Geeska Afrika Online

Djibouti: weekly regional Security  Brief

Djibouti  (HAN) July 17.2016. Public Diplomacy & Regional Security News.

1-The President of the Federal Republic of Somalia
The President of the Federal Republic of Somalia, Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud condemned an attempted coup in the Republic of Turkey  to disrupt the stability and the democracy of the region. “we are very glad to hear that the evil forces who tried to turn Turkey into a violence ground have been defeated”,
“It is unacceptable to reverse the democratic path that the people of Turkey enjoyed in the recent times of their history. This was unfortunate and we are very glad to hear that the evil forces who tried to turn Turkey into a violence ground have been defeated’’, said the President.

2- The Federal Republic of Somalia Quick Response: Somalia President was one of the first world leaders to oppose the Turkish coup 
Somalia has ordered organizations linked to Fethullah Gulen, who  was involved Friday’s coup attempt. The FGS decision came in an extraordinary session of the Somali cabinet on Saturday. The FGS cabinet spokesman said the decision was in response to a request from the Turkish government to help their security and strategic partnership.


3- Russia has banned all fruits export from Somalia
Federal Government of Russia has banned all fruits export from Somalia. Russian News Agency TASS has reported quoting statement from quality assurance department in the country. Rosselkhonznadzor said fruits are exported from Somalia through illegal means and pass via several European countries before reaching Russia. The quality assurance agency also banned fruits exported from Afghanistan on similar issue. Somalia and Russia do not share direct trading but export and imports from find their way in both countries through illegal means via third country.


4- Regional Stability: Ten killed during protests in northern Ethiopia.

At least 10 people, including police officers and civilians, have been killed in northern Ethiopia after days of protests, according to local sources.


5- Regional Military Activities: Ethiopia suggests military intervention in South Sudan
Rwanda, Kenya and Ethiopia are preparing a military force to intervene in South Sudan, an Ethiopian official said Friday

Update: Marines in Djibouti ready for possible crisis response in South Sudan. USA Marines from a Special-Purpose Air-Ground Task Force are pre-positioned in Djibouti, Africa, in case they are needed for a crisis response.


6- China & the Region: Ethiopia inaugurates largest Chinese-built industrial park
Ethiopia inaugurated its largest industrial park so far as it races to meet its development targetng a military force to intervene in South Sudan, an Ethiopian official said Friday.


7- Eritrea & The Power: Second Most Powerful & Important Man of Eritrea

Intelligence sources: Yemane Gebreab is an important figure in Eritrean politics. He is the personal adviser to President Isaias Afewerki. Listen to his most recent interview here:Conversation with the second most important man of Eritrea


8- NATO chief hails ‘strong support’ of democracy by Turks
NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg has hailed the mass turnout of Turks on the streets overnight which played a critical role in thwarting the attempted coup.

“I welcome the strong support shown by the people and all political parties to democracy and to the democratically elected government of Turkey,” Mr Stoltenberg said.

The NATO chief called for “calm, restraint & full respect for Turkey’s democratic institutions and constitution.”


9- The power of the People: Turkish tank crushes taxi with people STILL INSIDE

Turkish tank crushes taxi with people STILL INSIDE as angry protesters battle with military in chaotic scenes in Istanbul.

10- Impact: General Hulusi Akar, Described the putsch bid as a “black stain” on Turkish democracy.
General Hulusi Akar said, 1,440 people had been wounded. The 161 toll did not include the assailants.  Earlier acting army chief General Umit Dundar said 104 coup plotters were killed in the violence, before warning that anyone who betrays the country will not go unpunished.

“Turkish Armed Forces have completely taken over the administration of the country to reinstate constitutional order, human rights and freedom,” the statement said.


11- British government refuses to rule out re-electing Saudi Arabia to UN 

Regional sources: Ministers have refused to rule out re-electing Saudi Arabia to chair the United Nations’ human rights council for a second time.


