Following reports on what is said to be an attempted assassination attack on Venezuelan President, Nicolas Maduro, last week, in the country’s capital, Caracas, the U.S. remains vigilant during a time of vulnerability to various forms of terrorism.

Two drones filled with explosives detonated while flying towards the South American President during an open-air live broadcasted speech, to his military, in Venezuela.

In recent Washington DC hearings, U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security, Kirstjen Neilsen and U.S. Secretary of defense, James Matteis, both conveyed great concern regarding the capability of combating weaponized drone attacks.

A newly released bulletin by the DHS warns about the threat of weaponized drones, and the risks of the act of coercion, especially the targeting of commercial airlines. The updated bulletin states that terrorists could try to use such instruments as Unmanned Aerial Vehicles with ground remote control to bring down aircraft. The FAA is aware of such possibilities and views such threats as serious intimidation.

Known tactics which terrorists are capable of using are strapping guns to drones as well as attaching deadly explosives. These methods have been used on battlefields by terrorists and have proven to cause devastating damage.

As it stands, passengers traveling on commercial planes are subject to a high level of screening inside the airport building before boarding a flight to their desired destination; forthwith, measures will be elevated to ensure there is also tremendous security outside airports and the respective vicinity.

In addition to explosives and guns, the DHS bulletin warns of toxic chemicals “toxins and poisons”, as posing a grave threat from drone attacks.

Security officials already have made it a high priority to focus its attention on identifying suspicious passengers, insider threats, and concealed explosives, but since weaponized drones have now become the latest threat, the challenge to keep people safe in public spaces is rapidly evolving.

Highly regarded companies such as Goldman Sachs take great pride in boasting on their websites how “implementing facial recognition correctly”, may demonstrate great potential towards protecting one from a breach in cybersecurity. Securing the activity of one’s finance details with such advanced facial recognition technology has proven to be a positive and effective trend.

Microsoft, however, is questioning whether facial recognition technology is working for everyone’s advantage. In a recent blog posting, titled FACIAL RECOGNITION TECHNOLOGY: THE NEED FOR PUBLIC REGULATION AND CORPORATE RESPONSIBILITY, written by Brad Smith – the Microsoft President is crying out for “the need for government regulation”.

Smith makes a passionate plea, due to what he considers the rapid evolution of technology and devices, “Advanced technology no longer stands apart from society; it is becoming deeply infused in our personal and professional lives”. He is demonstrating his concern about government tracking. In some instances Smith highlights how positive facial recognition technology is indeed useful for finding missing children or helping first responders identify a terrorist, however, the issues he feels a strong objection to is how facial recognition relates to “US government projects related to separating children from their families at the border”.

The elaborate details Smith illustrates in his blog post, regarding how facial recognition ought to be addressed through government regulation are many, but the emphasis in his starting points, clearly show his concern is focused on personal privacy and personal consent.

• Should law enforcement use of facial recognition be subject to human oversight and controls, including restrictions on the use of unaided facial recognition technology as evidence of an individual’s guilt or innocence of a crime?

• Similarly, should we ensure there is civilian oversight and accountability for the use of facial recognition as part of governmental national security technology practices?

• What types of legal measures can prevent use of facial recognition for racial profiling and other violations of rights while still permitting the beneficial uses of the technology?

• Should use of facial recognition by public authorities or others be subject to minimum performance levels on accuracy?

• Should the law require that retailers post visible notice of their use of facial recognition technology in public spaces?

• Should the law require that companies obtain prior consent before collecting individuals’ images for facial recognition? If so, in what situations and places should this apply? And what is the appropriate way to ask for and obtain such consent?

• Should we ensure that individuals have the right to know what photos have been collected and stored that have been identified with their names and faces?

• Should we create processes that afford legal rights to individuals who believe they have been misidentified by a facial recognition system?

The President of Microsoft bespeaks passionate objectives in the area of facial recognition technology, “this is a national issue that requires national leadership by our elected representatives”.

To read the entire blog by Microsoft President, Brad Smith visit: https://blogs.microsoft.com/on-the-issues/2018/07/13/facial-recognition-technology-the-need-for-public-regulation-and-corporate-responsibility/

Volcanoes can be deadly as we learn from history when the volcano of Mount Vesuvius, opened up and swallowed the settlement of Pompeii, in Italy, thousands of years ago. In AD 79, there was no way of detecting volcanic eruptions; communities perished and nature took its course.

Honeywell has changed the course of history in the form of gas detection technology, which is able to read air quality associated with volcanoes and take spot samples of gas levels.

