Security in the 21st century without adequate research and investment in technology is a mirage. The tension between individual privacy and law enforcement or national security interest has been enduring a force in the American life and beyond. Its origin long predating the advent of new media and current technologies. Europe is currently battling with a humanitarian crises of migrants risking their lives in the Mediterranean Sea in their quest for greener pastures. New measures were announced in Europe recently one of which was targeting and destroying the boats of smugglers. This caught my interest because I wondered this could be achieved without the use of technology. In order to form and maintain a strong union, establish justice and ensure domestic defense, there is need for us to uphold the security measures which include the use of domestic surveillance, drones, cctv cameras etc.
Now to domestic drones, these are remotely controlled aircraft used to monitor movements and basically ensure security of our homes. Drones have started to infiltrate into the domestic arenas where law enforcement agencies have been using light weight drones to conduct a variety of surveillance operations. As they are equipped with al manner of monitoring equipment’s ranging from high-resolution cameras to thermal-imaging devices that can heat signatures within buildings. Presently, the most controversial drone related issue has involved the use of a drone to target and kill a United States citizen outside battle field environment. The citizen an al-Qaida propagandist Anwar al-Awlaki who was killed by a missile attack in Yemen in 2011. This would not have been possible if they were thinking about individual privacy. Also the stringent security checks at various terminals has only an insignificant effect on the people’s privacy. But the lack of these strict check points poses a greater threat to humanity because if a passenger boarding a plane happens to be wearing a bomb and this explodes it could lead to the death of many. An example of the usefulness of these checks is the attempted bombing of the Northwest Airline on the 25th of December 2009 which left the Amsterdam airport Schiphol, Netherlands conveying up to 290 passengers. Luckily, the plan was thwarted.
Basically the question is “what is the people’s privacy compared to their security. Security measures should not be halted a result of ones privacy as this would complicate everything. A case was reported on the Monday 25th of May 2015 that an iPhone and a purse was stolen from the stadium of light during a concert. These items were recovered few hours later as a result of the tracker app installed on the phone coupled with the police GPS system tracking technology. This is invasion of privacy but it was a good thing as the phone was tracked down to Whitely Bay . Similar cases have been reported in the Far East even down to West Africa.
Also the Closed circuit television camera which does not stop crimes but gives hint on watch out for. It is specifically designed to monitor movements and actions in the area it is located. As seen in most parts of the world supermarkets, government houses and even residential homes are equipped with cctv cameras in order to prevent occurrences like shop lifting, theft and other categories of crimes. Even if one is committed, there is a lead to who the criminal is and this is clearly not invasion of privacy rather protection of privacy. Other types of surveillances measures include Electronic monitoring which is the surveillance of email, fax, telephone communications etc. This is when security personnel’s and law enforcement agencies cut into calls and other forms of communication in order to produce tangible evidence against the suspect. This is only done when the target risks severe injury or death. In this case, life is chosen over the privacy of that person. Others are undercover operations, three person surveillance, stationary technical surveillance, fixed surveillance etc. all of which are used by the government to find evidence enough to protect lives and properties of their citizens.
Finally, technology should be used to ensure that there is proper cooperation and coordination amongst security agencies through the deployment of cutting edge information and communication technology practices. These agencies can minimize the duplication of efforts, guard against the mishandling of information and enhance information sharing for a better management of national security. They can also pull the nations data together in a coordinated and centralized database was a proactive means of maintaining national security. Reports show that the United States and some countries in Europe, Asia, middle east and even in Africa are taking proactive steps at checkmating threats to their national security by latching on to revolutions in Information and communication technology because besides its speed, technology driven surveillance and intelligence gathering costs less in terms of men and logistics. This is why major and even minor terrorist attacks may never happen in these countries. This is essentially needed for developing and under developed countries all around the world to ensure peace.