Security (S&B/CBRNE) Magazine

Spring 2017

Security & Border Protection and CST & CBRNE Source Book, published jointly, concentrate on WMD response, NGB training, counterterrorism, and border security

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 30 of 35

S&BP: From a distinctly foreign terror-threat perspective, speak to some key provisions of the task force for providing better point of entry security without added inconvenience to the international traveling public. Rep. Gallagher: The Task Force will be reviewing all U.S. government processes for admitting people into the United States and examining them in depth to determine what gaps, if any, exist. Improving the ability of Customs and Border Protec- tion to conduct more effective searches at points of entry will be an emphasis of this review. By streamlining these processes, we can improve security while reducing travel inconvenience. Automating the screening of visa applicants—espe- cially of their social media—is another method by which the U.S. government could improve security and the experience of travelers. Currently, most screening of social media accounts is "slow going" because it requires significant human input. By using advanced computer algorithms, we can both increase the scrutiny we apply to each traveler to identify ter- rorists while at the same time allowing for the faster and more efficient entry for legitimate visitors. Drawing on emerging technologies to vet travelers' social media must be utilized to prevent further attacks like that in San Bernardino which had significant red flags. Ensuring that government personnel at the border have access to all of the appropriate counterterrorism databases is another way by which we can improve national security while avoiding any unneces- sary delays. If law enforcement officers can conduct rapid "federated searches" of all of the relevant information, rather than through time- consuming queries of individual databases, they will be able to screen travelers more efficiently while at the same time reducing the risk of terrorist infiltration. S&BP: Any other challenges/goals that the task force is addressing going forward? Rep. Gallagher: Ensuring that participants in the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) are providing the necessary information to the United States – as they already have agreed to do – will form a key part of this initiative. A recent Government Accountability Office report found that more than a third of the 38 participating countries were failing to share terrorist and criminal identity information, as the agreement requires. Although the VWP is beneficial to American businesses and facilitates a significant amount of lawful travel, we have to ensure that our partners are upholding their responsibilities. Furthermore, many countries do not take full advantage of the databases maintained by INTERPOL, as our Committee's 2015 Task Force discovered. By integrating these data sets into their screen- ing procedures, other nations can help prevent terrorist travel more effectively, better shielding our homeland as well as those of our allies. Preventing terrorists from entering the United States must be a top priority for Congress, and one that we can and must approach in a thoughtful, bipartisan manner. Providing for the common defense is our first and foremost Constitutional duty and we cannot fail in that duty. This task force is about reviewing all means of entry into the United States that could be exploited by bad actors wishing us harm. For me, and this Committee, there is no greater concern than the safety of our homeland and citizens. The Task Force on Denying Terrorists Entry into the United States and its culminating report is driven by that concern and will seek to better ensure the safety and security of the American people. September 6-8, 2017 Las Vegas Register Early for the Biggest Discount! Discover the Future – at the World's Largest Commercial Drone Conference & Expo Rep. Gallagher introducing a bill at a press conference to establish a Global War on Terror Memorial on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. (WI 8 th District) VIEW FROM THE HILL Spring 2017 | S&BP and CST & CBRNE | 29

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Security (S&B/CBRNE) Magazine - Spring 2017