Recently in Security Category

NASA OIG: NASA's Security Management Practices

"While overall security policy and oversight are managed by OPS at the Agency level, implementation and funding of protective services operations remains a responsibility of Center leadership who used their resources to pursue Center- based priorities. As a result, OPS authority is marginalized and Centers, at times, develop and implement strategies that conflict with the intent of Agency directives. As part of MAP, OPS was to assume funding and day-to-day operational responsibility for protective services across the Agency. However, in August 2019 NASA changed its plans to centralize management of the physical security portion of the Agency's protective services operations and as of the time of this report the impact of this decision on the Agency's overall approach to security management remains unclear. Despite our concerns that OPS was not well positioned to manage such a change because it currently lacks an organizational or governance structure to implement and oversee such enterprise-level responsibilities, we do believe several planned initiatives, if properly implemented, could leverage economies of scale and improve protective services operations."

Keith's note: From someone@nasa.gov: "Me and my colleagues are out of work during this shutdown with no prospect for ever getting back our lost wages. The federal government has a hard time recruiting people in my field because of a large salary difference with private sector companies. We choose a career with federal agencies because we believe in the mission of protecting the United States. NASA is going to lose a lot a talent in cyber security as workers like myself seek more stable employment elsewhere."

Follow-up Evaluation of NASA's Implementation of Executive Order 13526, Classified National Security Information, NASA OIG

"Although NASA has taken steps to implement our prior recommendations, we continued to identify inconsistencies in the Agency's application of CNSI policies and procedures that led to improper marking of classified documents. This occurred because of insufficient identification and training of classifiers. Further, implementation of the Agency's self-inspection program was not fully effective because NASA Centers did not consistently review documents to verify the accuracy of classified markings. Improved identification and training of classification officials and effective self-inspections would help ensure classified information at NASA is managed in accordance with Federal requirements."

Information Security: NASA Needs to Improve Controls over Selected High-Impact Systems. GAO-16-688SU, September 23, GAO (Restricted report)

Keith's 11 Aug update: Sources report that the person (referenced below) who was told that they could not attend the JPL Planetary Science Summer School has now been told by NASA HQ that they can attend after all.

Keith's 7 Aug 10:11 am note: The following is posted in a Closed Facebook page "Young Scientists for Planetary Exploration". The group has 1,549 members. I was made aware of this issue last night in great detail before I asked to join the group. When my membership was approved just now I was confronted with a warning that I would be banned for life if I posted anything from this group. I was not aware of this restriction when I asked to join - only after the fact. This is an important issue that needs to be surfaced. I will not identify the individual who posted this. I expect to be banned momentarily. Oh well.

Keith's 7 Aug 8:11 pm note: I have been kicked out of the group (one would assume) for raising this issue. You're welcome. What is really odd is that Andy Rivkin, one of the people who run this Facebook group, violates their own rules with regard to publicly discussing content from within the group.

"I've been participating in this year's JPL Planetary Science Summer School for the past 9 weeks, and was told only today that I have been declined further participation in the program, and will be withdrawn from next week's session at JPL. The reason I was given was that my place of birth was in Hong Kong, regardless of the fact that my citizenship is Canadian. NASA regards all persons born in Hong Kong as Chinese Nationals, including those like myself who were born prior to the 1997 handover, were never granted Chinese citizenship, and have immigrated to other countries like Canada. After contacting some people to try to understand why I was informed of this so late, it has come to my attention that this is a NASA-wide issue (not just JPL or PSSS) that was enacted just today by the NASA HQ Security Branch."

- Hong Kong Policy Act Report, State Department
- Designated Countries List, NASA HQ Security


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