Security Briefs

ORLANDO — The 51st ASIS International Annual Seminar and Exhibits, a premier security/tech show held here in September, attracted some 19,000 security professionals. A few highlights ...

  • “Protecting the Homeland While Keeping DHS Secure.” Thomas Taylor, chief, Special Programs Division, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, explains that the mission of his department is to protect and safeguard the department’s personnel, property, facilities, and information.
    Taylor relates that one of the big issues facing government today is that of background checks and clearances for personnel. Taylor says that DHS “routinely” loses out on qualified candidates for employment because of the length of time it takes to get clearance. “A system developed in the ‘50s,” he calls it.
    A possible solution, he says, is the smart card under development; Taylor says he expects the initial card distribution to begin by year’s end. It’s a card that will transcend across various government agencies, he says.
  • Former Secretary of State General (Ret.) Colin Powell, the ASIS keynote speaker, told a standing room only breakfast audience, “What we discovered after 9/11 was that we weren’t protecting ourselves well enough.”
    Powell asserts that it was appropriate for the country to “crack down,” given the non-standardization of communications systems between various governmental agencies, including police and intelligence groups.
    Powell maintains that the U.S. has been thrust by history into a time of leadership, particularly as it relates to the war on terrorism. “The one thing I’m sure of is that the United States will have to lead,” he says.
    “There is still a reservoir of trust around the world for the U.S.,” he says. “We are still a nation that can be trusted.”
  • HID, Indala, Access ID, and Synercard held a press conference to express support for creating standards for RFID (radio frequency identification) use, in light of recent state legislative initiatives that have raised concerns about civil liberty abuse.
    The group also cautions about H.R.6, a U.S. House bill that would extend daylight savings time. “Anything affected by date and time,” say officials, could be affected by the move. That would include access control systems, they say.
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