Science and Technology News

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Taiwan LCD Producer Agrees to Plead Guilty and Pay $30 Million Fine for Participating in LCD Price-Fixing Conspiracy

Fines Obtained in LCD Investigation Total More Than $890 Million

June 29, 2010 - WASHINGTON—A Taiwan thin-film transistor-liquid crystal display (TFT-LCD) panel producer and seller has agreed to plead guilty and to pay a $30 million criminal fine for its role in a global conspiracy to fix the prices of TFT-LCD panels, the Department of Justice announced today.

According to a one-count felony charge filed today in U.S. District Court in San Francisco, HannStar Display Corporation, based in Taipei, Taiwan, participated in a conspiracy from Sept. 14, 2001, to Jan. 31, 2006, to fix the prices of TFT-LCD panels sold worldwide. According to the plea agreement, which is subject to court approval, HannStar has agreed to cooperate with the department’s ongoing TFT-LCD investigation.

TFT-LCD panels are used in computer monitors and notebooks, televisions, mobile phones, and other electronic devices. By the end of the conspiracy period, the worldwide market for TFT-LCD panels was valued at $70 billion. Companies directly affected by the LCD price-fixing conspiracy are some of the largest computer and television manufacturers in the world, including Apple, Dell, and Hewlett Packard.

“The Antitrust Division has thus far charged seven companies and 17 executives as a result of its investigation into the LCD industry, and we are committed to vigorously prosecuting corporations and individuals who engage in this type of price fixing scheme,” said Christine Varney, Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division.

According to the charge, HannStar carried out the conspiracy by agreeing during meetings, conversations, and communications to charge prices of TFT-LCD panels at certain pre-determined levels and issuing price quotations in accordance with the agreements reached. As a part of the conspiracy, HannStar exchanged information on sales of TFT-LCD panels for the purpose of monitoring and enforcing adherence to the agreed-upon prices.

HannStar is charged with price fixing in violation of the Sherman Act, which carries a maximum fine of $100 million for corporations. The maximum fine may be increased to twice the gain derived from the crime or twice the loss suffered by the victims of the crime, if either of those amounts is greater than the statutory maximum fine.

Including today’s charge, as a result of this investigation, seven companies have pleaded guilty or have agreed to plead guilty and have been sentenced to pay or have agreed to pay criminal fines totaling more than $890 million. Additionally, 17 executives have been charged to date in the department’s ongoing investigation.

Today’s charge is the result of a joint investigation by the Department of Justice Antitrust Division’s San Francisco Field Office and the FBI in San Francisco.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Intrepid Center Merges Art, Science for Brain Treatment

By Lisa Daniel
American Forces Press Service

June 28, 2010 - When the National Intrepid Center of Excellence opened its doors here last week, the sense of hope in reversing the rising tide of brain injuries and psychological illness in servicemembers was palpable. From its warm design and family-friendly amenities to its best-in-the-world diagnostic and assessment equipment, the center boasts the convergence of art and science that officials hope will become the new normal in researching, diagnosing and treating traumatic brain injuries and post-traumatic stress disorder.

As Deputy Defense Secretary William J. Lynn III said at the center's June 24 dedication ceremony, the need for such a center could not be more pressing. Hundreds of thousands of servicemembers are believed to have suffered TBIs and PTSD during their service in Afghanistan and Iraq, and many go undiagnosed, suffering the "invisible wounds" of war without explanation.

Gen. Peter Chiarelli, Army vice chief of staff, was asked during testimony before a U.S. Senate committee last week why the military cannot better diagnose brain injuries and PTSD. "I promise you it is not from lack of trying," he said. "We are doing everything we can."

That's where the Intrepid Center comes in. Not a clinical care hospital, the center instead is designed to accept on referral those military members whom the services struggle to help, those whose injuries are so elusive to not be detected, or that are unresponsive to treatment developed at base hospitals, which are lacking in proper equipment, staffing and expertise, officials said during a June 23 media event.

The Intrepid Center holds the promise of proper diagnosis and treatment plans for those toughest cases. The $65 million center on the grounds of the National Naval Medical Center houses $10 million in equipment, much of it unique to the center and a handful of academic research institutes.

It includes brain imaging equipment that produces up to 6,000 images per brain scan, Dr. Gerard Riedy, the center's chief of neurology, said. While standard magnetic resonance imaging equipment allows for about 750 images mostly showing the outside structure of the brain, Riedy said, the center's three-dimensional imaging equipment shows everything from lesions of mild TBI on the brain's surface to internal brain functions, seen in real time.

"It's all non-invasive," Riedy explained from the center's "visualization" room, surrounded by a large, 3-dimensional screen and multiple smaller screens showing brain images. While a patient undergoes what seems like a standard MRI or positron emission tomography or computed tomography scans in another room, Riedy and his staff of six assess color-coded images of the brain's magnetic fields, wiring, and the like. One screen displays the brain activity when the patient is asked to do certain tasks, allowing doctors to assess proper functioning, including psychological stress.

Riedy said his staff with be interoperable, meaning they will process scans from military facilities and share their discoveries and observations. "This stuff is not easy to do," he noted, "and I have six people working for me."

Down the hall from the brain imaging room, patients may enter virtual reality suites where they can be assessed on their reaction to being fully immersed -– smells of burning rubber or dead bodies included -- in recreated scenes from Iraq or Afghanistan. Or researchers or clinicians may test their driving or shooting ability in simulators for their possible return to duty.

In another room, a patient may walk or run on a treadmill suspended on a moving platform surrounded by any number of scenes that staffers create, from a street scene in Baghdad to a fishing pond in Idaho. The patient's reactions to given tasks allows staff to assess functions such as balance, coordination, multitasking, reaction times and visual acuity, said Johanna Bell, an operator of the Computer-Assisted Rehabilitation Environment, or CAREN, machine.

Such equipment may provide the missing link in proper diagnosis and treatment.

"We've got no other objective measures of TBI right now," Riedy said. Servicemembers take written tests when returning from deployment, but those aren't conclusive in the ways of brain scans and virtual reality equipment.

Still, expensive equipment alone won't solve the problem of TBI and psychological illness in servicemembers. The center's staff also offers hope of improved care, not only with their understanding of the science and equipment, but also in the art of working with and understanding patients.

"A lot of these patients just need an understanding that they are not crazy," said Army Lt. Col. Matthew St. Laurent, assistant chief of occupational therapy at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C. "There's something wrong in their brain tissue."

St. Laurent said he is honored to be associated with the center, which he called "a place for us to come and learn" about the nascent science of combat-related TBI.

In a second-floor open area surrounded by windows and flooded with natural light, St. Laurent and others can assess patients on various types of exercise equipment to measure their ability to push, pull, carry, lift and perform other basic functions.

A few steps away, patients can open a door into the center's "Central Park," a circular refuge of tranquility with skylights, green plants and park benches. Displaying the center's openness for alternative therapies – in this case, ambient therapy -- the room's floor is a labyrinth of two-toned, polished wood, inviting its guests to relax or confront their troubles on its winding paths.

From the best diagnostic and imaging equipment to the desire to make military families comfortable and engaged, staff members are clear about their goals.

"Our ultimate goal is to get our military men and women back to duty," St. Laurent said.

Team SPAWAR Participates in Coalition Warrior Interoperability Demonstration 2010

By Erin Bridges, Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command Public Affairs

June 28, 2010 - SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center (SSC) Pacific hosted the Joint Chiefs of Staff's Coalition Warrior Interoperability Demonstration (CWID) June 21–24.

This year's event tested and evaluated at the San Diego site in either classified or unclassified scenarios to simulate multiagency responses to various situations.

"My primary goal was to match our technologies to outstanding C4ISR requirements in all realms, whether it be maritime domain awareness or homeland security and first responder support," said Jay Iannacito, CWID project manager from SSC Pacific's C2 Technologies and Experimentation Division.

The classified portion, located in the E2C Lab, simulated a carrier strike group operating in the Indian Ocean with coalition forces. Representatives from the United States, Finland, Germany, Italy and Canada worked together in the lab.

The unclassified portion, located in the lab's parking lot, spent the first week simulating a multiagency response to a wildfire. During the second week, the simulations focused on multiagency response to a terrorist attack.

CWID provided an opportunity to try different technologies in an operational coalition environment when lives are not on the line.

"It's important to test in an operational coalition environment because if you don't test it in the field, it will fail in the field," Iannacito said.

During the first few days of the event, some technologies did not work as expected. Developers had a chance to identify the problems and, when possible, adapt the product to continue with the scenarios.

"We were either able to fix them or we weren't, and we had to move on," Iannacito said. "Some stuff just has played out to be unsuitable for this environment."

Other technologies thrived. Their performance during the demonstration could help market the product to potential customers to ultimately provide better interoperable capability in the event of a real emergency situation.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates Statement on the National Space Policy

June 28, 2010 - "Today, I'm pleased to welcome the release of the President's National Space Policy. I fully support the vision it lays out. This policy clearly articulates the right space policies and priorities for our nation, and is also a pledge that the United States will maintain the leadership and capabilities in space imperative for our national security.

"Our continued presence in space is vital to our national security. Space-based capabilities are critical to our military's ability to navigate accurately, strike precisely, and gather battle space awareness efficiently. However, changes in the space environment over the last decade challenge our operations. Today, space is increasingly contested as our systems face threats of disruption and attack, increasingly competitive as more states, private firms, and others develop space-based capabilities, and increasingly congested with orbital debris.

