A Roadmap for Innovation – from Center or the Edge?

Fact:   In marking its five-year anniversary earlier this month, the Department of Homeland Security released a fact sheet touting the department’s accomplishments in that time, including “establish[ing] the Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT) to provide a 24-hour watch, warning, and response operations center, which in 2007 issued over 200 actionable alerts on cyber security vulnerabilities or incidents. US-CERT developed the EINSTEIN intrusion detection program, which collects, analyzes, and shares computer security information across the federal civilian government. EINSTEIN is currently deployed at 15 federal agencies, including DHS, and plans are in place to expand the program to all federal departments and agencies.”

Analysis:  I’m not going to write, in this post at least, about US-CERT and EINSTEIN in particular. I will point out that some writers have been skeptical of “Big DHS” progress on cyber security up to now, and the anniversary was an occasion for much cynical commentary. 

cnet-news.jpgCharles Cooper in his popular Coop’s Corner blog on CNet wrote that “when it comes to network security, DHS appears to be more of a wet noodle than even its sharpest critics assumed… Talk with security consultants and former government officials involved with DHS and you come away wondering what these folks do all day.”

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Photos of Iraq Trip

So I got unexpectedly called to Baghdad for a particularly fun trip with Mike Pflueger (my boss and our Deputy Director). September 11 (fourth anniversary) may not be the best time to leave by plane, for Iraq no less, but…

See all the photos here (start at the bottom of the page and work up, I posted them chronologically with comments).

Traveled with Pflueger and Jason Stahl, one of our senior communications specialists – Jason and I will stay in country after Pflueger leaves. Turns out Jason has done this kind of “specialized install” numerous times before – many odd places around the world. Nice guy… he had just saved up and bought a new gadget for the trip — new Sony PSP.

On the British Airways flight from London to Bahrain and then Qatar, I read the papers I’d bought at Heathrow – England’s Daily Telegraph and Financial Times, the International Herald Tribune, and the Wall Street Journal Euro edition. Then, I fell asleep – woke up and discovered on the seat-back real-time map display that we had just passed over Istanbul and the Turkish Black Sea coast and were heading for Syria and northern Iraq. I looked out over the west of Iran, which I could make out on the horizon.

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