Countering Terrorism With The Help Of Information Technology

1782 words - 7 pages

Countering Terrorism with the Help of Information Technology

What steps are needed for a nation to prevent terrorist threats being
carried out? In a recent article by a few of DARPA's (Defense
Advanced Research Projects Agency) managers, that answer is using IT
(Information Technology). Robert Popp, Thomas Armour, Ted Senator,
and Kristen Numrych state that the DARPA's goal is to "empower users
within the foreign intelligence and counterterrorism communities with
IT" so that the decision makers can make informed choices. The need
for this information to be 100% accurate is vital not only for the
United States national security but for the integrity of our
government.

DARPA is a United States Military program that pursues high payoff
research that can be applied to government policies. They
continuously research advanced technologies with a high enthusiasm
from each of their department managers. They encourage these radical
innovations by steadily rotating their managers in and out of the
company every 4 years thereby injecting a great amount of energy into
their programs. New people come in with fresh ideas and are able to
quickly start them with an extremely large budget (2004 annual budget
of $2.9 billion). They are also able to sponsor far reaching
technology explorations through other organizations. They just
recently sponsored the DARPA Challenge in April, 2004; in which
contestants were challenged to manufacture a fully automated vehicles
that could travel from Los Angeles to Las Vegas with no help from
their human creators for a $1,000,000 prize. Although 15 teams
qualified for this race, no team finished and the farthest a vehicle
was able to travel was 7.4 miles. This is a prime example of the
spirit this agency is able to generate not only within the company but
outside it as well.

Harnessing DARPA's leadership to tackle the "War on Terrorism" has
generated new strategies for identifying potentially dangerous
information though the use of IT. The results of the September 11th
attacks by Al Qaida terrorist network have amplified the importance of
information awareness. There were many reports saying that there was
sufficient information present from foreign intelligence that the
terrorist attacks could have been identified and neutralized.

There is a gigantic amount of data that generated each and every day.
One of DARPA's goals is have an information system that can
effectively monitor this data and alert proper authorities to defuse
violence when detected. The ability to associate embedded information
in one report to another piece of embedded information and realize
their relevance is the significant road block in this awareness
objective. The tools developed by DARPA focused on the three main
areas of IT:

1. Peer-to-Peer tools that...

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