United States Department of Homeland Security

United States Department of Homeland Security

Overview
The United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is a cabinet
United States Cabinet
The Cabinet of the United States is composed of the most senior appointed officers of the executive branch of the federal government of the United States, which are generally the heads of the federal executive departments...

 department
United States Federal Executive Departments
The United States federal executive departments are among the oldest primary units of the executive branch of the federal government of the United States—the Departments of State, War, and the Treasury all being established within a few weeks of each other in 1789.Federal executive...

 of the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 federal government
Federal government of the United States
The federal government of the United States is the national government of the constitutional republic of fifty states that is the United States of America. The federal government comprises three distinct branches of government: a legislative, an executive and a judiciary. These branches and...

, created in response to the September 11 attacks, and with the primary responsibilities of protecting the territory of the United States and protectorates from and responding to terrorist attacks
Terrorism
Terrorism is the systematic use of terror, especially as a means of coercion. In the international community, however, terrorism has no universally agreed, legally binding, criminal law definition...

, man-made accident
Accident
An accident or mishap is an unforeseen and unplanned event or circumstance, often with lack of intention or necessity. It implies a generally negative outcome which may have been avoided or prevented had circumstances leading up to the accident been recognized, and acted upon, prior to its...

s, and natural disaster
Natural disaster
A natural disaster is the effect of a natural hazard . It leads to financial, environmental or human losses...

s. In fiscal year 2011 it was allocated a budget of $98.8 billion and spent, net, $66.4 billion.

Whereas the Department of Defense
United States Department of Defense
The United States Department of Defense is the U.S...

 is charged with military
Military
A military is an organization authorized by its greater society to use lethal force, usually including use of weapons, in defending its country by combating actual or perceived threats. The military may have additional functions of use to its greater society, such as advancing a political agenda e.g...

 actions abroad, the Department of Homeland Security works in the civilian sphere to protect the United States within, at, and outside its borders.
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Unanswered Questions
Encyclopedia
The United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is a cabinet
United States Cabinet
The Cabinet of the United States is composed of the most senior appointed officers of the executive branch of the federal government of the United States, which are generally the heads of the federal executive departments...

 department
United States Federal Executive Departments
The United States federal executive departments are among the oldest primary units of the executive branch of the federal government of the United States—the Departments of State, War, and the Treasury all being established within a few weeks of each other in 1789.Federal executive...

 of the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 federal government
Federal government of the United States
The federal government of the United States is the national government of the constitutional republic of fifty states that is the United States of America. The federal government comprises three distinct branches of government: a legislative, an executive and a judiciary. These branches and...

, created in response to the September 11 attacks, and with the primary responsibilities of protecting the territory of the United States and protectorates from and responding to terrorist attacks
Terrorism
Terrorism is the systematic use of terror, especially as a means of coercion. In the international community, however, terrorism has no universally agreed, legally binding, criminal law definition...

, man-made accident
Accident
An accident or mishap is an unforeseen and unplanned event or circumstance, often with lack of intention or necessity. It implies a generally negative outcome which may have been avoided or prevented had circumstances leading up to the accident been recognized, and acted upon, prior to its...

s, and natural disaster
Natural disaster
A natural disaster is the effect of a natural hazard . It leads to financial, environmental or human losses...

s. In fiscal year 2011 it was allocated a budget of $98.8 billion and spent, net, $66.4 billion.

Whereas the Department of Defense
United States Department of Defense
The United States Department of Defense is the U.S...

 is charged with military
Military
A military is an organization authorized by its greater society to use lethal force, usually including use of weapons, in defending its country by combating actual or perceived threats. The military may have additional functions of use to its greater society, such as advancing a political agenda e.g...

 actions abroad, the Department of Homeland Security works in the civilian sphere to protect the United States within, at, and outside its borders. Its stated goal is to prepare for, prevent, and respond to domestic emergencies, particularly terrorism. On March 1, 2003, DHS absorbed the Immigration and Naturalization Service
Immigration and Naturalization Service
The United States Immigration and Naturalization Service , now referred to as Legacy INS, ceased to exist under that name on March 1, 2003, when most of its functions were transferred from the Department of Justice to three new components within the newly created Department of Homeland Security, as...

 and assumed its duties. In doing so, it divided the enforcement and services functions into two separate and new agencies: Immigration and Customs Enforcement
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement is a federal law enforcement agency under the United States Department of Homeland Security , responsible for identifying, investigating, and dismantling vulnerabilities regarding the nation's border, economic, transportation, and infrastructure security...

 and Citizenship and Immigration Services
United States Citizenship and Immigration Services
United States Citizenship and Immigration Services is a component of the United States Department of Homeland Security . It performs many administrative functions formerly carried out by the legacy United States Immigration and Naturalization Service , which was part of the Department of Justice...

. The investigative divisions and intelligence gathering units of the INS and Customs Service were merged together forming Homeland Security Investigations. Additionally, the border enforcement functions of the INS, including the U.S. Border Patrol, the U.S. Customs Service
United States Customs Service
Until March 2003, the United States Customs Service was an agency of the U.S. federal government that collected import tariffs and performed other selected border security duties.Before it was rolled into form part of the U.S...

, and the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service
Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service
Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service is an agency of the United States Department of Agriculture responsible for protecting animal health, animal welfare, and plant health. APHIS is the lead agency for collaboration with other agencies to protect U.S. agriculture from invasive pests and...

 were consolidated into a new agency under DHS: U.S. Customs and Border Protection
U.S. Customs and Border Protection
U.S. Customs and Border Protection is a federal law enforcement agency of the United States Department of Homeland Security charged with regulating and facilitating international trade, collecting import duties, and enforcing U.S. regulations, including trade, customs and immigration. CBP is the...

. The Federal Protective Service falls under the National Protection and Programs Directorate.

With more than 200,000 employees, DHS is the third largest Cabinet
United States Cabinet
The Cabinet of the United States is composed of the most senior appointed officers of the executive branch of the federal government of the United States, which are generally the heads of the federal executive departments...

 department, after the Departments of Defense
United States Department of Defense
The United States Department of Defense is the U.S...

 and Veterans Affairs
United States Department of Veterans Affairs
The United States Department of Veterans Affairs is a government-run military veteran benefit system with Cabinet-level status. It is the United States government’s second largest department, after the United States Department of Defense...

. Homeland security
Homeland security
Homeland security is an umbrella term for security efforts to protect states against terrorist activity. Specifically, is a concerted national effort to prevent terrorist attacks within the U.S., reduce America’s vulnerability to terrorism, and minimize the damage and recover from attacks that do...

 policy is coordinated at the White House
White House
The White House is the official residence and principal workplace of the president of the United States. Located at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW in Washington, D.C., the house was designed by Irish-born James Hoban, and built between 1792 and 1800 of white-painted Aquia sandstone in the Neoclassical...

 by the Homeland Security Council
Homeland Security Council
The Homeland Security Council is an entity within the White House Office tasked with advising the President on matters relating to Homeland Security...

. Other agencies with significant homeland security responsibilities include the Departments of Health and Human Services
United States Department of Health and Human Services
The United States Department of Health and Human Services is a Cabinet department of the United States government with the goal of protecting the health of all Americans and providing essential human services. Its motto is "Improving the health, safety, and well-being of America"...

, Justice
United States Department of Justice
The United States Department of Justice , is the United States federal executive department responsible for the enforcement of the law and administration of justice, equivalent to the justice or interior ministries of other countries.The Department is led by the Attorney General, who is nominated...

, and Energy
United States Department of Energy
The United States Department of Energy is a Cabinet-level department of the United States government concerned with the United States' policies regarding energy and safety in handling nuclear material...

.

