The Security Week That Was: A Recap - May 14-20, 2005

SIW Editor Geoff Kohl gives a weekly surveillance of news shaping your profession


Across the Atlantic, we followed a couple items of interest this week, and we thought you would, too.

The first was that the publisher of SIW's sister publication Security Dealer was in the UK. Peter Harlick reported in from IFSEC 2005 to provide some color and insight into the UK's largest security event.

The second item was a stand-up-and-take-note kind of security breach which happened when Greenpeace activists scaled a nuclear reactor in the Netherlands. News reports were surprisingly minimal on the subject and Greenpeace had no details on its website or its blog, but reports did say that there were guards and dogs on standby at the scene when the event happened. The activists painted a crack on the outer shell of the reactor as part of the protest. I submit to you two questions on this topic before I move on: 1) What if those paint cans had been bombs? 2) How hard would it really be for a terrorist to infiltrate an organization like Greenpeace in order to gain access to a site of interest?

Back in the U.S., North American Video announced that they had completed the integration of the video surveillance and access control system at what is Vegas' newest landmark, the Wynn Las Vegas. With one of the biggest hotels in Las Vegas, and an amazing amount of high-end retail space plus the requisite gaming areas and meeting space, NAV had their work cut out for them. Company spokespersons have said this is believed to be the largest video surveillance system yet. Check out the full story on securing the Wynn Las Vegas, if you haven't done so already.

The NAV and Wynn Las Vegas venture wasn't the only security/casino duo in the news this week. RFID and gambling chips made the news with a proposal that casinos would be able to track the chips. And MDI and Harrah's have entered a deal to use the company's SAFENet application which merges access control, alarm management and video security solutions.

The most shocking news this week came from Philadelphia, with a story that's being followed by not only SIW, but by national consumer news media as well. Surveillance cameras on a post office in Philadelphia captured the chilling murder of a hospital technician. While the cameras were on a post office, technically a public building, the incident is a reminder of how cameras at private facilities can be used to assist our nation's law enforcement officers. While some cities are implementing high-tech surveillance systems (for example, Baltimore is using NICE's analytics), there will always be more CCTV systems employed in the private sector than our beleaguered city budgets can keep up with. As we implement more of the systems, like it or not, our private security sector becomes a natural extension of the way we police our citizenship.

On a finishing note, SecurityInfoWatch.com's events calendar is growing stronger day-by-day, with not only national and international events, but also with events like those of your local burglar and fire alarm association. Sort and search functions allow you to find just the events you're looking for. To use the calendar, use this link. To add your organization's event, you can use our event submission page. While you're at it, check out a great interview with the directors of ISC East 2005.