"Together with other departments and agencies, the Department of Defense will take a number of steps to support the new National Space Policy, and will work with the Office of the Director of National Intelligence to develop a strategy document to address specific national security requirements for outer space. We will look to leverage growing international and commercial expertise to enhance U.S. capabilities and reduce vulnerabilities.

"Finally, we will pursue activities consistent with the inherent right of self-defense, deepen cooperation with allies and friends, and work with all nations toward the responsible and peaceful shared presence in space."

The White House statement, the fact sheet and the text of the National Space Policy are available online at http://www.defense.gov/spr/ under "Related U.S. Govt Publications."

Former UW Genetics Professor Pleads Guilty to Making False Statements in Grant Progress Report

June 28, 2010 - MADISON, WI—Stephen P. Sinnott, United States Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin, announced that Elizabeth B. Goodwin, Ph.D., Upton, Massachusetts pled guilty today before U.S. District Judge William M. Conley to fraudulently submitting a grant progress report containing falsified data that misrepresented the progress of genetic research at a University of Wisconsin-Madison lab that Goodwin directed. Specifically, Goodwin admitted today that she included manipulated data in the progress report an effort to convince reviewers that more scientific progress had been made with her research than was actually the case. Sentencing is scheduled for September 3, 2010, at 1:30 p.m. She faces a maximum penalty of one year in prison and a $100,000 fine.

Goodwin was an Associate Professor at the UW-Madison Laboratory of Genetics from 2000 until her resignation on February 23, 2006. In her plea agreement, Goodwin admitted that her conduct constituted "misconduct in science." Further, Goodwin has agreed to be voluntarily excluded for three years from involvement in federal government research and will pay $50,000 in restitution to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

This charge followed an investigation conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services—Office of Inspector General, with the full cooperation of the University of Wisconsin. Prosecution of the case has been handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Timothy M. O'Shea.

Intrepid Center Merges Art, Science for Brain Treatment

By Lisa Daniel
American Forces Press Service

June 28, 2010 - When the National Intrepid Center of Excellence opened its doors here last week, the sense of hope in reversing the rising tide of brain injuries and psychological illness in servicemembers was palpable.

From its warm design and family-friendly amenities to its best-in-the-world diagnostic and assessment equipment, the center boasts the convergence of art and science that officials hope will become the new normal in researching, diagnosing and treating traumatic brain injuries and post-traumatic stress disorder.

As Deputy Defense Secretary William J. Lynn III said at the center's June 24 dedication ceremony, the need for such a center could not be more pressing. Hundreds of thousands of servicemembers are believed to have suffered TBIs and PTSD during their service in Afghanistan and Iraq, and many go undiagnosed, suffering the "invisible wounds" of war without explanation.

Gen. Peter Chiarelli, Army vice chief of staff, was asked during testimony before a U.S. Senate committee last week why the military cannot better diagnose brain injuries and PTSD. "I promise you it is not from lack of trying," he said. "We are doing everything we can."

That's where the Intrepid Center comes in. Not a clinical care hospital, the center instead is designed to accept on referral those military members whom the services struggle to help, those whose injuries are so elusive to not be detected, or that are unresponsive to treatment developed at base hospitals, which are lacking in proper equipment, staffing and expertise, officials said during a June 23 media event.

The Intrepid Center holds the promise of proper diagnosis and treatment plans for those toughest cases. The $65 million center on the grounds of the National Naval Medical Center houses $10 million in equipment, much of it unique to the center and a handful of academic research institutes.

It includes brain imaging equipment that produces up to 6,000 images per brain scan, Dr. Gerard Riedy, the center's chief of neurology, said. While standard magnetic resonance imaging equipment allows for about 750 images mostly showing the outside structure of the brain, Riedy said, the center's three-dimensional imaging equipment shows everything from lesions of mild TBI on the brain's surface to internal brain functions, seen in real time.

"It's all non-invasive," Riedy explained from the center's "visualization" room, surrounded by a large, 3-dimensional screen and multiple smaller screens showing brain images. While a patient undergoes what seems like a standard MRI or positron emission tomography or computed tomography scans in another room, Riedy and his staff of six assess color-coded images of the brain's magnetic fields, wiring, and the like. One screen displays the brain activity when the patient is asked to do certain tasks, allowing doctors to assess proper functioning, including psychological stress.

Riedy said his staff with be interoperable, meaning they will process scans from military facilities and share their discoveries and observations. "This stuff is not easy to do," he noted, "and I have six people working for me."

Down the hall from the brain imaging room, patients may enter virtual reality suites where they can be assessed on their reaction to being fully immersed -– smells of burning rubber or dead bodies included -- in recreated scenes from Iraq or Afghanistan. Or researchers or clinicians may test their driving or shooting ability in simulators for their possible return to duty.

In another room, a patient may walk or run on a treadmill suspended on a moving platform surrounded by any number of scenes that staffers create, from a street scene in Baghdad to a fishing pond in Idaho. The patient's reactions to given tasks allows staff to assess functions such as balance, coordination, multitasking, reaction times and visual acuity, said Johanna Bell, an operator of the Computer-Assisted Rehabilitation Environment, or CAREN, machine.

Such equipment may provide the missing link in proper diagnosis and treatment.

"We've got no other objective measures of TBI right now," Riedy said. Servicemembers take written tests when returning from deployment, but those aren't conclusive in the ways of brain scans and virtual reality equipment.

Still, expensive equipment alone won't solve the problem of TBI and psychological illness in servicemembers. The center's staff also offers hope of improved care, not only with their understanding of the science and equipment, but also in the art of working with and understanding patients.

"A lot of these patients just need an understanding that they are not crazy," said Army Lt. Col. Matthew St. Laurent, assistant chief of occupational therapy at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C. "There's something wrong in their brain tissue."

St. Laurent said he is honored to be associated with the center, which he called "a place for us to come and learn" about the nascent science of combat-related TBI.

In a second-floor open area surrounded by windows and flooded with natural light, St. Laurent and others can assess patients on various types of exercise equipment to measure their ability to push, pull, carry, lift and perform other basic functions.

A few steps away, patients can open a door into the center's "Central Park," a circular refuge of tranquility with skylights, green plants and park benches. Displaying the center's openness for alternative therapies – in this case, ambient therapy -- the room's floor is a labyrinth of two-toned, polished wood, inviting its guests to relax or confront their troubles on its winding paths.

From the best diagnostic and imaging equipment to the desire to make military families comfortable and engaged, staff members are clear about their goals.

"Our ultimate goal is to get our military men and women back to duty," St. Laurent said.

Helping Service Members Using Virtual Reality

Dr. James Bender, Psychologist

June 28, 2010 - This post is republished from the DCoE blog. Dr. James Bender recently returned from Iraq after spending 12 months as the brigade psychologist for the 4-1 CAV out of Ft Hood. He served for four and a half years in the Army. During his deployment, he traveled through Southern Iraq, from Basra to Baghdad and many spots in between. He writes a monthly post for the DCoE Blog on mental health issues related to deployment and being in the military.

In a post for DoD Live last month, I covered resilience and actions you can take to enhance your psychological fitness. This month I’m covering how technology is being used to help treat service members who have a psychological health issue.

If you’ve spent a bit of time reading the DCoE Blog or our website, you’ve heard of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This anxiety disorder occurs in some people who have experienced an intense trauma, like combat. PTSD can be very debilitating and can last many years.

Prolonged Exposure therapy is a treatment for PTSD that has proved very successful in the past few years. The idea is to expose the patient to what originally caused the trauma in a controlled way where the patient is in charge of the situation. For example, say a soldier becomes very nervous when he hears gunfire because it reminds him of a sniper attack he experienced in Iraq. Part of treating him with Prolonged Exposure therapy would be exposing him to gunfire in a safe, controlled way, such as going to the rifle range and listening to the “pop” sound the rounds make.

When conducting Prolonged Exposure therapy, it is important that the exposure is both realistic and controlled. It can be difficult to accomplish this when the original trauma happened in Iraq or Afghanistan — are you going to send the soldier back to Iraq, into an ambush, just to treat his PTSD? This isn’t very practical, not to mention the complete lack of control in that situation.

Technological advances may offer a solution to the above challenge. DCoE’s National Center for Telehealth and Technology is conducting a study about Virtual Reality Exposure Therapy, VRET. In it, the warrior wears a virtual reality mask and looks into a computer-generated scene that appears very similar to an actual combat event. The scene can be controlled to match the terrain and situation that is causing the trauma. Even details like weather, time of day, and number of bystanders can be controlled.

By making the simulation more real and controllable, the service member is in a much better position to process and understand the traumatic experience. Heart rate, respiration, and other physiological functions associated with stress can also be monitored. This is a great way to measure the patient’s progress; as he becomes less stressed by the scenario, heart rate, breathing and sweating will decrease.

If you’re interested in the latest treatments for our warriors, definitely check out DCoE’s upcoming June newsletter. (You’ll be able to find the newsletter here.) The issue will highlight some cutting-edge medical technology that will be used to treat service members at the National Intrepid Center of Excellence. Check out our recent post on the Computer Assisted Rehabilitation Environment (CAREN), which will be used at the center.

