Yesterday, Secretary Napolitano delivered farewell remarks at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. During her remarks, the Secretary highlighted the Department’s accomplishments over the past four and a half years, including how we have made the Department more flexible, agile, and adaptable, and how that has led to a more integrated and effective response to terrorist threats, more prepared and resilient states, cities, and communities, and a more engaged public.
Secretary Napolitano said, “Looking back over the past four and a half years, I can say that if there is one take-away, one object lesson and core operating principle that I’ve learned and embraced as Secretary, it is this: in a world of evolving threats, the key to our success is the ability to be flexible and agile, and adapt to changing circumstances on the ground – whether that is across the globe, or here at home.
“At DHS, to be flexible and agile means being forward-looking in our preparations, early and active in our engagement, nimble in our response, and resilient in our recovery. It means taking every necessary step to prepare for a range of potential outcomes, and understanding that if things don’t go according to plan, or the unexpected occurs, we are ready and able to shift resources and adjust operations, learn from our mistakes, and put ourselves in a position to succeed in the future. And being flexible and agile means acknowledging that we may not be able to stop all threats all the time, but we can – and must – be prepared to address them quickly when they happen, minimize their consequences, draw pragmatic lessons, and emerge stronger and better. These are the most critical elements of our ability to meet our complex mission, and I believe we are seeing that approach bear fruit in a profound, positive way.
Read the full text of Secretary Napolitano’s remarks at the National Press Club here.
Posted by Alice Hill, Senior Counselor to the Secretary of Homeland Security
Over the past four years, DHS has worked to stop human trafficking, combat violence against women, and raise awareness about protections available to vulnerable populations. Earlier this week, I met with our stakeholders from the law enforcement and first responder communities as well as faith-based groups and members of the judicial system to introduce DHS’ Council on Combating Violence Against Women, which will build on the progress made by the DHS Blue Campaign to combat human trafficking and apply those successes to addressing the security of women and children.
This past March, Secretary Napolitano announced the formation of DHS’ Council on Combatting Violence Against Women, also known as the Council, which is co-chaired by the Assistant Secretary for the Office for State and Local Law Enforcement and myself. The Council brings together experts from across DHS to identify and share best practices related to our policies and programs in order to improve our ability to combat violence against women.
Together with our stakeholders, we have made great strides to better protect vulnerable populations from violence and human trafficking. However, these accomplishments would not be possible without the Violence Against Women Act and the Trafficking Victim Protection Act, two important pieces of legislation that were reauthorized earlier this year. These laws also provide critical support to immigrant victims when stepping forward to report crimes – but there is still more work to be done.
The Council will leverage the accomplishments of the Blue Campaign and support these laws through enhanced public awareness, training, victim assistance, and law enforcement investigations. In June, the Blue Campaign unveiled new public awareness materials, including posters, a PSA entitled “Out of the Shadows,” and informational guides tailored for the general public and our stakeholders. By increasing awareness of human trafficking and training individuals to recognize the indicators of such heinous crimes, everyone can do their part to help law enforcement rescue victims.
I encourage you to take our Blue Campaign training, display our posters, watch our PSA and share our information guides with your family, friends and coworkers. For more information, visit the DHS Blue Campaign on Facebook and visit our website: www.dhs.gov/bluecampaign.
This morning, Secretary Napolitano visited the dedicated Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) employees at FEMA’s Joint Field Office for Hurricane Sandy in New York.
While at the Joint Field Office, Secretary Napolitano received a briefing on recovery efforts for Hurricane Sandy from Federal Coordinating Officer Willie Nunn.
FEMA employees provided strong and collective support before, during and after Hurricane Sandy made landfall– working quickly to meet the needs of state and local partners, and demonstrating the Administration’s ongoing commitment to assisting survivors and helping communities get back on their feet. To date, FEMA and the Small Business Administration have approved nearly $2.5 billion in disaster assistance to individuals in New York, and nearly $1.7 billion in Public Assistance grants to New York for Hurricane Sandy.
For more information on Secretary Napolitano’s trip to New York, please visit here. And to learn more about the ongoing Hurricane Sandy recovery and rebuilding efforts in New York and the Northeast, please visit http://www.fema.gov/hurricane-sandy.
Secretary Napolitano today participated in a naturalization ceremony for 137 naturalization candidates from 43 countries held in New York City. Secretary Napolitano administered the Oath of Allegiance and delivered remarks to the citizenship candidates and their families and friends in attendance.
