Software // Enterprise Applications
09:56 PM

Homeland-Security Technologies Need Dual Purpose

Homeland-security technology needs to help prevent terrorist attacks and also address other government or commercial needs.

For homeland-security technology to be most successful, it will have a dual benefit of helping prevent terrorist attacks while also addressing other government or commercial needs, said speakers at a symposium on homeland security and information sharing in Philadelphia this week.

A former top CIA operative describes dual-benefits solutions as IT systems designed to help prevent future terror attacks that also address other government needs. "Securing our nation against terrorist threats could actually make us stronger," said Ruth David, former CIA deputy director for science and technology.

Among the dual-benefits solutions envisioned by David, CEO of the think tank Anser Institute for Homeland Security: border-control systems to restrict weapons and potential terrorists could also speed legitimate trade into the country; technology aimed at hunting down terrorists could be employed by police to capture criminals; medical surveillance solutions that uncover the use of biological weapons could also detect diseases such as SARS; a national warning system for terror threats can be applied to natural disasters; and communications gear distributed for use when a terror attack occurs can be used for other emergency-responder events.

A practical benefit of these approaches is that the homeland-security system gets wider support from the other agencies in government that would benefit from the technology.

Venture capitalist Gary Ralls, general partner at Tiburon Asset Management LLC, offered his own twist on a dual-benefits solution: government and industry working in tandem to develop technology that has a homeland security and commercial applications. For example, handheld devices that give border agents information about foreigners entering the country could be adapted for nurses to provide data about patients. Mixing capitalism with homeland security, Ralls suggested, could prove benefit government and business, and help build broader confidence in the U.S. population. "Alliances offer people hope," he said.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Building A Mobile Business Mindset
Building A Mobile Business Mindset
Among 688 respondents, 46% have deployed mobile apps, with an additional 24% planning to in the next year. Soon all apps will look like mobile apps – and it's past time for those with no plans to get cracking.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
Top IT Trends to Watch in Financial Services
IT pros at banks, investment houses, insurance companies, and other financial services organizations are focused on a range of issues, from peer-to-peer lending to cybersecurity to performance, agility, and compliance. It all matters.
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Archived InformationWeek Radio
Join us for a roundup of the top stories on for the week of July 17, 2016. We'll be talking with the editors and correspondents who brought you the top stories of the week to get the "story behind the story."
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.