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February 28, 2014
5:29 pm

Today, Secretary Jeh Johnson announced the designation of Chile into the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) during an event held at the Ronald Reagan International Trade Center in Washington, D.C. Secretary Johnson was joined by Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources Heather Higginbottom, Chilean Foreign Minister Alfredo Moreno and Chilean Ambassador Felipe Bulnes for the announcement.

Chile’s participation in the VWP will streamline travel for thousands of eligible Chilean passport holders, while maintaining strong security standards. Starting May 1, 2014, eligible Chilean passport holders with both an approved Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) and an e-passport will be able to visit the United States without nonimmigrant visitor visas.

Today’s announcement marks the 38th participant in the VWP—which permits visa-free travel to the United States for eligible travelers visiting the United States for 90 days or fewer for business or tourism.

Read more about today’s announcement here.

February 28, 2014
4:51 pm

Secretary Johnson and Colombian Minister of Foreign Relations Holguin

This morning, Secretary Jeh Johnson and Colombian Minister of Foreign Relations Maria Angela Holguin signed a Joint Statement between the United States Department of Homeland Security and the Colombian Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Combating Trafficking in Persons.

The Joint Statement outlines shared principals with respect to regional security, economic integrity, and liberty for all persons, as well as both countries’ intention to continue collaboration against trafficking by increasing joint law enforcement efforts against criminals engaged in these activities. 

Additionally, the Joint Statement underscores the importance of regional partnership, sharing existing resources and best practices, and working collaboratively to strengthen support infrastructures.

Secretary Johnson and Colombian Minister of Foreign Relations Holguin

Today’s signing further demonstrates our commitment to combating human trafficking and eliminate this terrible scourge. Learn more about the Department’s engagement with our international partners here.

February 27, 2014
5:02 pm

Starting this week, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is working on a cooperative effort with the Center for Internet Security (CIS) Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center (MS-ISAC) to provide state-of-the-art managed security services to states and territories in conjunction with their adoption of the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST) Cybersecurity Framework

The effort is part of DHS’s Critical Infrastructure Cyber Community (C3) Voluntary Program, which serves as the coordination point within the federal government to leverage and enhance existing capabilities and resources to promote the adoption the Cybersecurity Framework.  As part of this agreement, the MS-ISAC will provide Managed Security Services (MSS), including intrusion detection, intrusion prevention, netflow analysis and firewall monitoring to states and territories—free of charge.

Adopting the Cybersecurity Framework is key to keeping networks and information systems secure. DHS is working with our state and territorial partners to make sure they are aware of the services and tools available to them.  We remain committed to strengthening the resilience of critical networks, and to enabling our state and local governments to protect the public from evolving cyber threats. 

The adoption of the framework will encourage longer-term risk-based planning and better security overall – this is a win-win and we are excited to be able to provide such tactical assistance to our state and territorial stakeholders.

This is just one of many steps we are taking to further our collaboration with partners across the country on this important issue. Moving forward, DHS and the MS-ISAC will seek feedback and requirements from the states and territories and tailor technical assistance and best practice documents to meet their needs.

February 27, 2014
12:34 pm

Last week, Secretary Johnson traveled to Los Angeles to meet with DHS personnel from U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), the U.S. Coast Guard and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and see firsthand the work they do to keep our nation safe and secure.

On Thursday, Secretary Johnson visited Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) where he toured TSA and CBP operations including the CBP Federal Inspection Facility located on site.

Customs officers gave Secretary Johnson an overview of their agricultural protection program at the airport. In 2013, CBP officers processed about 100 international flights and 22,000 international travelers each day at the Tom Bradley International Terminal.

Secretary Johnson meets with CBP at LAX Airport.

Secretary Johnson also visited Global Entry kiosks at the airport—Global Entry is a CBP program that allows expedited clearance for pre-approved, low-risk travelers upon arrival in the United States, and is just one of the Trusted Traveler programs offered by the Department to facilitate travel and trade in the United States.

While at LAX, Secretary Johnson had the opportunity to meet with and thank some of the men and women of CBP (pictured below) and TSA who work hard every day to keep the traveling public and our Nation safe, including the colleagues of fallen TSA Officer Gerardo I. Hernandez who died in the line of duty at LAX last year.  This tragic incident reminds us that being on the frontlines also comes with a great risk – a risk that these men and women undertake willingly to protect us every day.

Secretary Johnson meets with CBP at LAX Airport.

Later on Thursday, Secretary Johnson traveled to the Joint Regional Intelligence Center in Los Angeles and participated in a roundtable discussion with law enforcement partners.

