National Maritime Cybersecurity Plan Released

Recently released by the White House, the National Maritime Cybersecurity Plan to the National Strategy for Maritime Security (Maritime Cybersecurity Plan) provides a roadmap for safeguarding the American economy by strengthening cybersecurity in the Maritime Transportation System. As an extension of the National Strategy for Maritime Security (NSMS), the Maritime Cybersecurity Plan aims to integrate cybersecurity with the NSMS’s key principles:
  1. Freedom of the seas
  2. Facilitation and defense of commerce to ensure the uninterrupted flow of shippingShip with cybersecurity threats. Maritime
  3. Facilitation of the movement of desirable goods and people across our borders, while screening out dangerous people and material

There are three

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In Focus: Online Extremism

New In Focus now available on Online Extremism.

A collection of reports focused on how people can become radicalized to certain beliefs or actions by way of online media such as social networks. According to the International Association of Chiefs of Police (ICAP),

Online radicalization to violence is the process by which an individual is introduced to an ideological message and belief system that encourages movement from mainstream beliefs toward extreme views, primarily through the use of online media, including social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. A result of radical interpretations of mainstream religious or political doctrines,

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National Strategy for Planetary Protection

The White House National Space Council has released the National Strategy for Planetary Protection, an effort to protect Earth and other planets from the potentially harmful biological contamination effects of space exploration.   

According to the document “two underlying principles should guide United States planetary protection policy 

  1.  The United States should continue to lead the development of internationally accepted guidelines for avoiding harmful biological contamination that properly balance the interests of scientific discovery, human exploration, and commercial activities in space; and
  2. Avoiding harmful biological contamination of the Earth and other planetary bodies supports a safe, sustainable, and predictable
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President Trump Releases the 2020 Federal Mission Resilience Strategy

The White House has released the Federal Mission Resilience Strategy along with Executive Order 13961: Governance and Integration of Federal Mission Resilience.  The President of the United States recognizes the threat of “unforeseen events including natural disasters, pandemics, cyber threats, and kinetic or electromagnetic pulse attacks” and states that the Strategy accelerates our collective efforts” to “preserve our constitutional form of government, under any and all conditions.”

Using the planning model of “Assess, Distribute, and Sustain,” the Strategy seeks to improve existing continuity policy with the following goals:

  • Continuity and risk management incorporated into all aspects
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In Focus: Vaccine Hesitancy

New In Focus now available on Vaccine Hesitancy.

A collection of reports focused on how misinformation, skepticism, and fear all play a role in dissuading people from receiving vaccination from COVID-19 and other diseases.  According to a report by the Aspen Institute, “[A] combination of factors—including misinformation spread on social media; decreased trust in institutions including government, science, and industry; and weaknesses within health systems—has emerged to diminish confidence among some populations.”

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2020 National Preparedness Report

FEMA and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) have released the 2020 National Preparedness Report, based on data through December 31, 2019.  The National Preparedness Report (NPR) “summarizes the progress made, and challenges that remain, in building and sustaining the capabilities needed to prevent, protect against, mitigate, respond to, and recover from the threats, hazards, and incidents that pose the greatest risk to the Nation.”

FEMA Administrator, Pete Gaynor, provides a foreword stating, “Through the NPR, FEMA hopes to inspire action by the whole community―including individuals; communities; state, local, tribal, and territorial (SLTT) governments; the private and non-profit

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CHDS’ December 2020 Commencement: Remarks by Chad F. Wolf

On December 17, 2020, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security released the Center for Homeland Defense and Security (CHDS) Commencement remarks of Acting Secretary, Chad F. Wolf.  He congratulates the graduates for their “dedication and hard work,” noting that “2020 has been a challenging year, but it’s important that we have all come together today for this important milestone in your careers.”

Some key highlights of the speech involve discussion of the history of CHDS, how it has evolved over the last 17 years, and how its success is attributed to the “dedicated public servants inside the Department and committed

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Taking Back Control: Rockefeller Foundation’s COVID-19 Response Plan

This image provides a close-up of a gloved hand holding a COVID-19 test, noting a negative result on both the test itself and on paperwork behind itThe Rockefeller Foundation has released Taking Back Control: a Resetting to America’s Response to Covid-19, an urgent plea for the United States to do more “to slow the catastrophic spread of Covid-19.”  Although vaccinations are now being released, the report argues that “The country cannot afford another six months of paralysis with schools and businesses widely shuttered while vaccines are manufactured and distributed,” and encourages that we focus on building up our testing capacity, using it as a proactive tool rather than a reactive one.

The report suggests establishing Covid-19 rapid testing in schools, noting that the limited amount

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U.S. National Space Policy Released

People working in a control room during rocket launchThe Office of the White House has released the National Space Policy of the United States of America, a document outlining U.S. goals and guidelines for future space operations. The overarching message of the policy is to improve and solidify the U.S. presence in space via economic, diplomatic, and technological means. Several key initiatives must be effectively implemented to support these future goals, including strategies for investments in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) programs, expanding cooperation with commercial entities,  enhancing “Space-based Positioning, Navigation, and Timing (PNT) Systems,” fostering international cooperation, developing sufficient export policies, developing “space nuclear power
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Report on the 2020 Protests and Civil Unrest Released

After the death of George Floyd while in police custody occurred in May 2020, protests and civil unrest erupted all across the United States and Canada. The Major Cities Chiefs Association have released a study titled Report on the 2020 Protests and Civil Unrest that examines these protests, and “presents a comprehensive perspective into the law enforcement challenges and lessons learned in 68 of the largest cities in the U.S. and Canada.” In total, there were 8,700 protests that occurred in major cities in the U.S. and Canada between May 25th and July 31st, including 574 protests that involved acts
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