Defend That Network. Similarly, it takes a network to defend a network. The Internet touches every facet of our lives and the cyber threat is one of the gravest threats we face. Few areas warrant the attention needed here. Yet recent attempts to pass cyber legislation have failed because of a lack of agreement on the respective roles of government and the private sector. This is a shared responsibility; quibbling needs to stop. Responsible collaboration is the answer. We need to find that middle ground that allows private firms to receive or provide sensitive information on cyber threats while retaining their freedom to operate in a market economy. While an executive order is being created to address roles and responsibilities within the federal government, the new Congress should move immediately to pass legislation that addresses key issues of corporate liability, legal implications of disclosures of attacks by the private sector, and antitrust issues associated with coordinated industry actions.
Rethink Our Borders. Perhaps the most visible symbol of the homeland security challenge is the border itself. The past decade has seen a continued, evolving discussion as to what constitutes border security. Turns out, defining a "border" is much more complex than identifying the line that legally separates nations, whether it be drawn on land, sea, or air. It is time to broaden our discussion of the border from its physical attributes to a more inclusive concept of what it means to secure a nation.
In fact, the "functional border" transcends physical boundaries and adds cyberspace to the traditional domains of air, land, and sea as conduits through which legitimate and illegitimate flows of people, goods, money, and information pass. Transactions are accomplished online, fees are transferred electronically, and goods ranging from light bulbs to complex technologies travel from Bucharest to Omaha. In today's world, only a fraction of our protection and enforcement responsibilities can be met through physical inspections at the ports of entry. In an increasingly globalized economy, we must simultaneously secure and speed trade and travel through the analysis of data provided by travelers and shippers and data about the shippers themselves.
Our national conversation should match this "boundary-less movement" -- it must include all the functions required in all domains. This begins with a more integrated Customs and Border Protection organization that still faces challenges from 2003 in integrating operations both at and between ports of entry. It extends to greater unity of effort among all agencies with trade and travel enforcement responsibilities, such as the Coast Guard, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Transportation Security Administration, and the Department of Agriculture. Here, too, the need for data integration, faster analyses, and quicker, more agile response should be the overarching goal. Finally, we must realize that trade and travel facilitation and border security are not separate and distinct, but that we must balance the needs of commerce and the requirement to secure our borders. They are intertwined elements of national power.
We are ending a decade of incremental adjustments, and we have the opportunity to recalibrate our approach to achieving a unified force. A strong strategy must transform this aggregated enterprise and focus on achieving national resiliency, attacking terrorist and criminal networks with more effective networks, defending our cyberspace through collaboration, and managing a functional border in the global commons. As the Quadrennial Homeland Security Review begins, it is time to pause, think, and get it right.