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The Real ID Act is an invasion of privacy and threatens national security.
Imagine a country in which every citizen carries a national identification card, each of which is embedded with a chip that holds all of an individual's personal information.
To some, this may sound like a great convenience, to others, an invasion of privacy. This issue has sparked a great deal of controversy with some Americans arguing for the case of anti-terrorism and others arguing for their right to privacy.
The underlying question is this: Is the erosion of the individual rights of each and every American citizen truly worth the miniscule amount of additional security that would be provided by the mandatory use of a National Identification Card, also known as the Real ID?
The purpose of the Real ID Act of 2005 is to transform the state driver's licenses into a genuine national identity card, supposedly in an effort to combat terrorism.
"The government claims that driver's license "reform" will help combat illegal immigration and generally protect national security, but it fails to acknowledge that the Real ID Act seriously threatens privacy and civil liberties on a national scale."
- Sophia Cope of Center for Democracy and Technology, "Why Real ID is a Flawed Law," CNET News, January 31, 2008
A mandatory national id card will lead to longer lines at the DMV, as well as increased fees for those attempting to obtain a drivers license. But how, just how effective will the Real ID Act of 2005 be against terrorism, and just how invasive will it be?
REAL ID CREATES A BURDEN ON TAXPAYERS
Real ID Act of 2005 will do little more for American citizens than impose various new burdens on taxpayers, immigrants, and state governments, all while doing nothing to prevent terrorism. Citizens will be required to foot the bill for an expensive new ID card system which will be used to track their activities.
INCREASED POTENTIAL FOR IDENTITY THEFT
The Real ID Card will increase the threat of identity theft for American citizens, as well as give the government a tool for tracking each individual's whereabouts and activities. Furthermore, the Real ID Card will contain a microchip with a Social Security Number, thumbprint, and even a retinal scan, and can be easily manipulated.
22 STATES REJECT REAL ID PROPOSALS
Currently, 22 states have rejected the Real ID Act of 2005. If instituted, large corporations will be able to require all customers to carry a Real ID card in order to shop at their stores, thus tracking all of individual citizens' activities right down to what type of soap and toothpaste they prefer.
How is this combating terrorism, again?
You think you know the truth?
The United States Institute of Peace (USIP) recently held a briefing with top counter terrorism and Middle East policy researchers and experts on the future of Iraq and the Obama administration. Many of these experts agreed that the U.S. troop withdrawal plan over the next few years must rely upon both continued Iraqi security force training to improve regional stability as well as the development and reconstruction of Iraqi civil society. One could call the military-based approach an exercise in counter terrorism training for Iraqi security forces, whereas the development based approach includes anti terrorism training for Iraqis. The Iraqi government, security services, and greater population will require both counter terrorism training and anti terrorism training, which brings one to question what exactly is the difference between anti terrorism and counter terrorism and how can U.S. policy best incorporate both types into an effective strategy in other countries as well as its own terrorism prevention policy.
Counter terrorism operations are a tactical approach used by governments, militaries, local law enforcement, and other parties towards dealing with terrorists. Counter terrorism includes applying intelligence and using force to eliminate terrorists, and is essentially a strategy of repression or suppression. The U.S. military defines counter terrorism as "operations that include the offensive measures taken to prevent, deter, preempt, and respond to terrorism." (Joint Publication 1-02 Department of Defense Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms; U.S. Department of Defense ; 12 July 2007) The short term goal of counter terrorism policy is not to eliminate root causes of terrorism, but to bring the current crisis under control. Continued counter terrorism training of Iraqi security forces is an integral component for a timely withdrawal of U.S. troops, as Iraqi security officers need to prepare to deal tactically with Al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) and other subversive forces on the ground. Experts from the USIP briefing suggested key steps related to counter terrorism policy for the new administration should include the continued training and equipping of Iraqi security forces, among other efforts. (USIP briefing; "Iraq in the Obama Administration," December 2008) Continued Iraqi security and reconstruction, however, is also dependent upon anti terrorism training.
