Many staffers at CHHS go above and beyond their daily project work to craft blogs on current topics in the news or best practices learned among emergency management colleagues through hands on experience.

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    Wikimedia Challenges NSA and DOJ Mass “Upstream” Surveillance Program

    March 19, 2015

    By CHHS Research Assistant Laura Merkey Wikimedia, the parent company of Wikipedia, in conjunction with several other groups including Amnesty International USA, the ACLU, and the Rutherford Institute, has filed a lawsuit against the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) and the Department of Justice challenging a mass surveillance program that utilizes ...

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    Recent Measles Outbreaks Cause Lawmakers to Take Action Against Lenient Vaccine Exemption Policies

    March 13, 2015

    By CHHS Extern Lisa Bowen The dramatic decrease in lead poisoning rates after the removal of lead from gasoline and the ban on lead-based paint is a perfect example of how public health interventions are more successful when public health policy is enacted. Unfortunately, it usually takes seventeen years to translate ...

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    Using Data to Direct Emergency Services: Howard County CARES

    March 10, 2015 by Birch Barron

    Leaders in emergency service fields are frequently faced with difficult choices. Crucial decisions about where to allocate resources, time, and money are all too often based on habits and guesswork rather than reliable data. However, innovative programs across the country are increasingly demanding high-quality information to support decision making in ...

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    Unlikely Heroes: Hackers to the Rescue?

    March 2, 2015

    By CHHS Extern Andrew Weissenberg In the aftermath of the Charlie Hedbo attacks in Paris, an unlikely “hero” has emerged. When fighting ISIS, most figured it would be by air and land. However, the global hacker collective, Anonymous, has recently staged a hacking campaign against ISIS. Anonymous became an online force around ...

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    Planning for Public Safety During a Special Event

    March 2, 2015 by Patrick Donlan

    The Gubernatorial Inauguration of Larry Hogan, Maryland’s 62nd Governor, took place on January 21st, 2015. While the ceremony lasted a total of 3 hours, the planning process spanned over 2 months. It’s difficult to predict when or where an emergency or disaster might take place. Special events however, are known ahead ...

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    DHS Funding Bill: Political Roadblocks

    February 26, 2015

    By CHHS Extern Jackie Togno The Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) funding bill is set to expire tomorrow, February 27, 2015. In November, President Obama issued an executive order that offers protection to an estimated 4 million undocumented immigrants from deportation and would permit them to work legally if they have ...

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    The Next Public Health Emergency: The Superbug

    February 24, 2015 by Ben Yelin

    While the country’s attention has moved beyond last Fall’s Ebola panic, a new public health threat has emerged from a particularly disturbing place: a major U.S. hospital system. The University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) health system notified 179 patients last week that they may have been exposed last fall ...

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    Online Health Clinics and their Potential Application During Pandemics

    February 19, 2015

    By CHHS Extern Lisa Bowen Online health clinics are the 21st century’s version of a house call. Individuals no longer have to travel to and wait in line at a doctor’s office. Instead, patients can receive a diagnosis, treatment plan, and even prescriptions from the comfort of their homes. Individuals who ...

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    Radio Encryption Does Not Outweigh Interoperability

    February 18, 2015 by Vernon Herron

    Washington DC Mayor Muriel Bowser last week reversed the decision by the City’s previous administration to encrypt radio communications in the Metropolitan Fire Department. The change in policy comes on the heels of a deadly smoke incident aboard a Metro Train that took the life of one passenger and left ...

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    Another Side of the Measles Discussion: Can Employers Require Vaccination?

    February 4, 2015

    By CHHS Research Assistant Mona Qureshi The year 2000 was supposed to mark the end of measles in the United States; however, in 2014 measles came back with a vengeance. From 2001 to 2013 measles cases in the US hovered around 200 cases annually, but in 2014 they spiked to 644 ...

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    It’s Time To Back Up Your Files: Ransomware Threat

    February 2, 2015

    By CHHS Extern Andrew Weissenberg Imagine booting up your computer and opening your email to find a message from the police. It alleges you were spotted surfing illegal websites, and that the police would not stop pursuing you unless you paid a fine. The price for not paying is to have ...

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    Deadly Paris Terrorist Attacks Further Increase Counterterrorism Measures in France

    January 30, 2015

    By CHHS Extern Jackie Togno The French government has been under immense pressure to increase national security in the wake of the deadly Paris attacks where seventeen people were killed earlier this month. People throughout France are now in fear of future attacks and many believe that the terrorist threat has ...

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    Public Safety Interoperability Challenges Remain – Why We Need FirstNet

    January 22, 2015 by Ben Yelin

    CHHS Senior Law and Policy Analyst Christopher Webster also contributed to this blog. Last week, an electrical fire in the Washington D.C. metro caused heavy smoke outside the L’Enfant Plaza Station. Dozens of passengers were trapped amidst thick black smoke. Carol Glover of Alexandria, Virginia tragically lost her life in the ...

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    January 2015: Top Six Issues in Cybersecurity

    January 16, 2015

    Co-authored by Ellen Cornelius and Markus Rauschecker – CHHS Senior Law and Policy Analysts as well as Adjunct Professors for Law and Policy of Cybersecurity at the University of Maryland School of Law Not a day goes by where we don’t hear about yet another cyber incident. With more and more high profile cyber ...

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    Enhancing Police Transparency Takes More Than Body Cameras

    December 4, 2014 by Vernon Herron

    After the highly publicized events which led to the death of Michael Brown by a Ferguson, Mo. police officer, Darren Wilson, and the varying eye witness accounts that both substantiated and refuted the version of Officer Wilson, there has been a wave of national support for mandatory police body cameras. ...

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    Narrowing the Scope of Cyberterrorism

    November 24, 2014

    By CHHS Extern Timothy Rice Politicians have claimed that cyber attacks “can shut this country down” and are “the equivalent of today’s nuclear weapon.” Combined with the widespread threat of terrorist activity, the term “cyberterrorism” invokes fear in the public and puts government on high alert. The debate about whether cyberterrorism ...

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    UMB Ebola Symposium: Fighting Ebola During the Post-Panic Phase

    November 21, 2014 by Ben Yelin

    A month ago, the Ebola outbreak was dominating the nightly news in the United States. One infected patient in Dallas had died, and an unknown number of medical professionals had been exposed. A man returning from Western Africa came to New York, rode the subway and went bowling. A nurse ...

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    Sluggish Response by US Regulatory Agencies Could Mean Missed Opportunity for Life Saving Drone Technology

    November 17, 2014

    By CHHS Research Assistant Laura Merkey Imagine if when faced with a life-threatening situation, ambulatory care is readily accessible and only a few minutes away, by air.  That is exactly the thought that occurred to Alec Momont, a 23 year-old student from Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands, after his parents ...

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    Once Policies are Established, Costs for Quarantines Should be Considered

    November 7, 2014 by Christine Gentry

    By CHHS Law and Policy Analyst Christine Gentry While public opinion favors mandatory quarantines of asymptomatic individuals with possible exposure to Ebola and several states are establishing quarantine policies, little discussion has been given to the cost of quarantine.  Naturally, overall cost will depend on the level of quarantine in place, ...

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    Ottawa Attacks, Islamic State Recruitment Tactics Spark Collective Action

    November 3, 2014

    By CHHS Research Assistant Laura Merkey Recent news reports and the media have been inundated with accounts of extremist attacks and shootings geared at government buildings or officials. Canadian citizens were shocked when a lone gunman, recently identified as Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, fatally shot a soldier who was guarding the National War ...