On Friday, Secretary Johnson met with CBP, U.S. Coast Guard, and ICE personnel. CBP Acting Commissioner Thomas Winkowski joined the Secretary for a briefing and aerial tour of DHS operations at the Los Angeles/Long Beach Seaport.

Secretary Johnson tours the Los Angeles/Long Beach Seaport.

As Secretary Johnson laid out in his first major address, border and port security is indispensable to homeland security. “Good border security is a barrier to terrorist threats, drug traffickers, transnational criminal organizations, and other threats to national security and public safety,” he said.

Secretary Johnson visits the Los Angeles/Long Beach Seaport.

While at the Los Angeles/Long Beach Seaport, Secretary Johnson spoke to members of the U.S. Coast Guard during an all-hands meeting of Coast Guard personnel working there.

Secretary Johnson addresses members of the U.S. Coast Guard.

During his visit to Los Angeles, Secretary Johnson also met Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and participated in a roundtable discussion with stakeholders on the need for commonsense immigration reform.

You can read more about Secretary Johnson’s visit to Los Angeles here.

 

February 25, 2014
5:21 pm

Last week, I was in the Netherlands where I participated in @tomic 2014, an international table-top exercise conducted from February 18-20 that focused on international efforts to prevent nuclear and radiological terrorism. As we have seen from seizures of weapon-grade nuclear material in Georgia in 2010 and Moldova in 2011, such materials remain in illegal circulation on the black market, where they are vulnerable to smugglers and potential terrorists. To combat this threat, nations must work together, build capabilities and enhance communications through exercises such as @tomic 2014.

The U.S. delegation to @tomic 2014 was led by the Department of State (DOS) and included representatives from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Department of Energy, and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). DHS, along with DOS, helped design and facilitate @tomic 2014, which involved fictitious but realistic nuclear security scenarios, including smuggling and the threat of terrorism, on a global scale. 

Altogether, 31 nations and several international organizations, including the International Atomic Energy Agency, International Criminal Police Organization, European Police Office, United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Institute, and the European Commission, participated in this exercise, with additional nations observing. During the course of three days, over 200 international participants had the opportunity to practice working together in an exercise to respond to nuclear threats. 

One of the major goals of this Dutch-led exercise was to enhance knowledge and awareness of how nuclear forensics can be used in nuclear smuggling cases. Nuclear forensics helps to determine the possible source of smuggled material, gauge the extent of global smuggling networks, and help refine investigative priorities. As a result, nuclear forensics is playing an increasingly valuable role internationally in nuclear smuggling cases.

@tomic 2014 is one of three events leading up to the Nuclear Security Summit 2014 that will also be hosted by the Netherlands in The Hague on March 24-25 with the expected participation of almost 60 world leaders.  The exercise supported key goals of enhancing and sustaining nuclear security for the future, and advancing regional and international cooperation to enable an effective global nuclear security community.  

Preventing a nuclear or radiological terrorist attack against the United States is the mission of the nuclear experts, law enforcement, and military personnel who make up the Domestic Nuclear Detection Office at DHS and collaborating with our international partners in these types of exercises and events are vital in our efforts to help build global counter nuclear smuggling capabilities.

February 12, 2014
12:51 pm

Posted by Suzanne Spaulding, Acting Under Secretary for the National Protection and Programs Directorate

As technology evolves, the majority of our nation’s critical infrastructure will continue to rely heavily on cyber-dependent systems to make operations more efficient and bring essential services to their customers. These systems operate everything from power plants to pipelines and hospitals to highways, which we often take for granted until they stop working. 

Today, the Department of Homeland Security announced the creation of the Critical Infrastructure Cyber Community C³ [pronounced C-Cubed] Voluntary Program. This program is an innovative public-private partnership designed to help align critical infrastructure owners and operators with existing resources that will assist their efforts to adopt the Cybersecurity Framework and manage their cyber risks.

Last year, President Obama signed Executive Order (EO) 13636: Improving Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity, which has changed the way we approach critial infrastructure cybersecurity, and released Presidential Policy Directive (PPD)-21, which aims to increase the overall resilience of our Nation’s critical infrastructure. Together, the EO and PPD drive action toward a whole of community approach to risk management, security and resilience.

The Cybersecurity Framework—developed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), in collaboration with industry—consists of standards, guidelines, and best practices to promote the protection of critical infrastructure through cyber risk management. In support of these goals, the program seeks to be flexible, allowing organizations to participate in the C³ Voluntary Program in different ways.