Thank you for your service. Stay safe, and please feel free to share your questions and thoughts with me below in comments.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Telepharmacing Improves Pharmaceutical Services, Naval Support Activity Naples, Italy Public Affairs

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class (SW/AW) Felicito Rustique, Navy Public Affairs Support Element - East Detachment Europe

June 25, 2010 - NAPLES, Italy (NNS) -- Naval Support Activity (NSA) Naples' pharmacy departments at U.S. Naval Hospital Naples and its branch clinic at Capodichino are using a video conferencing method referred to as "telepharmacing."

Telepharmacing enables pharmacists to communicate in real time with Navy corpsmen and customers while a pharmacist is at a different location.

"Telepharmacing helps our facilities meet new government guidelines requiring a pharmacist to review and approve all prescriptions dispensed to patients," said Lt. Cmdr. Michael Cleveland, one of two pharmacists assigned to U.S. Naval Hospital Naples. "The Navy has many small branch clinics where it's impractical and inefficient to staff them with a pharmacist so this technology is used to cover those locations."

The branch clinic at Capodichino is one such location. The pharmacy there is staffed with two Sailors, Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class (AW) Donna May Rigby and Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class John McCallum. Because of the guidelines Cleveland mentioned, Rigby and McCallum can't hand out prescriptions they fill until one of the pharmacists assigned to U.S. Naval Hospital Naples gives a final approval.

Rigby said before telepharmacing came into action, getting that approval meant having to do "retro-checks." A duty driver had to physically take prescriptions from Capodichino over to the base hospital. Retro-checks delayed prescriptions and involved hand-written tracking. Telepharmacing, however, saves time and money and final approval can happen instantaneously with the click of a button.

"At first we didn't know what to expect with the telepharmacing equipment, but now it's definitely made life easier," said Rigby. "We're faster when it comes to dispensing medications, which means an increase in overall production and customer satisfaction."

The telepharmacing system connects the pharmacies to each other with a touch screen monitor, a headset and a microphone. Medicine and inventories can be tracked and pictures of prescriptions can be stored. Rigby said customers can even video chat with a pharmacist if they have concerns about their prescriptions.

"We're able to pull up numbers on what medications we have and what we've dispensed," said Rigby. "The system helps with overall supply management and better accountability while being user friendly. I also like the fact that we can interface with a pharmacist at the hospital if there's a question."

"I'm very happy with it," said Cleveland. "It provides increased patient safety and maximizes efficient utilization of Navy resources."

The telepharmacing system at NSA Naples has been up and running since May 2010.

Navy Cyber Forces Commander Addresses Intelligence Officer Course Graduates

By Darlene Goodwin, Navy Cyber Forces Public Affairs

Virginia Beach, Va. (NNS) -- The Commander of Navy Cyber Forces addressed 23 junior officers in the latest graduating class of the Navy Intelligence Officer Basic Course at the Navy Marine Corps Intelligence Training Center on board Naval Air Station Oceana Dam Neck Annex, Virginia Beach, Va., June 25.

Rear Adm. Tom Meek spoke to the graduates, NMITC staff and family members about similarities and differences between 2010 and 1982, when he graduated from Intelligence school. He said the most significant similarity was the importance of intelligence to military operations.

"Operations are intelligence-driven like never before," Meek said. "In Iraq and Afghanistan, demand for intelligence is at an all-time high. Both high-end operations, such as capture and kill, and low-end operations, such as counterinsurgency, could not be done without deep intelligence work."

The admiral also discussed the new Information Dominance Corps, which brings together Navy specialists in various information-centric fields.

"The IDC (is) a cadre of professionals who will manage the vast amount of information available in support of naval and joint operations," Meek said. "Embrace this change. Each individual community will maintain its identity, while enjoying more opportunities for cross training and varied assignments."

Evidence of the close collaboration between the IDC communities, Meek said, was the assignment of NMITC Commanding Officer Capt. Don Darnell, an Information Warfare Officer, as the first cross-detailed leader of the intelligence training facility.

Two graduates received special recognition at the ceremony. Lt. Kevin Barnard was presented with the Admiral Porterfield Award for Excellence, and Ensign Percy Atangcho received the Rear Admiral Showers Award for Academic Excellence.

"It was awe inspiring to hear the admiral's viewpoint on where the intelligence community was (nearly) 30 years ago and where we are today in the current Information Dominance Corps," Barnard said. "It was also eye-opening when put in perspective of how technology has changed, but the constant in our continued success is the dedication of the people who serve."

Students Record Spellbinding Video of Disintegrating Spacecraft

June 25, 2010: Last year, high school science teacher Ron Dantowitz of Brookline, Mass., played a clever trick on three of his best students. He asked them to plan a hypothetical mission to fly onboard a NASA DC-8 aircraft and observe a spacecraft disintegrate as it came screaming into Earth's atmosphere. How would they record the event? What could they learn?

For 6 months, they worked hard on their assignment, never suspecting the surprise Dantowitz had in store.

On March 12th, he stunned them with the news: "The mission is real, and you're going along for the ride."

In early June, Dantowitz and the teenagers traveled halfway around the world to help NASA track Japan's Hayabusa spacecraft as it plunged into Earth's atmosphere at 27,000 mph and shattered over the Australian outback. After boarding the DC-8 and flying to 41,000 feet, their hard work finally paid off when they successfully recorded the fiery re-entry:

"As it came into our camera's field of view, Hayabusa looked like a little white dot at first, and we all followed it for a few seconds without uttering a sound," says young James Breitmeyer. "Then it exploded into a big orange fireworks display, with pieces flying off. Everyone crooned 'Ooooo' at the same time!"

The recording was made as part of the Hayabusa Re-entry Airborne Observing Campaign. Dantowitz and his students Breitmeyer, Brigitte Berman, and Yiannis Karavas were invited to join the effort because of Dantowitz's expertise in optical observations, tracking, and spectroscopy.

Launched on May 9, 2003, Hayabusa became the first space mission to make physical contact with an asteroid and attempt to return samples to Earth. Its 7 billion mile round trip to asteroid Itokawa ended with the June 13, 2010, re-entry. Researchers are hoping that bits of the asteroid's surface are sealed inside the sample-return capsule, which parachuted safely to the ground as bits of the mother ship fell in flaming smithereens, with three spellbound teenagers looking on.

The observing campaign was designed to measure the conditions the capsule's heat shield had to endure as the capsule plummeted through Earth's atmosphere.

"We had flown several practices, but when we took off for the real thing, I felt a surge of adrenaline," says Breitmeyer. "I was on the edge of my seat, anxious for our plane to arrive at the right place at the right time."

"We got to the rendezvous area 30 minutes ahead of time," says Dantowitz. "So we practiced the rendezvous to make sure everyone knew which stars to line the cameras up with to capture Hayabusa's re-entry. By the time we finished the trial run, we had only 2 or 3 minutes to go."

"It was quiet and cold and dark as we waited," says Breitmeyer. "We were all a bit jittery. We knew all our hard work over the past year came down to this moment. A voice on the intercom broke the silence – 10, 9, 8, ….3, 2, and then someone shouted 'there it is!'

"As our screens lit up with the burning bus and the small capsule I was so excited I could have jumped right out of my chair," says Berman. "But I didn't. I knew I needed to concentrate in case something went wrong with our cameras or monitors; if I was in an uncontrollable frenzy this would not be possible."

"After the main bus deteriorated you could see the capsule still intact," says Breitmeyer. "Then the capsule decelerated, and we lost sight of it. It was over. We all started yelling and cheering – we practically rocked the plane! The same people who had been biting their fingernails minutes ago were now shouting and laughing."

Except for Berman: "My stomach was jumpy and I couldn't wait to congratulate my other team members but I was frozen in place. I, Brigitte Berman, in a NASA flight suit, on a NASA airplane, had just successfully helped image the reentry of a spacecraft during a NASA mission! I sat stunned in disbelief."

One of the student-run cameras streamed the re-entry video directly to the world below via satellite. Ames Research Center posted the video to the internet; by the time the plane landed the video had been downloaded over 100,000 times.

"In addition to the incredible video and images of the spectacle, the students collected data on the brightness and spectra of the plummeting sample return capsule and pieces of disintegrating spacecraft," says Dantowitz. "This will reveal how the capsule's thermal protection system fared during re-entry -- critical information for researchers designing next generation spacecraft."

"Without these students, we could not have collected the level of data we got," says NASA's Peter Jenniskens, the re-entry mission's principal investigator. "I was very impressed by how well prepared they were. I'm happy about that – these teenagers will be our replacements."

The teenagers are happy too. "I have always dreamed of being on a NASA mission," says Berman. For her and the others, this could be just the beginning.

Monday Lecture: From Networks to Human Activity Patterns

The final lecture in the Office of Naval Research’s spring 2010 Distinguished Lecture Series is right around the corner!

On Monday, June 28th, from 1300-1430, the Armed with Science blog will live stream the lecture by Dr. Albert-László Barabási, Real World Network Theorist and Distinguished Professor from Northeastern University. The title of Dr. Barabási’s presentation is, “From Networks to Human Activity Patterns.”

Highly interconnected networks with amazingly complex topology describe systems as diverse as the World Wide Web, our cells, social systems or the economy. Dr. Barabási will discuss the amazing order characterizing our interconnected world and its implications to network robustness and spreading processes.

Most of these networks are driven by the temporal patterns characterizing human activity, ranging from web browsing to mobility patterns. Dr. Barabási will use mobile phone data to explore the patterns characterizing these temporal processes, leading us to the question of predictability in human activity patterns.

