The following are flagship Open Government initiatives at the Department of Homeland Security.
Global Travel Assessment System
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is offering advanced passenger data screening and targeting technology as an open source software project. The purpose of GTAS provides foreign nation states, and border security entities, with the basic capacity to ingest, process, query, and construct risk criteria against their industry derived standardized air traveler information. This provides border security organizations with the necessary tool to prescreen travelers entering into and leaving their respective countries. GTAS has been developed and released by the Targeting and Analysis Systems Program Directorate within CBP, and it will be made available at no cost to the community at large. This applies to both commercial and government organizations who will be free to use, maintain, customize, and enhance as needed.
In response to the United Nations Security Council Resolution 2178 on Foreign Terrorist Fighters and CBP’s continued commitment to combat the threats of global terrorism and transnational crime, DHS is evaluating and implementing innovative methods to exchange information and intelligence, build capacity, and increase worldwide security and compliance standards. Core GTAS capabilities include:
- Receive and store air traveler data [Air Passenger Information (API) and Passenger Name Record (PNR)]
- Perform real time risk assessment
- View high risk travelers with associated flight details and reservation information
- Query flight and travel history
An integral element of this mutually rewarding security collaboration between CBP and our international partners is our assistance with the development of programs, technology, training, and coordination efforts that will produce a seamless and layered network of capabilities. These efforts widen border security capabilities and support a “defense in depth” approach to combat the global threat environment, as well as strengthen our combined enforcement efforts.
GTAS is a turn-key application that provides all the necessary decision support system features to receive and store air traveler data (API and PNR), provide real-time risk assessment against this data based on a country’s own specific risk criteria and/or watch lists, and view high risk travelers as well as their associated flight and reservation information.
GTAS was built upon a suite of open source licensed software components and platforms. As such, CBP licensed the GTAS software using the GNU General Public License. The open source GTAS code and resources are available to the public on GitHub.
National Cybersecurity Awareness Campaign
DHS launched the National Cybersecurity Awareness Campaign Challenge, which called on the public and private sector companies to develop creative and innovative ways to enhance awareness of cybersecurity. Based on the winning proposals, DHS launched the “Stop. Think. Connect.” cybersecurity awareness campaign—a national initiative that promotes simple steps the public can take to increase their safety and security online. The campaign fulfills a key element of President Obama’s 2009 Cyberspace Policy Review, which tasked DHS with developing a public awareness campaign to inform Americans about ways to use technology safely.