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by CSO Contributor

Terror Threat Complicates Election Plans in D.C.; U.S. Air Traffic Control Vulnerable; Privacy Eroding, Bit by Byte

Oct 15, 20043 mins
CSO and CISOData and Information Security

Terror Threat Complicates Election Plans in D.C.

Election officials and law enforcement agencies are trying to achieve a “delicate balance” between providing protection at the polls and keeping the polls a welcome place for voters. According to a story in the Washington post, the terror warnings of a possible attack leading up to Election Day have stirred debate among law enforcement, election officials and civil liberties advocates. Stationing police at polling places is one option that Maryland and Virginia officials are considering, but civil liberties advocates that too strong a police presence might be a violation of federal law. “It’s the way things are now. It’s regrettable, but I think it’s how we have to act,” said Lawrence C. Haake III, general registrar of Chesterfield County, Va. “We’re in such a world now that either we’ve got to be prepared for anything or suffer the consequences of failing to prepare.”

For more details, read the full article in the Washington Post.

U.S. Air Traffic Control Vulnerable

A government audit has found that computer systems that direct high-altitude traffic across the country are vulnerable to hackers and the Federal Aviation Admisitration has agreed to remedy the problem. According to a Security Focus report, the FAA has been directed to take corrective action immediately. The government report reads, in part, “”FAA needs to commit to reviewing all operational air traffic control systems – at en route, approach control, and airport terminal facilities.” Said FAA spokesperson Tammy Jones, “The FAA has made significant progress in its information security program. We do concur with the Inspector General’s report that more needs to be done, so we continue to work on our systems.”

For more details, read the full Security Focus article in The Register.

Privacy Eroding, Bit by Byte

Recent headlines suggest that our privacy may be in jeopardy. Earlier this week the FDA approves a chip implant that would be used to speed up or improve emergency health care. Thursday, Google announces a desktop search technology that would allow users to use the Web to search for items on their computer. An article in the Washington Post wonders where this is leading and what companies are doing with the data they’ve collected on us. “It’s this whole new world. It’s sort of like all these little details about our lives are being recorded,” said Richard M. Smith, an Internet security consultant in Boston. “We love the conveniences. We love the services. But people kind of instinctively know there’s a dark side to this. They just hope it won’t happen to them.”

For more details, read the full article in the Washington Post.