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The TSA paid $336k (or maybe $1.4M) for a random number generator app for an iPad

This undated image released by the Transportation Security Administration shows a sign promoting the TSA PreCheck program at at Reagan National Airport in Washington. The Transportation Security Administration's PreCheck program is open to some elite frequent fliers as well as travelers enrolled in one of the Customs & Border Protection's expedited entry programs: Global Entry, Nexus and Sentri. These travelers are considered less of a terrorist risk and therefore don't have to go through as stringent of a screening process. (AP Photo/TSA)

Gotta love government IT projects. When you want to randomly pick airline travelers for reduced security screening, it makes sense to use a random number generator to choose those people, so you can show there’s no discrimination involved.

What makes rather less sense is to pay $336k for the app. Or maybe even as much as $1.4M …



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New York promotes mobile app to report suspicious activity in ‘See Something, Say Something’ campaign

see-something

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo yesterday announced that the state is supporting a mobile app allowing people to report suspicious activity, reports the NY Daily News. The See Send app, available on both iOS and Android, allows users to send either a text note or a photo.

The app […] will allow people to send a photo or written note to the state police Intelligence Center, where its credibility can be examined and referred to the proper law enforcement agency if necessary. [It] should be used to report suspicious behavior or specific situations like an unattended backpack in a public place, not simply hunches.

The app is already supported by Pennsylvania, Ohio, Louisiana, Colorado and Virginia.

State Police Superintendent Joseph D’Amico likened the app to a telephone crime tip line, with police hoping that making it easier to pass on tips will make it more likely that people will use it.

“If you see something that may be linked to terrorism, send something,” D’Amico said. “Your tip could provide valuable information that could prevent a tragedy.”

For emergencies, you should of course still call 911. More information about the ‘See Something, Say Something’ campaign can be found here. The See Send app is a free download on iTunes.

U.S. Department of Homeland Security warns iOS users about ‘Masque Attack’ security flaw

Masque Attack

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security on Thursday issued an alert warning iOS users about the recent “Masque Attack” security flaw that can affect both non-jailbroken and jailbroken iPhone, iPad and iPod touch devices. The United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team outlines how the technique works and offers solutions on how iOS users can protect themselves.

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