The Security Week That Was: A Recap - Sept. 24-30, 2005

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


After a brief respite following ASIS, SecurityInfoWatch.com is back with its Friday re-cap of the news affecting our industry.

Big news this week, and a popular read on our site, was the SIW story that boom times are predicted for the smart card market. New research came out on Wednesday which indicates that the smart card market can expect an explosion over the next five years in North and South America. The research, produced by the Smart Card Alliance and technology researches Frost & Sullivan, indicates that smart card usage for security, access control and government ID purposes is expected to jump from about 7 percent of the current market to 22 percent of the total North American smart card market by 2010. For our industry, that means we'll see a lot of replacements of card readers to accommodate this technology. See the full story.

French/U.S. relations haven't exactly been the best in recent years, but France is fighting the same problems with terrorism that the U.S. and Britain are. The country is making headway though, catching some nine alleged terrorists who reportedly were planning on attacking the Paris Metro and the airport.

While we're on the international news, Australia has lined up a biometrics test project to study the use of biometric information for border security. At the same time, the TSA is ending the express airport security program "Registered Traveler" now that the test is up and funding has ended. There's no word yet as to whether this will be turned over to the airports or the private sector or will be disbanded completely.

For our security directors and other executive-level end users:

- ASIS announced its 2006 board of directors and executive committee with some familiar names.

- For the security crew over at Caesars Atlantic City, it wasn't a pleasant week, as news came out of the company's settlement over a lawsuit alleging that some surveillance operators were PTZing their cameras to look at the, er, "features" of women working or gambling at the casino (safe for work -- you get the story, not the video).

- At a New York nail polish factory, the danger of workplace violence committed by a fired employee was all too real. An employee who was fired last year over charges of illicit material on his work PC came to the factory this week and shot three of his former co-workers before turning the gun on himself.

- Bank security guys are going to love these three pieces of news: 1) They caught some alleged perps and recovered some of the money from the $70M Brazilian bank heist that used a tunnel under a major city street. 2) The "FedEx" bandit that had been robbing Southern California banks was caught at the Mexican border, and 3) a lucky bank employee managed to avoid a robbery by being able to lock the front door before the robber (wearing a mask) could even get in.

For our dealer audience:

- The good people over at Brink's Home Security were probably busy this week celebrating the news that their company's monitoring service received high praise from J.D. Power & Associates.

- A strange story popped up on our radar about a Canadian town that sounds like it isn't sure whether it's going to non-response. The law apparently reads that, yes, the town is going to non-response, but city administrators are saying, "That's not what we meant." It's back to the drawing board on this one.

And integrators and manufacturers would be interested to know that the National Biometric Security Project has become GSA approved to provide research and analysis for the use of biometric devices in security-type installations. The NBSP, at its West Virginia research site, has been studying the different technologies offered and their analysis is now available for use by the government sector in a GSA-approved manor.

Finally, we always have to question Britain's security of its government buildings when protesters are able to scale them, as they seem to do a couple times a year. This week it was a fathers' rights activist who landed his way atop the House of Parliament carrying a large banner.

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