The C³ Voluntary Program emphasizes three C’s:

  • Converging critical infrastructure community resources to support cybersecurity risk management and resilience through use of the Framework;
  • Connecting critical infrastructure stakeholders to the national resilience effort through cybersecurity resilience advocacy, engagement and awareness; and
  • Coordinating critical infrastructure cross sector efforts to maximize national cybersecurity resilience. 

The primary goals of the C³ Voluntary Program are to support industry in increasing cyber resilience, to increase awareness and use of the Cybersecurity Framework, and encourage organizations to manage cybersecurity as part of an all hazards approach to enterprise risk management.

Both the private sector and government have a role to play in strengthening our nation’s critical infrastructure security and resilience, including cybersecurity, and it is imperative that we as a country take coordinated actions to achieve this goal. We encourage companies and organizations to join the C³ Voluntary Program and take advantage of technical assistance and tools and resources available to ensure a more resilient critical infrastructure for a more resilient Nation.

Learn more about the C³ Voluntary Program by visiting: www.dhs.gov/ccubedvp.

February 7, 2014
6:49 pm

Secretary Johnson delivers a speech at the Wilson Center.

This morning, Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson delivered his first major address since being sworn in on December 23, 2013. During an event at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C., Secretary Johnson outlined his priorities for the Department and elaborated on his first seven weeks as Secretary before an audience of DHS leadership and employees, the Aspen Security Group, friends of the Wilson Center, members of the media, and others in attendance.

 Secretary Johnson delivers remarks at the Wilson Center.

Secretary Johnson discussed the complex, diverse missions of the Department including our continued vigilance in detecting and countering threats of all kinds.

During his remarks, Secretary Johnson also discussed the creation of this Department in the wake of the events of September 11, 2001, and how the Department has grown in its service to this Nation and its people. He said, “In my opinion the creation of a Department of Homeland Security in 2003 was long overdue.  Many other nations who face threats similar to ours had Ministries of the Interior or a Home Office with the similar basic missions of bridging national and domestic security, counterterrorism, and border and port security.  Perhaps because our own nation was protected by two big oceans from many of the world’s hot spots, we thought that one department of the United States government, devoted to the mission of “homeland security,” was unnecessary.  That thinking obviously changed on 9/11.

“Further, consider where all the 22 components of Homeland Security existed before the creation of the Department in 2003 -- scattered across the Departments of Agriculture, Energy, Justice, Treasury, Transportation, Defense, Health and Human Services, and the General Services Administration, including departments that do not have national security or law enforcement as their core mission.

“In just seven weeks in office as Secretary, I have already seen the wisdom of combining a number of these capabilities within one department of government: when I convene a meeting to discuss how the latest terrorist threats might penetrate the homeland, the participants include DHS’ Intelligence and Analysis Office, Customs and Border Protection, TSA, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Citizenship & Immigration Services, the Coast Guard and DHS’ National Protection and Programs Directorate.  Put another way, with the creation of DHS, a terrorist searching for weaknesses along our air, land and sea borders or ports of entry is now met with one federal response – from me.”

After his remarks, Secretary Johnson also participated in a conversation with Jane Harman, President and CEO of the Wilson Center.

Secretary Johnson participates in a conversation at the Wilson Center.

Watch the full video of today’s event at the Wilson Center here:

 

You can also read the full text of the Secretary’s remarks here. And to learn more about the Department of Homeland Security and Secretary Jeh Johnson, please visit here.

 

February 7, 2014
8:25 am

This morning, Secretary Jeh Johnson will deliver his first major address as Secretary of Homeland Security during an event held at The Woodrow Wilson International Center in Washington, D.C. Secretary Johnson will discuss his priorities for the Department during his remarks, as well as reflect on his tenure as Secretary thus far.

You can watch Secretary Johnson’s address live right here, beginning at 11:30 AM Eastern. You can also follow the conversation on Twitter using #dhslive.

If a feed is not visible here, you can also view the live webcast by visiting The Wilson Center’s website here.

Be sure to check back here after the speech for a full recap, photos, videos and more.

January 30, 2014
4:31 pm

Secretary Jeh Johnson visited MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. yesterday to tour security operations for Super Bowl XLVIII.

Secretary Jeh Johnson visited MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. yesterday to tour security operations for Super Bowl XLVIII.