12- Truck Rams Bastille Day Crowd in Nice, France, Killing at Least 84

The death toll from the terrorist attack on a Bastille Day fireworks celebration in the southern French city of Nice rose to 84 on Friday — with a further 50 “between life and death,” according to President François Hollande — as the government extended a national state of emergency after the third major terrorist attack in 19 months. “We will not give in to the terrorist threat,” Prime Minister Manuel Valls said Friday after a cabinet meeting led by Hollande. “The times have changed, and France is going to have to live with terrorism.” News organizations identified the man believed to have committed the attack as Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel, 31, a delivery-truck driver who was raised in Tunisia and who moved to France around 2005.


13- French Attacker Was Not on Terror Watch List
The truck driver who barreled through a thronged seaside promenade on the French Riviera leaving behind scores of bodies was a local resident who did not appear on any French terrorist watch list, security officials said Friday. The driver has been identified by news organizations as Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel, a delivery-truck driver who was raised in Tunisia and who moved to France around 2005 He was quickly identified after personal documents were found in the truck. The man is not known to have had any connection to terrorist groups, including the Nice-based group Forsane Alizza, which was dismantled in 2012. Although French security officials said they have discovered no links between the attacker and known terrorist groups, and Islamic State has not claimed responsibility for the assault.

14- After Nice Attack, Countries Tighten Security on French Border
Several European countries reinforced security along their borders with France on Friday after the truck attack in Nice revived terror fears in the region. The French government extended the country’s state of emergency, which has been in place since Islamic terrorists carried out a series of attacks in Paris last November. The government had planned to lift the state of emergency, which grants it extrajudicial powers, in less than two weeks. Spain in turn on Friday bolstered security along its 408-mile border with France, while its top security officials met to weigh additional measures following the attack. Germany also intensified controls and beefed up security along its border with France. The Federal Police said they were increasing surveillance and checks in the border region with France “in coordination with French authorities.”

15- Beyond Passwords: Tech Companies Seek Next Generation of Security
Traditional passwords are losing ground to two-factor authentication and behavioral biometrics, as concerns grow about security breaches associated with passwords, according to a study from Internet security firm TeleSign. Among security professionals responding to the study, 69 percent believe traditional passwords and usernames fail to offer adequate security, and 72 percent believe their companies will eliminate passwords by 2025.

16- Power Grid Left Exposed to Sabotage
Thousands of electrical substations are vulnerable to saboteurs despite federal orders to secure the power grid. The Wall Street Journal has examined dozens of break-ins and found most substations are unmanned and often protected chiefly by chain-link fences, and many have no electronic security. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in 2014 began requiring that utilities better protect any substation that could disable parts of the U.S. grid if attacked, following an incident at Pacific Gas & Electric’s Metcalf facility near San Jose, Calif., in 2013.

17- American Security Fears Mount Ahead of GOP Convention
Concerns over security in Cleveland have been ramping up ahead of next week’s Republican National Convention. With Donald Trump expected to formally accept the party’s presidential nomination, numerous protest groups for and against the billionaire developer are preparing to launch dozens of rallies and marches across the Ohio city, which is expecting 50,000 visitors for the gathering. Throughout the primaries, Trump’s campaign was marked by racial tensions and spasms of violence both inside his events and in the streets. Heightening tensions now, the convention arrives amid a rising national tide of anger against police violence in the death of two African Americans and anxieties tied to the deadly ambush and killing of five officers in Dallas last week. Meanwhile, the state’s open-carry gun laws have some officials concerned about the increased potential for violence. Ohio state law does not regulate the carrying of guns, meaning that entrants to the convention’s 1.3 square mile secure zone are prohibited from bringing, among other things, weapons like swords, hatchets, axes, slingshots, BB guns, pellet guns and metal knuckles, but will be allowed to openly hold live firearms. The police department — currently under federal oversight by the Department of Justice after being cited in 2014 for “a pattern or practice of the use of excessive force” — will be prepared for the worst with millions of dollars in body armor and tactical weaponry.


