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Homeland security 2.0

There are a number of stories in the papers today about homeland security. And you will read more about homeland security in the coming weeks in FCW -- we will have a special report on homeland security in the Dec. 5 issue. (I have read the stories Monday and yesterday, and our features editor always does a good job of carving out interesting stories, but this series are particularly interesting. More on that as we get closer to the publish date.)

Anyway, here are some homeland security stories in the mainstream press just today:

Still Searching for a Strategy Four Years After Sept. 11 Attacks [NYT, 11.23.2005]

Four years after the terrorist attacks of 2001, the government has yet to settle on a consistent strategy for holding and punishing people it says are terrorists. Its efforts remain a work in progress, notable for false starts and a reluctance to have the executive branch's broadest claims tested in the courts.

Then there is this story in the WSJ:

Sharing of Data On Air Travelers Is Called Illegal [WSJ, 11.23.2005]
EU Court Adviser Faults Justification for Agreement Between U.S. and Europe

BRUSSELS -- The European Union's high court cast doubt on a contentious deal giving data on U.S.-bound airline passengers from Europe to U.S. customs authorities as part of antiterror efforts.

And then we have this story:

CDC plans flight e-tracking [FCW.com, 11.23.2005]
CDC plans to collect data on 600 million airline passengers a year to help fight pandemics.

There are a few interesting trends here. First off, it seems that the homeland security picture has really changed. In the months and years following 9/11, it seemed that we just threw money at homeland security -- almost in an attempt to catch up. In generally, many people have concluded, it seems, that not all of that money was probably spent as wisely or effectively as it could have been. That doesn't seem all that surprising to me.

Today, it seems, with help from Katrina's strong winds, there is much more focus on getting value for each dollar, particularly as those dollars become a scarce resource.

There are also evolving attitudes to complex issues such as privacy -- what is the balance between security and privacy? In very real ways, it seems that we are still working out those issues. But post-9/11, we understand that homeland security does not just mean protecting us from terrorists. True homeland security has evolved so that it means dealing with terrorists, hurricanes and even bird flu!

Posted by Christopher Dorobek on Nov 23, 2005 at 12:15 PM


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