According to the Homeland Security Research Corporation, the combined financial year 2010 state and local HLS markets, which employ more than 2.2 million first responders, totaled $16.5 billion, whereas the DHS HLS market totaled $13 billion. According to the Washington Post, "DHS has given $31 billion in grants since 2003 to state and local governments for homeland security and to improve their ability to find and protect against terrorists
Terrorism
Terrorism is the systematic use of terror, especially as a means of coercion. In the international community, however, terrorism has no universally agreed, legally binding, criminal law definition...

, including $3.8 billion in 2010."

According to Peter Andreas, a border theorist, the creation of DHS constituted the most significant government reorganization since the Cold War, and the most substantial reorganization of federal agencies since the National Security Act of 1947
National Security Act of 1947
The National Security Act of 1947 was signed by United States President Harry S. Truman on July 26, 1947, and realigned and reorganized the U.S. Armed Forces, foreign policy, and Intelligence Community apparatus in the aftermath of World War II...

, which placed the different military
United States armed forces
The United States Armed Forces are the military forces of the United States. They consist of the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, and Coast Guard.The United States has a strong tradition of civilian control of the military...

 departments under a secretary of defense
United States Secretary of Defense
The Secretary of Defense is the head and chief executive officer of the Department of Defense of the United States of America. This position corresponds to what is generally known as a Defense Minister in other countries...

 and created the National Security Council
United States National Security Council
The White House National Security Council in the United States is the principal forum used by the President of the United States for considering national security and foreign policy matters with his senior national security advisors and Cabinet officials and is part of the Executive Office of the...

 and Central Intelligence Agency
Central Intelligence Agency
The Central Intelligence Agency is a civilian intelligence agency of the United States government. It is an executive agency and reports directly to the Director of National Intelligence, responsible for providing national security intelligence assessment to senior United States policymakers...

. DHS also constitutes the most diverse merger of federal functions and responsibilities, incorporating 22 government agencies into a single organization.

Structure



The Department of Homeland Security is headed by the Secretary of Homeland Security
United States Secretary of Homeland Security
The United States Secretary of Homeland Security is the head of the United States Department of Homeland Security, the body concerned with protecting the American homeland and the safety of American citizens. The Secretary is a member of the President's Cabinet. The position was created by the...

 with the assistance of the Deputy Secretary
United States Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security
The Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security is the chief operating officer of the United States Department of Homeland Security. In this role, the Deputy Secretary serves as Department of Homeland Security's chief operating officer, with responsibility for managing day-to-day operations...

. The Department contains the components listed below. Not all subcomponents are listed; see the linked articles for more details.

Agencies:
  • United States Citizenship and Immigration Services
    United States Citizenship and Immigration Services
    United States Citizenship and Immigration Services is a component of the United States Department of Homeland Security . It performs many administrative functions formerly carried out by the legacy United States Immigration and Naturalization Service , which was part of the Department of Justice...

    : Processes and examines citizenship, residency, and asylum requests from aliens.
  • U.S. Customs and Border Protection
    U.S. Customs and Border Protection
    U.S. Customs and Border Protection is a federal law enforcement agency of the United States Department of Homeland Security charged with regulating and facilitating international trade, collecting import duties, and enforcing U.S. regulations, including trade, customs and immigration. CBP is the...

    : Law enforcement agency that enforces U.S. laws along its international borders (air, land, and sea) including its enforcement of U.S. immigration, customs, and agriculture laws while at and patrolling between all U.S. ports-of-entry.
  • U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement
    U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement
    U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement is a federal law enforcement agency under the United States Department of Homeland Security , responsible for identifying, investigating, and dismantling vulnerabilities regarding the nation's border, economic, transportation, and infrastructure security...

    : Law enforcement agency divided into two bureaus:
  1. An agency that enforces U.S. laws while it investigates and gathers intelligence on national and international criminal activities that threaten the security of the homeland (Homeland Security Investigations); and
  2. An agency that investigates violations of the Immigration and Nationality Act and enforces the detention, deportation and removal of violators of United States immigration law (Enforcement and Removal Operations).
    • Transportation Security Administration
      Transportation Security Administration
      The Transportation Security Administration is an agency of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security that exercises authority over the safety and security of the traveling public in the United States....

      : Responsible for aviation security (domestic and international, most notably conducting passenger screenings at airports), as well as land and water transportation security
    • United States Coast Guard
      United States Coast Guard
      The United States Coast Guard is a branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the seven U.S. uniformed services. The Coast Guard is a maritime, military, multi-mission service unique among the military branches for having a maritime law enforcement mission and a federal regulatory agency...

      : Military service responsible for law enforcement, maritime security, national defense, maritime mobility, and protection of natural resources.
    • United States Secret Service
      United States Secret Service
      The United States Secret Service is a United States federal law enforcement agency that is part of the United States Department of Homeland Security. The sworn members are divided among the Special Agents and the Uniformed Division. Until March 1, 2003, the Service was part of the United States...

      : Law enforcement agency that investigates threats against and provides protective services for the President and Vice President of the United States and their immediate families as well as other important governmental officials. It also investigates crimes against the U.S. monetary system including the crime of counterfeiting U.S. currency and other financial instruments.
    • Federal Emergency Management Agency
      Federal Emergency Management Agency
      The Federal Emergency Management Agency is an agency of the United States Department of Homeland Security, initially created by Presidential Reorganization Plan No. 1 of 1978 and implemented by two Executive Orders...

      : agency that oversees the federal government's response to natural disasters like earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, forest fires, etc.


(Passports for U.S. citizens are issued by the United States Department of State
United States Department of State
The United States Department of State , is the United States federal executive department responsible for international relations of the United States, equivalent to the foreign ministries of other countries...

, not the Department of Homeland Security.)

Advisory groups:
  • Homeland Security Advisory Council
    Homeland Security Advisory Council
    The Homeland Security Advisory Council is part of the Executive Office of the President. It was created by an Executive Order on March 19, 2002.-Council Members:* William H. Webster , Partner, Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy, LLP...

    : State and local government, first responders, private sector, and academics
  • National Infrastructure Advisory Council: Advises on security of public and private information systems
  • Homeland Security Science and Technology Advisory Committee: Advise the Under Secretary for Science and Technology.
  • Critical Infrastructure Partnership Advisory Council: Coordinate infrastructure protection with private sector and other levels of government
  • Interagency Coordinating Council on Emergency Preparedness and Individuals with Disabilities
  • Task Force on New Americans
    Task Force on New Americans
    Created in June 2006 by President of the United States George W. Bush, the Task Force on New Americans is an interagency initiative to help immigrants learn English, embrace the common core of American civic culture, and fully become American. Established within the Department of Homeland Security,...

    : "An inter-agency effort to help immigrants learn English, embrace the common core of American civic culture, and become fully American."


Other components:
  • Domestic Nuclear Detection Office: Develop nuclear threat detection capabilities at all levels of government and in the private sector
  • Federal Law Enforcement Training Center
    Federal Law Enforcement Training Center
    The Federal Law Enforcement Training Center serves as an interagency law enforcement training organization for 90 United States government federal law enforcement agencies.-Location:...

    : Interagency law enforcement training facilities located in Georgia, New Mexico, and South Carolina.
  • National Protection and Programs Directorate: risk-reduction, encompassing both physical and virtual threats and their associated human elements.
    • Federal Protective Service: Federal law enforcement and security agency that protects and investigates crimes against U.S. federal buildings, properties, assets, and federal government interests.
    • National Communications System
      National Communications System
      The National Communications System is an office within the United States Department of Homeland Security charged with enabling national security and emergency preparedness communications using the national telecommunications system.-Background and history:The genesis of the NCS began in 1962...

  • Directorate for Science and Technology
    Under Secretary of Homeland Security for Science and Technology
    The Science and Technology Directorate is the research and development arm of the United States Department of Homeland Security.-Leadership:The Science and Technology Directorate is led by the Under Secretary for Science and Technology...