More Information
http://science.dodlive.mil/2010/06/25/monday-lecture-from-networks-to-human-activity-patterns/

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Center Offers Hope to Heal War's 'Invisible Wounds'

By Lisa Daniel
American Forces Press Service

June 24, 2010 - The 72,000-square-foot National Intrepid Center of Excellence opened here today with the promise of being a world leader in the research, diagnosis and treatment planning for the signature brain injuries and psychological conditions of wounded warriors.

The $65 million center, built by private donations to the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund on the grounds of the National Naval Medical Center, will use "extraordinarily new and comprehensive approaches" to provide the next generation of care to servicemembers and their families, Dr. Thomas DeGraba, the center's deputy director, told reporters at a media event yesterday.

"This is truly an outstanding gift that will be a treasure for the American people ... and the world at large," DeGraba said. "This center is an instrument of hope, healing, discovery and learning."

The center is one of six created under the Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury, established in 2007 to lead Defense Department work on brain science and treatment in collaboration with the Veterans Affairs Department, as well as academic and other institutions.

Navy Rear Adm. Matthew L. Nathan, commander of the National Naval Medical Center, said that institution, the Intrepid Center, and Walter Reed Army Medical Center, will collaborate in the research and diagnosis of brain injuries, including the elusive mild TBI, and psychological problems, and create individual treatment plans for servicemembers, with close interaction with families.

The Intrepid Center is not a treatment facility, DeGraba said, but instead will take patients who are referred from military facilities that can't help them. They and their families, he said, are then sent to the Intrepid Center for about two weeks during which time they are evaluated by the center's array of health professionals, including neurologists, radiologists, psychologists, physical and occupational therapists who will consider combinations of clinical and alternative remedies.

The Intrepid team will work to provide a diagnosis and treatment plan that the servicemember can return home with, DeGraba said. The center's concierge and continuity service comprised of nurses and social workers will work closely with families to ensure they understand and support their servicemember through treatment, he said.

"We plan on some very novel and unique plans for treatment," and will coordinate with medical providers at the servicemember's home base to ensure long-term continuity of care, Army Col. George Nussbaum, deputy director of the center's clinical and research support, said.

The center has capacity for 520 servicemembers and their families, and the Fisher House Foundation, will build an additional house, to add to two others it has on the medical center grounds, for giving families of wounded warriors a home away from home.

"Our capacity is limitless," DeGraba said, noting the center is a research-sharing institution with reach around the world. Officials there also plan to use the "telehealth" resources of Internet and television for better outreach, he said.

Nathan said the Intrepid center will provide the best combination of art and science to diagnose and treat patients. It includes $10 million worth of the latest equipment to assess patients for diagnosis and treatment that includes the ability to view as many as 6,000 images inside the brain from one MRI, whereas most imaging equipment only shows the outside of the brain. And, virtual reality equipment is employed to assess a patient's motor and cognitive skills, among others.

Lynn: Intrepid Center Will Be Hub of Brain Treatment

By Lisa Daniel
American Forces Press Service

June 24, 2010 - The new National Intrepid Center of Excellence in Bethesda, Md., will constantly improve the ability of military and civilian health care providers to treat traumatic brain injuries and psychological disorders in war veterans, Deputy Defense Secretary William J. Lynn III said at the center's opening ceremony today. Lynn joined military leaders, civilian dignitaries, wounded warriors and their families for the ceremony to mark what officials describe as new and unprecedented research, diagnosis and treatment for the "invisible wounds" of war.

The center, located on the National Naval Medical Center grounds, will serve as a hub for servicemembers and their families to get better diagnosis and treatment plans than are available at their local military installation, Lynn said.

"This will constantly improve our ability to treat these injuries and, ultimately, to lessen their impact," he said.

The 72,000-square-foot center is one of six created under the Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury, established in 2007 to lead Defense Department work on brain science and treatment in collaboration with the Veterans Affairs Department, as well as academic and other institutions.

"The need for such an institution could not be more pressing as our military approaches its 10th year at war," Lynn said.

The deputy secretary noted that advancements in medical care and equipment have allowed more servicemembers to survive combat injuries, but a great many troops are returning with brain injuries and psychological problems. Studies show that more than 10 percent of military members who served in Iraq suffered concussions, and at least 12 percent show significant signs of combat stress, depression or similar issues, Lynn said. "They'll need care long after the wars are over," he added.

Combat veterans with brain injuries and psychological problems "face a battle for recovery that is as arduous as their time deployed," Lynn said. "We as a department recognize that our obligation to our heroes does not end when they leave the battlefield."

Lynn called brain injuries and psychological problems an "inevitable consequence of combat" that deserves as much attention as any other injury.

No one understands that better than the health care team at the Intrepid Center, the deputy secretary said. The team, many of them from Walter Reed Army Medical Center, has developed exam protocols for early diagnoses, and post-deployment screening for TBI that have been adopted by some NATO countries, he said.

The department has done other things to promote mental health, Lynn said, including appointing directors of psychological health in every state to offer consistent service to National Guard members and their families. And, he said, they've added more than 2,000 mental health providers even in the midst of a national shortage of mental health professionals.

Finally, he said, the department continues to emphasize to servicemembers that their careers will not be jeopardized for seeking mental health treatment.

"No one is more supportive of the mission of the center" than Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates, Lynn said, adding that Gates deeply regretted he had to cancel his appearance at the ceremony due to the situation surrounding the need for a change of command in Afghanistan.

Lynn also recognized Arnold Fisher and his son, Ken, private contractors who started The Fisher House Foundation. The foundation is building a third house on the National Naval Medical Center grounds specifically for families of patients at the center. The center's dedication to working with families follows department leaders' understanding that "when you enlist a servicemember, you enlist the whole families," he said, noting that the sacrifices of troops are those of the whole family.

"Through this center, we now have a place to deliver the care our wounded warriors deserve and in a way we can all be proud of," Lynn said.

Tammy Duckworth, the Veterans Affairs Department's assistant secretary for public and intergovernmental affairs, said the center is critical for helping wounded warriors return to duty. Duckworth was an Army major with the Illinois National Guard when the helicopter she was flying over Iraq in 2004 was struck by enemy fire. She lost both legs and partial use of one arm in the crash.

"This Center for the Intrepid is going to be the place where wounded warriors are going to face some of the hardest things they've ever faced -- harder than they ever faced in combat," Duckworth said. But, she added, the center also is "a place of hope and jobs, and a place for families."

"There is nothing we can't do as servicemembers without our family members standing next to us," she said.

Navy Rear Adm. (Dr.) Matthew L. Nathan, commander of the National Naval Medical Center, said the center will combine the science of brain imaging with the art of compassion in a healing environment that "draws on all the senses."

The center, which was paid for with $65 million in private donations to the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund, includes $10 million in the latest imaging equipment that allows healthcare providers and researchers the rare ability to see inside the brain for better diagnosis and treatment plans.

"When you see this facility for the first time, you see hope," Nathan said. "We cannot always be the savior, we cannot always be the cure, but we can always be there. And we will never, ever stop trying until we can be the cure."

Clifford L. Stanley, undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness, toured the center earlier in the week and commented on its unique design for meditation and "inward-looking therapies."

Far from a standard clinical environment, the center is a design of soft lines and natural lighting, and includes a "Central Park" of skylights, green plants, an ornate wood floor, and the sounds of birds chirping.

Stanley said the center is a "place where [wounded warriors] would want to come." He said it will foster realistic expectations and help wounded warriors and their families "achieve their new normal."

13th AF hosts international engineering exchange summit

by Tech. Sgt. Kerry Jackson
13th Air Force Public Affairs

6/24/2010 - JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR HICKAM, Hawaii (AFNS) -- The 13th Air Force hosted seven civil engineers from countries throughout the Asia-Pacific region during a subject matter expert exchange summit called Pacific Unity here June 3 through 17.

The summit is a joint and combined military information-sharing forum that provides mid-level officers from regional Asia-Pacific partner nations the oppourtunity to exchange views, tour U.S. military facilities and programs, and establish international and interpersonal relationships.

The goal of the exchange is to enhance regional partnerships and promote interoperability between U.S. forces and partner nations, officials said.

"This exchange provides us a rare opportunity to showcase our civil engineering mission to countries in the Asia-Pacific region," said Capt. Michael Crosse, the 13th Air Force chief of the civil engineer division. "The forum not only allowed our counterparts to learn how we respond to a wide-range of installation and contingency operations, but we learned a lot about how they operate and respond to various needs in their countries. It was just a great experience from start to finish."

The exchange included officers from Bangladesh, Indonesia, the Philippines and Thailand and focused on emergency management preparation, disaster response, fire prevention, confined spaces, search and rescue, and general contingency engineering tactics.

The participants visited several locations throughout the United States, including Fort Leonard Wood, Mo.; Goodfellow Air Force Base, Texas, and the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo.

During their visit to Fort Leonard Wood Army post, the 366th Training Squadron, Detachment 7, shared info about emergency management, mapping and surveying, and operating heavy equipment. The group also participated in a chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear or high-yield explosive demonstration, and had the chance to don protective gear and process through a contamination control area using simulated chemicals. In addition, the delegates learned how the U.S. military conducts pavement operations, focusing on design, construction, evaluation, operations, and repair and maintenance of airfield pavements.

"The delegates learned about our mission from a host of technical experts that have a unique blend of experience, education and training that I believe made their visit worthwhile," Captain Crosse said. "It provided an up-close and personal view of our mission, as well as an opportunity to interact with the people who make the mission possible, and that experience you can't capture through reading a book."

