• United States



by CSO Contributor

Bush Spending Request Envisions Long War; Flying Under Code Red Alert Would Test New Limits; Data Expert Cautious About Misuse of Information; Suspect in Serbian Assassination Arrested

Mar 25, 20033 mins
CSO and CISOData and Information Security

Bush Spending Request Envisions Long War

According to a story in the Washington Post today, President Bush today outlined a war spending plan that envisions a protracted conflict and military occupation in Iraq, as the American public showed signs that it, too, was bracing for an extended and bloody fight. Bush will ask Congress to spend $74.7 billion over the next six months on Iraq and related foreign aid and anti-terrorism matters, including $4 billion for homeland security. According to the Post, that sum includes $2 billion in grants to states for state and local anti-terrorism efforts and $2 billion for federal efforts, particularly the Coast Guard and the Justice Department, which will get $500 million, mostly for the FBI. Airlines, which had requested a bailout because of reduced traffic, would not get any funds in the legislation.

Flying Under Code Red Alert Would Test New Limits

In a story on homeland security, USA Today writes of possible scenarios under a Code Red terrorism alert. Public statements by government officials don’t spell out what measures will be taken under a red alert. But air travel will be in chaos if the government raises its terrorist threat warning system one more level, aviation security expert Jalal Haidar told USA Today. Safety measures should include, he says, a ban on parking within 300 feet of an airport terminal, search of every vehicle proceeding to a terminal and the elimination of cargo on all passenger flights. Passengers may be required to check in at least three hours before a flight and shouldn’t be allowed to carry laptop computers, which he says, could lead to dramatic declines in airline passengers

Data Expert Cautious About Misuse of Information

According to a story in the New York Times, Gilman Louie, chief executive of In-Q-Tel, a venture fund established by the C.I.A. in 1999, warns of the danger of amassing a large, unified database that would be available to government investigators, as some technology executives have advocated. Louie said there were two different paths being pursued toward data surveillance by the government. One is a “data mining or profiling” approach, involving the collection of large amounts of data and then sorting it by names, buying habits or travel plans looking for patterns, in order to create watch lists. The other a data analysis approach, which Louie supports. It starts with some kind of investigative lead and then uses software tools to scan for links between a person under investigation and known terrorists, in terms of where they live, recent travel and other behavior. The Times says that Louie thinks theres a place for data mining, but that relying on it as the principal way to use database technology in fighting terrorism would be a mistake.

Suspect in Serbian Assassination Arrested

Police have arrested a senior special police officer on suspicion of assassinating Serbian Prime Minister Zoran Djindjic, according to the BBC News today. Djindjic was killed by a sniper’s bullet with one shot to the chest as he got out of his car on crutches just outside government buildings in Belgrade on March 12. The new prime minister, Zoran Zivkovic, said the suspect was a deputy commander of the Unit for Special Operations (JSO), Zvezdan Jovanovic, aged 38.