While similar and often incorrectly interchanged with the term "counter terrorism," anti terrorism is a strategic, long- term effort towards reducing and altogether halting terrorism by focusing on root causes and seeking to change the environment which fosters terrorism. "Anti terrorism tactics consist of gathering information and disseminating it broadly, promoting public discourse, lobbying policy makers to encourage violence reduction policies and legislation, conducting civil litigation against terrorist actors, and organizing social institutions to accomplish these functions. Anti terrorism is a strategy of expanding democracy to eliminate the causes and resources enabling terrorism."(Paul de Armond; "Rock, Paper, Scissors: Counter Terrorism, Anti Terrorism, and Terrorism," Public Good Occasion Paper #6, 1997) Experts suggest that the U.S. government must continue to lobby for a settlement between the Kurdistan Regional Government and the central government, develop a strategy for national elections, and support peaceful power transitions - all efforts that can be categorized as anti terrorism training. (USIP briefing, December 2008)
The suggestions made by terrorism and Middle East experts for a successful and timely withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq illustrate the importance of a blended approach towards dealing with terrorism in Iraq, across the globe, and within the U.S. Anti terrorism and counter terrorism strategies are jointly important for the United States' continued success in preventing and eliminating the terrorist threat in the present and in the future. This blended approach highlights the importance of developing policies under the rubric of strategic security, which is the multi disciplinary, global view of past, present, and future security issues that permits the timely accumulation of accurate, objective knowledge. Strategic security thinking is vital for the continued safety and protection of the U.S., as well as states around the globe.
Daniel Sommer is Director of Marketing at Henley-Putnam University. Henley-Putnam offers accredited online Bachelor and Master of Science Degrees in Intelligence Management, Terrorism & Counterterrorism Studies, and Management of Protection Management, and a Doctoral Degree Program in Strategic Security. For more information on Henley-Putnam University, Counter Terrorism Training or Anti Terrorism Training, visit http://www.Henley-Putnam.edu .
Is terrorism preventable? The answer, sadly, is no. The drive and motivation of today’s terrorist combined with the almost unlimited target opportunities make terrorism a threat that is unlikely to go away. While terrorist attacks are not preventable, there are actions that can be taken to protect a specific facility, building or organization from a terrorist act.
Terrorist acts are criminal acts, differentiated only by motivation. While all criminal acts are not terrorist acts, all terrorist acts are criminal acts. As with any criminal, we can take steps to make a facility less attractive to a terrorist. Terrorism preparedness requires two actions: taking steps to harden a specific facility from a terrorist act, and taking steps to mitigate an act should it occur.
Terrorism prevention strategy addresses five specific issues. They are the identification of potential targets that will be catastrophic to the community and are likely to be attacked; the reduction of the value of the target to the terrorists; the reduction of the visibility of the targets; the reduction of access to the targets; and the increasing of guardianship of the targets. Target hardening and increased physical security measures reduce the value of the target to the terrorist by lessening the degree of damage that a terrorist can inflict.
There are many things that can be done to harden a target. Good access control makes it more difficult for a terrorist to gain entry to a facility to do harm. Explosion proof trash receptacles make placing a bomb more difficult, and helps to contain a blast if a bomb is placed in one. Good perimeter fencing discourages and physically delays unauthorized access. Closed circuit camera systems serve as a deterrent and provide evidence in the event of a crime.
Access control systems serve to restrict access to only those authorized to be there. Strictly controlling access significantly reduces the criminal risk by making the target less accessible to the criminal or terrorist. The degree of access control is directly related to the value of the target and the presumed threat. Access control can be as simple as a key and a lock (not very secure), or as sophisticated as the use of smart cards tied to biometric readers to positively identify the user prior to allowing access. Biometric systems currently on the market range from fingerprint identification to using the retina (the blood vessel pattern in the back of your eye) and the iris (the colored ring around your pupil) as a means of positively identifying the user. Other systems use the size and shape of your hand, or the pattern of the blood veins in your wrist as an identifier.
