Intelligence and Security Professional Certification

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Next month I embark upon my journey with the Center for Governmental Services at Auburn University to obtain intelligence analytic trade-craft skills essential for analysts in today’s operational environments. My goal is to develop skills in the handling and analysis of locally generated information, intelligence as related to homeland security, and classified and unclassified intelligence generated from the various intelligence communities. This study should prove to be very informative and educational to say the least. The fact that the faculty are former senior intelligence officers and managers from the CIA, DIA, NRO, NSA, State/INR, NGA, ODNI, Military Service intelligence components, and Capitol Hill says it all. If I am going to learn anything, then it makes sense to learn from those who have walked the path. The coursework includes the following subject matter: Introduction to U.S. Intelligence Intelligence For Policy Makers Risk Awareness Intelligence Operational Intelligence Intelligence Budget Process Cyber: Corporate Risk & Responsibility Intelligence Collection Analyst Training: Writing, Analysis, and Preparing Briefings National Security Policy Process History of U.S. Intelligence Homeland Security Intelligence Counter Terrorism: Actionable Intelligence Intelligence and the Law

Tools provide a false sense of accessibility compliance

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When you set out on the journey to achieve accessibility you will naturally turn your attention to tools to help facilitate they journey. If you paid attention, you had noticed that I stated journey and this is for a very good reason. The fact is, today’s websites are not your father’s website, which is to say they is little to no content that is static. The dynamic state of a website means that the content changes at any given interval and for this reason, accessibility is a continuous process. Although the tools are worthwhile and enterprises should procure and use them, it is important to realize that the tools are mechanical in their approach and of narrow scope. By itself, a tool does not guarantee a usable site; any more than spell check guarantees that the author’s document will be well written and comprehensible. The tools focus on the “letter of the law” rather than the spirit of the law. They ensure compliance with guidelines, but the guidelines have limitations. Most accessibility efforts center on the needs of the visually impaired users rather than People with Disabilities (PWD) in general. Accessibility in Business Develop a vision and statement that commits …

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TrueCrypt goes dark

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Today was an interesting day in term of security within the encryption community. The developers of TrueCrypt have made the following statement: “WARNING: Using TrueCrypt is not secure as it may contain unfixed security issues.” It is not clear exactly what is driving this decision and one can only guess at this point unless the development team comes out an conclusively comments on what the driving factor was. What makes this even more interesting, at least from my perspective, is the fact a security audit was just completed in April 2014. At that time, the phase 1 audit did not report any massive vulnerabilities and the general news was while the code could be better, there was no evidence that there were any concerns about the safety and use of encryption, especially with all of the concerns and reports around the National Security Agency (NSA). I have also seen reports that the May 21st password reset notice from SourceForge may have contributed to the demise of TrueCrypt, but there is no indication that I am aware of that SourceForge may have been hacked. However, anything is possible and depending upon the level of a hack it is in fact feasible …

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Life in a digital world means little or no privacy

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I want to start 2014 off by looking at security and privacy. One can argue that we are more secure today than we were just a few short years ago, but security comes at a cost and that cost is privacy. During discussions with others that I come into contact with, I am disturbed when I hear the response “if you are doing nothing illegal then you have nothing to worry about”. Obviously these individuals have not idea what privacy means. For those individuals, the Webster Dictionary defines privacy as the state of being alone. For those of you who subscribe to the idea of “if you are doing nothing illegal then you have nothing to worry about” may I have you WiFi and interest account credentials? I bet you then are not so willing to share this private information. The book 1984 was George Orwell’s chilling prophecy about the future and while 1984 has come and gone, Orwell’s narrative is timelier than ever. 1984 presents a startling and haunting vision of the world, so powerful that it is completely convincing from start to finish. No one can deny the power of this novel, its hold on the imaginations of …

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Technology is the government’s oldest best friend

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Recently we have all most likely have heard the news concerning the National Security Agency (NSA) is currently collecting the telephone records of millions of US customers of Verizon. This is extremely disturbing and while I have my own personal opinions as to what is or is not acceptable, this has clearly crossed the lines of trust in my humble opinion. In what world do we live that the government can simply cast a net so vast as to have this type of data for the purpose of seeking out those who are conducting illegal activities? I have heard others say that if you are doing nothing wrong then you should not be concerned. I have also heard our representatives state that this has been occurring for years and the data is used for security reasons. in fact, Harry Reid said Right now I think everyone should just calm down and understand that this isn’t anything that is brand new, it’s been going on for some seven years, and we have tried to often to try to make it better and work and we will continue to do that. To those that say if you do nothing wrong and you …

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