• United States



by CSO Contributor

DHS To Build Secure Network Linking State Offices; Book Reports on US Sabotage of Soviet Pipeline; Safety Board Wants Airlines to Weigh Passengers; FDA Will Require Bar Codes on Hospital Drugs

Feb 27, 20042 mins
CSO and CISOData and Information Security

DHS To Build Secure Network Linking State Offices

The Washington Times reports that Homeland Security officials said yesterday that the department sent teams to cities under threat during the holiday season Code Orange alert because of a lack of secure communication channels to state and local officials. According to the report, Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge on Tuesday rolled out plans for the expansion of a secure, Internet-based communications network, which will allow department officials to communicate in real time by voice, text and data with their state and local counterparts.Book Reports on US Sabotage of Soviet PipelineThe Washington Post reports that in January 1982, President Ronald Reagan approved a CIA plan to sabotage the economy of the Soviet Union through covert transfers of technology that contained hidden malfunctions, including software that later triggered a huge explosion in a Siberian natural gas pipeline, according to a new memoir by a Reagan White House official. According to the report, the sabotage of the gas pipeline has not been previously disclosed, and at the time was a closely guarded secret.Safety Board Wants Airlines to Weigh PassengersThe National Transportation Safety Board says air travel would be safer if airlines weighed their passengers from time to time to make sure they know how much weight their planes are carrying, according to an article in the Atlanta Journal Constitution. The story reports that the board recommended the FAA require airlines operating planes with 10 or more seats to weigh passengers periodically to determine when they might be heavier, for example, in December when they wear heavy coats and carry presents. FDA Will Require Bar Codes on Hospital DrugsComputerworld reports that the Food and Drug Administration, after a year of deliberation, has issued a final ruling yesterday that requires pharmaceutical companies to apply bar codes to thousands of prescription and over-the-counter drugs dispensed in hospitals. According to the story, the FDA said the bar-code rule is designed to support and encourage widespread adoption of advanced information systems that, in some hospitals, have reduced medication error rates by as much as 85 percent.