The new citizens naturalized during today’s ceremony hailed from: Albania, Antigua-Barbuda, Bangladesh, Bolivia, Canada, People's Republic Of China, Cote D'Ivoire, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Fiji, Ghana, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guyana, Honduras, India, Iran, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Kenya, Mali, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, Poland, Russia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, St. Lucia, Taiwan, The Gambia, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey, United Kingdom, Uruguay, Vietnam and Yemen.
The United States has a strong tradition as a welcoming nation, and DHS is committed to promoting the lawful immigration process, expediting administration of immigration services, and promoting the integration of lawful immigrants into American society. Over the past four-and-a-half years, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has naturalized nearly 3 million Americans, including thousands of men and women who serve in the United States Armed Forces.
Posted by Douglas Maughan, Cyber Security Division Director, DHS Science & Technology Directorate
This week, eight new federally funded technologies were showcased in Silicon Valley. The DHS Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) Cybersecurity Division hosted a Transition-to-Practice Technology Demonstration Day for investors, integrators and IT companies to view, test, and “kick the tires” on these new cybersecurity technologies, developed by the Department of Energy’s National Laboratories.
One of the biggest challenges for the research and development community is the ability to transition technology prototypes into real-world products that can be purchased and put to use. This new program is designed to help transition the advanced prototypes of technologies that are ready for commercialization and avoid the gap between laboratories and the commercial market.
The eight new federally funded technologies showcased this week in Silicon Valley, included:
- Path Scan – an intrusion-detection system that thwarts cyber attacks by detecting anomalous network-hopping activity, which is seen as hackers traverse a network looking for key resources
- Code Seal – trust anchors that encrypt computer activities in untrusted environments.
- Net_Mapper/Everest – a network mapping and visualization tool.
- MLSTONES – a biology based malware and event analysis forensic tool that tags and sequences events looking for similarities.
- Hone – a network traffic analyzer.
- Hyperion/FX – a malware detection and software assurance tool.
- Choreographer – a moving target defense tool that detects when DNS connections are bypassed.
- USB ARM – a removable media (USB, DVD, CD-ROM, etc) policy enforcement tool that prevents removable media from mounting into a computer’s file systems.
If these sound pretty technical, they are, but TTP program manager Michael Pozmantier believes that commercial developers will be excited at the opportunity to turn these prototypes into commercially viable cybersecurity products that will increase the cyber security posture of the nation.
A cornerstone of DHS’ mission is to ensure the essential functionality that critical infrastructure provides to the American public is sustained by working with stakeholders to protect their networks including those of the federal government, as well as combating financial crime and fraud, and safeguarding intellectual property rights, while building a national capacity for cybersecurity through outreach, awareness, and education and keeping a steady focus on safeguarding the public’s civil rights and civil liberties.
This week’s event was held in Silicon Valley and S&T expects to hold an identical opportunity for East Coast investors in October.
Secretary Napolitano, joined by Commissioner Kelly, meets with members of the NYPD Counterterrorism Bureau at the World Trade Center Command substation.
During a visit to New York City today, Secretary Napolitano met with NYPD Commissioner Raymond Kelly and members of the New York City Police Department to thank them for their service and ongoing partnership with DHS in support of our shared goal of mitigating threats and increasing response capabilities. She expressed her gratitude for the strong support of the law enforcement, firefighters, and other first responders who are essential partners in the ensuring a safe, secure and resilient homeland.
Secretary Napolitano signs the precinct log book during her visit to the NYPD World Trade Center Command substation.
NYPD Chief of Counterterrorism James Waters, Secretary Napolitano, and Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly at the World Trade Center Command substation.
During her tenure, Secretary Napolitano has made it a priority to provide states, cities, and communities with the tools, training, and resources they need, as well as supporting stronger information sharing through state and major urban area fusion centers.
For more information on Secretary Napolitano’s visit to New York City, visit here
Our daily life, economic vitality, and national security depend on cyberspace. While increased connectivity has led to significant transformations and advances across our country – and around the world – it also has increased the risks to privacy and security. Everyone has a unique role to play in cybersecurity—whether it’s protecting small businesses from fraud, teaching students about cybersecurity ethics, or just thinking twice before clicking on a hyperlink. The Department’s Stop.Think.Connect. TM campaign relies on its National Network of partners to spread the word and raise awareness about the importance of staying safe online.