At Goodfellow AFB, the participants had an opportunity to visit the Louis F. Garland Department of Defense Fire Academy, where they took part in aircraft and structural firefighting demonstrations and learned about advanced hazardous material response, confined spaces, and search and rescue procedures.

During the delegates' visit to the Academy, they toured the school's Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, where they observed academy students in the Field Engineering Readiness Lab conducting mock deployments designed to allow students to perform hands-on training in surveying, construction methods and using various construction materials.

"It was very good to see the realistic training the U.S. military is conducting, and we found a lot of things we can implement back home in our countries," said Bangladesh Air Force Group Captain Salamat Ullah. "It will strengthen our joint ability to combat emergencies."

More than 60 U.S. military service members, including a team of civil engineers, recently concluded humanitarian medical and civil engineering efforts in Bangladesh as part of Operation Pacific Angel, a joint and combined humanitarian assistance operation aimed at improving military civic cooperation between the United States and countries throughout the Asia-Pacific region.

In addition to learning how U.S. forces use civil engineering techniques to respond to emergencies, many of the participants were happy about the opportunity to work alongside other civil engineers from the Asia-Pacific region.

"We're so happy because of the rare opportunity to have this multi-lateral exchange," said Philippine Air Force Colonel Manuel Victorino Ramiro. "It was a great opportunity to meet officers from other countries to learn about different cultures and to share our experience with one another to enhance our knowledge on engineering matters."

"The facilities that we saw really amazed us, especially the equipment and the classrooms, which were very conducive for us to learn," Colonel Ramiro said. "We have learned so much and we treasure all the things we learned in this country."

All of the participants expressed how impressed they were with servicemembers, especially the integral role of the NCO Corps in military operations.

"I was clearly impressed with the NCO Corps," said Royal Thai Air Force Group Captain Chalee Watanawanna. "They are really the backbone of the U.S. military and play a much different role from our NCO Corps."

The civil engineering community has conducted SMEEs for more than 40 years as their responsibilities have grown in number and complexity with more subject matter experts participating in exchanges to share the depth of knowledge required in specific areas.

The 13th Air Force is scheduled to host two additional engineering SMEEs in July and August.

Internet Crunch Won't Impact Defense Networks

By Ian Graham
Emerging Media, Defense Media Activity

June 24, 2010 - With reports and rumors of a big "internet crunch" circulating, the Department of Defense is looking ahead to discern how it can take advantage of more advanced web protocols to enhance its mission.

Kris Strance, the chief of internet protocol for the department, said today in a "DoDLive" Bloggers Roundtable that the crunch – the potential loss of available address space for devices to connect to internet networks – likely won't affect the Defense Department. But upgrading from internet protocol version four (IPv4) to version six (IPv6), he said, will allow for better network mobility and allow certain groups within the Defense Department to expedite their missions.

Strance said the current plan is to maintain IPv4 standards while adding the necessary equipment to allow IPv6 when needed, also known as "dual-stack" capability.

"We want to make sure the infrastructure is IPv6 capable along with maintaining IPv4," he said. "But our philosophy is one that when a component has a mission need or a business case to move to IPv6, then they can do that at relatively little cost. It's driven by their need rather than an overall [Department of Defense] mandate."

The IP address of a device is an identifying number assigned so network administrators can see who or what is accessing their network. In addition to the internet itself, IP is employed for voice over IP (VoIP) telephones, video teleconferencing and other secured lines of communication.

The crunch, he said, is largely attributable to the mass use of network-enabled devices, from smartphones and iPads to laptop computers to home appliances and devices connected to networks. Portable devices could have dozens, if not hundreds, of IP addresses assigned to them, because they're designed to connect to networks at all times.

"You can see it in the iPhone, the iPad, your computer at home, cars being able to report status on issues, aircraft ... in other words, in the future everything will be addressable via IP for whatever reason that is required, and that will take a significant number more IP addresses than what's currently available today," Strance said.

"I don't forsee a crisis, per se ... the big driver, in my mind, excluding DoD, will be the explosion of requirement for IP addresses, given where we are headed from a technology standpoint," he added.

Conversely, he said, the Department of Defense networks won't be under the same strain. Advancements in Defense networking will be made on a case-by-case basis, when required for a mission.

The department's concern won't be with ability to move to the new protocol, he said, but rather a concern about when it's the best time to do so for tactical use.

"We're trying to move to an environment where future capabilities are in fact IPv6 capable – whether that's turned on or not – so when our users make a decision that they need IPv6, they don't have to do a forklift of their current equipment to go ahead and turn on IPv6," Strance said.

There will be some equipment that won't be moved to IPv6, Strance said, because of the mission requirement or cost of upgrading that equipment versus buying new equipment. Because the network is dual-stacked, IPv4-capable machines won't be made obsolete. "The forecast by the American Registry of Internet Numbers say that they will issue the last of the IPv4 address space, probably in 2011," he said. "That's probably about accurate, but then again there are schemes or concepts that allow you to continue to operate v4, even after you've run out of v4 address space."

Big Lunar Eclipse

June 24, 2010: This Saturday morning, June 26th, there's going to be a lunar eclipse—and for many residents of the USA, it's going to be a big one.

The eclipse begins at 3:17 am PDT (10:17 UT) when the Moon enters the sunset-colored shadow of Earth. By 4:38 am PDT (11:38 UT), the moment of greatest eclipse, 54% of the Moon's diameter will be covered. From beginning to end, the event lasts almost three hours.

Although the eclipse is only partial, it will be magnified in size and charm by the "Moon Illusion"--a result of the eclipse occurring close to the horizon from viewing sites in the USA.

For reasons not fully understood by astronomers or psychologists, low-hanging Moons look unnaturally large when they beam through trees, buildings and other foreground objects. In fact, a low Moon is no wider than any other Moon—cameras prove it—but the human brain insists otherwise.

Who are we to argue?

The effect will be particularly strong in western and central parts of the USA and Canada where the Moon will be setting as the eclipse reaches maximum. (Observing tip: Look low and to the west just before dawn.) The fact that the extra size is just an illusion in no way detracts from the beauty.

People in New England and northeastern Canada will justmiss it. The Moon sets shortly before the eclipse begins.

Halfway around the world, observers in India, Japan, and parts of East Asia will experience the same phenomenon. They'll see the eclipse on Saturday evening as the Moon is rising. The Moon Illusion will be fully active as Earth's shadow sweeps across low-hanging lunar terrain.

It almost makes you feel sorry for people living on the dreamy islands of the South Pacific. There the eclipse takes place directly overhead, high in the midnight sky where the Moon Illusion does not work. That's okay. A partial lunar eclipse is a beautiful thing all by itself.

Enjoy the show!

Nantucket Man Arrested and Charged with Operating International Online “Phishing” Scheme to Steal Income Tax Refunds

June 24, 2010 - Mikalai Mardakhayeu, a Belarusian national residing in Nantucket, Mass., was arrested Wednesday night and charged for his alleged participation in an international online "phishing" scheme to steal income tax refunds intended for U.S. taxpayers around the country, announced Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz for the District of Massachusetts.

An indictment unsealed today in U.S. District Court in Boston charges Mardakhayeu with one count of conspiracy and nine counts of wire fraud.

According to the indictment, from 2006 through 2007, Mardakhayeu and his co-conspirators lured victims by operating websites that offered lower-income taxpayers free online tax return preparation and electronic tax return filing (e-filing) services. As alleged in the indictment, the websites falsely claimed to be authorized by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to offer such services. After taxpayers input and uploaded their tax information seeking refunds for federal and state taxes, co-conspirators in Belarus allegedly collected the data and altered the returns so that legitimate tax refund payments would be redirected to U.S. bank accounts controlled by Mardakhayeu. According to the indictment, in some cases the claimed refund amount was higher than the amount originally claimed by the taxpayer. The co-conspirators allegedly caused the fraudulently altered returns to be e-filed with the IRS and state treasury departments. The conspiracy ultimately caused the U.S. Treasury and various state treasury departments to deposit approximately $200,000 in stolen refunds into bank accounts in and around Nantucket that were controlled by Mardakhayeu.

If convicted, Mardakhayeu faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release, a $250,000 fine and restitution.

An indictment is merely an accusation, and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty at trial beyond a reasonable doubt.

The case was investigated by the IRS Criminal Division and the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Adam Bookbinder in the District of Massachusetts’ Computer Crimes Unit and by Trial Attorney Mona Sedky of the Criminal Division’s Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section.

Minnesota Man Indicted for Internet Hacking, Making Threats to the Vice President

June 24, 2010 - MINNEAPOLIS—A 45-year-old Blaine, Minnesota man has been indicted in federal court in the District of Minnesota for hacking into his neighbor’s wireless Internet system and allegedly posing as the neighbor to make threats to kill the vice president of the United States and e-mail child pornography. The indictment, which was filed today, charges Barry Vincent Ardolf with two counts of aggravated identity theft, one count of making threats to the president and successors to the presidency, one count of unauthorized access to a protected computer, one count of possession of child pornography, and one count of distribution of child pornography.

The indictment alleges that in February 2009, Ardolf hacked into his neighbor’s wireless Internet connection and created multiple Yahoo.com e-mail accounts in that person’s name. Then, on May 6, 2009, he allegedly used one of those accounts to e-mail the office of the vice president of the United States. In that e-mail, he stated:

This is a terrorist threat! Take this seriously. I hate the way you people are spending money you don’t have.... I’m assigning myself to be judge jury and executioner. Since you folks have spent what you don’t have it’s time to pay the ultimate price. Time for new officials after you all are put to death by us....

