Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Report Recommends Simpler Homeland Security Advisory System

A new Department of Homeland Security report, authored by the Homeland Security Advisory System Task Force, recommends that the government modify its color-coded terrorism advisory system to include just three levels, instead of the current five, and redefine the levels so that they are more transparent to the public. As this Washington Post article describes, there have been past complaints that the advisory system was used as a political tool that failed to communicate useful information.

The report has six major themes (listed in the executive summary):

  1. The terrorism advisory system has "enduring merit."
  2. The terrorism advisory system has two primary audiences: the public and institutions (government agencies and the private sector).
  3. The public does not have confidence in the current advisory system.
  4. The advisory system should be lowered to a "guarded" status.
  5. The advisory system should be more specific in identifying which entities or locations are at risk.
  6. The advisory system requires dedicated infrastructure, staff, and established protocols and procedures.
The advisory system was created by Homeland Security Presidential Directive 3 in 2002. For additional resources about homeland security, take a look at our guide.

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