, spokesperson for the Vatican, told the press that while no harm actually came to the pontiff as he kicked off his seven day visit in South America, in terms of security, there were "errors" that could be corrected. "This is something new, maybe also a lesson for the coming days," he said.
► A letter from two key members of Congress to the secretary of Homeland Security strongly urges the department to reconsider funding for the Chemical Facilities Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS) program due to "ineffectual management and implementation" of the program. The document points out that CFATS, created in 2006, fails to properly assess threat and vulnerability risks at chemical facilities, noting that "this failure to develop an accurate and effective risk evaluation system could not be more problematic." The letter states, however, "we would like to see the program continue," and it lays out several steps for improvement, including more robust reporting of the program's goals, as well as regular performance evaluations.
► In other news, the New York Times reports that Martin E. Dempsey, chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, says he hopes for a security agreement to be signed between Afghanistan and the United States "no later than October." ♦ PC World reports that Cisco will acquire network security solutions vendor Sourcefire for $2.7 billion ♦ And, State Department agency responsible for the information security status of 170 departments has been heavily critcized by an inspector general report .