*The Transportation Security Administration has suspended Verified Identity Pass (VIP) from enrolling new applicants in its Clear brand Registered Traveler (RT) service after it was discovered that an unencrypted VIP laptop computer containing the pre-enrollment records of about 33,000 customers was mission from San Francisco International Airport late last month. RT Service Providers and sponsoring entities are required to encrypt all files containing participants’ sensitive personal information. Non compliance can result in program suspension and civil penalties. VIP is required to submit an independent audit verifying that the appropriate security measures are in place. TSA will verify the audit before VIP can resume enrolling customers. The suspension does not affect current Clear customers from using the RT service at airports.
*L-1 Identity Solutions [ID] has successfully completed the initial offering period for the tender offer for shareholders of Digimarc Corp., giving L- 1 control of Digimarc. L-1 says that about 79 percent of Digimarc’s stock was tendered. A subsequent offering period will expire this Friday. Once the tender offer closes, L-1 will be able to complete its acquisition of Digimarc.
*Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Thad Allen says legislation is needed to make it illegal to operate and embark on a stateless self-propelled semi-submersible vessel (SSPS) in order to improve the effectiveness of the U.S. in combating drug smugglers. Allen, writing in a recent Department of Homeland Security blog about the successful interdiction of an SSPS by the Mexican navy with the help of the DHS and U.S. military that resulted in the capture of more than 10,000 pounds of cocaine, says the use of the submarines has been on the rise in recent years to avoid interdiction efforts. More often than not, says Allen, the SSPS vessels, along with the cargo of narcotics, are scuttled by the drug traffickers, making it difficult if not impossible to pursue prosecution. Criminalizing the operation of stateless SSPS vessels on international voyages would facilitate prosecution, he says.