How far can Homeland Security take domestic surveillance?
Technology is all around us. It's responsible for that IPOD or IPHONE you take for granted, it's the reason we all have laptop computers. If technology didn't evolve, we would never have new and exciting gadgets to play with every year. You get to the point where you wonder what amazing innovation they are going to come up with next? What fantastic invention will they market to the public that you just have to have to make your life easier? Yes, technology does simplify life, almost to the point where we really struggle without our Blackberry's or computers. But with the good always comes the bad. You aren't being paranoid if you think that big brother is watching over you, and you might not even believe the extent that new technology can go to both protect and monitor you.
After 9-11, President Bush declared a global war on terror. Suddenly one of the most talked about news items was "Homeland Security" and thousands of jobs were created for those with security training or a homeland security degree. For many, this was the first glimpse into how never-ending changes to technology are benefiting people who may not have the best interests of the general public at heart. Homeland Security has several purposes, the most important in that they attempt to console the people of the USA into feeling some sort of comfort again after such a vicious attack on their country. We saw immediate changes in how we travel, socialize, and even shop. The other not so hidden purpose of Homeland Security is that it gives the Government free reign to step on civil liberties in such a way that under any other circumstances would have resulted in a massive public outcry.
The war on terror gave President Bush and his team an open invitation to monitor for, seek out, and condemn those who were deemed terrorists in his own country. Eight years after 9-11 and one newly elected President later, the USA is still under constant surveillance by the Government. Assuming that their role is to protect us from terrorists, many consider that the powers that be have every right to go to extremes in order to protect our country's independence. Others, knowing the technology that has been utilized in our countries to seek out terrorists, aren't so sure they want that type of monitoring in the USA. Yes, they are protecting our independence from the terrorists, but who is protecting our personal independence from the government?
In Iraq and Afghanistan, retinal eye scans are the military's choice to keep an eye on local terrorists. The massive database of suspected individuals and inventory of eye scans has resulted in suspects being dealt with quickly and efficiently. With this technology, they can identify a suspected terrorist and shoot them immediately. There is no need for conversation, detainment, or to put the solider in harms way. If that sounds scary to you, that's because it is. Can you imagine this type of technology in the USA? Although you may feel secure knowing that you are protected from the crazy people who hijack airplanes and plot to kill innocent citizens, this type of monitoring would mean that the Government knows everything about you, including where you went shopping that day and what you had for lunch.
Yes, the USA needs protection after 9-11. It's clear that there are terrorists who are gunning specifically for the country and that they continue to make efforts to gain entrance. The protection that has resulted due to progress of technology is mind-boggling. However, if the new innovations that are being used in the war on terror make their way to the USA, you can guarantee that the war on terror will never truly be over either. What started as a means of protection has evolved into an enterprise, where fear fuels the industry. It remains to be seen whether the fight against terrorism will give the government a legitimate reason to expand on domestic surveillance to the point where we all feel we are under a microscope.
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