How Information Technology Has Altered the Homeland Security

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Information technology has drastically altered the Homeland Security world in many ways. The largest form of information technology, the internet, has caused the greatest change for Homeland Security Agencies. For many years now the internet has widely been used for terrorist communication, but more concerning now is the internet is being used to generate support and as a recruiting tool for terrorist organizations. In addition, they are also using the internet for training of terrorists since training camps are being actively pursued and neutralized by the intelligence community. Homeland security professionals traditionally were highly trained in field operations such as: conducting undercover intelligence missions, hardening suspected targets and reacting to terrorist attacks. After spending years of perfecting these operations, Homeland Security Agencies are realizing that “cyber intelligence” is a critical skill that our officers and agents are lacking. In recent years almost all agencies have enlisted the help of IT professionals to help track down terrorist activity on the internet and interpret their intent. They have also been tasked with training officers and agents on these techniques so that they can employ them in field operations. Also, software programs are now being developed to monitor suspected and known internet channels to alert agencies of suspicious activity. In addition, new anti-hacker programs are being developed to protect our own databases from being compromised by terrorist groups. This also has changed Homeland Security from a resources aspect. In the years prior, most of agency resources were composed of such things as weapons, observation and listening equipment and vehicles. With the high cost of IT professionals, advanced computer systems and software development budgets have significantly exceeded their limits and have forced agencies to sacrifice other critical resources in order to obtain the required tools to combat this...
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