Tag Archives: Department of Homeland Security

DHS Provides Grants To Investigate Radicalization

The Department of Homeland Security has awarded a $699,763 grant to terrorism and security researchers to study the cross section of extremism and gaming, Vice reported. That may sound strange, at first, but it is part of a program that The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has started.

The DHS Targeted Violence and Terrorism Prevention Grant Program (TVTP) provides funding for state, local, tribal, and territorial governments, nonprofits, and institutions of higher education with funds to establish or enhance capabilities to prevent targeted violence and terrorism. Developing local prevention capabilities is a key element of Goal 3 of the Strategic Framework to Counter Terrorism and Targeted Violence. The TVTP Grant Program provides assistance to implement that goal and develops innovative solutions to prevent terrorism and targeted violence.

You can find a list on the DHS website that shows which groups were given grants to fight extremism and terrorism. One of them is the United States Esports Association.

“The present project is an out-of-school (OST) program for college students that comprises leadership, activism, and development components in relation to competitive video gaming and esports. The leadership component focuses on character-building and development of grit and rigor in students’ academic, personal, and professional lives. The development component focuses on workforce development activities, including skills training and experiential learning with on-the-job and projects-based activities.

The present project achieves resilience to radicalization within local communities and online by leveraging young people’s participation in esports as well as their self-drive and aspirations for success as vehicles for developing, integrating, and delivering a TVTP framework particular to their unique risk profile. As esports grows in cultural impact, comorbid risk factors must be addressed early before bad form sets in. Esports’ immense sociocultural diversity opens the door for malign state and non state actors to radicalize our young people, especially through esports washing by authoritarian regimes. The present project, therefore, is a comprehensive hedge against the emergence of esports-based TVT throughout the United States by matching TVIP efforts to lifespan development and cultural interests”

There is also a grant for The Children’s Hospital Corporation. The goal here is to equip and empower four local school districts to be able to better identify and help youth at risk for radicalization to violence or targeted violence and terrorism. This will be done through the establishment of school-based threat assessment teams (TATs), increasing awareness of signs of violence risk, facilitating referral pathways to the school-based TATs, and supporting robust assessment, management and intervention of referred youth through coordination and connection with Massachusetts Area Prevention (MAP) Program at Boston Children’s Hospital.

A grant was given to onePULSE Foundation, which was created to memorialize the Pulse Nightclub shooting in 2016 to ensure Pulse’s legacy of love, acceptance and hope is never lost. Since this attack, onePULSE has been increasing societal awareness of the shooting, and stretching the boundaries on controversial topics and increasing dialogue around the LGBTQ+ community and resilience. onePULSE Academy is the education arm of onePULSE, whose purpose is to promote acceptance and inclusion through innovation, reflective, experiential learning methods. onePULSE aims to positively impact social change at the individual, group, and community levels.

Those are just a few of the groups who received grants from the DHS. You can read about more of them on the DHS website. Personally, I think that this is a really great way to prevent kids and young adults to become radicalized. Sometimes, all it takes to prevent a young person from going down that road is for good people to give them a more positive, healthy, way to live their lives.

All Your .com Are Belong To US

In the latest cyber moves by the Dept of Homeland Security against a Canadian on-line gambling outfit, it’s been confirmed that if it’s a .com domain, it falls under US jurisdiction, regardless of where the servers are, where the company is incorporated or who the domain registrar is.

Strangely for the “Land of the Free”, Americans aren’t allowed to gamble on-line but this didn’t stop Bodog, a Canadian-based on-line gambling site with the domain bodog.com, from aggressively marketing its services to US citizens. As a result, Bodog’s four owners have been indicted (pdf) on various internet gambling charges.

Almost everything to do with this organisation was out of harm’s way in Canada – the company, the owners, the servers, the domain registrar – so the DHS took the step of forcing Verisign into doing the dirty work. Verisign manages the .com infrastructure and they removed (pdf) some of the key linking records to the bodog.com domain, thus putting the domain off the net.

In this instance, it can be hard to feel any particular sympathy with Bodog as it appears that they did what they did knowing that it was illegal. Regardless, though the point is now made that a .com can be taken off the internet pretty much because the US doesn’t like it. Selling holidays to Cuba – you’re gone. Trading with Iran – you’re off-line. Evolution is a fact – you’re history.

If you or your organisation has a .com, you’re now under US jurisdiction, and if you think this is bad, imagine what it would have been like if SOPA had been enacted.