Category: On the Homefront – the HSDL Blog

GAO Review of Ammonium Nitrate Facilities: OSHA and EPA Provide “Limited Oversight” 

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) released this week a report on safety policies and procedures at U.S. chemical facilities, particularly those that deal with ammonium nitrate. Following the April 2013 explosion of the ammonium nitrate fertilizer plant in West, Texas, GAO has been examining the oversight of similar facilities to...

New Report Finds Forced Labor in the Private Economy “Three Times More Profitable” than Previously Estimated

The International Labour Organization (ILO) released this week a new report that explores the economics of forced labor, including human trafficking and “modern forms of slavery.” The report, “Profits and Poverty: The Economics of Forced Labor” presents “startling new estimates of the illegal profits generated through forced labor” and finds...

American Values at Risk: The Impacts of Climate Change on National Landmarks

The impacts of climate change can be devastating to U.S. infrastructure; the natural disasters it induces (rising seas, floods, droughts, wildfires, etc.) can damage buildings, sever power lines, contaminate water, and destroy agriculture. Most of these assets are easily repaired or replaced, but what about damage done to infrastructure that...

International Cyber Officials Take Down BlackShades Malware Creators, Sellers, and Users

Cybercrime and cyberattacks are becoming increasingly prevalent in computer networks worldwide. Everything from national power grids to individual users’ private data is being targeted for malicious use, and on top of that, these networks and data are becoming harder and harder to protect. To combat the growing cybercrime phenomenon, the...

#TerrorismAndTwitter: How Terrorists are Utilizing Social Media and What it Suggests for National Security

According to a new report by Gabriel Weimann of the Woodrow Wilson Center, “Twitter has recently emerged as terrorist’s favorite Internet service, even more popular than self-designed websites or Facebook, to disseminate propaganda and enable internal communication.” In his report titled “New Terrorism and New Media”, Weimann states that the...

Operation Z: If and When Zombies Attack

The hype of a zombie attack has come back to the news after being dormant for some time. The Pentagon is prepared for such a threat (and, “would like to stress that they [The Pentagon] don’t actually think that this zombie apocalypse is going to happen”). Drafted in 2011, CONPLAN...

“Malvertising”: The Hidden Hazards to Consumers’ Online Security and Data Privacy

Today the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations of the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs held a hearing on “Online Advertising and Hidden Hazards to Consumer Security and Data Privacy.” The hearing, and accompanying investigation report, focused specifically on online advertising and the “data collection processes and security vulnerabilities...

Climate Change through a National Security Lens: Recommendations of CNA’s Military Advisory Board

Addressing climate change issues has quickly become a top priority for both governmental and non-governmental entities worldwide. Internationally, the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) has been reporting on international climate change issues since September 2013, and domestically, U.S. agencies have been responding to and implementing the Obama Administration’s June...

Lessons from a Violent Actor: Multimedia Police Review of the Christopher Dorner Incident Provides In-depth Analysis

For nine days in February 2013, Southern California law enforcement was at the height of security alert in response to events initiated by former Los Angeles Police Department officer Christopher Dorner’s manifesto-fueled rampage, in which he targeted civilians and law enforcement alike. The incident left four dead and several wounded...

Opportunity for All: The President’s FY2015 Budget Fact Sheet

The White House released a Fact Sheet on the President’s budget for fiscal year 2015, Opportunity for All: Building a 21st Century Infrastructure, which is a summary of the “roadmap for accelerating economic growth, expanding opportunity for all Americans, and ensuring fiscal responsibility.” The president plans to lean on bipartisan...