Explosion resistance is critical in the protection against terrorist acts. Bombs are a favorite of terrorists, and are frighteningly easy to build and place. Explosion resistance includes the use of security window film such as www.blastgard.com to protect glass, terrorists know that glass and bombs form a lethal combination. In addition, History shows that upwards of 80% of all bomb blast injuries are glass related in nature. Additional steps include the removal of all trash receptacles (a favorite placement of bombers), or the addition of trash receptacles specifically designed to contain a bomb blast.
Perimeter security is a core defensive measure. Simply put, a perimeter system serves to deter an entry, prevent an entry, or if neither of those options is successful, slow down an intruder sufficiently so that the likelihood of getting caught increases. Perimeter options include fencing, walls and barricades. Fencing may be chain link, or if aesthetics are an issue, bent metal or a variety of ornamental metal options. Depending on the risk, barbed wire or razor ribbon may be attached to the top. Realistically speaking, tests show that barbed wire and razor ribbon have very little effect on slowing an intruder’s climb, but the visual effect can be a huge deterrent. Depending on the threat present, there are a variety of vehicle barriers available to prevent cars and trucks from gaining unauthorized access to a facility.
As with other security devices, closed circuit camera systems offer a deterrent. In the event of an incident, recorded video provides a record of what occurred and possibly can be used as evidence in the apprehension and prosecution of the terrorists. The deterrent value is proactive while the prosecution value is a mitigation technique. As technology advances, the quality of closed circuit cameras greatly improves while physical camera size gets smaller. Advances in storage technology mean that more and more video can be stored, allowing for more cameras and a longer “keep” time.
Mitigation techniques include physical security measures, but also the creation of a good crisis management plan and a business continuity plan.
Terrorist targets are not random, yet choices can be influenced and a more attractive target can be chosen over a less attractive target. What makes a target attractive? Target suitability can be influenced by factors including value, inertia (the size and weight of an object), visibility and access. There is information to suggest that the Murrah Building in Oklahoma City was not Timothy McVeigh’s first choice of a target, but it was the closest target to him that met his needs.
While nothing can prevent terrorism, steps can be taken to prevent terrorist attacks. Steps can be taken to harden a facility, lessen the attractiveness of a target and better prepare a facility to deal with an attack.
Mr. Jordan Frankel is one of the foremost experts in blast mitigation films. He is the founder of Global Security Experts, sole distributor for ShatterGARD fragment retention films. ShatterGARD products are trusted to protect the men and women of the U.S. military as well as the law enforcement community. For more information on how BlastGARD can help fortify your facility, visit www.shattergard.com or call 888-306-7998-14.
Article Source: Can You Be Prepared For an Act of Terrorism?
Cyber terrorism is very present in several industries and media outlets today. How real is the risk?
The risk posed by cyber terrorism is very present in the media today. It is also a well-debated topic amongst the security community, as well as those in the IT industry. Many experts have thrown around the idea of how likely it would be for cyber terrorists to hack into computers that control functions such as how dams or bridges work, or wreak havoc with air-traffic control systems. As much as these ideas have been discussed, there has not been any real instance to date of this sort of cyber terrorism.
Because most of our current society is now revolving around the Internet, e-commerce, and online banking, the threat of cyber terrorism is a frightening concept. Hackers have proven that it is not all that difficult to get into a computer network and manipulate it at will. Although hackers are not in themselves cyber terrorists, they have proven how simple this type of mayhem would be to create. Cyber terrorists can follow this example and gain access to critical data from governments, as well as private computer systems. This type of cyber terrorism could disable financial and military sectors. Our society’s dependence on the Internet, and our focus on having everything accessible via the Web, has created vulnerabilities in our defense systems. Where once it would have been difficult for a terrorist to tamper with air traffic patterns, it is quite feasible that a cyber terrorist could manipulate air traffic control systems with disastrous results. It would be safe to say that the real risk of cyber terrorism is well founded. However, there is still some exaggeration in the media that is not rational when it comes to the threat of cyber terrorism.
