The OpSec Blog

Security and privacy information and advice at home and abroad.

Archive for April 2011

RQ: What is the Retention Rate for SEOs?

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This week’s reader question:

Do you know the approximate retention rate for SEOs after 1, 2, 5, 10+ years?  What are some reasons SEOs leave the Foreign Service?

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Written by OSB

29/04/2011 at 06:21

Travel Warning: Syria

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Consular Affairs issued a Travel Warning for Syria yesterday.  It reads as follows:

Syria

April 25, 2011

The U.S. Department of State urges U.S. citizens to depart immediately while commercial transportation is readily available. Given the uncertainty and volatility of the current situation, U.S. citizens who must remain in Syria are advised to limit nonessential travel within the country. U.S. citizens not in Syria should defer all travel to Syria at this time. The Department of State has ordered all eligible family members of U.S. government employees as well as certain non-emergency personnel to depart Syria. Embassy operations will continue to the extent possible under the constraints of an evolving security situation. Full consular passport and visa services continue to be provided. This Travel Warning supersedes the Travel Warning for Syria issued on April 4, 2011, to provide updated information on violent confrontations at demonstrations, increased security measures, and to note the ordered departure of some U.S. Embassy personnel and all family members. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by OSB

26/04/2011 at 18:13

Travel Warning: Uzbekistan

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Consular Affairs issued a Travel Warning for Uzbekistan yesterday.  It reads as follows:

Uzbekistan

April 25, 2011

The Department of State warns U.S. citizens that the potential for a terrorist attack or localized civil disturbance still exists in Uzbekistan.  The Department of State continues to urge U.S. citizens in Uzbekistan to exercise caution when traveling in the region.  This supersedes the Travel Warning dated July 22, 2010, to provide information on potential border area hazards.  Read the rest of this entry »

Written by OSB

26/04/2011 at 17:40

Travel Warning: Mexico

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Consular Affairs issued a Travel Warning for Mexico on Saturday.  It reads as follows:

Mexico

April 22, 2011

The Department of State has issued this Travel Warning to inform U.S. citizens traveling to and living in Mexico about the security situation in Mexico. This Travel Warning supersedes the Travel Warning for Mexico dated September 10, 2010 to consolidate and update information about the security situation and to advise the public of additional restrictions on the travel of U.S. government personnel. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by OSB

25/04/2011 at 16:51

Travel Warning: Burkina Faso

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Consular Affairs issued a Travel Warning for Burkina Faso yesterday.  It reads as follows:

Burkina Faso

April 19, 2011

The U.S. Department of State warns U.S. citizens of the risks of traveling to Burkina Faso and recommends U.S. citizens defer traveling to the country due to increasing security concerns relating to incidents of violence and lawlessness in numerous cities throughout the country since February 22, 2011. The government of Burkina Faso has not yet been able to restore complete control. The overall situation remains tense and unpredictable. In Ouagadougou, and several other cities throughout the country, including Fada N’Gourma, and Tenkodogo, mutineering soldiers have protested violently, looted, and committed carjackings. There also have been violent protests by other groups. For example, in Ouagadougou from April 14-16, heavily armed individuals in military and civilian clothing were shooting, and attacked several residences of government officials, robbed a number of private homes, raided numerous hotels, and forcibly seized government and private vehicles (most of which were recovered with minimal damage). On April 16, protesting civilians destroyed some government and private buildings and property. From April 16-18, there was renewed violence from mutineering soldiers in a few other cities. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by OSB

20/04/2011 at 15:08

The Importance of a Good Shredder

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The most important piece of equipment in your home inventory as far as protecting your identity and privacy is a good shredder.  I tell this to my family members as well as my friends like I get a commission; do not cheap out on a crappy shredder.

In order to avoid any charges that I endorse a particular product or that I’m out to profit in some way from this blog, I will not be recommending any brand or model of shredder.  I also won’t recommend a brand or model via e-mail.  Good shredders have the same things in common, and this post is meant to help you choose one for yourself.

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Written by OSB

20/04/2011 at 06:40

Overseas Comparability Pay, Update from M

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As a follow-up to a previous post, Undersecretary for Management Patrick Kennedy disclosed in a Department Notice (2011_04_086) on Friday, April 15 that the third phase of OCP would not be implemented.  I won’t post the entire thing here as I’m a bit unclear as to its sensitivity/FOUO, but the relevant passage is:

Unfortunately, in light of today’s dire budget climate, the Congress prohibited funding the third tranche of FSCP in the bill passed on April 14.  While the third tranche cannot be implemented at this time, the bill extends FSCP authority through FY 2011 so that FSCP will continue to be paid at the current rate.

At least it’s not a pay cut, right?