Dramatic media coverage from Hawaii recently has reported 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit magma flow from multiple fissures created by the erupting volcano Kilauea. Hawaii’s Big Island has suffered over 200 earthquakes and the hot flowing lava has destroyed at least 400 homes and livelihoods. Fortunately, lives have been protected due to evacuation procedures that were implemented by first responders. The situation has been closely tracked by the assistance of the MultiRAE wireless detector and AeaRAE Pro: two multi-threat transportable monitors.

In instances where time is of the essence, and toxic levels of air can obstruct the nose and throat, severely burning the airways, and impeding breathing, the monitors have played a tremendous part in the health and safety of the community at large. Deadly elements such as carbon dioxide, hydrogen sulfide, carbon dioxide, and sulfur dioxide are volcanic gases that the Honeywell devices can monitor, in tandem with the quickly changing winds.

Reports state that explosions are currently active as well as ongoing in the region. The volcanic activity can be seen by astronauts in space who describe the sightings as extraordinary, with cracks in the earth and merging lava fields that are violent and growing. These Honeywell devices are vital in helping Hawaiians during this unstoppable destructive situation.

The US National Guard is on alert as the unpredictable volcanic situation is constantly unfolding, and are focused on finding evacuation sites.

Voice biometrics is being used to identify cardholders and secure their accounts. The United States of America’s bank industry is very keen to use automated speech recognition systems to prevent fraud and protect personal banking information.

Cardholders frequently call their respective bank’s customer service for various reasons in relation to their finances. It is a customary protocol for the cardholder to be presented with a barrage of questions, such as mother’s maiden name, last four digits of social security number, etc. before personal details are released. It can be a frustrating ordeal.

Sophisticated technology is now being used through biometrics that can rapidly recognize vocal patterns and voice prints, which secure the identification of the caller. This effective authentication system saves time for the customer and agent and is a safe way of doing business over the phone.

Convenience is the name of the game when one’s voice acts as the password to one’s banking and credit card accounts. The days of entering pin numbers are on the way to being outdated, as the evolution of biometrics for security progresses.

As well as being a protected function for call centers, voice recognition technology systems can be operative and compatible with mobile apps as well as the web.

The Fourth of July is one of the most celebrated days in America; it is a time when the country comes together to recognize its Declaration of Independence. People gather together on this national holiday to enjoy patriotism in the form of family, friends, fireworks, and barbecues.

As you celebrate America’s birthday, whether it is at the beach, the park or in one’s own backyard, it is important to follow a few guidelines:

GRILLING OUTDOORS:

1) Only grill outdoors NEVER indoors, or in enclosed areas.
2) Be mindful of anything that may be inflammable close to the barbecue grill.
3) Select one main person to supervise the barbecue grill when cooking outdoors.
4) Do not allow children or animals to stray close to the grill.
5) Be careful of alcohol and hot barbecues. If it spills it can cause flare-ups. If the person is drinking too much they can accidentally burn themselves.
6) Use the charcoal and lighter fluid products careful and read instructions.
7) If the flames on the grill leap high, try to cover them with the barbecue lid, as soon as possible to extinguish the oxygen.
8) Use the appropriate barbecue cooking tools.
9) Keep a small fire extinguisher handy and a household first aid kit.
10) Always make sure the barbecue is turned off and any charcoals fully put out before leaving the barbecue.

FIREWORKS:

1) Fireworks cannot be purchased in all states due to safety laws.
2) Attending public fireworks operated by professional companies are safer than private displays in one’s own garden.
3) Stay in long range of firework display.
4) Do not allow children or animals to come in close contact to fireworks even when unlit.
5) A sober adult should light fireworks with care at arm’s length them back away quickly. If the firework doesn’t activate immediately leave it alone. It could explode in one’s face.
6) Never throw a firework.
7) Animals may be afraid of the noise of firework – please respect their space. Keep pets indoors and secure.
8) Keep water handy in case of an emergency.

SUNSCREEN:

1) Most July 4th days are extremely hot since the celebrations fall in the heat of summer. Be mindful of direct exposure to the blistering sun. Sunburn and even sunstroke can occur if one doesn’t take precautionary measures.
2) Wear a sunscreen lotion with a high factor count preferable over 15, and apply regularly, especially if at a beach or by the pool (water may dilute the effect).
3) Wear sandals, sneakers, flip-flops or any kind of foot protection that prevents feet from burning on hot sand at the beach or hot paving stones by the pool.
4) Keep sunglasses handy to protect eyes.
5) Drink plenty of non-alcoholic beverages and water to stay hydrated in the heat.
6) Stay as close to an air-conditioned or fan operated area, if at all possible.