    : Research and development
  • Directorate for Management
    Under Secretary of Homeland Security for Management
    The Under Secretary for Management is a position within the United States Department of Homeland Security responsible for all the department's budget, appropriations, expenditure of funds, accounting and finance; procurement; human resources and personnel; information technology systems;...

    : Responsible for internal budgets, accounting, performance monitoring, and human resources
  • Office of Policy: Long-range policy planning and coordination
    • Office of Immigration Statistics
      Office of Immigration Statistics
      The Office of Immigration Statistics is an agency of the United States Department of Homeland Security under the Under Secretary of Homeland Security for Policy.-Mission:...

  • Office of Health Affairs: Medical preparedness
  • Office of Intelligence and Analysis
    Under Secretary of Homeland Security for Intelligence and Analysis
    The Under Secretary of Homeland Security for Intelligence and Analysis is a position within the United States Department of Homeland Security. The Under Secretary for Intelligence and Analysis is responsible for fusing law enforcement and intelligence information relating to terrorist threats...

    : Identify and assess threats based on intelligence from various agencies
  • Office of Operations Coordination
    Office of Operations Coordination
    The Office of Operations Coordination and Planning is a component of the headquarters of the United States Department of Homeland Security. It is designed to provide situational awareness and decision support for the Secretary of Homeland Security, and other key officials, during a crisis...

    : Monitor domestic security situation on a daily basis, coordinate activities with state and local authorities and private sector infrastructure
  • Office of the Secretary includes the Privacy Office
    Privacy Office of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security
    - Privacy Office Overview :Created by Congress in 2002, the DHS Privacy Office is the first statutorily required privacy office in any federal agency, whose mission is to preserve and enhance privacy protections for all individuals, to promote the transparency of Department of Homeland Security ...

    , Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, Office of Inspector General
    Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General
    -Purpose:The United States Congress enacted the Inspector General Act of 1978 to ensure integrity and efficiency in government. The Homeland Security Act of 2002, as amended, established an Office of Inspector General in the Department of Homeland Security...

    , Citizenship and Immigration Services Ombudsman, Office of Legislative Affairs
    Office of Legislative Affairs
    The Office of Legislative Affairs is a division within the United States Department of Justice. Its responsibility is for the development and implementation of strategies to advance the Department's legislative initiatives and other interests relating to Congress....

    , Office of the General Counsel, Office of Public Affairs
    Office of Public Affairs
    The NASA Office of Public Affairs is tasked with media and public relations. Its mission is to "provide for the widest practicable and appropriate dissemination of information to the media and general public concerning NASA activities and results" The function was created in the National...

    , Office of Counternarcotics Enforcement (CNE), Office of the Executive Secretariat (ESEC), and the Military Advisor's Office.
  • National Cyber Security Center
    National Cyber Security Center
    The National Cybersecurity Center is an office within the United States Department of Homeland Security created in March 2008, and is based on the requirements of National Security Presidential Directive 54/Homeland Security Presidential Directive 23 , reporting directly to DHS Secretary Janet...


Nomenclature


In an August 5, 2002 speech, President Bush said: "We're fighting ... to secure freedom in the homeland." Prior to the creation of DHS, American presidents had referred to the U.S. as "the nation" or "the republic", and to its internal policies as "domestic". Also unprecedented was the use, from 2002, of the phrase "the homeland" by White House spokespeople. The choice of this phrase raised questions regarding the self-image of the USA.

Expenditures


In the United States Federal Budget for 2010
2010 United States federal budget
The United States Federal Budget for Fiscal Year 2010, titled A New Era of Responsibility: Renewing America's Promise, is a spending request by President Barack Obama to fund government operations for October 2009–September 2010...

, entitled 'A New Era of Responsibility', the DHS was allocated a discretionary budget of $42.7 billion (financial year 2009: $40.1 billion). The end-of-year
DHS Annual Financial Report for financial year 2010 showed a net cost of operations of $56.4 billion (FY 2009, restated: $49.9 billion), out of total budgetary resources of $83.2 billion (FY 2009, restated: $85.2 billion). The components with the highest net cost were US Coast Guard ($12.1 billion), U.S. Customs and Border Protection ($11.6 billion), and Federal Emergency Management Agency ($10.5 billion). Revenues of $10.4 billion were generated in the year (FY 2009, restated: $9.8 billion).

Audit of expenditures


The DHS independent auditor
Auditor independence
Auditor independence refers to the independence of the internal auditor or of the external auditor from parties that may have a financial interest in the business being audited.Independence requires integrity and an objective approach to the audit process...

 is KPMG
KPMG
KPMG is one of the largest professional services networks in the world and one of the Big Four auditors, along with Deloitte, Ernst & Young and PwC. Its global headquarters is located in Amstelveen, Netherlands....

, one of the Big Four audit firms. Due to the level of material weaknesses identified, KPMG were unable to audit
Audit
The general definition of an audit is an evaluation of a person, organization, system, process, enterprise, project or product. The term most commonly refers to audits in accounting, but similar concepts also exist in project management, quality management, and energy conservation.- Accounting...

 the DHS financial statements
Financial statements
A financial statement is a formal record of the financial activities of a business, person, or other entity. In British English—including United Kingdom company law—a financial statement is often referred to as an account, although the term financial statement is also used, particularly by...

 for FY 2010. KPMG were unable to express an audit opinion on the FY 2009, FY 2008, FY 2007, FY 2005, and FY 2003 financial statements. Attempts to access the reports for FY 2006 and FY 2004 within the 'information for citizens' portal met with a 404 error. The Message from the DHS Chief Financial Officer in the FY 2010 report states 'This Annual Financial Report (AFR) is our principal financial statement of accountability to the President, Congress and the American public. The AFR gives a comprehensive view of the Department’s financial activities and demonstrates the Department’s stewardship of taxpayer dollars.' The Message from the DHS Chief Financial Officer concludes 'I am extremely proud of the Department’s accomplishments ... we will continue to build upon our successes.' The Secretary of Homeland Security endorsed this message saying that the DHS is 'continuing to be responsible stewards of taxpayer resources. The scope of our mission is broad, challenging, and vital to the security of the Nation ... Thank you for your partnership and collaboration. Yours very truly, Janet Napolitano
Janet Napolitano
Janet Napolitano is the third and current United States Secretary of Homeland Security, serving in the administration of President Barack Obama. She is the fourth person to hold the position, which was created after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. A member of the Democratic Party, she was the 21st...

.'

Homeland Security Advisory System



On March 12, 2002, the Homeland Security Advisory System
Homeland Security Advisory System
In the United States, the Homeland Security Advisory System was a color-coded terrorism threat advisory scale. The different levels trigger specific actions by federal agencies and state and local governments, and they affect the level of security at some airports and other public facilities. It...

, a color-coded terrorism risk advisory scale, was created as the result of a Presidential Directive
Presidential directive
Presidential Directives, better known as Presidential Decision Directives or PDD are a form of an executive order issued by the President of the United States with the advice and consent of the National Security Council...

 to provide a "comprehensive and effective means to disseminate information regarding the risk of terrorist acts to Federal, State, and local authorities and to the American people." Many procedures at government facilities are tied in to the alert level; for example a facility may search all entering vehicles when the alert is above a certain level. Since January 2003, it has been administered in coordination with DHS; it has also been the target of frequent jokes and ridicule on the part of the administration's detractors about its ineffectiveness. After resigning, Tom Ridge stated that he did not always agree with the threat level adjustments pushed by other government agencies.

In January 2003, the office was merged into the Department of Homeland Security and the White House Homeland Security Council, both of which were created by the Homeland Security Act of 2002. The Homeland Security Council, similar in nature to the National Security Council, retains a policy coordination and advisory role and is led by the Assistant to the President for Homeland Security.

As of January 13, 2011 the DHS advised the American public of an 'elevated national threat' level, recommending that all Americans 'should establish an emergency preparedness kit and emergency plan for themselves and their family, and stay informed about what to do during an emergency'.

