DHS awards grants

Seventeen local governments will receive $79.6 million in joint interoperable communications grants, according to the Homeland Security Department.

The funds are part of a program by the departments of Homeland Security and Justice to develop demonstration projects for equipment and technology to increase interoperability among first responders.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency will run the grant process for Homeland Security, while the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services is overseeing Justice's participation. The maximum federal share for each award is $6 million.

Recipients are: Conway, Ark. ($2 million), Rehoboth Beach, Del. ($2.4 million), St. Clair County, Ill. ($6 million), Woodbury County, Iowa ($5.9 million), Worcester County, Md. ($5.6 million), Monroe County, Mich. ($6 million), Ramsey County, Minn. ($6 million), Independence, Mo., ($5.4 million), Lewis and Clark County, Mont. ($4.4 million), Grafton County, N.H. ($2.1 million), Erie County, N.Y. ($6 million), Tulsa, Okla. ($846,000), Westmoreland County, Pa. ($5.9 million), Narragansett, R.I. ($3 million), Charlottesville/Albemarle County/University of Virginia, Va. ($6 million), Clallam County, Wash. ($5.7 million), and Harrison County, W.Va. ($5.6 million).


Bill targets file sharing

Federal agencies will have to protect their computers and information from the security risks of peer-to-peer file sharing programs, according to a bill passed Oct. 8 by the House of Representatives.

Peer-to-peer file sharing programs are Internet applications that allow users to download and directly share electronic files from other users on the same network.

Millions of people trade music, images and documents over these networks at a time, according to Rep. Tom Davis, R-Va., who introduced the bill, along with cosponsor Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif.

They introduced the Government Network Security Act of 2003 to close a loophole in the federal government's efforts to protect the security and privacy of its computers, Davis said.


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