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September 15, 2013

Essay on Technology, The legal and Justice Professions

Technology, the Legal and Justice Professions

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 cost of homeland security has seen an unprecedented surge but still an efficient strategy in this regard can help government in handling other issues of local and global significance.

  That being said, the call for the use of technology in addressing the issues of security led our nation to witness controversies, waste of money, violation of privacy and personal rights but it is now the need of the day. The point being emphasized is that the homeland security program must lend a helping hand in dealing with other problems of the nation.  
    The then American president George following eight months of preparation came up with a comprehensive strategic plan against terrorism and regulations to strengthen homeland security. The 100-page document which was notified to the Congress was notified, was the first of its kind in American history.
      The aim was to prevent terror and to reduce vulnerability. “The U.S. government has no more important mission than protecting the homeland from future terrorist attacks,” Bush wrote in an accompanying letter.
Consequently, the House of Representatives passed the Homeland Security Act establishing the new super agency with many new skills. With a large majority of 299 against 121 votes, the House of Representatives has now approved the Homeland Security Act. Certainly, homeland security had its high cost of administering and enforcing the regulations that put personal freedom at stake and economy in doldrums.
The proposed bill was met with sharp criticism from all the quarters of American society. Chemical industry fought the legislation because it would require companies to submit security plans to EPA and Justice Department. Shippers hit back at the regulation of presenting advance notice for any US-bound ship. Technologists protested against mandated security requirements for the Internet. Banks opposed the Treasury Dept. regulations on the correspondent accounts in US while nuclear industry objected to the potential federalization of all security forces at nukes plants.

     The creation of TIPs proposed by the then Attorney General Ashcroft TIPS spy system was another attempt to combat the challenges of homeland security. The idea was that all citizens, especially the people whose behavior was considered suspicious in any way were ideal for monitoring.  Such a regulation allowed officials to have access to the private rooms of the suspect once such a behavior is reported to security forces. It was a spy system which only sparked protests among civil society. The proposed spy system of US justice system came under stark criticism in the public. Surely, such a regulatory act only raised concerns instead of solving the problems.    
The plan 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.

     The House of Representatives decided to move forward, despite great resistance from the White House and established an independent commission to probe into the events of 9/11. The task will continue for ages due to reasons such as failure of the intelligence to acquire adequate information regarding the imminent threat of terror plots. This limitation is another impediment in the handling of homeland security and other issues. A central task of the new ministry is to collect and process information. Thus, described as a task of the Directorate of Information Analysis and Infrastructure Protection of access to and analysis of information obtained from law enforcement, intelligence and other agencies, but also by private organizations. This information will be brought together to identify terrorist threats.

     Such a failure leads to a state of uncertainty and chaos. The worst of all is the indigenous population’s casting a suspicious eye on every foreigner citizen in United States.  Anyone can therefore, without notice due to the anti-terror laws, be put in prison and when a foreigner is in jail his case does not come under the ambit of civil law but anti-terrorism laws. Even the “super ministry” for Homeland security has become a cause for concern. This ministry is developing into a huge database in which all data of all Americans and non-Americans is collected. Of credit card transactions to control data to e-mail traffic – all these data come together in this ministry.  It of course insists that everything is under strict protection, but people have raised questions over such a possibility.(Ismaili, 2010)


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NetGuard: Civil Defense for the Internet

Equally controversial is the regulation for cyberspace. For example, the companies who have moved abroad from United States to any other part of the may still receive orders from the new ministry. Moreover, companies will be acting on behalf of the Ministry and produce such as vaccines against anthrax, cannot be held liable for damages. Whether the only products manufactured to the contracts relates, or possibly the company protects itself is unclear.
It is envisaged that information more protection of important infrastructure, ie be kept secret. Naturally, the security measures are developed for the networks. Among others, “NET Guard” can be established from voluntary experts who support the municipalities, when networks are attacked. Part of the law is the Cyber Security Enhancement Act, which provides for stiffer penalties for computer crime. It should also be a life sentence for perpetrators who caused the death of any other person intrusions into computer system.  Dissemination of prohibited funds would be closely monitored on the web as it will allow law enforcement agencies to obtain information about the suspected customers of ISPs without a warrant.(Carrafano and Sauter, 2009) 
The Security Advanced Research Projects Agency (SARPA) is to promote promising new technologies, primarily for the purpose of law enforcement and counterterrorism, and develop them as quickly as possible to provide the Ministry or other agencies available information. This includes not only monitoring and information processing technologies, forensic technologies and protection from weapons of mass destruction and the development of new weapons to terrorists such as to incapacitate. The American government wanted to lead the fight against terrorism being reinforced at home simultaneously. The core was a new Department of Homeland Security.
   All in all, 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)
   The shortcoming of Homeland security program can be overcome with efficient policies and utilization of the state-of-the-art technology to secure national security in future. The technology, if efficiently deployed, can be low-cost but not at the expanse of speed as in the case man hours. For example, the use of inexpensive nanoscale sensors can be instrumental in detecting chemical, biological, radiological explosives at crowded places without the intrusion of security forces officials. Technology is also helpful in deterring crime and other injustices being done locally. The pre-requisite for that is the efficient use of best technology available to us.

Carafano, James and Sauter, Mark (2005) Homeland security: a complete guide to understanding, preventing, and surviving terrorism McGraw-Hill Professional
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
Wang, L Charles (2009) Why Do we still need Homeland Security in America retrieved from


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