National Preparedness:

Integrating New and Existing Technology and Information Sharing into an Effective Homeland Security Strategy

GAO-02-811T: Published: Jun 7, 2002. Publicly Released: Jun 7, 2002.

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Federal, state, and local governments, and the private sector, are taking steps to strengthen the safety and security of the American people, including actions to strengthen border and port security, airport security, health and food security and to protect critical infrastructure. There are date, information-sharing, and technology challenges facing the country in developing and implementing a national preparedness strategy. The nature of the terrorist threat makes it difficult to identify and differentiate information that can provide an early indication of a terrorist threat from the mass of data available to those in positions of authority. Further, the nation faces considerable cultural, legal, and technical barriers in effectively collecting and sharing information. Many technologies key to addressing threats are not yet available, and many existing technologies have not effectively been adapted for the threats the country now faces. The real challenge, however, is not just to find the right solutions to each of these problems but to weave solutions together in an integrated and intelligent fashion.

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