The e-mail, which also was sent to the governor and a U.S. senator from Minnesota, went on to threaten to kill the officials one at a time, with the first being dead by June 1. Ardolf allegedly signed the e-mail with the name of the neighbor from whom he stole Internet access as well as the name of that person’s wife. The indictment alleges that Ardolf sent the e-mail using the wireless router belonging to the neighbor, intending for the e-mail to be traced back to that person.

In addition to sending the threatening e-mail described above, the indictment alleges that in February 2009, Ardolf posed as the identity-theft victim and used the e-mail accounts he created in the victim’s name to send sexually themed e-mails to three of the victim’s co-workers. Again, the defendant sent the e-mails through the victim’s wireless Internet connection, intending for them to be traced to the victim’s Internet account. In one of the e-mails, Ardolf attached an image containing child pornography. Ardolf also allegedly created a MySpace page in the victim’s name, on which he posted the same image of child pornography.

If convicted, Ardolf faces a potential maximum penalty of 20 years in prison on the distribution of child pornography charge, 10 years on the pornography possession charge, five years on both the unauthorized access to a computer and the threats to the vice president, and a mandatory two-year minimum prison sentence on each count of aggravated identity theft. All sentences will be determined by a federal district court judge.

An indictment is a determination by a grand jury that there is probable cause to believe that offenses have been committed by a defendant. A defendant, of course, is presumed innocent until he or she pleads guilty or is proven guilty at trial.

This case is the result of an investigation by the Minnesota Cyber Crimes Task Force, which is sponsored by the FBI and the U.S. Secret Service, with assistance from the Blaine Police Department and the Anoka County Sheriff’s Office. It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Tim Rank.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Computer Hacker Arrested

Orange County Man Suspected of Hacking Computers Arrested on Federal Charges Related to Demands for Sexually Explicit Videos from Women and Teenage Girls


June 23, 2010 - LOS ANGELES—A man who claims to be affiliated with an underground gang of hackers was arrested today on federal extortion charges that allege he hacked into dozens of computers, obtained personal data about people using the computers, and then demanded sexually explicit videos from female victims in exchange for keeping their personal information private.

Luis Mijangos, 31, of Santa Ana, California, was arrested without incident at his residence by special agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The arrest of Mijangos, which was pursuant to a criminal complaint filed last week in United States District Court, follows a six-month FBI investigation into his involvement in computer hacking, identity theft, and video voyeurism. FBI computer forensics experts have determined Mijangos infected more than 100 computers that were used by approximately 230 individuals, at least 44 of whom were juveniles.

The federal investigation into Mijangos resulted from a referral from the Glendale Police Department, which received a complaint from a victim and realized the matter involved a number of victims and may be the work of a sophisticated computer hacker.

“This case is another example of local police and FBI agents collaborating to solve a crime,” said FBI Assistant Director in Charge, Steven M. Martinez. “The investigation leading to the extensive network of victims in this case and culminating with today’s arrest of Mr. Mijangos would not have been possible without information provided by the Glendale Police Department, whose detectives worked this investigation jointly with FBI agents. Mr. Mijangos is alleged to have exploited new technology to exert control over young women whom he extorted, and many who were unwitting victims.”

The affidavit in support of the complaint outlines a series of schemes that all involve Mijangos using peer-to-peer networks to infect computers around the world with malicious computer code. Mijangos induced victims to download the malware onto their computers by making the files appear to be popular songs. After the victims downloaded the malware, Mijangos was able to control their computers, allowing him to send instant messages containing malware from those computers to other people in the victims’ address books. These later victims thought they were receiving messages from friends or family members.

Mijangos infected victim computers for a variety of purposes, according to the complaint, that outlines several lines of criminal conduct.

Once he had control of a computer, Mijangos searched for sexually explicit or intimate images and videos of women, typically young women and girls in various states of undress or engaged in sexual acts with their partners. Mijangos contacted the female victims, informing them that he was in possession of intimate images and videos and threatening to distribute those stolen images and videos to every addressee in the victims' contact lists unless they made additional videos for him. Mijangos also told his victims that, because he controlled their computers, he would know if they attempted to contact the authorities, and he threatened to retaliate against them by releasing the images and videos if they called the police. According to the affidavit, Mijangos told one victim that she did not want to “mess” with a team of hackers.

Mijangos also installed a “keylogger” on victims’ computers that allowed him to record every key that was struck on the keyboards of the infected computers. Because the users of those compromised computers were unaware that their computers had been infected, they continued to use their computers to engage in commercial and social activities. Mijangos used the keylogger to steal credit card numbers and personal identifying information that he used to engage in identity theft and to purchase merchandise, the affidavit states.

Mijangos also used stolen usernames and passwords to access victims’ e-mail and social networking sites to further his extortion scheme. After hacking e-mail accounts belonging to victims’ boyfriends, Mijangos contacted women and teenage girls and, pretending to be their boyfriends, asked them to create pornographic videos for him. Once he had those videos, Mijangos again contacted the victims, this time using an alias, to demand more pornographic videos under threats of distributing the videos previously sent to him.

With his control of the victims’ computers and all of their functions, Mijangos was able to remotely access victims’ webcams and to turn them on from time to time in an attempt to catch the victims in intimate situations. Occasionally he was successful.

During the execution of a search warrant at his residence, Mijangos was interviewed by FBI agents. According to the affidavit, Mijangos acknowledged that he hacked into computers, but claimed that he did so at the request of boyfriends and husbands who sought to determine whether the women were cheating on them. Mijangos acknowledged that he asked for additional sexual videos but only to determine whether the women would actually do it. Mijangos also admitted his involvement with an international network of hackers and his participation in credit card fraud.

Mijangos is expected to make his initial court appearance this afternoon in United States District Court in downtown Los Angeles.

The criminal complaint charges Mijangos with extortion, a felony offense that carries a statutory maximum penalty of two years in federal prison.

A criminal complaint contains allegations that a defendant has committed a crime. Every defendant is presumed to be innocent until proven guilty.

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Glendale Police Department.

Leica Geosystems' Guidance System Speeds Channel Repair Project by 15 Percent

(Norcross, GA., 23 June 2010) A 3D excavator guidance system is helping the earthmoving subcontractor to beat the schedule by 15 percent on a $9-million channel repair project for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Topeka, Kansas.

Ebert Construction Co., Wamego, Kansas, is using Leica Geosystems machine control systems on its excavators to help reshape 2.5 miles of the channel at Soldier Creek, which is contained by two parallel levees spaced 300 feet apart. A major flood in 2005 eroded the creek banks and this project will repair the damage, helping to prevent further flooding upstream of the repaired area. Ebert has engaged a fleet of earthmoving equipment to remove 350,000 cubic yards of earth from the side slopes and take them to waste areas behind the levee. Some 170,000 cubic yards are being moved from cuts to fills on the slopes

Two Komatsu hydraulic excavators, each fitted with a Power Digger 3D machine control system from Leica Geosystems, are being used to shape the side slopes. Each slope is designed with an upper and a lower bank, both on a 3:1 slope and separated by a gentler 10:1 slope. Jim Ebert, project manager for the contractor, says the Leica Power Digger 3D systems improve the excavators' efficiency because no grade checking is needed. He further states that the systems save Ebert $40,000 a year by eliminating the grade checker. The Power Diggers' screens show the operators the cuts and fills on a continuous basis. "Plus", says Ebert, "we can work underwater without having a grade checker climb into the water," he says.

"The Leica Geosystems GPS system takes the guesswork out of grading for the operators," says Trent Ebert, project superintendent. "And there's no more calling us to say the stakes got run over by a dozer. There's no downtime. Nobody has to watch the operators; they can dig, back up, find the next place to cut and keep on going."

Completion is scheduled for February 2011, but the contractors hope to achieve substantial completion before winter.

For additional product information, visit www.leica-geosystems.us/en/Leica-PowerDigger-3D_81272.htm

Leica Geosystems - when it has to be right

With close to 200 years of pioneering solutions to measure the world, Leica Geosystems products and services are trusted by professionals worldwide to help them capture, analyze, and present spatial information. Leica Geosystems is best known for its broad array of products that capture accurately, model quickly, analyze easily, and visualize and present spatial information.

Those who use Leica Geosystems products every day trust them for their dependability, the value they deliver, and the superior customer support. Based in Heerbrugg, Switzerland, Leica Geosystems is a global company with tens of thousands of customers supported by more than 3,500 employees in 28 countries and hundreds of partners located in more than 120 countries around the world. Leica Geosystems is part of the Hexagon Group, Sweden.

For further information please contact:

Andre Ribeiro
Director of Marketing
Atlanta, GA 30092
Phone: +1 (770) 326-9557
Fax: +1 (770) 447-0710
Andre.ribeiro@leicaus.com
ww.leica-geosystems.us

Air Force holds first joint DT for cyber operations career field

By Staff Sgt. Steve Grever
Air Force Personnel Center Public Affairs

June 23, 2010 - RANDOLPH AIR FORCE BASE, Texas – Senior Air Force officials from across the space and cyberspace spectrum met at the Air Force Personnel Center May 31 through June 4 to conduct the first joint cyber operations career field developmental team for officers and civilians.

