The security week that was: 05/21/10

National security news update

This was a big week in terms of national security news. First, there was a report that TSA's behavioral detection program isn't going as well as hoped. The numbers point to the problem. An annual budget of $200 million, 3,000 trained practitioners and $20 million budget increase requested for 2010 have led to zero take-downs of terrorists. The program tries to use elements like facial expressions and overall body language to identify possible terrorists.

Next there was a glimmer of good news in that FBI Deputy Director John Pistole has been nominated to serve as the director of the Transportation Security Administration.'s Joel Griffin spoke with colleagues to present an inside look at Pistole. The initial word on the street is that Pistole is a very strong choice for the nomination.

While Pistole's nomination seems to have been accepted as good news for a leaderless organization (the last two nominees have withdrawn after heavy scrutiny), this next bit of personnel news can be interpreted as good news or bad news, depending on your perspective. The bad news is that National Intelligence Director Dennis Blair, a retired Navy admiral, is resigning from his directorship position, meaning there will be a temporary lack of leadership as a new director takes the reins. But for many, this is a sign of good news, since many have linked his directorship with an overall lack of effectiveness and direction in the U.S. intelligence community. While Blair served as director, many in the intelligence community complained of turf battles and there was an instance of a high-profile intelligence shortcoming in the attempted Christmas Day airplane attack of 2009. CNN reports that the Clinton administration's deputy defense secretary John Hamre and defense undersecretary for intelligence Lieutenant General Jim Clapper (Air Force, retired) are in the running for the post.

May and June are for industry events
ESX, PSA-TEC, NRF LP show and NFPA Conference pack the next four weeks.

The Electronic Security Expo announced that today is the last day to get the deep advance discounts on registrations that your wallet likes. Head over to to register for the show, which occurs June 14-18, 2010. This is a busy few weeks for industry events. Next week is PSA-TEC near Chicago, then the NFPA show June 7-10, the SIA Government Summit June 8-9, followed by ESX the week after, plus the NRF Loss Prevention show that same week. Cygnus Security Media (the publication group of, Security Dealer & Integrator and Security Technology Executive) will be represented by our editors at most of these shows, so look for upcoming reports posted in our blogs and here on the website. Finally, we want to throw in a plug for our own event on June 24, which is a webinar about airport security contracting best practices with the former head of security for Denver's airport. Come join us!

In other industry news
ADT reorganization following Broadview purchase, plus a lot more news

ADT announced on Monday that it was formally splitting itself into two service units for North America: a unit for residential and small business, and a unit for commercial. John Koch will head up the residential/small business unit and John Kenning will head up the commercial division, which brings in the ADT federal systems group as well. ADT's worldwide president Naren Gursahaney noted that the global integration firm is seeing indicators for a possible economic recovery in the security sector, but said that he is remaining cautious until he sees those signs reflected via increased project orders. Last Friday, the firm closed on its acquisition of Broadview Security (formerly Brink's Home Security), which it is merging with Koch's division.

Art is still a prime target for high-level thieves. This week saw Picasso and Matisse paintings stolen from a Paris museum which reportedly didn't have its security system working! ... Having trouble finding the phone line when connecting your subscribers' alarm systems? That's because around 25 percent of U.S. households only use cell phones today. Goodbye POTS! ... We plugged the ESX show earlier in this report, but want to point you to some positive industry statistics regarding market growth that show promoters released this week. Some 61 percent of the channel companies they surveyed said market conditions for 2010 were better than 2009.