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January 31, 2013
3:00 pm

Last week, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Domestic Nuclear Detection Office (DNDO) hosted its 2nd Annual Industry Day for over 230 attendees from industry, academia, national laboratories and government partner organizations. 

During the Industry Day, we highlighted DNDO’s mission to implement domestic nuclear detection efforts for a managed and coordinated response to radiological and nuclear threats, and coordinate the development of the global nuclear detection and reporting architecture (GNDA), with partners from federal, state, local, and international governments and the private sector.

We also discussed DNDO’s continued collaboration with the private sector to enhance existing radiation detection devices, and develop new technologies that will meet the needs of federal, state, and local law enforcement officials, through programs such as the Commercial First initiative, and the the Graduated Radiation and Nuclear (Rad/Nuc) Detector Evaluation and Reporting (GRaDER®) program. DNDO is facilitating interaction between industry, stakeholders, and researchers to provide faster development and systems, and streamline the Department’s acquisition processes for important security technologies.

DHS officials from U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the Transportation Security Administration and the U.S. Coast Guard, as well as interagency, state and local organizations also discussed their operational needs for current and future radiation detection systems in an operational environment. 

We look forward to continuing to collaborate with our partners as we develop the GNDA and enhance our nation’s ability to detect, deter and interdict radiological and nuclear material out of regulatory control.

 


 

Category: Nuclear Security
January 28, 2013
11:00 am

Posted by Bobbie Stempfley, Acting Assistant Secretary for Cybersecurity and Communications, National Protection and Programs Directorate

January 28th is National Data Privacy Day, a nationwide effort to raise awareness about the importance of taking steps to protect the privacy of your personal and financial data. Increased interconnectivity increases the risk of theft, fraud, and abuse. When was the last time you reviewed the privacy settings on your social media accounts, read the fine print when purchasing an app, or talked to your family about safe online behavior?

At the end of the day, cybersecurity is really about people.  If each of us commits to staying informed of cybersecurity risks and takes a few simple steps, we can all make a big difference to stay safe online.

We know it only takes a single infected computer to potentially infect thousands and perhaps millions of others.   And it’s our goal to make basic cybersecurity practices as reflexive as putting on a seatbelt – using antivirus software, being careful which websites you visit, not opening emails or attachments that look suspicious. These basic measures can improve both our individual and our collective safety online.

To achieve our shared goal, we invite you to take a few basic steps to be more secure: 

  • Set strong passwords, and don’t share them with anyone.
  • Keep a clean machine - our operating system, browser, and other critical software are optimized by installing regular updates.
  • Maintain an open dialogue with your family, friends, and community about Internet safety.
  • Limit the amount of personal information you post online, and use privacy settings to avoid sharing information widely.
  • Be cautious about what you receive or read online – if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Cybersecurity is a shared responsibility and we are all called on to ACT or Achieve Cybersecurity Together. For more information, please visit www.dhs.gov/stopthinkconnect.

 

Category: Cybersecurity
January 25, 2013
11:07 am

January is National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month, and it is, for me, an opportunity to reflect on the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center’s (FLETC) leadership in providing training for combating human trafficking nationwide.

At the FLETC, we have developed and delivered video, web-based and in-person human trafficking trainings to provide federal, state, and local law enforcement the tools and strategies they need to identify human trafficking victims and prosecute offenders. The FLETC developed and delivered a web-based training specifically for state and local law enforcement to educate them on how to differentiate human trafficking (compelling another to commit acts of commercial sex or forced labor), from human smuggling (voluntarily agreeing to illegally cross the US border), how to recognize the signs of human trafficking during routine duties, and the immigration relief available to trafficking victims.

Recently, the FLETC partnered with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations, the FBI, the Human Trafficking Prosecution Unit of the U.S. Department of Justice, and the Department of Labor to deliver training to specialized task forces called Anti-Trafficking Coordination Teams. The FLETC expects to complete training for all six teams by the end of the fiscal year.

