January 12, 2017–The chairs of eight House committees with jurisdiction over the Department of Homeland Security have signed a memorandum stating that they will cooperate on legislation to reauthorize DHS.
The agreement among the committee chairs was announced today by Rep. Michael McCaul (R., Texas), chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee. Rep. McCaul said last week (TRDaily, Jan. 5) that he had reached a memorandum of understanding with other committee chairs to help speed reauthorization legislation, and that he was “very optimistic that we will see that legislation . . . one of the first coming out of my committee.”
Central to Rep. McCaul’s push for DHS reauthorization is his oft-stated goal of transforming the agency’s National Protection and Programs Directorate (NPPD) into an operational unit devoted to the protection of critical infrastructure, to be called the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Protection Agency within DHS. DHS Secretary has Jeh Johnson has voiced support for such a move. Continue reading
Released: 12/28/2016. PUBLIC SAFETY AND HOMELAND SECURITY BUREAU RELEASES ITS INITIAL FINDINGS REGARDING THE 2016 NATIONWIDE EAS TEST. (DA No. 16-1452). (Dkt No 15-94 ) This Public Notice provides an initial overview of the nationwide EAS test results and highlights several opportunities for strengthening the EAS.
December 19, 2016–The National Institute of Standards and Technology and its National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence (NCCoE) said today they released a “Federal Register” notice for their Multifactor Authentication for e-Commerce project, and are inviting technology vendors to participate in the project build. “This project aims to help retailers implement stronger authentication mechanisms to ensure the user is authorized to use the card for e-commerce, card-not-present transactions, using standards-based commercially available and/or open source products,” NIST said.
December 13, 2016–Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said today that “DHS is pleased to implement the action items listed” in the U.S. Joint Strategic Plan on Intellectual Property Enforcement for fiscal years 2017 to 2019 released yesterday (TRDaily, Dec. 12). Among the DHS action items in the strategic plan are promoting and expanding U.S. law enforcement partnerships with e-commerce platforms “to keep these legitimate platforms from unwittingly facilitating intellectual property theft,” he said.
According to the FirstNet team, the request for proposals (RFP) award announcement could be made as early as the first week of November, though it may take some time after the announcement for all of the t’s to be crossed and i’s to be dotted in the formal contract. In the meantime—during the month of October and the period after the announcement but before the contract award—states should be preparing to make the best decision possible when it comes to opting in or out of FirstNet. There are 47 states that have not yet gone public with any concept or RFP. However, these states can follow models from states that have publicly initiated steps toward the decision process. How should states prepare for FirstNet opt-out decision?
Davidson County is working on a plan to revamp its public safety radio system to make it easier for EMS, fire, and other first responders to share information during emergencies. Two 480-foot VIPER towers will soon be put in and activated, allowing all first responders in the county to better communicate during emergencies. “Police officers and paramedics and firefighters would have the ability to communicate with one another with one radio,” said Terry Bailey, director of emergency communications. First responders in the county currently use a VHF system which is more than 40 years old.
Davidson County working to improve radio communications during emergencies (9/2) – FOX 8 – NC
SAFECOM and the National Council of Interoperability Coordinators (NCSWIC) sent an Aug. 11 letter to Brian E. Kamoie, assistant administrator for the Grant Programs Directorate (GPD) at the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), urging FEMA to require Project 25 (P25) compliance for all grantees. The letter provided recommendations for strengthening grantee compliance with P25 standards. Currently, the annual “SAFECOM Guidance on Emergency Communications Grants” allows grantees to submit written justification for non-standards purchases when needed. SAFECOM and NCSWIC said the clause creates a loophole for state and local agencies to purchase nonstandard equipment, hindering interoperability. Thus, SAFECOM and NCSWIC proposed three recommendations for establishing stronger P25 compliance standards.
SAFECOM Pushes P25 Requirements for FEMA Grants (9/2) – Mission Critical Communications