Week 1 Assignments

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Discussion Board 1

You are a senior security specialist with the Department of Homeland Security assigned to DHS Headquarters. You are responsible for developing and preparing DHS-wide policies and standards for a DHS Industrial Security Program. You are also responsible for developing and presenting informational briefings. You are a subject-matter expert on all matters related to industrial security.

You have been asked to attend a conference on policy issues, and have been invited to participate in a round-table discussion with other security professionals to discuss the issue of the due-process approach versus the public-order approach to counter terrorism.

Primary Task Response: Within the Discussion Board area, write 400–600 words that respond to the following questions with your thoughts, ideas, and comments. This will be the foundation for future discussions by your classmates. Be substantive and clear, and use examples to reinforce your ideas.

Answer the following questions:

  1. Do you consider yourself more of a public-order advocate or a due-process advocate, in general? What is more important to you, personally: protecting individual rights or making society safer? Why did you not choose the opposite position?
  2. What are the positive aspects of your chosen position for purposes of counter terrorism?
  3. What are the negative aspects, if any, of your chosen position for purposes of counter terrorism?
  4. For this question, you are to assume that your superiors have adopted the position opposite your chosen position. For example, if you answered above that you were a due-process advocate, your superiors have adopted the public-order position. As such, you are to answer this question from the perspective of your superiors: What is the most important concern when developing policies for combating terrorism?

Discussion Board 2

  • Public Health and Medical Preparedness and Response
  • The Impact of Incentives and Requirements on Group Collaboration: read Introduction (pp. 1-5); Analysis (pp. 27-31); Conclusions (pp. 69-84).

Privacy, Rights, and Electronic Communications and Media

Primary Task Response: Within the Discussion Board area, write 400–600 words that respond to the following questions with your thoughts, ideas, and comments. This will be the foundation for future discussions by your classmates. Be substantive and clear, and use examples to reinforce your ideas:

  • What do you feel constitutes a “reasonable expectation of privacy” when it applies to electronic communication on the Internet? Explain.
    • Consider the differences between e-mail, posting a comment to a news story or a blog, or posting on social networking Web sites.
  • Should communications in these various types of media differ with regard to their privacy? Why or why not?
    • Consider the First and Fourth Amendments to the Constitution.
  • What protections are provided in this new electronic domain? Explain.
  • What protections should be provided in this new electronic domain? Should anonymity be expected or allowed? Why or why not

Individual Assignment 1

Airport Screenings & Public Security Policy

Resource site to:(House Committee on Homeland Security Web site).

The purpose of this assignment is to explore the topic of aviation security as it relates to public safety policy and the issue of individual privacy. You have been directed to write a policy memo for your boss, who is a member of the U.S. House of Representatives and serves on the House Committee on Homeland Security (House Committee on Homeland Security Web site). Using the resources provided below, as well information from resources you identify through your own research efforts, your assignment is to craft a briefing memo of 900–1,200 words that focuses on the questions posed below.

Assignment Guidelines

  • Students must address the following in 2-3 pages:
    • The United States, as well as many other countries and airlines, had experienced criminal and terrorist incidents before September 11, 2001. Why had previous incidents not resulted in the dramatic increases in and focus on aviation security that the 9/11 attacks did? Explain.
      • How was 9/11 different from an aviation security standpoint? Explain.
    • While there have been further attempts to strike the United States by attacking commercial aircraft since 9/11 (e.g., the “shoe bomber” and the “underwear” bomber), none have been successful. How have the steps and measures taken to improve aviation security since 9/11 contributed to the lack of success of the terrorists? Explain.
      • What role did the various layers of aviation security play in preventing the attempted attacks after 9/11? Explain.
      • Were the effective layers tactical, policy driven, or a combination of both? Explain.
    • Since the regulation that requires the aircraft’s cockpit door to be bullet-proof and securely locked before the aircraft leaves the terminal took effect, it is, for all practical purposes, impossible for a terrorist passenger to gain control of an aircraft. Given this change in risk profile, are other layers of security as necessary as before? Why or why not?
      • Given the number of years after 9/11 without successful aviation attacks, should some security procedures be relaxed? Why or why not?
        • What are the vulnerabilities and risks if they were? Explain.
          • Do not write possible scenarios here; rather, identify points of failure and other threats or risks to the aircraft, passengers, and nation).
    • TSA agents have the right to physically inspect any and all material and persons who are boarding or being loaded onto an aircraft in the United States. With X-ray machines, bomb-sniffing machines, and dogs checking all luggage and passengers, are physical inspections of luggage that allow TSA agents open and look through personal bags necessary? Why or why not?
      • What are the laws that provide TSA with their authority? Describe them.
      • Are the practices undertaken by TSA too intrusive? Why or why not?
    • The Fourth Amendment of the Bill of Rights provides protection against unreasonable searches and seizures. How should the United States balance that right against the security needs of the flying public? Explain.
      • Has a balance been reached?
      • If not, in what direction do the scales need to be tipped and how?
  • Compile your responses in your final policy memo, and submit the file to your instructor.
  • Be sure to reference all sources using APA style.

Individual assignment 2

  • Equality in the War on Terror

You are a program analyst with the Department of Homeland Security, assigned to DHS Headquarters. You work in the Office of the Secretary, Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties (CRCL). You are responsible for developing guidance and policy to support civil rights compliance and providing recommendations to address complex civil rights issues. You also provide a full range of advice, training, support, outreach, and complaint investigation related to civil rights concerns connected with the access to DHS-supported or conducted programs by individuals with limited English proficiency, or to the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) 287(g) program, along with other federally conducted and supported activities.

Your superior has assigned you an unusual task in anticipation of an in-house training and development program. This office is clearly focused on civil rights, but you have been asked to play devil’s advocate for a day. Your office deals with complaints of civil rights violations, investigating complaints brought by individuals with limited English proficiency. Your task is to present a memo that will be distributed to everyone at the training as required reading.

Your memo will be on the topic of: How might the DHS look and function if civil rights and civil liberties were not valued?

Your answer to the following question can assist you in developing your memo: If the DHS employed a true public-order approach to combating terrorism, what would they do differently right now?

Assignment Guidelines

  • Use your course materials, the library, and relevant Internet research options to research what the Office of the Secretary, Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties (CRCL) does, and how its operations affect homeland security policy decisions.
  • Address the following in 2-3 pages:
    • What functions does the Office of the Secretary, Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties (CRCL) perform? Explain.
      • This is the starting point for this assignment. Once you understand what the office does, then you can start to work on identifying how the DHS might change its function if civil rights and civil liberties were no longer a requirement.
    • Do the activities and operations of the Office of the Secretary, Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties (CRCL) impact homeland security policy decisions? Why or why not? Explain in detail.
    • How might the DHS change its function if civil rights and civil liberties were no longer a requirement? Explain in detail.
  • Be sure to reference all sources using APA style.

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