Next month, the FLETC will launch a two-part series of training videos to be played during roll-call briefings for law enforcement. The training videos focus on DHS’ immigration relief to trafficking victims, which aids in the investigation and prosecution of traffickers; for example, DHS may allow undocumented victims to remain in the United States to assist law enforcement in the investigation and prosecution of crimes.

Successfully combating human trafficking requires coordinated effort from law enforcement, individuals and our public and private sector partners. To that end, the FLETC has also partnered with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, ICE and others to reach beyond the law enforcement audience to provide training to victims’ service providers, emergency medical personnel, and other community groups. Other government agencies and partners—including Department of Transportation, Amtrak and air carriers—have also adapted the FLETC’s materials to train their employees on identifying indicators of human trafficking.

We continue work with other DHS component agencies and partners to develop and enhance training, because everyone has a role to play in combating human trafficking. The DHS Blue Campaign provides a unified voice for these DHS components to fight human trafficking. This innovative approach will continue to provide the Department with effective training products for years to come. For more information about the Blue Campaign, please visit:  www.dhs.gov/humantrafficking

January 19, 2013
11:26 am

Today, I joined thousands of Americans, including the President and fellow members of the Cabinet, to honor the life and legacy of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by participating in one of the many National Day of Service events taking place across our country.

In 1994, Congress designated this holiday as a National Day of Service - a holiday when we come together to empower individuals and strengthen communities.  It’s “a day on, not a day off.” And at this time every year, together, we honor the life and legacy of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and celebrate him through service projects like the one I was at today.

In neighborhoods all over America, volunteers came together to deliver meals, refurbish schools and community centers, collect food and clothing, assemble care packages for veterans and military families, and much more.

This morning at the “Unite America in Service” event at the DC Armory, hosted by the Points of Light Foundation and Target, I joined thousands of volunteers who came together to assemble care kits filled with necessities to help our troops, our wounded warriors and veterans, and our first responders.

Whether at home or abroad, in war zones or disaster zones, our men and women on the frontlines defend our freedoms, protect our communities, and come to our aid in times of need. Today was an opportunity to thank them for their service and to give back to them in a tangible way. 

At the Department of Homeland Security, we often say that homeland security begins with hometown securit it begins with engaged individuals working together to make our communities stronger and more resilient. After this weekend, I hope everyone will continue to find ways to serve, just as many people across the nation did today.

January 18, 2013
4:29 pm

Human trafficking exists today in every country and in every state in our nation. It exists in cities, suburbs, and rural areas – hidden in plain sight. Traffickers often lure victims with false promises of a better life only to exploit them through forced labor or commercial sex.

At U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, we contribute to the Department of Homeland Security’s effort to combat human trafficking by providing immigration relief for victims. USCIS helps protect victims by offering visas for them to stay legally in the United States while assisting law enforcement in the investigation or prosecution of the trafficker. This video shares the stories of two human trafficking victims who were able to rebuild their lives because of this form of immigration relief. 

From 2000 to 2012, USCIS processed and approved more than 3,000 T visa applications for victims of human trafficking, and we have seen an increase in the number of these applications in recent years.  But we still need your help reaching victims who often are too afraid to step forward and ask for help.

To learn more about immigration relief for victims and how to assist victims and law enforcement, please visit our website. For law enforcement entities or service providers seeking information about training on the forms of immigration relief offered to victims of human trafficking, domestic violence, and other crimes, or to register for upcoming community training sessions, please email T-UVAWATraining@dhs.gov.
 

You can also learn more through the Department of Homeland Security's Blue Campaign. The Blue Campaign unites DHS’s efforts to combat human trafficking through enhanced public awareness, training, victim assistance, and law enforcement investigations.

If you suspect human trafficking, call the Homeland Security Tip Line at 866-DHS-2-ICE or complete our online tip form.

We urge you to join our effort to combat human trafficking.