18- New Aviation Bill Aims to Boost Airport Security, Shorten Lines
The U.S. Congress on Wednesday passed an aviation bill that attempts to close gaps in airport security and shorten screening lines but leaves thornier issues unresolved. The bill also extends the Federal Aviation Administration’s programs for 14 months at current funding levels. It was approved in the Senate, 89 to 4. The House had passed the measure earlier in the week and it now goes to President Obama, who must sign the bill by Friday, when the FAA’s operating authority expires to avoid a partial agency shutdown. Responding to attacks by extremists associated with the Islamic State group on airports in Brussels and Istanbul, the bill includes provisions aimed at protecting ‘‘soft targets’’ outside security perimeters. Other provisions would toughen vetting of airport workers and other employees with access to secure areas, expand random employee inspections, and require reviews of perimeter security. Investigators suspect a bomb had been smuggled aboard a Russian airliner that disintegrated over Egypt last year.


19- House Members Grapple With Cyber War Contours
House Oversight Committee members on Wednesday attempted to better define what constitutes an act of cyber warfare and how, or if, the U.S. should respond. Witnesses told Rep. Will Hurd (R-Texas) that Congress also must examine issues such as data integrity, the growing cybersecurity insurance market, and how to spread best practices from the private sector. Rep. Robin Kelly (D-Ill.), ranking member of the IT Subcommittee, pointed to the indictment of seven Iranian nationals in March who are charged with breaching the network of a dam in suburban New York. “While the attack might not have targeted the nation’s vital infrastructure, it is almost certain that future attacks will,” Kelly said. “And when that does happen, how will we react? Do we hack the hackers or do we respond with physical force?” Retired Gen. Keith Alexander, who formerly served as director of the NSA and commander of U.S. CYBERCOM and is now president and CEO of IronNet Cybersecurity, agreed clarity is needed on these questions, if for no other reason than to prevent a vigilante reprisal. “If we think about Sony firing back … that could get us into a war on the Korean peninsula,” he said, referencing the hack of Sony Pictures Entertainment in November 2014. “We don’t want that to happen. This is an inherent government responsibility, that means the government needs the ability to fire back when appropriate.”


20- Hit App Pokemon Go Raises Security Concerns for Google Account Holders
A security flaw in the popular new Pokemon Go app gives the game’s developers full access to Google accounts when users choose to log in via Google. The error highlights larger data security concerns about apps providing information to third-parties without a user’s knowledge, security experts say. The login process allows users to enter their Google account details on a Google page, then return to Pokemon Go without directly giving the app their Google username and password. Google sends a random code to third-party sites to allow users to sign in to apps using Google accounts. Although the code does not reveal any personal information, it provides third parties with some access to a user’s Google data. Pokemon Go erroneously requests full account access, which grants access to view and modify almost all of a user’s Google account data. Pokemon Go developer Niantic says it is working on an update to limit the app to a request for only basic account information. Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) has sent a letter to Niantic calling for clarification on the collection and use of users’ data.


21- White House Releases Federal Cybersecurity Workforce Strategy
The White House  announced new measures to strengthen the federal cybersecurity workforce, including policies that will help agencies retain and recruit highly skilled information security professionals. The four-part cyber workforce plan aims to create a path for cybersecurity professionals to take a “tour of duty” in the public sector over their career arc. The White House will partner with government agencies to streamline hiring practices to quickly bring in new talent, and create a cybersecurity team within the Presidential Management Fellows program to attract the top cybersecurity talent from the private sector. In addition, the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) will build cybersecurity career paths for current information security professionals working in government. The strategy will rely on the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology’s National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education to develop plans to hire 3,500 more IT security professionals before the end of 2016. “The initiatives discussed in this strategy represent a meaningful first step toward engaging federal and non-federal stakeholders and provide the resources necessary to establish, strengthen, and grow a pipeline of cybersecurity talent well into the future,” says U.S. Office of Management and Budget director Shaun Donovan, OPM acting director Beth Cobert, special assistant to the President and cybersecurity coordinator Michael Daniel, and U.S. CIO Tony Scott.


