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by CSO Contributor

Poor Report Card for Los Alamos Security Threatens U-Cals Contract; Hearings Asked on FBI Informants; Libya to Pay $2.7 Billion for Lockerbie Crash; Striking Nigerian Workers Take Foreigners Hostage

Apr 29, 20033 mins
CSO and CISOData and Information Security

Poor Report Card for Los Alamos Security Threatens U-Cals Contract

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, a report released Monday by the Department of Energy’s inspector general found that Los Alamos National Laboratory failed to track hundreds of laptop computers, raising questions about protections for classified information at the nuclear weapons design lab. The report found that managers at the lab run by the University of California failed to tag 70 percent of the laptops with bar codes, as required under Los Alamos own rules. The lab also did not properly account for several laptops containing classified data, although investigators found no evidence that government secrets were compromised. The report could further undermine the university’s campaign to save its 60-year contract to manage the nation’s premier nuclear weapons design lab, the Chronicle reports. The contract is already jeopardized by earlier allegations of theft and fraud.Hearings Asked on FBI InformantsThe Boston Globe today. The FBI’s handling of confidential informants will come under renewed examination if the Senate Judiciary Committee holds hearings on the subject, as three of its senior members requested yesterday. In requesting the hearings on the Los Angeles case, they noted a longstanding concern about the handling of confidential informants by the FBI. Their letter also raised questions about the decision by Attorney General John Ashcroft last May to revise guidelines that govern how the FBI and other federal investigators handle confidential informants, in an effort to improve intelligence gathering on potential terrorists. One rule that was relaxed gave agents more time to notify superiors of the recruitment of a new source. That decision, the senators wrote, was made without notice or consultation with the Senate Judiciary Committee.

An emerging Los Angeles spy case, in which investigators believe a former FBI informant passed classified information to China, has also rekindled interest in the case of FBI informant and now fugitive James Whitey Bulger, according to

Libya to Pay $2.7 Billion for Lockerbie CrashSunday Times today, Raghman said full payment was conditional on U.N. sanctions against Libya being lifted after payment of an initial installment of $4 million to each victim, and U.S. sanctions after a similar payment. After payment of the final installment of $2 million, Libya would ask to be removed from the U.S. list of countries supporting terrorism. Furthermore, Tripoli was prepared to assume limited responsibility for the downing of Pan Am flight 103, something it has previously refused to do.

Libya will pay $10 million to each of the 270 victims of the 1988 Lockerbie airliner bombing after accepting civil responsibility for the blast, Foreign Minister Abdel Rahman Shalgham said today. According to an AFP story in South Africas

Striking Nigerian Workers Take Foreigners HostageNew York Times website today. The hostages, including 21 Americans, have been held since April 19. Yesterday 34 people left two rigs by boat, but it is unclear whether they are part of the 97 hostages or not. The drilling rigs owned by Houston-based Transocean were drilling wells on behalf of oil multinationals Royal/Dutch Shell and TotalFina Elf. Nigeria is one of the world’s largest oil exporters and the fifth largest producer of U.S. oil imports. According to the AP story, the strikers were protesting a decision by Transocean to use boats instead of helicopters to ferry them from company rigs about 25 miles offshore the tense Niger Delta state of Rivers, and were also angered by company threats to institute disciplinary action against five union members.

Striking Nigerian oil workers have taken about 100 foreign workers hostage on several offshore oil installations, company officials and union workers said, according to an AP story posted on the