 

Category: Human Trafficking
January 18, 2013
11:23 am

In December 2012, the International Atomic Energy Association (IAEA) formally approved nuclear security detection architecture document of guidelines and best practices, as part of its Nuclear Security Series. As the lead agency in coordinating the development of the global nuclear detection and reporting architecture, this marks a milestone for the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Domestic Nuclear Detection Office (DNDO).

This is the first time that the concept of national-level nuclear detection architectures has been institutionalized in international guidance. This document provides a framework for member states to develop and enhance their own national radiation/nuclear detection capabilities, in order to increase global supply chain and nuclear security around the world.

For nearly two years, we have been working closely with the IAEA to develop a joint working plan to identify areas for further DHS-IAEA cooperation on nuclear security. In August, I met with the IAEA Office of Nuclear Security Director Khammar Mrabit to sign the DHS-IAEA Practical Arrangements, representing an important step forward in the enhancement of the global nuclear security framework. Additionally, DHS was instrumental in promoting the adoption of the watershed guidelines document, “Implementing Guide on Systems and Measures for the Detection of Nuclear and Other Radioactive Material Out of Regulatory Control.”

DNDO is responsible for coordinating the U.S. government’s interagency efforts to develop the Global Nuclear Detection Architecture (GNDA) — a worldwide network of sensors, telecommunications, and personnel, with the supporting information exchanges, programs, and protocols that serve to detect, analyze, and report on nuclear and radiological materials that are out of regulatory control.

UPDATE: May 29, 2013

In May 2013, IAEA published its nuclear security detection architecture document of guidelines and best practices, as part of its Nuclear Security Series. The publication, “Nuclear Security Systems and Measures for the Detection of Nuclear and Other Radioactive Material out of Regulatory Control (IAEA Nuclear Security Series #21), provides a framework for all 159 IAEA member states to develop and enhance their own national radiation/nuclear detection capabilities, in order to increase global supply chain and nuclear security around the world.

Category: Nuclear Security
January 11, 2013
12:26 pm

Posted by John Morton, Director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) plays a significant role in preventing and combating human trafficking. Since 2010, our work has yielded more than 2,200 human trafficking arrests, 1,154 indictments and 796 convictions. Last year alone, ICE initiated a significant number of human trafficking investigations, contributing to more than 967 arrests, 559 indictments and 381 convictions.

ICE is one of the primary federal agencies responsible for combating human trafficking. We work with our law enforcement partners to investigate suspected cases, and to identify, rescue and provide assistance to trafficking victims.

We work hard each and every day to identify and investigate human traffickers, and we are equally committed to ensuring that victims of this terrible crime are given the support and resources they need. We have resources for human trafficking victims in every Homeland Security field office. In the vast majority of our field offices, ICE employs full-time victim assistance coordinators, to ensure victims’ welfare remains a top priority. Additionally, in all our field offices, collateral-duty coordinators who provide counseling and crisis intervention services for victims and victim witness coordinators are available on an as-needed basis.

Everyone has a role to play in combating human trafficking. ICE relies on tips from the public to dismantle human trafficking organizations. I encourage you to learn the indicators of human trafficking by taking the DHS general awareness training, and keep your eyes and ears open to suspicious activity. Trafficking victims are often hidden in plain sight, voiceless and scared, and you can help bring the perpetrators to justice.

If you suspect human trafficking, call the Homeland Security Tip Line at 866-DHS-2-ICE or complete our online tip form. To learn more about human trafficking and what you can do, please visit www.dhs.gov/bluecampaign  and the Blue Campaign Facebook page.

 

 

January 7, 2013
1:54 pm

Posted by Senior Counselor Alice Hill

On December 31, 2012, President Barack Obama proclaimed January as National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month to recognize the vital role we can play in eliminating all forms of human trafficking. And as we begin a new year, we also mark the 150th Anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, a powerful reminder to rededicate ourselves to bringing an end to slavery and human trafficking.

Human trafficking is a horrendous crime and at DHS, we are committed to doing all we can to prevent it. Every year, we initiate hundreds of investigations and make arrests, while providing support for victims through the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Victim Assistance Program. To protect victims, we also provide immigration assistance in the form of Continued Presence, T visas and U visas.