22- Privacy Shield Transatlantic Data Sharing Agreement Enters Effect
After months of uncertainty, businesses will once again have a simple, legal way to export the personal information of European Union citizens to the U.S. for processing after Aug. 1. Privacy Shield, the replacement for the defunct Safe Harbor Agreement, ensures an adequate level of protection for personal data transferred from the EU to self-certified organizations in the United States, the European Commission ruled Tuesday. Though Privacy Shield has now gone into effect, it will still be a few more weeks before companies can register their compliance with it. When the first draft of Privacy Shield was published in February, its vague provisions on mass surveillance were criticized from many quarters, including the Commission’s own advisors, leading to fears that it would only be a matter of time before the CJEU overturned it too. But since then the text has been improved, and now reflects the requirements set out by the CJEU, European Commissioner for Justice Vera Jourová said, announcing the deal in Brussels. Among the improvements, she said, negotiators have “clarified better when bulk collection of data may occur and what distinguishes it from mass surveillance.” U.S. Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker said that “for businesses, the framework will facilitate more trade across our borders, more collaboration across the Atlantic, and more job creating investments in our communities.” Business lobbyists were supportive of the new deal.


23- Brooklyn Businesses Getting Funds for Security Cameras
A number of Brooklyn businesses are receiving funds from the city to install security cameras to monitor the sidewalks in front of their shops, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams said on July 12. Adams has allocated $2,500 in discretionary funds to five business and community umbrella groups throughout the borough. Organizations receiving cameras under the plan will set the devices up facing toward the sidewalk and street in order to monitor the public areas near their businesses. The cameras will all also be registered with the local New York Police Department precinct, so officers can quickly view footage if a crime should occur. Participating groups have signed a formal agreement saying they “will make available to the NYPD all video footage recorded by the security camera to aid in the event of an investigation within a reasonable time period. At no time can any business withhold footage from a camera installed under the agreement.” Adams, a former police captain, believes the new cameras will help mitigate crime.

24- Google Warns Customers of 4,000 Cyber Attacks Per Month

Google has warned users of 4,000 state-sponsored cyberattacks every month, according to parent company Alphabet. The warning comes after Google previously said it sends tens of thousands of warnings every few months, leading to security upgrades among customers. Following this theme of transparency, Google disclosed that right-to-be-forgotten requests more than doubled to 65 million between 2014 and 2015. Google offers two-factor authentication for many of its applications and released plans to replace users’ passwords with trust scores, which rely on specific data, such as location, facial recognition, and walking or typing patterns to identify users, all adding up to a total score. Several banks were expected to adopt the tool in June. Cybersecurity experts have blamed numerous cyberattacks on various government-endorsed hackers. However, Kaspersky Labs researcher David Emm says it can be difficult to determine whether a nation-state was behind an attack or not.


24- In Federal Cybersecurity, People Remain the Greatest Vulnerability
Securing federal data will require fundamental changes to user behavior, as the human factor remains a key challenge to federal cybersecurity. Panelists at last month’s “Executive Leadership Forum: Mitigating Data Risks in a Virtual World” event say program staff must collaborate with CIOs to ensure system security and prevent breaches. High-value assets (HVAs) must also be redefined; HVA status should only be assigned to systems crucial to an organization’s mission. Agencies should strive for a balance between limiting access to HVAs while not preventing personnel from being productive. Open source code and open data between agencies enables modernization and better problem-solving and analysis, allowing new security systems to mature. Although policies such as the Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act make technology and program experts work together, collaboration is not always seamless, and can lead to security gaps. “People are still our greatest vulnerability,” said Richard Young, CIO for USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service. “We have to embed and engrave cybersecurity DNA into our people.”





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