Homeland Security Committee Objectives 2013-14

The events of 9/11/01 markedly changed all our lives in myriad ways.  Defense of the United States and her protectorates had always been a priority, but until a small group of men, using commercial aircraft launched that stunning attack on civilian buildings on American soil, most people were comfortable that they were relatively safe from violence.  We have lived for over a decade in a world where that is no longer true.

The events of 9/11 that day were carried out with traditional, kinetic means.  In our current world, our future attacks will come from unexpected sources through non-traditional means.  Modern life in the United States is increasingly reliant on systems and devices that are interconnected.  Whether it’s a heart patient whose pacemaker is synchronized through wireless signals to a medical facility hundreds of miles away, a small population center near a chemical plant, or a major city where all the citizens find themselves on the smart grid.

 One of the most vulnerable aspects of homeland security in this aspect is aviation.  Whether this is the Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) constellation constantly providing coordination to millions of drivers, automated systems that provide air traffic controllers the locations and spacing of thousands of pilots, down to an individual drone.  All of this technology is experiencing exponential growth in threats and vulnerabilities.

 One of the most difficult aspects is getting humankind to actually get their heads around a significant risk that has only really been around for the past three decades.  One of the main objectives of the HSC in 2013 would be to reach out to the states and help them with awareness programs- for every resident.  Whether how an individual ensure safe practices while surfing the web.  To the major companies providing critical Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) services that if breached would result in significant casualties.  The HSC also hopes to address Critical Infrastructure Protection in the aerospace environment.

Marci Woolson, Chair

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