DHS also works to educate state and local law enforcement and members of the public on how to identify victims of human trafficking and report the crime. Through the Blue Campaign, the Department’s unified voice in combating human trafficking, DHS works in collaboration with law enforcement, government, non-governmental and private organizations to protect the basic right of freedom, and to bring those who exploit human lives to justice.

In October, Secretary Napolitano joined Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood and Amtrak President and CEO Joseph Boardman to announce a new partnership among DHS, the Department of Transportation and Amtrak to broaden our network of partners in our fight to prevent human trafficking. Amtrak is using training and awareness materials developed by the Blue Campaign to educate all of its employees, including Amtrak Police Department officers, on potential indicators of human trafficking.  

We further broadened our network of committed partners last fall when Secretary Napolitano joined INTERPOL Secretary General Ronald Noble in France to sign a joint statement reaffirming a mutual commitment to combating human trafficking. Broadening our network of domestic and international partners is just one way to help us identify and rescue victims, and help bring perpetrators to justice.

While we pay close attention today and this month, we must continue this fight every day. I encourage you to get involved by learning about the indicators of human trafficking and how to report it to the proper authorities.

Everyone has a role in identifying and combating human trafficking, and together we can help protect innocent victims and prevent this form of modern-day slavery.  

To learn more about human trafficking and what you can do, please visit www.dhs.gov/bluecampaign and the Blue Campaign Facebook page.

 

Category: Human Trafficking
December 21, 2012
11:46 am

Resilience and modernization are essential to sustaining and enhancing critical infrastructure. For these systems, that means thinking differently about how we build and enhance our infrastructure so that we prepare for potential threats and a constantly evolving environment. One of our missions at DHS is to raise awareness of critical infrastructure protection by conducting exercises with government and infrastructure owners and operators as well as gathering and analyzing data from incidents to improve planning and response efforts going forward.

A safe, secure, and resilient infrastructure where the American way of life can thrive is a shared responsibility.  It will take government, critical infrastructure owners and operators, and the general public all working together. As 2012 and Critical Infrastructure Protection and Resilience Month come to a close, we encourage all of our partners to reaffirm their commitment to strengthen, protect and modernize our nation’s critical infrastructure in the New Year.

Looking ahead to 2013, we will continue working together to advance our nation's most pressing short and long-term infrastructure needs, including enhancing the resiliency of the electrical grid, upgrading our water and transportation infrastructure, and strengthening the security of our chemical and nuclear facilities.

Find out how you can get involved in the New Year to help keep our nation safer and more secure for all of us. For more information about the DHS’s critical infrastructure protection and resilience programs, training, and resources visit http://www.dhs.gov/criticalinfrastructure.

December 20, 2012
1:45 pm

Yesterday, I had the distinct privilege of presenting Senator Joseph Lieberman with the Department of Homeland Security’s Distinguished Service Award, in recognition of his work to strengthen our homeland and his efforts to ensure the safety and security of the American people.

The Department of Homeland Security has a vital mission: to secure the nation from the many threats we face.  Our duties are wide-ranging, but our goal is clear - keeping America safe. Senator Lieberman has never lost sight of that. 

As a dedicated public servant, Senator Lieberman has always been an important voice and a leading thinker on homeland security issues.  Immediately after the attacks on September 11, 2001, he helped establish the 9/11 Commission.  Senator Lieberman’s extensive knowledge of existing homeland security efforts and his understanding of how our country was changed on 9/11 made him integral to  the creation of DHS the following year.

Thanks in great part to Senator Lieberman’s leadership and commitment to the security of our nation, DHS and the homeland security enterprise have continued to mature and strengthen over the past ten years – and will continue into the future.

I am confident that, in the years to come, Senator Lieberman will continue to contribute and serve in meaningful ways that will have a positive impact on our Nation. On behalf of the Department, I thank him for his leadership and his lifetime of service. 

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