Skip to Main Content
Have library access? Log in through your library
Freedom and Information

Freedom and Information: Assessing Publicly Available Data Regarding U.S. Transportation Infrastructure Security

Eric Landree
Christopher Paul
Beth Grill
Aruna Balakrishnan
Bradley Wilson
Martin C. Libicki
Copyright Date: 2006
Edition: 1
Published by: RAND Corporation
Pages: 110
  • Cite this Item
  • Book Info
    Freedom and Information
    Book Description:

    Describes a framework to guide assessments of the availability of data regarding U.S. anti- and counterterrorism systems, countermeasures, and defenses for planning attacks on the U.S. air, rail, and sea transportation infrastructure. Overall, the framework is useful for assessing what kind of information would be easy or hard for potential attackers to find.

    eISBN: 978-0-8330-4285-9
    Subjects: Technology, Transportation Studies

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-ii)
  2. Preface
    (pp. iii-iv)
  3. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  4. Figures
    (pp. vii-viii)
  5. Tables
    (pp. ix-x)
  6. Summary
    (pp. xi-xiv)
  7. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xv-xvi)
  8. Abbreviations
    (pp. xvii-xviii)
  9. CHAPTER ONE Introduction
    (pp. 1-14)

    This report concerns the feasibility of obtaining information relevant to planning terrorist attacks from publicly available sources. To the extent that such information is available, terrorists may be able to obtain it with little risk, as they need never set foot on the site of a potential attack target. With the growth of the Internet, the amount of freely available information—of all sorts—has risen enormously. Google®, for instance, references in excess of 8 billion pages.¹

    This growth has raised questions, particularly since September 11, 2001, about whether sensitive information is too easy to acquire.² In addition to increasing...

  10. CHAPTER TWO Defining Terrorists’ Information Requirements: The ModIPB Framework
    (pp. 15-26)

    What essential elements of information do terrorists need¹ to carry out a successful operation? The answer depends on what decisions need to be made. At the most general level, those questions are, “What should we attack?” and “How should we attack it?” In this report, we have defined “what to attack” in terms of the six scenarios described in Chapter One. Thus the framework for information-gathering that we propose here and the empirical red-team exercise focus on the “how”—that is, on finding information relevant to the practical concerns of executing the attacks specified in the scenarios.

    To define these...

  11. CHAPTER THREE Summary of Red-Team Findings and Validation
    (pp. 27-32)

    This chapter contains a brief discussion of each scenario. We first describe what terrorists might need to know before they carried out the attack portrayed in the scenario and then provide a general description of the results of the information-gathering exercise for each case. In Appendix A, we present detailed examples of the types of information collected by the red team; there, we list the essential elements of information that would likely be needed to carry out a successful terrorist attack in each scenario and catalog the information that project staff were able to find through open sources.

    Based on...

  12. CHAPTER FOUR Conclusions and Recommendations
    (pp. 33-44)

    As indicated in the previous chapter, the red-team information-gathering exercise revealed that a substantial amount of information regarding each of the attack scenarios that we defined as available in public sources. This chapter discusses this finding, explores the extent to which broader conclusions can be based upon it, and makes recommendations concerning the appropriateness of DHS actions or decisions.

    We characterize something as easy to find if similar information is available from multiple sources for multiple infrastructure targets of a similar type (e.g., all airports). Something is considered hard to find if only a single example of such information is...

  13. APPENDIX A What the Red Team Found
    (pp. 45-74)
  14. APPENDIX B Crosswalk of ModIPB and al Qaeda Manual
    (pp. 75-80)
  15. Bibliography
    (pp. 81-92)