BPC’s Homeland Security Project core mission is to be an active, bipartisan voice on homeland and national security issues. With terrorist threats and tactics still lethal and becoming more complex, the project works to foster public discourse, evaluate reform, provide expert analysis, and develop proactive policy solutions on how to best address emerging security challenges.
Experts agree the next 9/11 is likely to be a cyber attack. The Homeland Security Project’s members regularly provide thoughtful, nonpartisan analysis and recommendations to members of Congress and also frequently testify before Congress. The project aims to complement this work through educational programs on cyber security and recommend actionable best practices, so that policymakers can be more knowledgeable when it comes to protecting online information and U.S. security.
The Electric Grid Cyber Security Initiative
This joint effort of BPC’s Energy Project and Homeland Security Project will develop recommendations for how multiple government agencies and private companies can protect the North American electric grid from cyber attacks. The initiative will consider how to allocate responsibility for cyber-attack prevention and response, facilitate the sharing of intelligence about cyber threats and vulnerabilities with electric power companies, and ensure appropriate privacy protections for customer data.
Emerging Threats and Radicalization
In the fall of 2013, the project issued the first in an annual series of threat assessments: Jihadist Terrorism: A Threat Assessment. The report provides a comprehensive review of al-Qaeda and its affiliates, as well as homegrown extremists who may target U.S. interests, and issues recommendations to the administration and Congress on how best to counter the threats.
The Internet has revolutionized the way we communicate and do business. At the same time, the Internet is increasingly used by extremists to attract, recruit, and radicalize new followers. To address these threats, the project issued a report, Countering Online Radicalization in America (2012), to help policymakers better understand how the Internet facilitates radicalization, particularly within the United States. One recommendation the project is already acting on deals with informal information sharing—between the government and technology companies. Meanwhile, the project continues to investigate emerging threats and vulnerabilities facing the nation.
Information Sharing and Security
When the Internet spreads messages and sparks debate around the globe instantly, intelligence professionals find themselves on the front pages— instead of working behind the scenes. Over the past decade, the world has witnessed security compromised both by sharing and withholding information. The project will determine the best method to investigate and report on the myriad leaks to journalists, transparency activists, and entertainment professionals as well as on the over-classification of materials. The project hosted two events in May 2013, one highlighting the use of drones and the need for a rule-of-law framework, the other shedding light on how journalists decide what information to share with the American public. Future events may include discussions on changes to the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act, privacy issues surrounding drones and law enforcement, and the role of contractors in the intelligence community.