Creation



In response to the September 11 attacks, President George W. Bush
George W. Bush
George Walker Bush is an American politician who served as the 43rd President of the United States, from 2001 to 2009. Before that, he was the 46th Governor of Texas, having served from 1995 to 2000....

 announced the establishment of the Office of Homeland Security (OHS) to coordinate "homeland security" efforts. The office was headed by former Pennsylvania Governor Tom Ridge
Tom Ridge
Thomas Joseph "Tom" Ridge is an American politician who served as a member of the United States House of Representatives , the 43rd Governor of Pennsylvania , Assistant to the President for Homeland Security , and the first United States Secretary of Homeland Security...

, who assumed the title of Assistant to the President for Homeland Security. The official announcement stated:
Ridge began his duties as OHS director on October 8, 2001.

The Department of Homeland Security was established on November 25, 2002, by the Homeland Security Act
Homeland Security Act
The Homeland Security Act of 2002, , 116 Stat. 2135 was introduced in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks and subsequent mailings of anthrax spores. The HSA was cosponsored by 118 members of Congress. It was signed into law by President George W...

 of 2002. It was intended to consolidate U.S. executive branch organizations related to "homeland security
Homeland security
Homeland security is an umbrella term for security efforts to protect states against terrorist activity. Specifically, is a concerted national effort to prevent terrorist attacks within the U.S., reduce America’s vulnerability to terrorism, and minimize the damage and recover from attacks that do...

" into a single Cabinet agency. The following 22 agencies were incorporated into the new department:

Original Agency Original Department Current Agency or Office
U.S. Customs Service  Treasury
United States Department of the Treasury
The Department of the Treasury is an executive department and the treasury of the United States federal government. It was established by an Act of Congress in 1789 to manage government revenue...

 
U.S. Customs and Border Protection
U.S. Customs and Border Protection
U.S. Customs and Border Protection is a federal law enforcement agency of the United States Department of Homeland Security charged with regulating and facilitating international trade, collecting import duties, and enforcing U.S. regulations, including trade, customs and immigration. CBP is the...



U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement is a federal law enforcement agency under the United States Department of Homeland Security , responsible for identifying, investigating, and dismantling vulnerabilities regarding the nation's border, economic, transportation, and infrastructure security...

Immigration and Naturalization Service
Immigration and Naturalization Service
The United States Immigration and Naturalization Service , now referred to as Legacy INS, ceased to exist under that name on March 1, 2003, when most of its functions were transferred from the Department of Justice to three new components within the newly created Department of Homeland Security, as...

 
Justice
United States Department of Justice
The United States Department of Justice , is the United States federal executive department responsible for the enforcement of the law and administration of justice, equivalent to the justice or interior ministries of other countries.The Department is led by the Attorney General, who is nominated...

 
U.S. Customs and Border Protection

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
United States Citizenship and Immigration Services
United States Citizenship and Immigration Services is a component of the United States Department of Homeland Security . It performs many administrative functions formerly carried out by the legacy United States Immigration and Naturalization Service , which was part of the Department of Justice...

Federal Protective Service  General Services Administration
General Services Administration
The General Services Administration is an independent agency of the United States government, established in 1949 to help manage and support the basic functioning of federal agencies. The GSA supplies products and communications for U.S...

 
Infrastructure Protection and Security Directorate
Transportation Security Administration
Transportation Security Administration
The Transportation Security Administration is an agency of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security that exercises authority over the safety and security of the traveling public in the United States....

 
Transportation
United States Department of Transportation
The United States Department of Transportation is a federal Cabinet department of the United States government concerned with transportation. It was established by an act of Congress on October 15, 1966, and began operation on April 1, 1967...

 
Transportation Security Administration
Federal Law Enforcement Training Center
Federal Law Enforcement Training Center
The Federal Law Enforcement Training Center serves as an interagency law enforcement training organization for 90 United States government federal law enforcement agencies.-Location:...

 
Treasury Federal Law Enforcement Training Center
Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service
Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service
Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service is an agency of the United States Department of Agriculture responsible for protecting animal health, animal welfare, and plant health. APHIS is the lead agency for collaboration with other agencies to protect U.S. agriculture from invasive pests and...


(part)
Agriculture
United States Department of Agriculture
The United States Department of Agriculture is the United States federal executive department responsible for developing and executing U.S. federal government policy on farming, agriculture, and food...

 
U.S. Customs and Border Protection
Office for Domestic Preparedness  Justice Responsibilities distributed within FEMA
Federal Emergency Management Agency
Federal Emergency Management Agency
The Federal Emergency Management Agency is an agency of the United States Department of Homeland Security, initially created by Presidential Reorganization Plan No. 1 of 1978 and implemented by two Executive Orders...

 
none Federal Emergency Management Agency
Strategic National Stockpile
Strategic National Stockpile
The Strategic National Stockpile is the United States' national repository of antibiotics, vaccines, chemical antidotes, antitoxins and other critical medical equipment and supplies...


National Disaster Medical System
National Disaster Medical System
The National Disaster Medical System is a section of the United States Department of Health and Human Services responsible for managing Federal government's medical response to major emergencies and disasters....

 
Health and Human Services
United States Department of Health and Human Services
The United States Department of Health and Human Services is a Cabinet department of the United States government with the goal of protecting the health of all Americans and providing essential human services. Its motto is "Improving the health, safety, and well-being of America"...

 
Returned to HHS, July, 2004
Nuclear Incident Response Team  Energy
United States Department of Energy
The United States Department of Energy is a Cabinet-level department of the United States government concerned with the United States' policies regarding energy and safety in handling nuclear material...

 
Responsibilities distributed within FEMA
Domestic Emergency Support Teams  Justice Responsibilities distributed within FEMA
National Domestic Preparedness Office  FBI
Federal Bureau of Investigation
The Federal Bureau of Investigation is an agency of the United States Department of Justice that serves as both a federal criminal investigative body and an internal intelligence agency . The FBI has investigative jurisdiction over violations of more than 200 categories of federal crime...

 
Responsibilities distributed within FEMA
CBRN Countermeasures Programs  Energy Science & Technology Directorate
Environmental Measurements Laboratory
Environmental Measurements Laboratory
The Environmental Measurements Laboratory is the former name of the current National Urban Security Technology Laboratory , a United States government-owned, government-operated laboratory. NUSTL is part of the Science and Technology Directorate of the Department of Homeland Security...

 
Energy Science & Technology Directorate
National Biological Warfare
Defense Analysis Center
Defense
United States Department of Defense
The United States Department of Defense is the U.S...

 
Science & Technology Directorate
Plum Island Animal Disease Center
Plum Island Animal Disease Center
Plum Island Animal Disease Center is a United States federal research facility dedicated to the study of animal diseases. It is part of the DHS Directorate for Science and Technology....

 
Agriculture Science & Technology Directorate
Federal Computer Incident Response Center  General Services Administration US-CERT, Office of Cybersecurity and Communications
National Programs and Predaredness Directorate
National Communications System
National Communications System
The National Communications System is an office within the United States Department of Homeland Security charged with enabling national security and emergency preparedness communications using the national telecommunications system.-Background and history:The genesis of the NCS began in 1962...

