INFORMATION

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Cybersecurity

- The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has released the preliminary version of its cybersecurity framework for critical infrastructure. The voluntary guidelines were crafted by NIST with the help of private sector input and engagement with industry stakeholders. The final version of the framework is due in April.

Organized Crime

- Organized crime groups have adopted cyber tactics to bring their organizations into the 21st century and to further their reach. EUROPOL’s EU Serious and Organized Crime Threat Assessment and Threat Assessment: Italian Organized Crime both outlined new ways that organized crime is using the Internet to recruit members, distribute products, and launder money in new markets.

Security Clearances

- More than 4.9 million federal government and contract employees hold, or are eligible to hold, a security clearance in 2012. However, according to a report by the Government Accountability Office, there is no clear defined policy guidance for determining when a federal position needs a security clearance.

Chemical Plants

- After a West, Texas, fertilizer plant exploded in April of last year, President Barack Obama created the Chemical Facility Safety and Security Working group, which held listening sessions with stakeholders during the fall of 2013 and winter of 2014. Read some of their talking points and options for recommendations to the president.

School Security

- Video Insight and STANLEY Security offer grants to schools for security equipment. Video Insight donates equipment to one school each month, and STANLEY Security provides four grants at the end of the year, based on a contest held in the autumn.

Liability

- A company is not liable for injuries sustained in a vehicle accident caused by one of its employees. The employee, though driving a company truck, was acting outside the scope of his employment when the accident occurred because the employee was traveling to meet his wife on a purely personal errand.

Noncompete Agreements

- A state appeals court has ruled that a company’s noncompete agreement is unenforceable because it is overbroad. The court ruled that the company has “no protectable interest in public information” and “cannot deem by fiat all information…acquired through employment is confidential.”

Privacy

- To prevail under a California law requiring the protection of personal health information, a plaintiff must prove that the information was accessed by unauthorized individuals. Alleging that the information could have been accessed is insufficient.

Drug Testing

- New York’s high court has ruled that a parolee can sue a third-party laboratory after the lab reported erroneous results on a drug test. The parolee accused the laboratory of negligent testing because it failed to conduct a back-up test to correct for a known high false-positive rate.

Border Security

- The Department of Homeland Security is upgrading the TECS Modernization system (TECS Mod) to improve screening of foreign visitors to the United States. A recent GAO report found that TECS Mod, which has already incurred costs upwards of $1.5 billion, is unlikely to meet its 2015 deadline.

Canine Evidence

- The Supreme Court ruled in Florida v. Harris that drug- or bomb-detection dogs can give police probable cause to search private property if they alert officers to potential illegal activities and are properly trained.

Officer Oversight

- The Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Protective Service, which contracts approximately 13,500 security officers at federal facilities, was found to lack oversight procedures in training officers for active-shooter scenarios and x-ray scanner usage in a report by the GAO.

Data Breaches

- In 2012, federal agencies reported 22,156 data breaches, an increase of 111 percent from 2009. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) found that while most federal agencies have policies for responding to a data breach, all of those policies are different. The GAO made 23 recommendations to update and standardize federal agency response.
 




Beyond Print

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