• United States



by CSO Contributor

DHS Plan Lacks Sufficiently Integrated Infrastructure; Athens Games Under Scrutiny; U.S. Steps Up Push Against Online Casinos by Seizing Cash; TSA Under Attack; Australian Jailed on Terror Charges

Jun 01, 20044 mins
CSO and CISOData and Information Security

DHS Plan Lacks Sufficiently Integrated Infrastructure

Computerworld reports that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security officials for the past three weeks have been quietly preparing a 100-day plan to bolster physical and cybersecurity around critical infrastructures in advance of a possible terrorist attack this summer, but they have been doing so without the benefit of a sufficiently ntegrated IT infrastructure. According to Computerworld, the U.S. General Accounting Office has found that the DHS has made only limited progress in its IT systems integration efforts

efforts that government officials see as critical to the effective execution of DHS plans.Athens Games Under Scrutiny reports that with the Summer Games set to begin in less than 11 weeks, missed construction deadlines at the Athens stadium site are compromising a highly sophisticated $1.2 billion security effort to prevent a terror attack on the 2004 Olympics, according to security analysts and several officials directly involved in the preparations. The main vulnerabilities feared are infiltration and lack of time. Work crews of many nationalities are flooding in and out of the sprawling construction site where the massive Olympic stadiums and other venues are undergoing hasty efforts to complete them on time. And the delays in construction have narrowed the window for counterterrorism specialists to “lock down and clean” the sites prior to the Olympics.

The Boston Globe

U.S. Steps Up Push Against Online Casinos by Seizing CashNew York Times story today, in early April, United States marshals seized $3.2 million from Discovery Communications, the television and media company, in an aggressive effort to crack down on a new target, Internet gambling. The money initially belonged to Tropical Paradise, a Costa Rica-based Internet casino operation, which in October paid Discovery for television spots to advertise an online poker room, According to court documents, the government seized the money and told Discovery, which is based in Silver Spring, Md., that it could be party to an illegal activity by broadcasting such advertisements, the Times reports. Offshore casinos fall outside federal prosecutors jurisdiction. So for nearly a year, the government has been trying to curb the sites’ activities by investigating and pressuring American companies that provide services to offshore gambling sites. The move has raised strong criticism from First Amendment experts, media industry executives and people involved with offshore casinos.

According to a

TSA Under AttackChicago Sun-Times says the anti-terrorism agency that Congress rushed into existence just weeks after the Sept. 11 attacks to protect America’s planes, trains and trucks is shrinking, and could all but fade away. House Aviation Subcommittee Chairman John Mica (R-Fla.) says the time has come to rethink TSA and cut it back. The law creating the Homeland Security Department has a sunset provision for the transportation security office. It says the TSA has only to be maintained as a distinct entity until November 2004. Mica and other Republicans, who were never entirely comfortable with creating a new bureaucracy, want to return all airport security screener jobs to the private sector, where they were before Sept. 11, 2001.

An AP story in today’s

Australian Jailed on Terror ChargesThe Melbourne Age. But the English-born Muslim convert, who plotted with al-Qaeda to blow up the Israeli embassy in Canberra, could be free as early as May 2007 because of time already served. Crown prosecutor Ron Davies had sought a sentence “approaching the maximum” of 25 years, citing the need for a dramatic deterrent in the precedent-setting case. Delivering his sentence today, Judge Paul Healy said Roche, 50, had played an important role in the bombing conspiracy, but said he felt Roche’s prospects for rehabilitation were good and he was unlikely to become involved an any future, similar offense. Healy said Roche would have faced a 12-year prison sentence had it not been for his co-operation with authorities.

Jack Roche, the first person to be convicted under Australia’s new anti-terror laws, was jailed yesterday for a maximum of nine years, according to a story in