Legal implications are another risk that is associated with the partnerships DHS forms. N an article, John D. Michael mentions that as much as there are advantages to the partnerships formed, the arrangement can place the DHS on regulatory and ambiguous legal ground. He gives an example of a debate that the partnerships raised where private security officers may or may not act as government agents and even conduct limited searches of persons under certain circumstances. According to the U.S. constitution in the fourth and fifth amendments, it is not clear as to whether the searches are constrained to persons in uniform only. There is also the issue on the chain of command as to whom exactly should the private security officers report to, where the line is crossed, and they are deemed accountable and whether the distinction affects how they carry out their duties. This partnerships give the private firms power without necessarily having very distinct lines as to what this power can and can’t do. A debate was brought forward that in as much as the power has helped achieve a lot, like being able to scan citizens for unauthorized substances like contrabands and explosives at airports, the same surveillance power has severally been abused by private companies where they use the camera to surveil one’s every move, scan through peoples phones thus erasing a notion of privacy and invasive airport screening. This power also comes with financial advantages like tax reduction or tax relief for their employees, which some employees have taken advantage of and started using to make purchases for their family and friends. Whenever the issue arises on whose fault it is, the government and the private firms seem to point at each other failing to realize that the partnerships have equal responsibilities and fails that both parties are supposed to own. The question that arises from this is how we set the limits and who’s responsibility is to make the distinctions and get rid of the grey areas used as loopholes. At what will (Busch et all, 2012).
Insider threats are another risk associated with partnerships and according to a thesis done, they account to billions of dollars lost annually. The complexity of coming up with this answer lies in the ability of DHS to capture events that don’t occur and as such, they are complicated even to quantify. Insider threats are usually a combination of behavioral, organization and technical issues. They can range from violence, theft, sabotage and can occur in cyber domains or even physical. When an outsider attacks an organization, they usually do it by accessing formally restricted data, in person or through cyber hacking. When an employee does it, they usually have access rights, which means that even if their name does come up in routine checks, no one suspects them or simply never leaves a trace that they were ever there. This usually leads to prolonged damage as the employees are usually cleared to be in possession of “unauthorized disclosure of could be expected to cause exceptionally grave damage to national security.” It has been noticed that as the need of many countries to compete with the U.S. rises, both in global power and economically, the insider threats also increase. The insider threats have also increased and are nowadays even disguised as the employees selling sensitive information to the highest bidder. Some cases are made where the insiders are tricked or are unwitting to their role when an attack occurs. The complexity and frequency have risen to a point where the U.S. government mandated federal organizations to protect itself against domestic threats. An example is given where malware propagated throughout the U.S. Central’s Command system for a duration of 14 months making it one of the worst breaches of classified networks in history. This provided most likely offered adversaries sensitive information they could have used on operations and war plans and ultimately cost Americans lives. While effort is being put in place to ensure this doesn’t happen, there seems to be an increase of citizens who can do anything for what they consider the right amount and that always seems to be the point the adversaries use to penetrate the system.
While a lot has been said as to the benefits of high-value partnerships have done to the DHS and the risks associated with informing the said partnerships, the questions arise as to which outweighs the other. The good by far outweighs the bad, but what can be done to ensure partnerships are improved and they can be expanded to bigger and yield more innovative opportunities. One of the things that can be done is explore innovative technology more. While there has been a lot that has been done, technology keeps improving, it keeps changing and some of the risks like insider threats can be tackled by say an application that detects, at every millisecond the information that leaves the organizations firewalls, where it is relayed and if the person receiving it is cleared to receive the said information. There can also be an application that detects the class range of a particular employee and doesn’t just disallow them to access certain information as it is currently but also renders an error message with a report to several superiors so as to alarm them of the possible bridge of information. Such innovations ensure that certain loopholes are sealed and the risks are mitigated (Richard, et all, 2019).
The lines of legal implications also need to be distinctively laid out. The idea of having gray areas is what offers a justification ground in court for certain crimes when they do occur. Clearly having laws and regulations that ensure no one can take advantage ensures that everyone is held accountable for their actions and misdeeds. Having policies that clearly state what parties stand to benefit from a partnership before both parties agree to it is also another recommendation. This ensures both parties know what they are consenting to. Clauses should be added as to what happens when certain things happen like inflation, natural disasters, trends etc. This ensures that if anything happens, then there is a stipulated protocol that will happen and it certain consequences would occur if they are not met. This is still an ongoing discussion in real life and more information can be collected as the terms are defined better and as the situation unfolds but as it stands right now, there is still a lot that needs to be done in order to ensure that partnerships formed don’t cause more harm than good.
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