• United States



by Jon Surmacz

D.C. in Dark While Plane Was Intercepted

May 13, 20051 min
CSO and CISOData and Information Security

Communication Breakdown… Washington D.C. Police Chief Charles H. Ramsey had no idea anything was out of the ordinary Wednesday morning until he heard fighter jets screaming past his office. That’s because a major communication breakdown kept police officials from learning that the fighters had been deployed to intercept an errant plane that had flown into restricted airspace.

For one, someone at police headquarters had disconnected a phone line that would have provided emergency communications from the Federal Aviation Administration, the Washington Post reported. Second, a sergeant stationed at the Homeland Security Operations Center said he was not notified by federal officials there what was going on. The Post reports that federal officials dispute the sergeant’s account. Further compounding the issue, Ramsey said, was that the Homeland Security Department never issued an alert about the plane over two computer systems available to the police that display alerts about emergencies. Said Ramsey, “I’m not going to sit there and make believe that their notification system is flawless, because it’s not. There are some issues that need to be addressed.”