 
Defense Office of Cybersecurity and Communications
National Programs and Predaredness Directorate
National Infrastructure Protection Center  FBI Office of Operations Coodination
Office of Infrastructure Protection
Energy Security and Assurance Program  Energy Office of Infrastructure Protection
U.S. Coast Guard  Transportation U.S. Coast Guard
U.S. Secret Service  Treasury U.S. Secret Service


Prior to the signing of the bill, controversy about its adoption centered on whether the Federal Bureau of Investigation
Federal Bureau of Investigation
The Federal Bureau of Investigation is an agency of the United States Department of Justice that serves as both a federal criminal investigative body and an internal intelligence agency . The FBI has investigative jurisdiction over violations of more than 200 categories of federal crime...

 and the Central Intelligence Agency
Central Intelligence Agency
The Central Intelligence Agency is a civilian intelligence agency of the United States government. It is an executive agency and reports directly to the Director of National Intelligence, responsible for providing national security intelligence assessment to senior United States policymakers...

 should be incorporated in part or in whole (neither were included). The bill itself was also controversial for the presence of unrelated "riders
Rider (legislation)
In legislative procedure, a rider is an additional provision added to a bill or other measure under the consideration by a legislature, having little connection with the subject matter of the bill. Riders are usually created as a tactic to pass a controversial provision that would not pass as its...

", as well as for eliminating certain union-friendly civil service
Civil service
The term civil service has two distinct meanings:* A branch of governmental service in which individuals are employed on the basis of professional merit as proven by competitive examinations....

 and labor protections for department employees. Without these protections, employees could be expeditiously reassigned or dismissed on grounds of security, incompetence or insubordination, and DHS would not be required to notify their union representatives.

The plan stripped 180,000 government employees of their union rights. In 2002, Bush officials argued that the September 11 attacks made the proposed elimination of employee protections imperative.

Congress
United States Congress
The United States Congress is the bicameral legislature of the federal government of the United States, consisting of the Senate and the House of Representatives. The Congress meets in the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C....

 ultimately passed the Homeland Security Act of 2002 without the union-friendly measures, and President Bush signed the bill into law on November 25, 2002. It was the largest U.S. government reorganization in the 50 years since the United States Department of Defense was created.

Tom Ridge was named secretary on January 24, 2003 and began naming his chief deputies. DHS officially began operations on January 24, 2003, but most of the department's component agencies were not transferred into the new Department until March 1.
After establishing the basic structure of DHS and working to integrate its components and get the department functioning, Ridge announced his resignation on November 30, 2004, following the re-election of President Bush. Bush initially nominated former New York City Police Department
New York City Police Department
The New York City Police Department , established in 1845, is currently the largest municipal police force in the United States, with primary responsibilities in law enforcement and investigation within the five boroughs of New York City...

 commissioner Bernard Kerik
Bernard Kerik
Bernard Bailey "Bernie" Kerik is a former New York City Police Commissioner, Secretary of Homeland Security nominee, and now a federal felon. Kerik was New York City Police Commissioner from 2000 to 2001, under Mayor Rudy Giuliani. In December 2004, President George W. Bush nominated Kerik as...

 as his successor, but on December 10, Kerik withdrew his nomination, citing personal reasons and saying it "would not be in the best interests" of the country for him to pursue the post. On January 11, 2005, President Bush nominated federal judge Michael Chertoff
Michael Chertoff
Michael Chertoff was the second United States Secretary of Homeland Security under President George W. Bush and co-author of the USA PATRIOT Act. He previously served as a judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, as a federal prosecutor, and as assistant U.S. Attorney...

 to succeed Ridge. Chertoff was confirmed on February 15, 2005, by a vote of 98–0 in the U.S. Senate
United States Senate
The United States Senate is the upper house of the bicameral legislature of the United States, and together with the United States House of Representatives comprises the United States Congress. The composition and powers of the Senate are established in Article One of the U.S. Constitution. Each...

. He was sworn in the same day.

In February 2005, DHS and the Office of Personnel Management
Office of Personnel Management
The United States Office of Personnel Management is an independent agency of the United States government that manages the civil service of the federal government. The current Director is John Berry.-History:...

 issued rules relating to employee pay and discipline for a new personnel system named MaxHR. The Washington Post
The Washington Post
The Washington Post is Washington, D.C.'s largest newspaper and its oldest still-existing paper, founded in 1877. Located in the capital of the United States, The Post has a particular emphasis on national politics. D.C., Maryland, and Virginia editions are printed for daily circulation...

said that the rules would allow DHS "to override any provision in a union contract by issuing a department-wide directive" and would make it "difficult, if not impossible, for unions to negotiate over arrangements for staffing, deployments, technology and other workplace matters."

In August 2005, U.S. District Judge Rosemary M. Collyer blocked the plan on the grounds that it did not ensure collective-bargaining rights for DHS employees.

A federal appeals court ruled against DHS in 2006; pending a final resolution to the litigation, Congress's fiscal year 2008 appropriations bill for DHS provided no funding for the proposed new personnel system.
DHS announced in early 2007 that it was retooling its pay and performance system and retiring the name "MaxHR".

In a February 2008 court filing, DHS said that it would no longer pursue the new rules, and that it would abide by the existing civil service labor-management procedures. A federal court issued an order closing the case.

Seal



A DHS press release dated June 6, 2003 explains the seal as follows:

The seal was developed with input from senior DHS leadership, employees, and the U.S. Commission on Fine Arts. The Ad Council
Ad Council
The Advertising Council, commonly known as the Ad Council, is an American non-profit organization that distributes public service announcements on behalf of various sponsors, including non-profit organizations and agencies of the United States government....

 – which partners with DHS on its Ready.gov campaign – and the consulting company Landor Associates were responsible for graphic design and maintaining heraldic integrity.

Headquarters


Since its inception, the department has had its temporary headquarters in Washington, D.C.'s Nebraska Avenue Complex, a former naval facility. The 38 acres (15.4 ha) site, across from American University
American University
American University is a private, Methodist, liberal arts, and research university in Washington, D.C. The university was chartered by an Act of Congress on December 5, 1892 as "The American University", which was approved by President Benjamin Harrison on February 24, 1893...

, has 32 buildings comprising 566000 square feet (52,583.1 m²) of administrative space. In early 2007, the Department submitted a $4.1 billion plan to Congress to consolidate its 60-plus Washington-area offices into a single headquarters complex at the St. Elizabeths Hospital
St. Elizabeths Hospital
St. Elizabeths Hospital is a psychiatric hospital operated by the District of Columbia Department of Mental Health. It was the first large-scale, federally-run psychiatric hospital in the United States. Housing several thousand patients at its peak, St. Elizabeths had a fully functioning...

 campus in Anacostia
Anacostia
Anacostia is a historic neighborhood in Washington, D.C. Its historic downtown is located at the intersection of Good Hope Road and Martin Luther King, Jr. Avenue It is the most famous neighborhood in the Southeast quadrant of Washington, located east of the Anacostia River, after which the...

, Southeast Washington, D.C. The earliest DHS would begin moving to St. Elizabeths is 2012.

The move is being championed by District of Columbia officials because of the positive economic impact it will have on historically depressed Anacostia. The move has been criticized by historic preservation
Historic preservation
Historic preservation is an endeavor that seeks to preserve, conserve and protect buildings, objects, landscapes or other artifacts of historical significance...

ists, who claim the revitalization plans will destroy dozens of historic buildings on the campus. Community activists have criticized the plans because the facility will remain walled off and have little interaction with the surrounding area.
On January 8, 2009, the National Capital Planning Commission approved the Department of Homeland Security’s plans to move into the campus of St. Elizabeths Hospital.

Ready.gov


Soon after the formation of Department of Homeland Security, the Martin Agency
The Martin Agency
The Martin Agency is an American advertising agency based in Richmond, Virginia that is now part of Interpublic Group of Companies.*Freecreditreport.com jingle since October 2007 starring Eric Violette.*"The money you could be saving with Geico"-Clients:...

 of Richmond, Virginia
Richmond, Virginia
Richmond is the capital of the Commonwealth of Virginia, in the United States. It is an independent city and not part of any county. Richmond is the center of the Richmond Metropolitan Statistical Area and the Greater Richmond area...

 worked pro bono to create "Ready.gov", a readiness website. The site and materials were conceived in March 2002 and launched in February 2003, just before the launch of the Iraq War. One of the first announcements that garnered widespread public attention to this campaign was one by Tom Ridge in which he stated that in the case of a chemical attack, citizens should use duct tape
Duct tape
Duct tape, or duck tape, is cloth- or scrim-backed pressure sensitive tape often sealed with polyethylene. It is very similar to gaffer tape but differs in that gaffer tape was designed to be cleanly removed, while duct tape was not. It has a standard width of and is generally silver or black...

 and plastic sheeting to build a homemade bunker, or "sheltering in place" to protect themselves. As a result, the sales of duct tape skyrocketed and DHS was criticized for being too alarmist.
The site was promoted with banner ads containing automatic audio components on commercial web sites.

