2010 - 2011

Materials arranged chronologically.

McCarter, Mickey. "IG Adds to To-Do List for DHS Intelligence Office." Homeland Security Today, 13 Jan. 2010. []

In a report, "Improvements Necessary in DHS' Security Program and Practices For Its Intelligence Systems," released on 12 January 2010, "the DHS inspector general (IG) identified a need to address management and operational issues within the DHS information security management program to prevent the leak of sensitive information.... The IG office cited concerns with incomplete plans of actions for information security and the lack of a formal information system security training and awareness program for DHS intelligence officers. In addition, technical authorities have not been granted to intelligence systems at the US Coast Guard and US Secret Service."

Hsu, Spencer S. "Obama Officials Present a Strategic Redefining of Homeland Security's Mission." Washington Post, 2 Feb. 2010. []

On 1 February 2010, the Obama administration "delivered to Congress the nation's first Quadrennial Homeland Security Review [QHSR].... The QHSR lists five missions...: preventing terrorism and enhancing security, particularly against chemical, biological, nuclear and radiological threats; securing U.S. borders; enforcing the nation's immigration laws; securing cyberspace; and ensuring resilience to disasters.... The review states that preventing terrorism remains the cornerstone of homeland security, while it identifies other hazards, including mass cyberattacks, pandemics, natural disasters, illegal trafficking and transnational crime."

Randol, Mark A. The Department of Homeland Security Intelligence Enterprise: Operational Overview and Oversight Challenges for Congress. Washington, DC: Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress, 19 Mar. 2010. Available at:

"[T]he DHS Intelligence enterprise (DHS IE) consists of I&A [Office of Intelligence and Analysis], two headquarters elements supported by I&A, and the intelligence elements of six DHS operational components: U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), U.S. Coast Guard (USCG), and U.S. Secret Service (USSS)....

"This report provides an overview of DHS IE both at headquarters and within the components. It examines how DHS IE is organized and supports key departmental activities to include homeland security analysis and threat warning; border security; critical infrastructure protection; and support to, and the sharing of information with, state, local, tribal, and private sector partners. It also discusses several oversight challenges and options for Congress to consider on these issues."

Best, Richard A., Jr., and Jennifer K. Elsea. Satellite Surveillance: Domestic Issues. Washington, DC: Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress, 13 Jan. 2011. Available at:

"This report provides background on the development of intelligence satellites and identifies the roles various agencies play in their management and use. Issues surrounding the current policy and proposed changes are discussed.... There follows a discussion of legal considerations, including whether satellite reconnaissance might constitute a 'search' within the meaning of the Fourth Amendment; an overview of statutory authorities, as well as restrictions that might apply; and a brief description of executive branch authorities and Department of Defense directives that might apply. The report concludes by discussing policy issues Congress may consider as it deliberates the potential advantages and pitfalls that may be encountered in expanding the role of satellite intelligence for homeland security purposes."

Smith, R. Jeffrey. "Homeland Security Department Curtails Home-Grown Terror Analysis." Washington Post, 7 Jun. 2011. []

According to current and former department officials, DHS "has stepped back for the past two years from conducting its own intelligence and analysis of home-grown extremism.... The decision to reduce the department's role was provoked by conservative criticism of an intelligence report on 'Rightwing Extremism' issued four months into the Obama administration.... In the two years since, the officials said, the analytical unit that produced that report has been effectively eviscerated." A senior DHS official said "that the FBI -- not DHS -- is 'the primary lead for the federal government' on domestic terrorism."

Censer, Marjorie. "General Dynamics Takes Back Fought-Over DHS Project." Washington Post, 12 Jun. 2011. []

The GSA has announced that General Dynamics has won out over Northrop Grumman for "a much-contested contract to design and implement the information technology infrastructure" at DHS's new headquarters. However, "the program's value has been significantly trimmed" from 10 years and $2.63 billion to 7 years and $876 million.

Kessler, Ronald. "Secret Service Agents Are Not Polygraphed." Newsmax, 7 May 2012. []

"To become a Secret Service agent, applicants must pass a polygraph exam. But after being hired, agents are never required to undergo regular lie detector testing again." In addition, "after initial training, the Secret Service's 3,400 agents receive no annual in-service instruction. Training in security is limited to a minimal online update.... The same lackadaisical attitude applies to firearms training and physical fitness requirements."

Aftergood, Steven. "DHS Seeks Increase in Domestic HUMINT Collection." Secrecy News, 6 Apr. 2015. []

The Department of Homeland Security "recently told Congress" that it "aims to increase its domestic human intelligence collection activity this year.... Human intelligence collection in this context does not necessarily mean that the Department is running spies under cover. According to a 2009 report from the Congressional Research Service (footnote 38), “For purposes of DHS intelligence collection, HUMINT is used to refer to overt collection of information and intelligence from human sources."

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