For further information on 4th July or summer safety in America, please go to websites such as FEMA, American Veterinary Medical Association, and Fireworks Safety. org, to learn more.

Rapid DNA is a program funded by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) Resilient Systems Division, to verify legal kinship of family members. According to the DHS report, it is a DNA based, quick and cost efficient way to “ improve immigration efficiency for legal kinship applicants, reduce kinship fraud, identify mass casualty victims, provide for family reunifications, and conduct DNA watch list checks”.

Currently, The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USICS) is dependent upon “documentary evidence and testimony elicited during interviews to verify family relationships”. These procedures prove to be prolonged and drawn out.

Professional field officers will be able to execute the Rapid DNA testing quickly. Rapid DNA is promoted by the US government, as a biometric tool, to be used at the United Sates borders where a common overwhelming influx of illegal immigrants is causing national concern.

Due to the recent situation of migrants flooding the border of Mexico to enter illegally into the United States, the DNA testing is upsetting some, who feel it may be a breach of privacy.

Border Patrol officials have reported that many children crossing the border illegally, are not actually with members of their biological family and are being trafficked and exploited. Some adults produce birth certificates stating the children they cross with illegally are theirs, however instances have proven that a lot of these documents are counterfeit.

Agents at the border state that they would be working with this method of Rapid DNA, in the hopes that parents will understand that protection of illegal children, is the prime factor of importance and this type of verification ( although there are those that may argue), is said to be, ultimately, for the child’s best interests.

Security has been stepped up in newsrooms all across America, after a deadly shooting at the Capital Gazette newspaper offices in Annapolis, Maryland, on Thursday. Armed with a shotgun, the lone shooter assailant killed 5 employees and seriously injured others, as confirmed by police.

A targeted attack, involving newsroom employees, brings to people’s minds many questions of how to be safe in one’s workplace. According to reports the victims murdered were working at the Capital Gazette at the time of the shooting when perpetrator Jarrod Ramos, bearing smoke grenade canisters blasted through a window with a shotgun. The alleged intention of the shooter was to cause grave harm.

Seemingly Ramos’ motive was due to a grievance he had with Capital Gazette, related to a lost defamation case against the paper in 2015. A 2011 column in the newspaper covered the issue where Ramos was accused of criminal harassment to a woman over social media and his guilty plea in court.

Police received praise and recognition for their swift action of arriving at the scene quickly to deal with a frightening situation. First responders carefully evacuated over a hundred people who worked in the building or were in the proximity. Many more lives may have been lost had their presence been delayed. Unfortunately it was too late for editors, Gerald Fishman and Rob Hiassen; reporter, John McNamara; sales assistant , Rebecca Smith and special publications, Wendi Winters. All five innocent victims, who were just doing their job, sadly were at the mercy of the killer and lost their lives.

Phil Davis, a Gazette reporter, used Twitter to describe the situation as a “war zone”, as he hid in the newspaper’s offices, “ There is nothing more terrifying than hearing multiple people get shot while you’re under your desk and then hear the gunman reload”.

The Capital Gazette is a local paper owned by the Baltimore Sun.

Jarrod Ramos 38, is being held without bond on five counts of murder.

FIFA World Cup 2018 is well underway, in the host country Russia, and soccer fans around the world are jubilant. All eyes are glued to TV screens, to watch competitive matches which started June 14 and will continue through to July 15; a month span, devoted to one of the most revered sports globally – football.

For those fortunate to be able to travel to this once communist Eastern European country, to support their respective national team, amidst the many thousands of other enthusiastic fans, there is one common factor that people should be mindful of during their visit to this highlighted event – safety.

Following the 2016 European Championship, in Marseille, France, reports stated that English fans, were attacked by approximately 150 Russian hooligans, who forcefully charged at the Brits, in a “prearranged” and targeted way. Needless to say, the concern of violence is problematic.

Claims that a Russian Hooligan Army, has been preparing physically to engage in brawls against rivals at the FIFA World Cup 2018, is something the federation are taking very seriously. The viscous attacks in Marseille, by the Russian thugs, are reported to have left two people in a coma. It was disclosed that the attacks were planned with well-trained precision in military style fashion, “with many of them sporting Martial Arts gloves”. Brice Robin acted as the Marseille Chief prosecutor. At least 50 perpetrator Russian fans were deported back to Russia and the team was given a suspended disqualification, together with a fine by the EAFA, Europe’s apex football body.

