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United States

9/11 Made Us Safer, Says Bruce Schneier 280

richi writes "Security guru and BT CTO Bruce Schneier discusses terrorist attacks. In fact, Bruce seems to be saying that 9/11 actually made us safer from terrorists, which seems like a curious argument. While Bruce's blog post is interesting and no doubt insightful, I'm not sure I really buy it. And what's the deal with the new rules for searching the TSA No Fly List? Why is it, in 2010, we're still mucking about with publishing database extracts and waiting hours for them to be searched? How about checking within seconds of an update? Couldn't someone volunteer to show them how to implement a reliable, scalable, NoSQL setup? Instead, the TSA plan to fix this is a classic 'big government' solution."
Biotech

Colleague Comes Forward To Defend Anthrax Suspect 164

Hugh Pickens writes "The NY Times writes about Henry S. Heine, a former Army microbiologist who worked for years with Bruce E. Ivins, whom the FBI has blamed for the anthrax letter attacks that killed five people in 2001. Heine told a 16-member National Academy of Sciences panel reviewing the FBI's scientific work on the investigation that he believes it is impossible that the deadly spores could have been produced undetected in Ivins's laboratory, as the FBI asserts. Heine told the panel that producing the quantity of spores in the letters would have taken at least a year of intensive work using the equipment at the army lab, an effort that would not have escaped colleagues' notice. Lab technicians who worked closely with Ivins have told Heine they saw no such work. Heine adds that, in addition, the biological containment measures where Ivins worked were inadequate to prevent the spores from floating out of the laboratory into animal cages and offices. 'You'd have had dead animals or dead people.' Asked why he is speaking out now, almost two years after Ivins's suicide, Heine says that Army officials had prohibited comment on the case, silencing him until he left the government laboratory. Although Heine does not dispute that there was a genetic link between the spores in the letters and the anthrax in Ivins's flask, Heine says samples from the flask were widely shared. 'Whoever did this is still running around out there. I truly believe that.'"
Security

China Expands Cyberspying In US, Report Says 186

An anonymous reader writes "A new report published by The US-China Economic and Security Review Commission wags a finger at the People's Republic of China for conducting Internet-borne espionage operations against United States high-tech companies. The paper, written by defense giant Northrop Grumman, provides a detailed case study of one such intrusion that moved large volumes of sensitive tech data out of a US firm in 2007. From a Wall Street Journal article, '"The case study is absolutely clearly controlled and directed with a specific purpose to get at defense technology in a related group of companies," said Larry Wortzel, vice chairman of the commission and a former U.S. Army attaché in China. "There's no doubt that that's state-controlled."' Wang Baodong, a spokesman for the Chinese Embassy in Washington, criticized the commission as "a product of Cold War mentality" that was "put in place to pick China to pieces." He added: "Accusations of China conducting, or 'likely conducting' as the commission's report indicates, cyberspace attacks or espionage against the US are unfounded and unwarranted.'"
Security

Al-Qaeda Web Sites Go Offline 284

thefickler writes "Four out of the five Al-Qaeda online forums have disappeared. The terrorist group used these forums to relay messages to its supporters. The four that have gone missing seem to have taken a hit back on September 10, the day before the annual video marking the 9/11 attacks was due to be disseminated. No one knows who is responsible for the sites' disappearance."

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