Monday, March 30, 2009

Michael Chertoff sets up shop by the Beltway, but the windows are still papered up

This came across my feeds, but it may have more general interest to some of you.

Continuing in the long line of former Federal Government officials who lend their names to the private sector, there is a new consulting firm called the Chertoff Group. That's Chertoff as in Michael, former Homeland Security Secretary.

So what are they going to do?

The Chertoff Group assists clients with addressing threats related to terrorism, cyber security, fraud, border protection and supply chain security. The firm services include biometrics and identity management programs, information assurance, fraud prevention and investigations, border protection solutions, security engineering and infrastructure protection, crisis management, business continuity programs, and RFID-based supply chain protection. Within the security industry, the Chertoff Group will also provide mergers and acquisition advice, target identification and qualification, and due diligence support.

But they have their work cut out for them in terms of identity protection. When I initially saw the press release, I surfed over to and got redirected here:

Comming Soon! This website is under construction.

And yes, there are two m's in the word "Comming," which means that either someone has camped on the domain, or the real Chertoff Group hasn't chosen the most savvy Internet partner. Based upon the whois results, which show the site is registered to Chad Sweet (Chertoff's right-hand man), it appears to be the latter.

It's interesting that the site was registered on February 14, the press release came out March 30, and the site still isn't live. Which is interesting, considering how the press release concludes:

The Chertoff Group has entered into strategic alliance with strategic communications firm Burson-Marsteller. This agreement will allow the firms to share resources and expertise on shared client engagements where appropriate.

“We have the highest regard for former Secretary Chertoff and his work in helping to keep this country secure and look forward to working with him and The Chertoff Group,” said Burson-Marsteller Worldwide President & CEO Mark Penn.

Apparently this strategic communications firm chose not to share with Chertoff & Sweet the importance of having your website ready on launch day.
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