Law enforcement authorities are on high alert at FIFA World Cup 2018, despite the fact reports state the most notorious Russian football hooligans have been blacklisted and banned from attending. A fan ID system has been implemented to keep track of individuals in attendance and fans groups have been warned by the Federal Security Service, that imprisonment will be the only option, if extreme violence breaks out.

Security expert, Helmut Spahn , the Director of Security, FIFA, seriously has his mind on the threat of Radical Islam extremist terrorist suicide bomber attacks at football stadiums, as well as brutal hooligan fan issues, but he remains ever optimistic that security measures continue to remain strong with vigilant professional co-ordination between all security parties including intelligence, surveillance, police and armed forces.

It is without a doubt that the host country is doing everything it possibly can, security wise, to maintain a positive reputation, at a time when all the world’s eyes are closely watching.

Starting today June 19th, until Friday 22, in Nashville Tennessee, is ESX – Electronic Security Expo. This year’s 2018 event, according to their program, as revealed to the public online, aims to feature “insights from tech experts, a heartfelt panel on school security, and more”.

The ESX Expo is a “nation-wide event, open exclusively to the electronic security and life safety industry”. It is designed to allow interaction of professionals and those alike in the safety and security community.

Divided into topics of education, events & experiences, Expo and Non-for Pofit, the week’s activities promises to energize its attendees to re-think the future. Key-note speakers are invited to voice their opinions and experiences on security integration subject matters; some of these sessions are also interactive so the community may participate in discussions and brainstorming.

Alongside the business and networking opportunities are anything from breakfasts to cocktail receptions as well as various forms of entertainment; one such highlight includes a performance set to take place in the exhibit hall on June 20, by Kristen Merlin, a finalist on NBC;’s “ The Voice”.

The ESX Expo website also boasts of an upcoming Shark Tank style contest called TechVision Challenge, where contestants enter their creative concepts and are judged by a panel of impressive industry leaders.

It is an Expo that offers expert advice on its showcased products, and services. With a keen intent to help the gathering security integration enthusiasts learn more about installation training, merchandising, marketing and sales, exhibitors are on display throughout.

As stated publically, “ESX is owned by the industry’s leading professional associations. All profits made from the show are reinvested into programs and activities that help grow the industry”.

For more information: http://www.esxweb.com/Schedule/Full-Schedule

Honeywell is globally known for “inventing technologies that address some of the world’s toughest challenges in safety and security”. Their mission is “building a world that’s safer and more secure”. This is indeed proven as Honeywell focuses its attention to SAFE KIDS AT HOME PROGRAM RESEARCH.

In countries where household burns are prevalent, Honeywell’s Safe Kids at Home Program, is working with communities in creating preventative methods to help find positive solutions. Since 2015, Honeywell first introduced the program in Pune, India to inspire a “safety culture”. Together with civic agencies, it is growing in reach.

In compliance with the Indian government’s 100 Smart cities vision, the Safe Kids at Home Program consists of interactive educational training for children under the age of 14, in schools, alongside homework assignments, videos, games, songs and play. Through knowledge, training and awareness it has been developed to help prevent child injuries due to fires and burns.

Mr. Vikas Chadha, President, Honeywell India, recognized in 2017, “ Globally Honeywell understands the space of safety very well”. He proudly commented in an online portrayal of the program, “Honeywell can supply adequate products such as fire alarms, personal protection equipment which are aligned with the safety of a particular individual”

Safe Kids at Home aims to reach out to 25,000 students and 50,000 by mid 2018. This will happen via classroom sessions involving parents as well as caregivers and events with the communities at large. It is a positive initiative offering simple safety suggestions such as “Remember to blow out candles and turn off oil lamps before going to sleep”. In addition, the program includes distributing the correct contact information for first responders in case of an emergency.

Dr. Cinthia Pinto, Program Director, Safe Kids Foundation, stated in one of her previous appearances that the Safe Kids at Home Program was one of the “first of its kind in India, on child injury prevention”.

The Honeywell partnered program works in close collaboration with hospitals, fire departments, police departments, burn units, schools and communities. As it stands today, the Safe Kids at Home Program has become a model for “fire safe schools and fire safe communities”.

Honeywell and Safe Kids Worldwide are dedicated to working with partners to protect children from preventable injuries, and are already implemented and established with their programs in India, China and the United States.

Safe Kids at Home Supported by Honeywell – the power of connected