The concept of the term cyber terrorism harkens back to the early 1990s, when the Internet was young and the heated discussions about the future of security and the use of the Internet were just beginning. At this time in the Internet’s infancy, the National Academy of Sciences was worried that there could be more damage caused with a keyboard, than with a bomb. Since then, many forces have come together to elaborate on the fear of cyber terrorism. From a psychology standpoint, the fear of random victimization common with the concept of cyber terrorism meshes with the general distrust that many have for dependence on computer technology.
After the attacks on the World Trade Center, the security of all aspects of our society came under great scrutiny. There were many debates about the security of cyberspace in general and the ideas of what a cyber terrorist could do to our infrastructure. Fighting cyber terrorism has become not only a highly relevant issue, but also a very profitable one. There is now an entire industry dedicated to combating the threat of cyber terrorism. Think tanks have developed projects and issued alarming documents on the topic, experts have testified about the dangers of cyber terrorism, and private companies have developed software. The media has added to the issue, running frightening headlines insinuating that Al Qaeda will now turn to cyber terrorism to complete its war. The end result of all of this is that instances of hacking into sensitive websites, the online theft of critical company data, and outbreaks of new computer viruses are all being considered cyber terrorism.
Confusion is brought into the issue as defining the term "cyber terrorism" is not really agreed upon. One of the reasons for the confusion is that the media, which lives for the drama that it can create, has manipulated the term to indicate anything that it deems criminal through the use of computers. But according to the House Armed Committee in May of 2000, cyber terrorism is “the convergence of cyberspace and terrorism. It refers to unlawful attacks and threats of attacks against computers, networks and the information stored therein when done to intimidate or coerce a government or its people in furtherance of political or social objectives.”
It is critical to look at the difference between cyber terrorism and what is known as “hacktivism.” Hacktivism is a term that describes the combination of hacking that is politically motivated. Hacktivists use four main weapons: virtual blockades, email attacks, computer break-ins, and computer viruses and worms.
The use of cyber terrorism is an attractive option for today’s terrorists for a few reasons. It is naturally more cost effective –a terrorist needs only a personal computer to complete the task. These cyber terrorists don’t have the need for explosives or other weapons and can deliver computer viruses through cable, telephone line, and wireless connections instead. Cyber terrorism is much more inconspicuous than other terrorism methods and it is difficult for security agencies to get a handle on the terrorist’s real identity. In cyberspace, there are no barriers to have to cross—no customs agents or checkpoints that have to be avoided.
For the cyber terrorist, the number of targets to choose from is immense. Possible targets are public utilities, airlines, private individuals, and government agencies. With the vast amounts of targets possible, it is a guarantee that terrorists can find a target with a weakness. It is frightening to think that several studies have shown that a cyber attack on electrical power grids or some other such complex system is highly likely, since the complexity of these systems make them almost impossible to fully protect. Plus, cyber terrorism can be conducted from a remote location, thereby giving it a very attractive appeal to terrorists. A cyber terrorist also does not need any physical training and does not involve any dangers of travel or risk of mortality since it is all conducting through the Internet.
In light of all the warnings and statistics to date, it is critical to remember that there has not been an instance of a cyber terrorism attack on US public facilities, power grids, nuclear power plants, or transportation systems. Cyber attacks have occurred, but not the type that is being spoken of here—the kind that would qualify them as creating the type of damage a true cyber terrorist attack would create.
In conclusion, the real risk of cyber terrorism is really due tour dependence on the Internet, and our inability to thoroughly secure all aspects of it. Fortunately, we have not experienced a true and pure cyber terrorist incident.
Trond is 2 x Master level in both e-Commerce and Internet Marketing and is a certified security professional working for the Norwegian company MesterWeb AS. He is also certified Microsoft MCSE, Cisco CCIE Written Exam, Cisco CCNP, etc. His interests are hund, Joomla and lån uten sikkerhet
Article Source: What Are the Real Risks of Cyber Terrorism?