From the White House
Celebrating the Power of Girls
by Avra Siegel
The White House is proud to join the world community in marking the first-ever International Day of the Girl and has released a statement which can be found here. Every year, on October 11, countries around the world will honor the importance of empowering girls so that they can reach their full potential.
Yesterday Secretary Clinton, along with Archbishop Desmond Tutu, spoke to a group of about 200 Girl Scouts at the State Department about raising the status of girls around the world. Secretary Clinton announced new US Government and private sector initiatives to prevent child marriage and promote girls education.
You can read and watch Secretary Clinton's remarks in Honor of International Day of the Girl here.
The Obama Administration has taken a number of steps to promote the rights and opportunities for girls at home and abroad. You can learn more about some of the Obama Administration's work to support girls below:
A commitment to the advancement of girls is an investment in progress for everyone. When girls succeed societies prosper and nations are more secure. The Administration will continue to work to ensure girls are afforded the rights, freedoms, and opportunities they deserve.
Avra Siegel is the Deputy Director of the White House Council on Women and Girls
From the Department of Homeland Security
America's Law Enforcement Officers: Keeping Us Safe Online
by US Secret Service Director Mark Sullivan
What would you do if you receive a suspicious email from a friend that only included a link? Would you click on it? The email may be an attempt by an individual or group to solicit personal information or cause harm to our computers. This type of attack is referred to as “phishing.” Cybercriminals may send an email that appears to be from a friend or valid organization. The email may entice us to click a link that may look legitimate but is actually an attempt to collect our personal information or expose us to a website with malicious code.
These types of attacks are one example of the many complex cyber threats we face every time we go online regardless of whether we are at home, at work, or on the go. The spectrum of crime in today's cyber landscape is limitless: threats, some more serious and sophisticated than others, can have wide-ranging effects on the individual, community, organizational, and national level.
Law enforcement plays an instrumental role in advancing the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) cybersecurity mission to proactively fight Internet-related crime and to empower citizens with resources and tools needed to protect against growing cyber threats. To combat cyber crime, DHS leverages the skills and resources of the U.S. Secret Service, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the United States Coast Guard, and U.S. Customs and Border Protection – working in cooperation with the Department of Justice, especially the Federal Bureau of Investigation – to investigate and prosecute cyber criminals. In fiscal year 2011, the U.S. Secret Service arrested over 1,239 suspects for cyber crime in investigations that prevented over $1.6 billion in fraud loss.
The need for collective action on cybersecurity has never been greater. In recognition of National Cyber Security Awareness Month this October, we pay special attention to “Achieving Cybersecurity Together.” DHS encourages law enforcement officials to help spread cybersecurity awareness to communities across the country by:
- Joining the Stop.Think.Connect.™ Campaign through the National Network or Cyber Awareness Coalition. Find out more at www.dhs.gov/stopthinkconnect
- Leading or hosting a cybersecurity educational session or activity at a local school, library, or community center.
- Downloading and distributing Stop.Think.Connect. cybersecurity materials, including the Toolkit with resources for all ages and organizations.
- Blogging, tweeting, or posting about safe online behavior.
For more information about staying safe online and getting involved, visit www.dhs.gov/stopthinkconnect
Report Suspicious Activity
What You Need To Know
Prompt and detailed reporting of suspicious activities can help prevent violent crimes or terrorist attacks. If you see suspicious activity, please report it to your local police department. Local law enforcement officers can respond quickly. Once they assess the situation, they can obtain additional support.
Citizens should always call local law enforcement. If you see something suspicious, please call local law enforcement.
If there is a life threatening emergency, please call 911.
When reporting suspicious activity, it is helpful to give the most accurate description possible, including:
- Brief description of the activity
- Date, time and location of the activity
- Physical identifiers of anyone you observed
- Descriptions of vehicles
- Information about where people involved in suspicious activities may have gone
- Your name and contact information (optional)
Behind the scenes there is an active national strategy for information sharing. The Nationwide Suspicious Activity Reporting (SAR) Initiative (NSI) is a collaborative effort led by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), Bureau of Justice Assistance, in partnership with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and state, local, tribal, and territorial law enforcement partners.
This initiative provides law enforcement with another tool to help prevent terrorism and other terrorism-related crime by establishing a national capacity for gathering, documenting, processing, analyzing, and sharing SAR information.
The NSI is a standardized process—including stakeholder outreach, privacy protections, training, and facilitation of technology—for identifying and reporting suspicious activity in jurisdictions across the country and also serves as the unified focal point for sharing SAR information.
Remember you can report on suspicious activities anonymously. If you see suspicious activity, please report it to your local police department. If you are experiencing an emergency, please call 911.
DHS also has other reporting avenues for reporting incidents such as chemical security concerns, cyber-security matters, immigration or customs violations, oil or chemical spills or suspected criminal or terrorist activity.
Check the National Terrorism Advisory System (NTAS)
What You Need to Know
National Terrorism Advisory System ( NTAS) alerts communicate information about terrorist threats by providing timely, detailed information to the public, government agencies, first responders, public sector organizations, airports and other transportation hubs.
Using available information, the alerts will provide a concise summary of the potential threat, information about actions being taken to ensure public safety, and recommended steps that individuals, communities, businesses and governments can take to help prevent, mitigate or respond to the threat.
The National Terrorism Advisory System (NTAS) website is the authoritative source for information about the current NTAS level. It will always contain the most up-to-date information on the Advisory System status.
NTAS Alerts will only be issued when credible information is available. After reviewing the available information, the Secretary of Homeland Security will decide, in coordination with other Federal entities, whether an NTAS Alert should be issued.
The NTAS Alerts will be based on the nature of the threat: in some cases, alerts will be sent directly to law enforcement or affected areas of the private sector, while in others, alerts will be issued more broadly to the American people through both official and media channels.
These alerts will include a clear statement that there is an imminent threat or elevated threat.
- An imminent threat warns of a credible, specific, and impending terrorist threat against the United States.
- An elevated threat warns of a credible terrorist threat against the United States.
NTAS Alerts contain a sunset provision indicating a specific date when the alert expires - there will not be a constant NTAS Alert or blanket warning that there is an overarching threat. If threat information changes for an alert, the Secretary of Homeland Security may announce an updated NTAS Alert. All changes, including the announcement that cancels an NTAS Alert, will be distributed the same way as the original alert.
The National Terrorism Advisory System, or NTAS, replaces the color-coded Homeland Security Advisory System (HSAS).
You can sign up to receive NTAS alterts by email, Facebook and/or Twitter.
NTAS Alerts via Twitter http://www.dhs.gov/how-do-i/check-national-terrorism-advisory-system-ntas