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Morning Roundup- November 4th

From the AFP, on the International Conference of Data Protection and Privacy in Madrid:

Hundreds of privacy experts from around the world met in Madrid on Wednesday for a three-day conference which aims to arrive at a global standard for the protection of personal data.

US Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano as well representatives from data protection agencies from 50 nations and top managers from key Internet firms like Google and Facebook are taking part in the event, billed as the world's largest forum dedicated to privacy.

Artemi Rallo Lombarte, the director of the Spanish Data Protection Agency, an independent control authority which is organising the 31st International Conference of Data Protection and Privacy, said laws regulating privacy vary greatly around the world.

"These differences are far from being an obstacle, they should instead enrich our initiatives to promote the effective guarantee of rights through a global convention for the protection of privacy and personal data," he said in a opening address to the conference.

"This is one of the main goals of this international conference," he added.

Participants hope the international standards reached at the gathering will serve as the basis for a universal, binding legal instrument on data protection.

From the Associated Press, on the increase of gun and cash seizures at the Mexican Border:

U.S. authorities on Tuesday reported a spike in seizures of guns and cash along the Mexican border since they began assigning more agents to stem the flow of southbound contraband.

Nearly 600 illegal weapons were seized along the border by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials from March through September, an increase of more than 50 percent from the same period of 2008.

The agencies seized more than $40 million in cash along the border from mid-March through September, nearly double the amount in the year-ago period.

The seizures represent a tiny fraction of business done by Mexican and Colombian drug lords. According to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, those drug lords generate $18 billion to $39 billion in wholesale drug proceeds in the United States each year. Cash proceeds are smuggled across the border to Mexico.

But U.S. officials said the figures demonstrate that heightened enforcement is paying off.

From the Homeland Security Today, on the standardized tribal ID cards:

Tohono O'odham Nation is latest to move on enhanced ID card The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has struck a fourth agreement for enhanced tribal identification cards compliant with US travel laws with a Native American tribe, the department announced Tuesday.

DHS and the Tohono O'odham Nation, which has lands in Arizona and Mexico, agreed to standards for an enhanced tribal card to be carried by the roughly 28,000 registered members of the tribe. The identification card complies with the specifications of the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI), which mandated strict requirements for travel documents for citizens of the United States, Canada and Bermuda--who may previously have not required a passport--on June 1.

"This agreement will strengthen safety along our borders while providing Tohono O'odham members a secure and standardized ID card," Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said in a statement. "In the months ahead, we will continue to build upon these efforts-from secure identification to preparing for emergencies-with our tribal partners across the country."

Public Events

9 AM EST
CBP Acting Commissioner Jay Ahern will deliver remarks at the Commercial Operations Advisory Committee quarterly meeting
Ronald Reagan Building
1300 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Atrium Hall
Washington, D.C.

10 AM EST
U.S. Coast Guard Commandant Admiral Thad Allen will testify about the Interagency Ocean Policy Task Force process and coastal and marine spatial planning before the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, Subcommittee on Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries, and Coast Guard
253 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C.
Published by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Washington, D.C.
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