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Archive for February 15, 2011

CIA Director Leon Panetta Warns of Possible Cyber-Pearl Harbor

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Top Intelligence-Security Officials Say Computer Attacks Increasing

By JASON RYAN

Top U.S. intelligence officials have raised concerns about the growing vulnerability the United States faces from cyberwarfare threats and malicious computer activity that CIA Director Leon Panetta said “represents the battleground for the future.”

“The potential for the next Pearl Harbor could very well be a cyber-attack,” he testified on Capitol Hill Thursday before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper also appeared, telling the committee, “This threat is increasing in scope and scale, and its impact is difficult to overstate.”

There are roughly 60,000 new malicious computer programs identified each day, Clapper said, citing industry estimates.

“Some of these are what we define as advanced, persistent threats, which are Read more…

US Internet censorship fight falling short: report

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WASHINGTON — State Department efforts to combat Internet censorship in China and other countries have fallen short and funding for the drive should be shifted to another US agency, a Senate committee report says.

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee report sharply criticizes the State Department for being slow in spending money allocated by Congress for Internet Censorship Circumvention Technology (ICCT).

The report, a copy of which was obtained by AFP, recommends that the funding be given instead to the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), which oversees the Voice of America, Radio Free Asia and other US radio and TV networks.

The report is to be released on Tuesday, the same day Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is scheduled to Read more…

Debt now equals total U.S. economy

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President Obama speaks at Parkville Middle School and Center of Technology, in Parkville, Md., Monday, Feb., 14, 2011. At right is Office of Management and Budget Director Jacob Lew. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)President Obama speaks at Parkville Middle School and Center of Technology, in Parkville, Md., Monday, Feb., 14, 2011. At right is Office of Management and Budget Director Jacob Lew. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

President Obama projects that the gross federal debt will top $15 trillion this year, officially equaling the size of the entire U.S. economy, and will jump to nearly $21 trillion in five years’ time.

Amid the other staggering numbers in the budget Mr. Obama sent to Congress on Monday, the debt stands out — both because Congress will need to vote to raise the debt limit later this year, and because the numbers are so large.

Mr. Obama‘s budget said 2011 will see the biggest one-year jump in debt in history, or nearly $2 trillion in a single year. And the administration says it will reach $15.476 trillion by Sept. 30, the end of the fiscal year, to reach Read more…

Doctor convicted of surgery to alter immigrant fingerprints

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By Ros Krasny

BOSTON, Feb 10 (Reuters) – A doctor from the Dominican Republic was convicted and sentenced in Boston on Thursday of offering to surgically alter the fingerprints of illegal aliens, the U.S. Department of Justice said.

The case is one of a number of attempts in recent years to subvert the federal government’s new biometric border security program, known as the Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System.

Jose Elias Zaiter-Pou, 62, pleaded guilty of conspiring to conceal illegal aliens from detection by law enforcement authorities, by surgically altering their fingerprints in exchange for payment.

He was sentenced to a year and a day in prison, followed by deportation and three years of supervised release.

Authorities said Zaiter-Pou met at a hotel in Woburn, Massachusetts, with a Read more…

NYC Faces $1 Billion in Budget Cuts

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NEW YORK—On Sunday, Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) published a report analyzing the proposed Republican budget plan, which will be voted on this week.

The congressman said that while there is a deficit that needs to be reduced, this plan is cutting the wrong corners.

“We have found that nearly a billion dollars worth of services that are provided by different government programs are getting cut. Yet programs like [those of] the Department of Defense are held almost entirely harmless,” Weiner said.

House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers has stated that the total debt has run up to $14 trillion.

“This legislation includes the largest reduction in discretionary spending in the history of our nation, five times larger than any other discretionary cut package ever considered by the House,” Rogers said in a press release. “The CR contains over $100 billion in cuts compared to Read more…