National Incident Management System


On March 1, 2004, the National Incident Management System
National Incident Management System
The National Incident Management System is emergency management doctrine used nationwide to coordinate emergency preparedness and incident management and response among the public and private sectors.NIMS is a comprehensive, national approach to incident management that is applicable at all...

 (NIMS) was created. The stated purpose was to provide a consistent incident management approach for federal, state, local, and tribal governments. Under Homeland Security Presidential Directive-5, all federal departments were required to adopt the NIMS and to use it in their individual domestic incident management and emergency prevention, preparedness, response, recovery, and mitigation program and activities.

National Response Framework


In December 2004, the National Response Plan
National Response Plan
The National Response Plan was a United States national plan to respond to emergencies such as natural disasters or terrorist attacks. It came into effect in December 2004 , and was superseded by the National Response Framework on March 22, 2008....

 (NRP) was created, in an attempt to align federal coordination structures, capabilities, and resources into a unified, all-discipline, and all-hazards approach to domestic incident management. The NRP was built on the template of the NIMS.

On January 22, 2008, the National Response Framework
National Response Framework
The United States National Response Framework is part of the National Strategy for Homeland Security that presents the guiding principles enabling all levels of domestic response partners to prepare for and provide a unified national response to disasters and emergencies...

 was published in the Federal Register
Federal Register
The Federal Register , abbreviated FR, or sometimes Fed. Reg.) is the official journal of the federal government of the United States that contains most routine publications and public notices of government agencies...

 as an updated replacement of the NRP, effective March 22, 2008.

Cyber-security



The DHS National Cyber Security Division
National Cyber Security Division
The National Cyber Security Division is a division of the Office of Cyber Security & Communications, within the United States Department of Homeland Security's Directorate for National Protection and Programs...

 (NCSD) is responsible for the response system, risk management program, and requirements for cyber-security in the U.S. The division is home to US-CERT
United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team
The United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team is part of the National Cyber Security Division of the United States' Department of Homeland Security....

 operations and the National Cyber Alert System
National Cyber Alert System
The National Cyber Alert System is an email and RSS notification service for the United States sent by the United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team , which is part of the National Cyber Security Division of the United States Department of Homeland Security...

. The DHS Science and Technology Directorate helps government and private end-users transition to new cyber-security capabilities. This directorate also funds the Cyber Security Research and Development Center, which identifies and prioritizes research and development for NCSD. The center works on the Internet's routing infrastructure (the SPRI program) and Domain Name System (DNSSEC
DNSSEC
The Domain Name System Security Extensions is a suite of Internet Engineering Task Force specifications for securing certain kinds of information provided by the Domain Name System as used on Internet Protocol networks...

), identity theft and other online criminal activity (ITTC), Internet traffic and networks research (PREDICT datasets and the DETER testbed), Department of Defense and HSARPA
HSARPA
Homeland Security Advanced Research Projects Agency is a part of the Science and Technology Directorate at the United States Department of Homeland Security. Much like DARPA in the Department of Defense, HSARPA is tasked with advanced projects to advance the technology needed to protect the US...

 exercises (Livewire and Determined Promise), and wireless security in cooperation with Canada.

On October 30, 2009, DHS opened the United States National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center. The center brings together government organizations responsible for protecting computer networks and networked infrastructure.

Excess, waste, and ineffectiveness


The Department of Homeland Security has been dogged by persistent criticism over excessive bureaucracy
Bureaucracy
A bureaucracy is an organization of non-elected officials of a governmental or organization who implement the rules, laws, and functions of their institution, and are occasionally characterized by officialism and red tape.-Weberian bureaucracy:...

, waste, ineffectiveness and lack of transparency. Congress estimates that the department has wasted roughly $15 billion in failed contracts . In 2003, the department came under fire after the media revealed that Laura Callahan
Laura Callahan
Laura Callahan was the former senior director at the United States Department of Homeland Security who resigned after an investigation revealed that she had obtained academic degrees from a diploma mill. Callahan had also served as Deputy Chief Information Officer of the US Department of Labor and...

, Deputy Chief Information Officer
Chief information officer
Chief information officer , or information technology director, is a job title commonly given to the most senior executive in an enterprise responsible for the information technology and computer systems that support enterprise goals...

 at DHS with responsibilities for sensitive national security databases, had obtained her advanced computer science
Computer science
Computer science or computing science is the study of the theoretical foundations of information and computation and of practical techniques for their implementation and application in computer systems...

 degrees through a diploma mill
Diploma mill
A diploma mill is an organization that awards academic degrees and diplomas with substandard or no academic study and without recognition by official educational accrediting bodies. The purchaser can then claim to hold an academic degree, and the organization is motivated by making a profit...

 in a small town in Wyoming
Wyoming
Wyoming is a state in the mountain region of the Western United States. The western two thirds of the state is covered mostly with the mountain ranges and rangelands in the foothills of the Eastern Rocky Mountains, while the eastern third of the state is high elevation prairie known as the High...

. The department was blamed for up to $2 billion of waste and fraud after audits by the Government Accountability Office
Government Accountability Office
The Government Accountability Office is the audit, evaluation, and investigative arm of the United States Congress. It is located in the legislative branch of the United States government.-History:...

 revealed widespread misuse of government credit cards by DHS employees, with purchases including beer brewing kits, $70,000 of plastic dog booties
Dog booties
Dog booties, commonly called "booties", are rubber, fabric, or plastic coverings for dogs' paws, used to protect the animal from cold weather, rough terrain, or injury. They are analogous to human shoes and are most common in sled dog races. Many races require booties as a basic element of dog care...

 that were later deemed unusable, boats purchased at double the retail price (many of which later could not be found), and iPod
IPod
iPod is a line of portable media players created and marketed by Apple Inc. The product line-up currently consists of the hard drive-based iPod Classic, the touchscreen iPod Touch, the compact iPod Nano, and the ultra-compact iPod Shuffle...

s ostensibly for use in "data storage".

Data mining (ADVISE)


The Associated Press
Associated Press
The Associated Press is an American news agency. The AP is a cooperative owned by its contributing newspapers, radio and television stations in the United States, which both contribute stories to the AP and use material written by its staff journalists...

 reported on September 5, 2007, that DHS had scrapped an anti-terrorism data mining
Data mining
Data mining , a relatively young and interdisciplinary field of computer science is the process of discovering new patterns from large data sets involving methods at the intersection of artificial intelligence, machine learning, statistics and database systems...

 tool called ADVISE
ADVISE
ADVISE is a research and development program within the United States Department of Homeland Security Threat and Vulnerability Testing and Assessment portfolio...