The 17D career field developmental team was comprised of general officers, major command communications directors, and other key representatives from throughout the Air Force cyberspace community.

Lt. Col. Oscar Delgado, the Air Force Personnel Center Cyberspace Operations Assignments Branch chief, said this DT focused on professional military education for officers and civilians. The DT reviewed more than 100 officer packages for senior developmental education, 150 officer packages for intermediate developmental education and 20 civilian packages for civilian developmental education.

“We had a unique situation with a combined DT with not only just military, but civilians as well,” Colonel Delgado said. “It was a combined effort, and the focus of the developmental team was to look at school opportunities for civilians and officers.”

Brig. Gen. Tod Wolters, the Air Force Space Command director of air, space and cyberspace operations, chaired the first 17D developmental team and was inspired by the depth of talent and experience he saw when the team was reviewing officer and civilian packages.

“We have amazing people doing amazing things who work extremely hard, and it is inspiring to see how much talent these individual Airmen have,” General Wolters said. “We’ll be just fine as an Air Force because when you start with great talent and technical expertise, you know you’ll be okay.”

General Wolters explained that the 17D career field is unique due to the nature of the cyber operations mission. This requires the Airmen who make up the cyber operations career field to have a higher level of technical expertise as well as other qualities that are expected of Air Force officers.

“I’ve had the opportunity to serve on a 13S developmental team that takes care of our space operators, and those individuals require a high degree of technical expertise,” the general said. “It helps us as we work on this 17D DT for the first time to have a lot of folks who have been exposed previously to the 13S career field. Technical expertise is critical. We have that in abundance in the Air Force.” Developmental teams play a critical role in helping manage the force and typically focus on one of three areas – squadron commander positions, PME or vectoring. Since this DT for cyber operations was geared toward PME, the team’s next meeting in August will focus on squadron commander opportunities for 17D officers.

Colonel Delgado said AFPC provides extensive logistics support and manning to ensure each DT receives everything they need to manage and vector their respective officers and civilians.

“We bring everyone in and facilitate the entire discussion and meetings,” Colonel Delgado said. “We are here to provide personnel information and have all the records reviewed before team members actually get here and start scoring. So, when the team arrives it can hit the ground running and focus on vectoring and selecting the right officers and civilians.”

During the 17D DT outbrief, General Wolters commended AFPC and several members of the communications and information officer assignments branch for its efforts during the 17D DT as well.

“We received outstanding support from the AFPC team in every regard,” the general said.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

New officer course boosts cyberspace transformation

by Susan Griggs
81st Training Wing Public Affairs

6/22/2010 - KEESLER AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. (AFNS) -- A new undergraduate cyber training course for officers launched here June 15.

Air Force officials allocated $11.7 million to establish the course, and about $7.6 million has already been spent to upgrade facilities and purchase the computer infrastructure, simulators and laboratory networks to enhance Keesler AFB's classroom capabilities, said Lt. Col. Scott Solomon, the 333rd Training Squadron commander.

Although Keesler AFB officials have trained officers and enlisted members in communications, computer technology, air traffic control and electronics for decades, technical training is transitioning to support the Air Force's new roles in cyberspace operations. The training is intended to bolster the unfolding organizational, technical and security demands of a network-centric Air Force operating in the cyberspace domain.

"When the Air Force's mission changed to fly, fight and win in air, space and cyberspace, we didn't have the pipeline in place to train the new skills needed to operate in the cyberspace domain," Colonel Solomon said. "It's the one domain for which we didn't have an initial skills course.

"For years, we've done fundamental training in telecommunications, radar, radio, long-haul infrastructure, microwave and air traffic control systems, but now most of these things are connected at the Internet protocol level via the Internet," he said. "Our new cyberspace operators are going to be trained to operate looking through the lens at that IP level.

"In addition, we're not just teaching point A to point B communications connectivity," Colonel Solomon continued. "We're teaching our operators how to connect the dots for operational effect, a fundamental change in how we've conducted our training in the past."

The new course provides initial training for 17DX cyber operations officers, a career field that replaces 33SX communications officers. The course is intended to provide a foundation on which officers can build their skill sets.

Graduates will have the fundamental training to establish, secure, operate, assess and actively defend seven types of networks, including command and control systems, IP, telephony, satellite and mobile telecommunications.

"What we'll be producing for the Air Force coming right out of initial skills training is an officer that is a full-up loaded round who can actually fly, fight and win in cyberspace," Colonel Solomon said. "In the past, there have been training gaps because of the evolving nature of cyberspace, a man-made domain that's changing all the time."

Because of the fluid nature of that domain, the colonel said it's essential to keep pace with changes in cyberspace technology, tactics, techniques and procedures.

"We've built into the program the capability to update course material as the technology changes," Colonel Solomon said. "We must ensure that we stay relevant and keep pace with the threats that are out there. The only way to do that is to incorporate changes as quickly as possible within the course curriculum standards."

The first class is expected to have 16 students. Up to 400 military members, civilians and international students are expected to complete the course annually.

"Every '17 Delta' active-duty officer that comes through the schoolhouse will (make a permanent change of station) and be here for six months," Colonel Solomon said. "The first phase of the course is at the unclassified level, where students earn their Security + certification which is a commercial standard in industry."

International students leave the course at the halfway point due to security clearance requirements for the second half of the course.

"In the second half of the course, students get into the 'meat and potatoes' of what it means to fly, fight and win in cyberspace at the IP level," Colonel Solomon said. "They'll do a lot of training on networking fundamentals and a variety of simulators. For example, in one exercise, two blue team students will be defending an installation's cyberspace while two red team students will be trying to penetrate the network boundaries and security."

Officers who complete the course will initially follow one of two career tracks.

A-Shred officers, about 15 percent of the class, will head to the 39th Information Operations Squadron at Hurlburt Field, Fla., for intermediate network warfare training, followed by mission qualification training and crew mission-ready training, usually at their assigned base.

B-Shred officers will move on to more mainstream communication officer duties involving telecommunications infrastructure, installation and operations, base communications, and network operations. They'll complete required qualification training at their assigned bases.

"We didn't develop this course in a vacuum. We had strong partnerships with the career fields managers, Air Education and Training Command representatives, other Department of Defense agencies, industry and academia to develop the most comprehensive and relevant course we can offer," Colonel Solomon said.

"Nobody in the world can contest our Air Force in the air and space domains. We dominate them," he added. "We also need to dominate cyberspace. It all starts right here at Keesler."

Preparing for the Internet Crunch

By Ian Graham
Defense Media Activity

Reports have been circulating of an upcoming “Internet crunch,” a phenomenon web experts expect will occur when Internet protocol version four (IPv4) runs out of space for IP addresses, the identification numbers assigned to computers and other devices connected to a network.

To delay effects of the possible crunch on the Defense Department (DoD) and increase tactical communications capabilities, the Department is going to adopt a combination of existing IPv4 infrastructure and newer IPv6 equipment, said Kris Strance, the DoD chief of IP policy. He will discuss the Internet crunch in more detail on DoDLive Bloggers Roundtable on Thursday, June 24, at 1100 EDT.

Strance says the DoD has nothing to worry about, at least internally. He said due to DoD’s early involvement in the creation of the Internet (a product of DARPA), it has more address space at its disposal than most other organizations worldwide.

“What we have to be concerned about it our outward-facing websites that connect with folks that might only have IPv6, so we’ll need to make sure those are both v6 and v4 compatible,” he said.

Defense’s upgrade has much more to do with increasing communications capability on the move, for example on a ship moving through various areas of responsibility or an aircraft flying long distances to strike a target.

Those other organizations, whether government or commercial, will have something to worry about, he said. A spike in network users, especially in the form of smartphones, netbooks, and other portable network devices, has increased the likelihood of network problems.

“Your cell phone, your smart phone, your iPad, your laptop, your refrigerator, whatever device you can possibly manage that can be connected for whatever reason to receive information – all of that is going to take up address space,” Strance said.

Strance said the best way to prepare for the shift is to pay attention to computer equipment’s IP capability when making purchases. Generally all new computer models are equipped for IPv6 (and can handle IPv4), but some hardware and network software isn’t compatible yet. By purchasing IPv6-capable materials, commanders can avoid extra expense for replacements.

He said he doesn’t anticipate the transition from IPv4 to IPv6 to cause any network problems.

Services, VA Use Technology for Stress, Resilience Outreach

By Lisa Daniel
American Forces Press Service

June 22, 2010 - The military services and the Veterans Health Administration of the Veterans Affairs Department increasingly use digital technology to reach out to identify and treat servicemembers with traumatic brain injuries and post-traumatic stress disorder.

The second-ranking officers of each of the four services and a senior VHA leader outlined for the Senate Armed Services Committee today the many programs and delivery methods they are using to reach servicemembers who may have mild brain injuries or PTSD.

Increasingly, they are turning toward the "virtual" intervention of the Internet and digital technology, they said.

"This generation sometimes opens up much better through Skype" and other digital technology "than by sitting across the table" from a mental health care provider, said Gen. Peter W. Chiarelli, Army vice chief of staff.

Some 780,000 soldiers have responded to the Army's Internet-based Global Accessing Tool to measure resilience, and the service plans to expand its Web outreach, Chiarelli said. Also, the Army uses an Internet-based mental health screening to assess soldiers returning from deployments, he said.

Building on the their department's suicide hotline, VA officials last year started an Internet-based chat line for servicemembers to discuss stress, said Dr. Robert L. Jesse, a physician and VHA's acting principal deputy undersecretary of health. "Younger folks are much more used to [chatting on the Internet and texting on phones] than having a phone conversation," he said.

