Federal Drive interviews – June 21

This is the Federal Drive show blog. Here you can listen to the interviews, find more information about the guests on the show each day and links to additional resources.

Audio for all interviews will be posted later today.

Online Chat: Beth Killoran, deputy assistant secretary for Information Technology and chief information officer at HHS, on March 28.

Today’s guests:

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Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas)Co-chairman of the Congressional Unmanned Systems Caucus

The United States is using drones more and more, not only for military and intelligence operations overseas, but also here at home. It’s causing anxiety for myriad reasons. People are concerned about a Big Brother government that peers into their homes. Recent reports show drones are more accident prone than other aircraft. A new Department of Homeland Security inspector general report suggests they aren’t very cost-effective. Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas) is hearing all of those concerns. He’s co-chairman of the Congressional Unmanned Systems Caucus. and Customs and Border Protection flies these unmanned aerial vehicles or UAV’s in his district.

RELATED LINK:: DHS Inspector General report: CBP’s use of unmanned aircraft systems in the nation’s border security


David MichaelsAssistant Secretary of Labor Department

The agency that investigates whistleblower complaints in the private sector has come under fire for years. Auditors repeatedly found the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s program lacked transparency and accountability. Investigators did not have the training or tools they needed to do their jobs well. OSHA began a top-to-bottom review last year. Now it’s inviting outsiders to join an advisory committee to make recommendations for improvements.


Joel BrennerCounsel to the Cooley law firm and former Inspector General at National Security Agency

It seems like there is new headline about leaked intelligence and cyber espionage every day. Congress and the White House blame each other for leaks. And newly leaked information about the Flame virus indicate U.S. involvement in the cyber attack on Iran. But does this actually damage national security…or can shedding light on state secrets actually be a good thing? Brenner has written a new book, America the Vulnerable: Inside the New Threat Matrix of Digital Espionage, Crime and Warfare.


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