The National Network comprises approximately 30 non-profit organizations, including D.A.R.E., Boys & Girls Clubs of America, 4-H, InfraGard, and the National Association of Counties. Some of these partners have joined the campaign in recent months, helping us reach more Americans to inform them about their personal role in addressing cybersecurity risks.
Recent new partners include:
- Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association (AFCEA)
- Center for Internet Security (CIS)
- Connect2Compete, an organization dedicated to expanding access to technology and training
- Connect Safely, a non-profit organization that provides social media and mobile media safety tips
- Government Technology Services (GTS) Coalition
- High Technology Crime Investigation Association (HTCIA)
- Hungry Hungry Hackers (H3), an applied research security community at Georgia Tech
- International Council for Small Business (ICSB)
- Fraud.org, a project of the National Consumers League
- National Elementary Honor Society
- National Junior Honor Society
- National Honor Society
- Women in Homeland Security
Stop.Think.Connect.™ is a national public awareness effort to guide the nation to a higher level of Internet safety and security by educating and empowering the American public to be more vigilant about practicing safe online habits. The campaign encourages Americans to view Internet safety and security as a shared responsibility at home, in the workplace, and in our communities. Through these partnerships with the National Network, the Stop.Think.Connect.™ campaign gains a greater understanding of the cybersecurity issues and trends, and is able to develop helpful tips and resources specific to the organizations and their members.
For a complete list of Stop.Think.Connect. National Network partners, or for more information on how an organization can join, visit www.dhs.gov/stopthinkconnect.
Posted by Shaun Donovan, Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development
Ed. note: This is cross-posted from hud.gov. See the original post here.
From New Orleans to Cedar Rapids to Tuscaloosa to Minot – I have walked the streets and looked in the eyes of families whose lives have come crashing down around them under nature’s wrath.
But nothing prepared me to come back home to New York City last October and look in the eyes of my friend who lost his daughter to Hurricane Sandy. Nothing prepared me to see neighborhoods—many of which had served as the backdrop of my childhood—completely unrecognizable.
This was all due to the devastating storm that hit our shores in the fall with a power and a fury unlike anything most of us had ever seen before. Entire neighborhoods were flooded. Families and small business owners lost everything in a single night. Infrastructure was torn apart. In short, it was one of the most painful chapters in the region’s history and the Obama administration has been committed to helping communities turn the page.
We have worked closely with State and Local governments up and down the East Coast to help prepare for and respond to the storm. Within a week of Sandy making landfall we had 17,000 federal responders on the ground, helping displaced families find shelter and getting communities back on their feet.
In addition, the scope of the damage made clear that more assistance was needed, which is why the President fought for, and Congress ultimately passed, a supplemental funding bill providing tens of billions of dollars to help rebuild impacted communities.
The President also knew that we needed to do two key things: cut red tape to get assistance where it was needed as quickly as possible, and coordinate the efforts of all of the Federal agencies to support local communities as they rebuilt in a way that made them more resilient.
That’s why he created the Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force, which I have the honor to chair.
For the past six months we have worked closely with our Federal partners to find ways to get funding and other assistance where it’s needed more effectively and efficiently. To date, the Administration has provided assistance to nearly 255,000 people and thousands of businesses. FEMA alone has provided $12 billion in funding to individuals and communities.
Additional funding from the supplemental funding bill continues to flow into the region.
And, today, I’m proud to release the Hurricane Sandy Task Force’s Rebuilding Strategy– which will help guide the investment of these funds and, in the bigger picture, assist communities across the nation in preparing for the increasing risks caused by extreme weather.
The President has been clear – most recently in his Climate Action Plan – that we have an obligation to protect the planet for the next generation, just as our parents and grandparents handed us a better planet. He has outlined a plan to cut carbon pollution that harms our health and our planet – and that is contributing to greater risks of asthma attacks and more severe floods and heat waves that drive up food prices.
He has also been clear that, as we take responsible steps to cut carbon pollution, we must prepare communities across the country for the impacts of climate change, many of which are already being felt.
The Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force’s Rebuilding Strategy lays out a series of recommendations that will help the Sandy-impacted region rebuild in a way that will prepare them for these impacts – and that will serve as models for communities across the country.
For highlights from the Rebuilding Strategy, click here.
To read the entire Rebuilding Strategy, click here.