Using consumer-based technology is increasingly important to reach servicemembers, not only because it's a medium they are comfortable with, but also because those not on active duty – National Guard and reserve members, and veterans who have separated from service – are widely dispersed and sometimes hard to reach, Chiarelli said, noting an increase in suicides among Guard members not on active duty.

The increasing use of technology also can help in getting around problems from the national shortage in mental health care workers. For example, Chiarelli said, it would be beneficial for a soldier at Fort Campbell, Ky., to be "seen" by a psychiatrist via Internet technology, rather than be driven 100 miles to Nashville to meet in person.

Besides the digitally based programs, the military officers outlined numerous ways their services are reaching out to troops and their families on issues such as traumatic brain injuries, post-traumatic stress disorder and suicide prevention. All of the services have increased awareness training, starting with new recruits, focusing heavily on noncommissioned officers, and extending to flag officers. All said they are doing pre- and post-deployment screening, and reaching out to families.

The Army, in a program with the University of Pennsylvania, has trained more than 1,200 soldiers to be resilience trainers to others, with plans to place them in every battalion, Chiarelli said.

The Navy has a program called ACT – ask, care, treatment, or "ask about your shipmate, care for your shipmate, and help him or her get treatment," said Adm. Jonathan W. Greenert, vice chief of naval operations. The service began 10 training workshops at 20 locations this year, and plans to open five more by fall. And, he said, more than 100 sailors have been trained to teach others about controlling stress.

"Stress is a fact of life, and we want to reframe the issue to one of stress control," Greenert said. The programs are designed "to build resilience to stress as part of a healthy lifestyle."

The Air Force has increased training and counseling, and held a "Wingman Day" in May to underscore that every airman, regardless of rank, needs to watch out for changes in others and reach out to them if they suspect they're not well, Gen. Carrol H. Chandler, Air Force vice chief of staff, said.

The Marine Corps, which has the most suicides per capita with 52 last year, recently created a hotline with the Tricare West military health plan, in which Marines and their families can call anonymously 24/7 to discuss stress, said Gen. James F. Amos, assistant commandant of the Marine Corps.

Also, Amos said, the Marines focus on both physical and mental resilience beginning at boot camp, and conduct pre-deployment immersion training to get young Marines accustomed to a combat environment.

"The best thing we can do for them is not only to get them physically fit, but we want our Marines to experience back home most of the fear, anxiety, confusion and fog of war before they deploy," Amos said.

Technology, Canines Continue to Prove Effectiveness

Tucson, Ariz. - U.S. Border Patrol agents assigned to the Casa Grande and Nogales stations combined the use of technology and canines over the weekend to seize more than 1,200 pounds of marijuana in three separate incidents. The combined estimated value of the marijuana exceeds $1 million.

Both canines and technology help discover drugs hidden in the natural voids of cars and trucks by smugglers.

On Saturday, Nogales agents at the Interstate 19 checkpoint referred a vehicle to secondary inspection. In secondary, agents using a Non-Intrusive Inspection system noticed anomalies in the vehicle, which turned out to be 50 pounds of marijuana, valued at $40,000. The marijuana, car and driver were taken to the Nogales station for processing.

In a separate incident Friday at the checkpoint, a Border Patrol canine team assisted in the discovery of 350 pounds of marijuana inside a hidden compartment of a trailer. The marijuana, truck and driver were taken to the Nogales station for processing.

“These seizures at the checkpoint highlight the success of our defense in depth strategy,” said Acting Patrol Agent in Charge Michael Hyatt. “We constantly look at how we can continue to improve operations and deter smuggling activities.”

Casa Grande agents, using a Mobile Surveillance System. spotted a group of 15 suspected illegal aliens Saturday in the West Desert. Agents responded but the subjects absconded, dropping backpacks that contained marijuana. Agents recovered the marijuana, which weighed more than 800 pounds and was valued at approximately $690,000.

The Border Patrol continues to combine the use of technology and specialty units, such as canine teams, along the border and at checkpoints to effectively guard our nation. The defense-in-depth concept continues to be effective at curbing the flow of illegal drugs into the U.S. Agents diligently monitor known smuggling routes through the use of checkpoints in order to protect our communities from all threats, including illegal drugs.

Department of Justice Joins in Launch of Administration’s Strategic Plan on Intellectual Property Enforcement as Part of Ongoing IP Initiative

June 22, 2010 - As part of the Obama Administration’s launch of the first-ever Joint Strategic Plan on Intellectual Property Enforcement, Attorney General Eric Holder today emphasized the Department of Justice’s ongoing commitment to protecting U.S. intellectual property as central to America’s economic prosperity and public safety.

“The Department worked closely with Administration officials to develop key aspects of this strategic plan to better protect our nation’s ability to remain at the forefront of technological advancement, business development and job creation,” said Attorney General Holder. “The Department, along with its federal, state and local partners, is confronting this threat with a strong and coordinated response at home and abroad to ensure American entrepreneurs and businesses continue to develop, innovate and create.”

Attorney General Holder joined Vice President Joe Biden, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, Department of Commerce Secretary Gary Locke, U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk, and Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator (IPEC) Victoria Espinel at the White House earlier today to announce the strategic plan.

“The integrity of health and safety products and trade secrets must be protected. The FBI is committed to pursuing those groups and individuals who steal, manufacture, distribute or otherwise profit from intellectual property theft,” said Gordon M. Snow, Assistant Director of the FBI’s Cyber Division.

The components of the strategic plan that the Department will assist in implementing include:

•Ensuring efficiency and coordination among enforcement efforts across federal, state and local levels, domestically and overseas, through means such as shared information, streamlined investigatory processes and training efforts;

•Enhancing international enforcement efforts, including combating foreign-based web sites that violate American intellectual property rights by encouraging further cooperation and coordination with our trading partners in overseas markets, including China;

•Securing our supply chain to stop illegal products from coming into the country by providing law enforcement with authorities it needs and by fostering cooperation with the private sector to reduce infringement on the Internet and elsewhere.

The strategic plan is the latest effort in the Department’s ongoing initiative to protect intellectual property. Others include:

Department Task Force on Intellectual Property

Earlier this year, the Attorney General formed a new Department of Justice Task Force on Intellectual Property to focus on strengthening efforts to protect intellectual property rights through close coordination with state and local law enforcement partners as well as international counterparts. As part of its mission, the task force, chaired by the Acting Deputy Attorney General Gary G. Grindler, will also work together with the IPEC and other key partners to implement the Administration-wide strategic plan on intellectual property.

As part of its efforts to enhance coordination with its federal, state and local law enforcement partners, the task force is hosting joint sessions in the coming months. In July, the task force will be holding a joint workshop with Customs and Border Protection. In September, the Department, in partnership with the National White Collar Crime Center (NW3C), will hold a one-day Intellectual Property Crime Enforcement Outreach Summit in California for state and local law enforcement to learn and understand the impact of intellectual property crime on the local, regional, and national economy. In addition, the Department will emphasize the substantial health and safety risks to Americans from counterfeit goods and products .

The task force includes representatives from the offices of the Attorney General, the Deputy Attorney General, and the Associate Attorney General; the Criminal Division; the Civil Division; the Antitrust Division; the Office of Legal Policy; the Office of Justice Programs; the Attorney General’s Advisory Committee; the Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys and the FBI.

Increased Intellectual Property Enforcement Resources

As part of stepped up enforcement efforts, the Department has also devoted more resources to investigate and prosecute intellectual property crimes. In April, the Department announced the appointment of 15 new Assistant U.S. Attorney (AUSA) positions and 20 FBI Special Agents to be dedicated to combating domestic and international intellectual property crimes.

These new AUSAs will be working closely with the Criminal Division’s Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section (CCIPS) to aggressively pursue high tech crime, including computer crime and intellectual property offenses. The new positions are located in California, the District of Columbia, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia and Washington. These new positions will be part of the Department’s Computer Hacking and Intellectual Property (CHIP) program.

Just last month, the Department solicited applications for grant funding under the Department’s Intellectual Property Enforcement Program, which is administered by the Department’s Office of Justice Programs (OJP) and its Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA). Under this program, OJP/BJA will award up to $4 million in competitive grants to fund state, local and tribal criminal investigations, prosecutions, and prevention and education efforts.

Enhanced Intellectual Property Enforcement Efforts

As part of its enforcement strategy, the Department has been aggressively targeting intellectual property criminals. The Department has successfully prosecuted cases in every area of intellectual property crime including health and safety, trade secret theft and economic espionage, large-scale counterfeiting and online piracy. These prosecutions include one of the largest counterfeiting cases in U.S. history (United States v. Lam http://www.cybercrime.gov/lamGuilty.pdf ). During FY 2010, the FBI opened 150 new investigations, including 21 counterfeit health and safety investigations and 26 investigations involving theft of trade secret cases. Additionally, the FBI also opened 40 new Economic Espionage investigations during the same time period.

Industry and International Engagement

The Department has also taken steps to strengthen its relationships with key stakeholders in the fight against intellectual property crimes around the world by meeting with foreign law enforcement partners as well as leaders in the industry.

In the past several months, the Attorney General has met with foreign law enforcement officials from South America and Spain, industry CEOs and others to discuss the Department’s ongoing efforts and emphasize the need for greater coordination and cooperation in the fight against intellectual property crime.