U.S. Security Clearances: Reducing the Security Clearance Backlog While Preserving Information Security

Benjamin Berger EXECUTIVE SUMMARY To protect sensitive information, certain positions in the federal government require candidates to obtain and maintain a security clearance. Security clearances help ensure that an individual is trustworthy and capable of handling sensitive information, which has the potential of harming the United States if divulged. From 2014 to 2018, the backlog

Smart Strategies for Effectively Managing Entertainment Districts

Charles Penn EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Entertainment districts are—and will continue to be—a significant homeland security concern due to the large numbers of people who gather at these locations. In the United States, people are fortunate to have the opportunity to attend a variety of activities ranging from sporting events to cultural events to parades, where they

Disruptive Emergent Systems in Disaster Response

Kristopher Thornburg EXECUTIVE SUMMARY The 2017 hurricanes in the southern United States provided an impetus for wider social technology use than during previous disaster responses. Hurricane survivors rapidly turned to social media for help while physically unaffected social media users crowdsourced crisis maps to generate complex and powerful emergent information systems. Volunteers unaffiliated with first

U.S. Counterterrorism Narrative: A Way Forward

Madeline Kristoff EXECUTIVE SUMMARY While it seems to be widely agreed upon that the U.S. counterterrorism narrative is failing, little empirical evidence is available describing the U.S. counter-narrative strategy since 9/11 or an analytical framework for measuring its success or failure. This research is designed to contribute toward filling that gap by investigating the effectiveness

Social Media Screening of Homeland Security Job Applicants and the Implications on Free Speech Rights

Denis Sweeney EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Homeland security employers (e.g., police departments, fire departments, and federal agencies) that engage in social media screening (SMS) of their job applicants should be aware of the risk of infringing on the applicants’ free-speech rights and take steps to mitigate that risk. The law on free-speech protections for homeland security job

Puerto Rico’s Homeland Security Readiness: Redesigning the Island’s Power Grid to Improve Its Resiliency

Juan Alicia EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Resiliency is the ability to bounce back from adversity and return to the previous norm. This term not only describes a quality in people but also the ability of objects or places to recover to their original shape or function. In the case of the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA),

Everyone is Doing It: The Effectiveness of Body-worn Cameras Beyond Randomized Controlled Trials

Robert Lawler EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Over the last decade, police departments across the United States have come under escalating pressure from the public, the media, civil rights organizations, and politicians to increase the accountability of their officers and departmental transparency, particularly regarding the use of force. In response to this pressure, many of the nation’s law

Overstays: The Lesser-Known Illegal Immigration Issue

Brian Heslin EXECUTIVE SUMMARY The goal of this thesis is to bring light to the lesser-reported type of “illegal immigrant” in the United States—individuals who overstay their visas’ allowed length of admission—and develop a policy to appropriately deal with this issue. By definition, illegal immigrant is applied to an individual who violates a countries laws.[1]