Over the past four and a half years, cybersecurity has become one of the top priorities at the Department of Homeland Security. Today, I am pleased to announce the appointment of Phyllis Schneck as the new Deputy Under Secretary for Cybersecurity for the National Protection and Programs Directorate (NPPD). Phyllis will be coming to the Department of Homeland Security from her current position as Vice President and Chief Technology Officer for the Global Public Sector at McAfee, Inc. with a wealth of experience in cybersecurity and information security.
For more than 14 years, Phyllis has had a distinguished presence in the security and infrastructure protection community, most recently as a key contributor on the CSIS Commission on Cybersecurity for the 44th Presidency. Phyllis is the current Chairman of the Board of Directors of the National Cyber Forensics and Training Alliance, a partnership between corporations, government and law enforcement for cyber analysis to combat international cyber crime. Phyllis has also served as the Chairman of the NIST Information Security and Privacy Advisory Board, which helps identify emerging managerial, technical, administrative, and physical safeguard issues relative to information security and privacy.
Before joining McAfee, Phyllis held various senior and information science positions at Research Integration for Secure Computing, eCommSecurity, SecureWorks, Inc., Avalon Communications, CygnaCom Solutions, the MITRE Corporation, Computer Sciences Corporation, IBM, NASA and the University Of Maryland.
Phyllis has been a close partner in our cybersecurity mission for many years. She served for eight years as chairman of the FBI’s InfraGard National Board of Directors and founding president of InfraGard Atlanta, growing the InfraGard program to over 30,000 members nationwide in the past decade, and fostering a relationship between InfraGard and DHS. Equally impressive, Phyllis holds three patents in high-performance and adaptive information security, and has six research publications in the areas of information security, real-time systems, telecom and software engineering.
During my tenure as Secretary, we have strengthened partnerships with the private sector to secure cyber networks and protect physical assets while developing a world-class cybersecurity workforce. In fact, the position of Deputy Under Secretary for Cybersecurity was created in 2011 to act as the Department’s chief cybersecurity policy official, in recognition of the growing importance of cybersecurity to DHS’ mission of strengthening the security and resilience of our nation's critical infrastructure. I am confident that Phyllis will continue these efforts, and build upon the foundations laid by her predecessors, to create a safe, secure and resilient cyber environment and promote cybersecurity knowledge and innovation.
Today marks the first anniversary of the Department of Homeland Security's implementation of deferred action for childhood arrivals (DACA), a directive that was built on a number steps taken by DHS during President Obama's administration to ensure that we are using our immigration enforcement resources most effectively, based on common sense priorities that focus first on those that pose threats to our communities.
Following a series of steps to make the immigration system more effective by focusing our enforcement resources in a common sense way, in June 2012, I announced an initiative that allows young people who were brought to the United States as children, who do not present a risk to national security or public safety, and who meet several key criteria to be considered for deferred action and work authorization. Just 60 days later, on August 15th, 2012, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services began accepting DACA requests.
Because of the action we have undertaken through the DACA process, thousands of hardworking young people who are American in every way but a piece of paper now have the ability to continue their educations and contribute to their communities. In just its first year, over 500,000 individuals have requested Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals and after a thorough review of each of those cases, including a background check, 430,000 requests have already been approved, with others still under review. These young people came to our country as children and many of these young people have already contributed significantly to our country.
Our nation's immigration laws must be enforced in a strong and sensible manner but they are not designed to be blindly enforced without consideration given to the individual circumstances of each case. Prosecutorial discretion, which is used in so many other areas, is especially justified in DACA cases. And, by removing the threat of deportation for people brought to the country as children, we have been able to continue to focus our enforcement efforts on serious criminals, public safety threats, and those who pose a danger to national security.
DACA is not a long term solution to the broader challenges presented by our nation's outdated immigration system. Earlier this year, the Senate passed a bipartisan bill that would modernize our system, ensuring it was more fair, while also expanding the resources devoted to protecting our nation's borders and sanctioning employees who continue to hire illegal labor. The bill would require anyone who seeks a path to citizenship to get right with the law, pay taxes, learn English, and if those conditions are met would have the opportunity to become citizens only after those who are already in line. As a broad coalition of Americans, from business leaders, to labor groups, to law enforcement, to the evangelical community, have agreed, now is the time for this important reform. It's good for our economy, it corresponds to our values as a nation of immigrants, and it's the right thing to do.
I am hopeful that the House of Representatives will follow the leadership shown by a strong bipartisan majority of their Senate colleagues and work to fix our broken immigration system. In the meantime, however, DACA will continue to serve as an important means by which young people brought here as children can remain in, and contribute to, this great country.