CHOOSE ONE OF THE TOPICS AND TALK ABOUT IT.

· Terrorism

Terrorism remains one of the major concerns in the wake of the 9-11 events. Research into terrorism as it pertains to homeland security is conducted by corporations like the RAND Corporation, which is federally and privately funded. Terrorism as a research topic presents students with many different areas of fruitful inquiry. Possible topics in the area of terrorism include advanced community planning in response to the potential threat of terrorism, how to improve recruitment and retention within the homeland security counter-terrorism force, economic concerns in the aftermath of disaster, and the cost of increased security.

· Cybersecurity

Cybersecurity is another major research concern of homeland security. Given the potential for cyber-terrorism and the increased dependence on computers and the Internet for modern business, an act of sabotage against the nation's network infrastructure could prove devastating. Areas of concern noted by the Department of Homeland Security include combating malware and botnets, combating threats within the U.S., usable security, attack attribution and situational understanding, systems evaluation, and the survivability of time-sensitive threats.

· Privacy

Privacy is another major concern in homeland security, so much so that the Department of Homeland Security issued a research report in November 2010, dealing with the use of volunteers in homeland security research and their right to privacy in that setting. In the aftermath of the Patriot Act, signed into law in October 2010, the Department of Homeland Security and other government agencies have had to deal with the privacy issue. The Patriot Act gave government agencies like the FBI the right to use surveillance tools that had already been used against crimes like drug trafficking. Fruitful areas of research in this area include studies into the psychological impact of the Patriot Act on the American public, the extent to which citizens should have privacy or give up privacy in exchange for protection, and the way in which privacy rights impede the ability of investigators and counterterrorism units to do their job.

· Environmental Security

A fourth major concern within Homeland Security and of the Environmental Protection Agency is the potential environmental impact of biological and nuclear attacks on the United States. Areas of research that have been noted by the EPA include outdoor and indoor contaminant research, technological testing and evaluation programs, the vulnerability and responses of the nation's water systems, infrastructure protection, contaminant mitigation, decontamination and treatment, and risk assessment.

· Security and Cryptography

The Journal of Theoretical and Applied Information Technology affirms that computer security is a significant topic to write about. Analyzing how identity thieves use the Internet and how they are stopped makes for an interesting research paper. Some areas to discuss are phishing scams, email Trojans, and key log trackers. In the never ending cat-and-mouse game played by thieves and security agencies, you can discuss how modern security methods stop and catch thieves.

· Parallel Query Optimization

You can write about how databases retrieve information. For example, a person who has invented a device first has to do a search to make sure the device hasn't been patented already. The United States Patent Office (USPTO) uses “and” and “or” statements in its public patent search area. If an inventor has an idea for a new type of paint brush, he would type in “paint” AND “brush” to search the database only for “paint brush.” If he was to use “paint” OR “brush” the database would return results for any patents that contains the word “paint” or any patents that contains the word “brush” as well.

· Optimized Video Streaming

When the Internet was in its infancy, all connections were dial-up. This was extremely slow, but through a gradual evolution, baud rates (the rate of data transfer) increased dramatically. In 2010, video streaming is possible, with many “tube” sites available for people to upload and download video. Making the data transfer process as fast as possible is a science, and you can write about how that science is currently being used and refined.

· Cloud Computing: A new Era of IT Opportunity and Challenges

IT industry stands at the threshold of a new era in the technological leap. Cloud computing is everything that could answer the problems of IT companies. Cloud computing has the ability to make IT resources more cheaper and it gives businesses a great flexibility to expand. Discuss how cloud computing will prove to the next milestone in IT world.

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