 (Analysis, Dissemination, Visualization, Insight and Semantic Enhancement) after the agency's internal Inspector General
Inspector General
An Inspector General is an investigative official in a civil or military organization. The plural of the term is Inspectors General.-Bangladesh:...

 found that pilot
Pilot (experiment)
A pilot experiment, also called a pilot study, is a small scale preliminary study conducted in order to evaluate feasibility, time, cost, adverse events, and effect size in an attempt to predict an appropriate sample size and improve upon the study design prior to performance of a full-scale...

 testing of the system had been performed using data on real people without required privacy
Privacy
Privacy is the ability of an individual or group to seclude themselves or information about themselves and thereby reveal themselves selectively...

 safeguards in place. The system, in development at Lawrence Livermore
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
The Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory , just outside Livermore, California, is a Federally Funded Research and Development Center founded by the University of California in 1952...

 and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory is one of the United States Department of Energy National Laboratories, managed by the Department of Energy's Office of Science. The main campus of the laboratory is in Richland, Washington....

 since 2003, has cost the agency $42 million to date. Controversy over the program is not new; in March 2007, the Government Accountability Office
Government Accountability Office
The Government Accountability Office is the audit, evaluation, and investigative arm of the United States Congress. It is located in the legislative branch of the United States government.-History:...

 stated that "the ADVISE tool could misidentify or erroneously associate an individual with undesirable activity such as fraud
Fraud
In criminal law, a fraud is an intentional deception made for personal gain or to damage another individual; the related adjective is fraudulent. The specific legal definition varies by legal jurisdiction. Fraud is a crime, and also a civil law violation...

, crime or terrorism." Homeland Security's Inspector General later said that ADVISE was poorly planned, time-consuming for analysts to use, and lacked adequate justifications.

Fusion centers



Fusion centers are terrorism
Terrorism
Terrorism is the systematic use of terror, especially as a means of coercion. In the international community, however, terrorism has no universally agreed, legally binding, criminal law definition...

 prevention and response centers, many of which were created under a joint project between the Department of Homeland Security and the US Department of Justice
United States Department of Justice
The United States Department of Justice , is the United States federal executive department responsible for the enforcement of the law and administration of justice, equivalent to the justice or interior ministries of other countries.The Department is led by the Attorney General, who is nominated...

's Office of Justice Programs between 2003 and 2007. The fusion centers gather information not only from government sources, but also from their partners in the private sector.

They are designed to promote information sharing at the federal level between agencies such as the Central Intelligence Agency
Central Intelligence Agency
The Central Intelligence Agency is a civilian intelligence agency of the United States government. It is an executive agency and reports directly to the Director of National Intelligence, responsible for providing national security intelligence assessment to senior United States policymakers...

 (CIA), Federal Bureau of Investigation
Federal Bureau of Investigation
The Federal Bureau of Investigation is an agency of the United States Department of Justice that serves as both a federal criminal investigative body and an internal intelligence agency . The FBI has investigative jurisdiction over violations of more than 200 categories of federal crime...

 (FBI), Department of Justice
United States Department of Justice
The United States Department of Justice , is the United States federal executive department responsible for the enforcement of the law and administration of justice, equivalent to the justice or interior ministries of other countries.The Department is led by the Attorney General, who is nominated...

, US Military
United States armed forces
The United States Armed Forces are the military forces of the United States. They consist of the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, and Coast Guard.The United States has a strong tradition of civilian control of the military...

 and state and local level government. , the Department of Homeland Security recognized at least seventy-two fusion centers. Fusion centers may also be affiliated with an Emergency Operations Center that responds in the event of a disaster.

There are a number of documented criticisms of fusion centers, including relative ineffectiveness at counterterrorism activities, the potential to be used for secondary purposes unrelated to counterterrorism, and their links to violations of civil liberties of American citizens and others.

David Rittgers of the Cato Institute
Cato Institute
The Cato Institute is a libertarian think tank headquartered in Washington, D.C. It was founded in 1977 by Edward H. Crane, who remains president and CEO, and Charles Koch, chairman of the board and chief executive officer of the conglomerate Koch Industries, Inc., the largest privately held...

 has noted


a long line of fusion center and DHS reports labeling broad swaths of the public as a threat to national security. The North Texas Fusion System labeled Muslim
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

 lobbyists as a potential threat; a DHS analyst in Wisconsin thought both pro- and anti-abortion activists were worrisome; a Pennsylvania homeland security contractor watched environmental activists, Tea Party
Tea Party movement
The Tea Party movement is an American populist political movement that is generally recognized as conservative and libertarian, and has sponsored protests and supported political candidates since 2009...

 groups, and a Second Amendment
Second Amendment to the United States Constitution
The Second Amendment to the United States Constitution is the part of the United States Bill of Rights that protects the right of the people to keep and bear arms. It was adopted on December 15, 1791, along with the rest of the Bill of Rights.In 2008 and 2010, the Supreme Court issued two Second...

 rally; the Maryland State Police put anti-death penalty and anti-war activists in a federal terrorism database; a fusion center in Missouri thought that all third-party
Third party (United States)
The term third party is used in the United States for any and all political parties in the United States other than one of the two major parties . The term can also refer to independent politicians not affiliated with any party at all and to write-in candidates.The United States has had a...

 voters and Ron Paul
Ron Paul
Ronald Ernest "Ron" Paul is an American physician, author and United States Congressman who is seeking to be the Republican Party candidate in the 2012 presidential election. Paul represents Texas's 14th congressional district, which covers an area south and southwest of Houston that includes...

 supporters were a threat....”

MIAC report


The Missouri Information Analysis Center (MIAC) made news in 2009 for targeting supporters of third party
Third party (United States)
The term third party is used in the United States for any and all political parties in the United States other than one of the two major parties . The term can also refer to independent politicians not affiliated with any party at all and to write-in candidates.The United States has had a...

 candidates (such as Ron Paul
Ron Paul
Ronald Ernest "Ron" Paul is an American physician, author and United States Congressman who is seeking to be the Republican Party candidate in the 2012 presidential election. Paul represents Texas's 14th congressional district, which covers an area south and southwest of Houston that includes...

), pro-life
Pro-life
Opposition to the legalization of abortion is centered around the pro-life, or anti-abortion, movement, a social and political movement opposing elective abortion on moral grounds and supporting its legal prohibition or restriction...

 activists, and conspiracy theorists as potential militia
Militia
The term militia is commonly used today to refer to a military force composed of ordinary citizens to provide defense, emergency law enforcement, or paramilitary service, in times of emergency without being paid a regular salary or committed to a fixed term of service. It is a polyseme with...

 members. Anti-war
Anti-war
An anti-war movement is a social movement, usually in opposition to a particular nation's decision to start or carry on an armed conflict, unconditional of a maybe-existing just cause. The term can also refer to pacifism, which is the opposition to all use of military force during conflicts. Many...

 activists and Islamic lobby groups were targeted in Texas, drawing criticism from the American Civil Liberties Union
American Civil Liberties Union
The American Civil Liberties Union is a U.S. non-profit organization whose stated mission is "to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to every person in this country by the Constitution and laws of the United States." It works through litigation, legislation, and...

.

According to the Department of Homeland Security:

The Privacy Office
Privacy Office of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security
- Privacy Office Overview :Created by Congress in 2002, the DHS Privacy Office is the first statutorily required privacy office in any federal agency, whose mission is to preserve and enhance privacy protections for all individuals, to promote the transparency of Department of Homeland Security ...

 has identified a number of risks to privacy presented by the fusion center program:

  1. Justification for fusion centers
  2. Ambiguous Lines of Authority, Rules, and Oversight
  3. Participation of the Military and the Private Sector
  4. Data Mining
  5. Excessive Secrecy
  6. Inaccurate or Incomplete Information
  7. Mission Creep

2009 Virginia terrorism threat assessment


In early April 2009, the Virginia Fusion Center came under criticism for publishing a terrorism threat assessment which stated that certain universities are potential hubs for terror related activity. The report targeted historically black colleges and identified hacktivism
Hacktivism
Hacktivism is the use of computers and computer networks as a means of protest to promote political ends. The term was first coined in 1994 by a member of the Cult of the Dead Cow hacker collective named Omega...

 as a form of terrorism.

