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

DHS Acquisition Workforce: The Threat’s Not Leaving, Why Are You?

Wayne Dumais EXECUTIVE SUMMARY The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) faces a plethora of emerging threats from bad actors who wish to disrupt our American way of life. Frontline DHS operators depend on technology and information systems to accomplish their mission. Technologies must continually evolve to counter the emerging threats, which creates capability gaps. The

Facing Reality: Benefits and Challenges of Facial Recognition Technology for the NYPD

Anthony Carter EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Facial recognition technology (FRT) is a biometric technology that—if the New York City Police Department (NYPD) implements it in the New York City subway system—could have significant benefits of preventing violent crime, deterring terrorism, helping investigate past crimes, locating missing persons, providing assistance to individuals with special needs, and integrating with

Innovation Increase: How Technology Can Create Open, Decentralized, and Trackable Data Sharing

Erica Hupka EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Research universities need to share information, whether through teaching or disseminating key innovations to society. However, universities should not share all research with everyone.[1] If universities fail to protect sensitive data, it could harm citizens personally, financially, or potentially fatally if acquired by malicious actors. The greater the number of researchers

A Comparative Analysis of International Encryption Policies en Route to a Domestic Solution

James Donahue EXECUTIVE SUMMARY According to the Pew Research Center, more than 95% of adults in the United States have a cell phone.[1] Digital technology has permeated almost every facet of daily life, and electronic devices are driving this trend.[2] As biometric identification increases and payment systems like Apple Pay proliferate, it is reasonable to

A Regulatory Framework for Nanotechnology

Stephen Ridge EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Technological advancements are an important part of human existence. From the dawn of humans’ emergence as the dominant species on earth, the ability to create and use tools has been a primary accelerator of that dominance. Tools have been used to make life easier but also to make even better tools

Efficiency v. Security: Information Technology Consolidations – Resilience, Complexity, and Monoculture

Jennifer Ricker EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Governments, like other organizations dealing with budgetary pressures, typically search for ways to increase efficiency and effectiveness. One common way of cutting costs and increasing efficiency is to consolidate information technology (IT) systems. IT is a critical component of the nation’s infrastructure, economy, and government operations; with the U.S. Department of

Law Enforcement’s Dilemma: Fighting 21st Century Encrypted Communications With 20th Century Legislation

Robyn Owen EXECUTIVE SUMMARY An investigative tool often exploited by law enforcement to further investigations is analyzing target communications. These communications may be derived from telephone devices or various electronic means, and in some cases the investigations may be extremely time-sensitive, such as kidnapping or terrorism cases. However, law enforcement is currently encountering difficulties with

A DHS Skunkworks Project: Defining & Addressing Homeland Security Grand Challenges

Calvin Bowman EXECUTIVE SUMMARY This thesis analyzes the current and future capacity of the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS’) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) to define and address homeland security grand challenges. The method of analysis is a structured focused comparison of three case studies: XPRIZE, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), and DHS S&T.