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by CSO Contributor

Homeland Creates Cybersecurity Office; British Scientist Offers Bleak Predictions; Mass Expulsions and Criminal Probes in Post-9/11 Zeal; Security Tops Agenda at U.S. Mayors Annual Conference

Jun 09, 20033 mins
CSO and CISOData and Information Security

Homeland Creates Cybersecurity Office

The Department of Homeland Security said on Friday that it will establish an office to focus on U.S. cybersecurity, according to an article in the Washington Post. The Post reports that the office will be part of the department’s Information Analysis and Infrastructure Protection division, which is run by former Coca-Cola Corp. security executive Robert Liscouski.British Scientist Offers Bleak PredictionsReuters story today, but the odds of keeping Planet Earth alive and well are getting worse amid a breakneck pace of scientific advances, according to Martin Rees, Britain’s honorary astronomer royal. In his recently published book, “Our Final Hour,” he lists as mankind’s biggest threats: nuclear terrorism, deadly engineered viruses, rogue machines and genetic engineering that could alter human character. All of those could result from innocent error or the action of a single malevolent individual. According to Reuters, Rees contends that by 2020, an instance of bioterror or bioerror will have killed a million people. The British scientist calls for better regulation and inspection of sensitive data and experiments and He also suggested better efforts to “reduce the number of people who feel excluded or otherwise motivated to cause harm.”

The demise of civilization has been predicted since it began, says a

Mass Expulsions and Criminal Probes in Post-9/11 ZealBBC News, More than 13,000 Arab and Muslim men in the United States are facing deportation after cooperating with post-9/11 anti-terror measures. They are among 82,000 adult males who obeyed a government demand to register with the immigration service earlier this year, on the grounds they come from 25 mainly Muslim countries said to harbor terror groups. Of these, 11 individuals have been found to have links with terrorism; most face deportation because of lapses in their immigration status. The BBC quotes Fayiz Rahman of the American Muslim Council: “People did register out of their good conscience, because they wanted to follow the rules, respect the law,” and adds that the policy is targeted only toward Muslims. Other critics say some of those awaiting deportation had only violated immigration rules due to a backlog in processing of applications by the government. Meanwhile, the Mercury News reports that the FBI systematically used unsupported tips as a justification to launch criminal investigations to ensnare people who had overstayed their visas or had other immigration violations, according to the internal Justice Department report released last week. Stereotypes and vague suspicions from the public helped fuel the roundup of hundreds of undocumented immigrants after 9/11 and continue to help drive investigations in the Bay Area, local FBI officials say.

According to the

Security Tops Agenda at U.S. Mayors Annual ConferenceThe Denver Post. Homeland security and the threat of terrorism is the highest priority among the U.S. mayors, who are struggling with their respective governors to get their share of the $10 billion that President Bush has allocated to the states for security against terrorism. For more on conference issues, see the U.S. Conference of Mayors website

More than 200 mayors from around the world descended on Denver last Thursday to spend five days talking about homeland security, how to make the most of a sour economy and other matters, according to a story in