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by CSO Contributor

Security Fears Ground Two British Airways Flights; Report Slams Airline Computer Screening; Use of In-Phone Cameras Prompts Bans; CIA Alters Policy After Iraq Lapses

Feb 12, 20044 mins
CSO and CISOData and Information Security

Security Fears Ground Two British Airways Flights

According to a BBC News Online story, British Airways cancelled flights BA223from Londons Heathrow Airport to Washington, D.C., on Sunday and BA263 from Heathrow to Riyad, Saudi Arabia, on Monday. BA said the cancellations were for security reasons and followed government advice. The exact nature of the threat has not been revealed. Report Slams Airline Computer ScreeningUnited Press International report today. The summary says that as of Jan.1 the Transportation Security Administration had not finalized exactly how the system would work, or identified a timetable or budget for its implementation. It says that the agency has failed a series of tests set by Congress last year as a condition for the release of funding for the system. UPI says concerned lawmakers set a series of eight testsenacted into law in several funding billsthat the system had to pass before money could be released to fund its implementation. The tests included establishing a process for correcting erroneous information and restoring the right of wrongly labeled innocent passengers to travel by air; assuring the security of the system from hackers and internal abuse; addressing privacy concerns; and providing evidence that the screening will actually turn up potential terrorists. The damning report from Congress’ investigative arm, the General Accounting Office, may prevent funds for the system, known by the acronym CAPPS II, for Computer Assisted Passenger Pre-screening System phase two, from being released by Congress.

A congressional report to be published Friday slams the planning for a controversial new computer screening system designed to identify potential terrorists among airline passengers, according to a

Use of In-Phone Cameras Prompts BansReview Journal reports on the proliferation of miniature digital cameras, particularly in phones, and the subsequent bans on such devices cropping up everywhere. some educators won’t allow camera phones on school grounds. YMCAs and other athletic clubs also have begun insisting that members keep camera phones at home or in their cars, as have strip clubs and places like Lawrence Livermore Laboratories in California, which has banned camera phones and other data transmission devices in classified areas. The Air Force has done the same. The story notes that there are, on the other hand, plenty of ways camera phones have been helpful, including in police investigations; people have used phones to capture images of everything from car license plates to would-be attackers.

According to an AP story in todays Las Vegas

CIA Alters Policy After Iraq LapsesThe Washington Post, under the CIA’s current system, analysts are told about the reliability of the source but get no other information, such as an explanation of the person’s access to the information that he or she is providing. That is designed to protect agents’ identities, but also has roots in a bureaucratic divide between the Directorate of Operations and the Directorate of Intelligence, the analytical side of the agency. CIA Director George J. Tenet has ordered an end to that long-standing practice. Meanwhile, according to a story in The New Zealand Herald, the CIA has gone public for information about the still elusive weapons of mass destruction in Iraq by posting a notice on its website offering rewards. The notice, dated Tuesday, offers unspecified rewards for “specific and verifiable information” on the location of stocks of “recently made” chemical or biological weapons, missiles, unmanned aerial vehicles or their components, as well as the location of chemical or biological laboratories and factories; development, production and test sites; and places where such materials were “secretly disposed.”

The CIA is making changes in how it handles intelligence after identifying specific problems in its disputed prewar assessment that Iraq’s Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction, officials said yesterday. According to