Secretary Johnson met with federal, state and local law enforcement officials, including Federal Coordinator Andrew McLees of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations, Deputy Federal Coordinator James Mottola of the U.S. Secret Service and Alternate Deputy Federal Coordinator Frank Westfall of the National Protection and Programs Directorate. The Secretary was briefed on security operations at and around the stadium, including the assets deployed by DHS to support the security efforts of the National Football League (NFL) and state and local law enforcement.

DHS has worked closely with our federal, state and local partners over the past year in the planning and preparation for the security of Super Bowl XLVIII. DHS is providing support from across the entire Department, including the Transportation Security Administration, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, U.S. Coast Guard and ICE.

Secretary Johnson met with federal, state and local law enforcement officials, including Federal Coordinator Andrew McLees of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations, Deputy Federal Coordinator James Mottola of the U.S. Secret Service and Alternate Deputy Federal Coordinator Frank Westfall of the National Protection and Programs Directorate. The Secretary was briefed on security operations at and around the stadium, including the assets deployed by DHS to support the security efforts of the National Football League (NFL) and state and local law enforcement.

DHS is also continuing our partnership with the NFL through the “If You See Something, Say Something™” public awareness campaign, first launched at Super Bowl XLV, to help keep fans, employees and players safe.

Securing the Super Bowl is a shared responsibility and we are proud to support the work of our federal, state and local partners. You can read more about how we are supporting security efforts for the Super Bowl here

Secretary Johnson also traveled to New York City, where he joined officials from the NFL, New Jersey State Police, New York City Police Department and other law enforcement partners in a media availability to discuss efforts to ensure the security of this weekend’s events.

DHS is also continuing our partnership with the NFL through the “If You See Something, Say Something™” public awareness campaign, first launched at Super Bowl XLV, to help keep fans, employees and players safe.

Securing the Super Bowl is a shared responsibility and we are proud to support the work of our federal, state and local partners. You can read more about how we are supporting security efforts for the Super Bowl here.

 

January 29, 2014
3:30 pm

Posted by Federal Coordinator Andrew McLees: Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations - Newark

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is proud to support the State of New Jersey, the National Football League and our federal, state and local partners as they work to keep Super Bowl XLVIII fans safe before, during and after this weekend’s big game.

Today, Secretary Johnson visited MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. where he met with local law enforcement officials and was briefed on security operations at and around the Stadium, including the assets deployed by DHS to support state and local law enforcement security efforts.

DHS entities have worked closely with our federal, state and local partners over the past year in the planning and preparation for the Super Bowl, and providing support in the following ways:

  • The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response (VIPR) teams, comprised of Federal Air Marshals, surface and aviation transportation security inspectors, Behavioral Detection Officers, Transportation Security Officers, and canine teams, are helping secure transit to and from the stadium.
  • U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers and non-intrusive inspection equipment scan the cargo entering the stadium for contraband such as narcotics, weapons, and explosives.
  • CBP Office of Air and Marine will enforce Air Space Security.
  • The U.S. Coast Guard will support maritime and waterways security. 
  • CBP and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) will conduct operations specifically targeting counterfeit vendors and local merchants of game-related sportswear.  This is part of a crackdown on intellectual property rights (IPR) violations and to ensure fans are getting official Super Bowl related memorabilia.
  • TSA is sending additional screeners and doubling the checkpoint lanes at Newark Liberty International Airport for the influx of fans traveling for the game. TSA will also conduct baggage screening operation at Secaucus Junction station on the day of the game 

To help keep fans safe, DHS is continuing our partnership with the NFL through the “If You See Something, Say Something™” public awareness campaign, first launched at Super Bowl 45. Time and time again, we see the value of this kind of public vigilance. Fans and visitors in the New York and New Jersey area will see the “If You See Something, Say Something™” message at the airport, hotels, on buses, and billboards leading up to and throughout Super Bowl weekend.  The message will also appear in the game day program, the official fan guide, and on the video board during the game.

In addition to DHS support, 13 other federal offices are assisting. These interagency partnerships – including the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Department of Health and Human Services, the Food and Drug Administration, and the Department of Defense – are essential to the safety and security of this event.

Securing an event like the Super Bowl is a shared responsibility, and we all have a role to play. As the Federal Coordinating Officer for Super Bowl XLVIII, I am proud of our work with our federal, state, local and law enforcement partners, the NFL, event staff and volunteers, as well as the public, to help ensure the safety and security of everyone who is in town for the big game.

Secretary Johnson meets with security officials (including Federal Coordinator Andrew McLees, center) at MetLife Stadium during a security briefing for Super Bowl XLVIII as DHS's "If You See Something, Say Something(TM)" messaging appears on the video boards.

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