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August 7, 2013

Essay on Technology and Social Change

11:24 AM

Technology and Social Change
The heinous 9/11 attacks left the whole America in a state of awe and fear compounding the challenges of homeland security. Without a doubt, in the face of enormous challenges that emerged in the wake of twin-tower attack the use of technology has seen an unprecedented surge in the form of alarms, surveillance cameras and security checks. The problem that still lies at the heart of this issue is that the use of technology may minimize the looming threats of terrorism but it cannot fully eradicate it.
            Unarguably, technology has brought about significant social changes in the modern societies. For example, the advent of industrialism and internet has replaced manual labor with the automatic operations to a large extent. However, the excessive use of technology to combat terrorism has given way to controversy and concerns on the part of general public. The solution to the pressing problem of terrorism inherently does not lie in the use of technology but in the political and economic measures.(Chertoff, 2009)
            The plan (creation of TIPs) of the Pentagon already drew sharp criticism on itself and invited bashing of Homeland Security Act. Columnist William Safire, for example, in the New York Times wrote a flaming article against the project under the title “You are a suspect”. He warned that the United States against becoming an Orwellian police state through the project which was politically dubious.  The project “Total Information Awareness” he called instead the “dream of the super sniffer”, that is to know everything about every individual citizen.
      Quite tacitly, the people in United States seem averse to fully accept such a technological onset to curb terrorism. Despite its inherent loopholes, the technologically bent campaign against terrorism can yield best results once the cost of Homeland security is accurately measured and spent efficiently. The prudent use of technology can help can be extremely beneficial in dealing with the problems of security regulations and violation of privacy. A successful example is the Google’s email advertisement software, a data-mining system that reads its users’ emails to deploy relevant ads — highly intrusive, yet not intrusive at all because Google takes humans out of the loop. (Wang, 2009)
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 Needless to say, the rise of technology and terrorism has caused a palpable change in governmental policies, social structure, and way of life. The outcome of any social change determines its cogency and terrorism and technological ways to counter it have left the people of America even more vulnerable.

  Chertoff, Michael, (2009) Assessing the first five years  University of Pennsylvania Press
  Wang, L Charles (2009) Why Do we still need Homeland Security in America retrieved from
William, Safire (2002) “You are a Suspect” The New York Times, November 14


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