Secretary Chertoff at Bloggers Roundtable

This is the first of what may be a number of these conferences or discussions.

by / March 3, 2008

Remarks by Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff at a Roundtable With Bloggers. "We are beginning our cyber strategy. That will not be done this year, but I'm hoping we can get it, a cyber center, up and running, and have a full set of plans and a funding budget to move forward over the next several years to get to the next level of cyber security."

"Keeping people out that are dangerous: At the ports of entry, we are very significantly ahead of where we were five years ago, and where we were three years ago when I was -- you know, first started here at the department. US-VISIT, two fingers, is up and running at all of our ports of entry. We're now moving to 10 fingers overseas, at the consulates, and here at the airports. That gives us a capability not only to check fingerprints in our existing records, but to check against latent fingerprints that we collect in safehouses or battlefields around the world.

"We have an agreement with the Europeans that will enable us to use Passenger Named Record Data, which gives us better information about who's coming into the country, so we can analyze whether there are connections that we need to be worried about so that we maybe take a closer look at somebody when they arrive.

"We're getting somewhat more advanced warning of who's getting on the airplane. That, again, eliminates the risk of having to turn a plane around when we discover a "No-Fly" is on the plane when they're coming in here.

"When you put all these things together -- tougher documentation requirements at the land border; requiring passports, if you're traveling in the Western Hemisphere by air -- we are strengthening the document requirements, the biometric requirements, and the information that we gather, in order to have a better picture of who ought to go into secondary, and perhaps not be let into the country. And time and again, we have turned people away who you would not want to have in the country based upon what is -- you know, what their connections are, or what their fingerprints turn up on, or something of that sort.

"Between the ports of entry, we're on track to build 670 miles of fencing by the end of this year. We are at over 15,400 Border Patrol; that's on track to over 18,000 by the end of the year, which will double the Border Patrol.

"SBInet -- which, contrary to Spencer Hsu, is not P-28; I'm going to really spell it out really clearly: P-28 is to SBInet as one cruiser is to the United States Navy. It is not the same thing.

"So we have, as of last week, four unmanned aerial vehicles up over the southwest border. We expect by the end of this year to have 40 ground-based radar systems, 7,500 individual sensors. And we do have P-28, which is an integrated approach to radar and cameras, which we've accepted as being functionally workable, and which we're now going to take to 2.0 before we deploy it at other parts of the border. It was never intended to be one-size-fits-all across the border, nor will it be one-size-fits-all across the border. All these tools are going to be deployed in various ways, depending on what the particular typography of the border is."

 For the entire discussion:

Secretary Chertoff at Bloggers Roundtable