Technology… is a queer thing. It brings you great gifts with one hand, and it stabs you in the back with the other.
—C. P. Snow
This quote by noted British scientist and author C. P. Snow brings to light the fact that technology can have both favorable and adverse effects. On the one hand, it can be used to prevent, protect against, respond to, or recover from a wide variety of hazards or disasters, including terrorist attacks. On the other hand, technology also constitutes a major threat, risk, or vulnerability because it can be used by terrorists to plan or execute attacks. In some cases, it takes technology to fight or beat technology, just as firefighters set backfires to prevent the further spread of wildfires in forested areas. It is important to grasp the applications, consequences, or impacts of technology on actual events in order to assess the potential future applications of technology in homeland security.
To prepare for this assignment:
- Review the online article, “Terrorists and the Internet.” Focus on how terrorists use the Internet to spread their message and commit acts of terrorism. Also, think about the challenges the government might encounter when trying to combat terrorists’ online activities and consider how such challenges might be addressed.
- Review the assigned pages of the online article, “Technology Strategies for Homeland Security: Adaptation and Coevolution of Offense and Defense. Pages 1-13” Focus on the author’s analysis of “coevolution”—how terrorists not only use technology to attack their targets, but also engage in a reciprocal back-and-forth battle to disrupt or damage the defense technologies employed by their intended targets. Also, consider long-term challenges for security planning and how specific homeland security strategies might be used to address those challenges.
- Review the assigned pages in Chapter 3 of your course text, Introduction to Homeland Security. Pay particular attention to the challenges related to protecting against, preparing for, and responding to acts of cyberterrorism. Think about how homeland security officials might address such challenges.
- Reflect on how terrorists and terrorist organizations use technology to plan and execute acts of terrorism.
- Identify two homeland security challenges related to terrorists’ use of technology to plan and execute acts of terrorism.
- Think about how homeland security officials might use specific strategies to address those challenges.
The assignment: (1 page)
- Explain how terrorists and terrorist organizations use technology to plan and execute acts of terrorism. Be specific, and use examples to illustrate your explanation.
- Describe at least two homeland security challenges related to terrorists’ use of technology to plan and execute acts of terrorism.
- Explain how homeland security officials might address the challenges, using specific strategies.
Support your Assignment with specific references to all resources used in its preparation. You are asked to provide a reference list only for those resources not included in the Learning Resources for this course.