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FCW : March 15, 2014
Trending in DARPA funding is available for research into understanding big data $45 million The Department of Homeland Secu- rity is expanding its role in helping the private sector protect networks and infrastructure from cyberattack. The Critical Infrastructure Cyber Community (C3), which launched in February alongside the National Institute of Standards and Technol- ogy s Cybersecurity Framework, is designed to connect critical infra- structure operators around the goals of readiness, risk management and response to cyberattacks on a vol- untary basis. The program is also open to state and local governments, which often operate critical infrastructure. While helping to develop the NIST framework, DHS "recognized that crit- ical infrastructure is not a homoge- nous mass" and that different kinds of providers might have different needs, said Jenny Menna, director of DHS Stakeholder Engagement and Cyber Infrastructure Resilience Division, during a panel discussion sponsored by law rm Crowell and Moring in February. In addition, DHS is continuing a program it took over from the Defense Department in which companies can receive classi ed threat information from the government. The voluntary program was slow to take off because of delays in getting security clearances for participants, but Menna said DHS had reduced the wait time. Mark Weatherford, a principal at the Chertoff Group and another panel participant, pointed out that private companies might be reluctant to par- ticipate in voluntary DHS programs for reasons other than bureaucratic lag. The "Snowden effect" is making companies a "little more standof sh today than they were nine months ago," he said. --- Adam Mazmanian DHS' role in the cyber framework TANK In the face of mounting privacy con- cerns, Department of Homeland Secu- rity Secretary Jeh Johnson directed Immigration and Customs Enforcement to cancel a solicitation for a national license plate recognition system. The solicitation, released in early February, sought a company to build a smartphone-accessible database of license plate information that its agents could use in the eld to identify vehi- cles and their owners. In a statement, the agency claimed its senior of cials were unaware of the solicitation. The cancellation came in late February as ICE s acting director, John Sandweg, was preparing to leave the department after ve months on the job. As of press time, no replace- ment had been named. Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), ranking member of the House Home- land Security Committee, said the lack of a permanent director was complicat- ing decision-making at ICE. In a statement ICE emailed to FCW on Feb. 20, of cials said: "The solici- tation, which was posted without the awareness of ICE leadership, has been cancelled. While we continue to sup- port a range of technologies to help meet our law enforcement mission, this solicitation will be reviewed to ensure the path forward appropriately meets our operational needs." Jeramie Scott, national security counsel at the Electronic Privacy Infor- mation Center, told FCW that such a system would have posed serious pri- vacy concerns. The Electronic Frontier Founda- tion said in a statement that despite the cancellation, DHS could still access national license plate data through pri- vate company Vigilant Solutions. The organization cited documents showing that ICE and other DHS components have been tapping into Vigilant s data- sets for years. --- Mark Rockwell ICE license plate-reader solicitation canceled March 15, 2014 FCW.COM 7
March 30, 2014