Mail interception


In 2006, MSNBC
MSNBC
MSNBC is a cable news channel based in the United States available in the US, Germany , South Africa, the Middle East and Canada...

 reported that Grant Goodman, "an 81-year-old retired University of Kansas
University of Kansas
The University of Kansas is a public research university and the largest university in the state of Kansas. KU campuses are located in Lawrence, Wichita, Overland Park, and Kansas City, Kansas with the main campus being located in Lawrence on Mount Oread, the highest point in Lawrence. The...

 history professor, received a letter from his friend in the Philippines
Philippines
The Philippines , officially known as the Republic of the Philippines , is a country in Southeast Asia in the western Pacific Ocean. To its north across the Luzon Strait lies Taiwan. West across the South China Sea sits Vietnam...

 that had been opened and resealed with a strip of dark green tape bearing the words “by Border Protection
U.S. Customs and Border Protection
U.S. Customs and Border Protection is a federal law enforcement agency of the United States Department of Homeland Security charged with regulating and facilitating international trade, collecting import duties, and enforcing U.S. regulations, including trade, customs and immigration. CBP is the...

” and carrying the official Homeland Security seal." The letter was sent by a devout Catholic
Catholicism
Catholicism is a broad term for the body of the Catholic faith, its theologies and doctrines, its liturgical, ethical, spiritual, and behavioral characteristics, as well as a religious people as a whole....

 Filipino woman with no history of supporting Islamic terrorism. A spokesman for U.S. Customs and Border Protection
U.S. Customs and Border Protection
U.S. Customs and Border Protection is a federal law enforcement agency of the United States Department of Homeland Security charged with regulating and facilitating international trade, collecting import duties, and enforcing U.S. regulations, including trade, customs and immigration. CBP is the...

 "acknowledged that the agency can, will and does open mail coming to U.S. citizens that originates from a foreign country whenever it’s deemed necessary":


“All mail originating outside the United States Customs territory that is to be delivered inside the U.S. Customs territory is subject to Customs examination,” says the CBP Web site. That includes personal correspondence. “All mail means ‘all mail,’” said John Mohan, a CBP spokesman, emphasizing the point.


The Department declined to outline what criteria are used to determine when a piece of personal correspondence should be opened or to say how often or in what volume Customs
U.S. Customs and Border Protection
U.S. Customs and Border Protection is a federal law enforcement agency of the United States Department of Homeland Security charged with regulating and facilitating international trade, collecting import duties, and enforcing U.S. regulations, including trade, customs and immigration. CBP is the...

 might be opening mail.

Goodman's story provoked outrage in the blogosphere
Blogosphere
The blogosphere is made up of all blogs and their interconnections. The term implies that blogs exist together as a connected community or as a social network in which everyday authors can publish their opinions...

, as well as in the more established media. Reacting to the incident, Mother Jones
Mother Jones (magazine)
Mother Jones is an American independent news organization, featuring investigative and breaking news reporting on politics, the environment, human rights, and culture. Mother Jones has been nominated for 23 National Magazine Awards and has won six times, including for General Excellence in 2001,...

remarked that "[u]nlike other prying government agencies, Homeland Security wants you to know it is watching you." CNN
CNN
Cable News Network is a U.S. cable news channel founded in 1980 by Ted Turner. Upon its launch, CNN was the first channel to provide 24-hour television news coverage, and the first all-news television channel in the United States...

 observed that "[o]n the heels of the NSA wiretapping controversy
NSA warrantless surveillance controversy
The NSA warrantless surveillance controversy concerns surveillance of persons within the United States during the collection of foreign intelligence by the U.S. National Security Agency as part of the war on terror...

, Goodman's letter raises more concern over the balance between privacy and security."

Employee morale


In July 2006, the Office of Personnel Management
Office of Personnel Management
The United States Office of Personnel Management is an independent agency of the United States government that manages the civil service of the federal government. The current Director is John Berry.-History:...

 conducted a survey of federal employees in all 36 federal agencies on job satisfaction and how they felt their respective agency was headed. DHS was last or near to last in every category including;
  • 33rd on the talent management index
  • 35th on the leadership and knowledge management index
  • 36th on the job satisfaction index
  • 36th on the results-oriented performance culture index


The low scores were attributed to major concerns about basic supervision, management and leadership within the agency. Examples from the survey reveal most concerns are about promotion and pay increase based on merit, dealing with poor performance, rewarding creativity and innovation, leadership generating high levels of motivation in the workforce, recognition for doing a good job, lack of satisfaction with various component policies and procedures and lack of information about what is going on with the organization.

Inside the DHS


Starting in the fourth quarter of 2011, the department's inner workings will be featured on the AMC reality television
Reality television
Reality television is a genre of television programming that presents purportedly unscripted dramatic or humorous situations, documents actual events, and usually features ordinary people instead of professional actors, sometimes in a contest or other situation where a prize is awarded...

 program Inside the DHS. Secretary Napolitano will appear on it.

See also


  • Container Security Initiative
    Container Security Initiative
    The Container Security Initiative was launched in 2002 by the U.S. Bureau of Customs and Border Protection , an agency of the Department of Homeland Security. Its purpose was to increase security for container cargo shipped to the United States...

  • E-Verify
    E-Verify
    E-Verify is an Internet-based, free program run by the United States government that compares information from an employee's Employment Eligibility Verification Form I-9 to data from U.S. government records. If the information matches, that employee is eligible to work in the United States...

  • Electronic System for Travel Authorization
    Electronic System for Travel Authorization
    The Electronic System for Travel Authorization is a United States government requirement for participating travelers from Visa Waiver Program countries arriving by air or sea to complete online the I-94W form in...

  • Home Office
    Home Office
    The Home Office is the United Kingdom government department responsible for immigration control, security, and order. As such it is responsible for the police, UK Border Agency, and the Security Service . It is also in charge of government policy on security-related issues such as drugs,...

     UK
  • Homeland security grant
  • Homeland Security USA
    Homeland Security USA
    Homeland Security USA portrays members of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security performing their day-to-day duties. It is the American version of the Australian reality show Border Security....

  • Interior ministry. Generally in other countries "interior ministries" usually deal with internal police, immigration and border control duties.
  • National Biodefense Analysis and Countermeasures Center
    National Biodefense Analysis and Countermeasures Center
    The National Biodefense Analysis and Countermeasures Center is a government biodefense research laboratory created by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and located at the sprawling biodefense campus at Fort Detrick in Frederick, MD, USA. Created quietly a few months after the 2001 anthrax...

     (NBACC), Ft Detrick, MD
  • National Strategy for Homeland Security
    National Strategy for Homeland Security
    The United States National Strategy for Homeland Security is a formal government response to the events of September 11, 2001 at the Pentagon and World Trade Center. The document issued by President George W...

  • Project Hostile Intent
    Project Hostile Intent
    Project Hostile Intent is an ongoing project of the United States Department of Homeland Security, Human Factors Division. It has been renamed to Future Attribute Screening Technology...

  • Public Safety Canada
  • Shadow Wolves
    Shadow Wolves
    The "Shadow Wolves" is a unit of Native American trackers. The law enforcement unit is part of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement...

  • Terrorism in the United States
    Terrorism in the United States
    A common definition of terrorism is the systematic use or threatened use of violence to intimidate a population or government and thereby effect political, religious, or ideological change...

  • United States visas
    United States visas
    United States Visas were issued to 6.6 million foreign nationals visiting the United States and to 470 thousand immigrants in 2008.A foreign national wishing to enter the U.S...

  • United States Visitor and Immigrant Status Indicator Technology
    United States Visitor and Immigrant Status Indicator Technology
    United States Visitor and Immigrant Status Indicator Technology is a United States Department of Homeland Security immigration and border management system...

     (US-VISIT)
  • Visa Waiver Program
    Visa Waiver Program
    The Visa Waiver Program is a program of the United States Government which allows citizens of specific countries to travel to the United States for tourism or business for up to 90 days without having to obtain a visa. The program applies to the 50 U.S. states as well as the U.S...


External links