The whistle blown by Edward Snowden regarding the NSA spying on many a nations National security is the requirement to maintain the survival of the state through the use of economic power, diplomacy, power projection and political power. The concept developed mostly in the United States after World War II. Initially focusing on military might, it now encompasses a broad range of facets, all of which impinge on the non military or economic security of the nation and the values espoused by the national society.
Accordingly, in order to possess national security, a nation needs to possess economic security, energy security, environmental security, etc. Security threats involve not only conventional foes such as other nation-states but also non-state actors such as violent non-state actors, narcotic cartels, multinational corporations andnon-governmental organisations; some authorities include natural disasters and events causing severe environmental damage in this category. Measures taken to ensure national security include: * using diplomacy to rally allies and isolate threats marshalling economic power to facilitate or compel cooperation * maintaining effective armed forces * implementing civil defense and emergency preparedness measures (including anti-terrorism legislation) * ensuring the resilience and redundancy of critical infrastructure * using intelligence services to detect and defeat or avoid threats and espionage, and to protect classified information * using counterintelligence services or secret police to protect the nation from internal threats Definitions[edit source | editbeta]
There is no single universally accepted definition of national security. The variety of definitions provide an overview of the many usages of this concept. The concept still remains ambiguous, having originated from simpler definitions which initially emphasised the freedom from military threat and political coercion to later increase in sophistication and include other forms of non-military security as suited the circumstances of the time. 1]:1-6:52-54 A typical dictionary definition, in this case from the Macmillan Dictionary (online version), defines the term as “the protection or the safety of a country’s secrets and its citizens” emphasising the overall security of a nation and a nation state.  Walter Lippmann, in 1943, defined it in terms of war saying that “a nation has security when it does not have to sacrifice its legitimate interests to avoid war, and is able, if challenged, to maintain them by war”. 1]:5 A later definition by Harold Lasswell, a political scientist, in 1950, looks at national security from almost the same aspect, that of external coercion::79 “The distinctive meaning of national security means freedom from foreign dictation. ” National Security Act of 1947 The concept of national security became an official guiding principle of foreign policy in the United States when the National Security Act of 1947 was signed on July 26, 1947 by U. S. President Harry S. Truman.
As amended in 1949, this Act: * created important components of American national security, such as the precursor to the Department of Defense); * subordinated the military branches to the new cabinet level position of Secretary of Defense; * established the National Security Council and the Central Intelligence Agency; Notably, the Act did not define national security, which was conceivably advantageous, as its ambiguity made it a powerful phrase to invoke whenever issues threatened by other interests of the state, such as domestic concerns, came up for discussion and decision.
The notion that national security encompasses more than just military security was present, though understated, from the beginning. The Act established the National Security Council so as to “advise the President on the integration of domestic, military and foreign policies relating to national security”. While not defining the “interests” of national security, the Act does establish, within the National Security Council, the “Committee on Foreign Intelligence”, whose duty is to conduct an annual review “identifying the intelligence required to address the national security interests of the United States as specified by the President”.
Current American views The U. S. Armed Forces defines national security of the United States in the following manner : A collective term encompassing both national defense and foreign relations of the United States. Specifically, the condition provided by: a. a military or defense advantage over any foreign nation or group of nations; b. a favorable foreign relations position; or c. a defense posture capable of successfully resisting hostile or destructive action from within or without, overt or covert.
In 2010, the White House included an all-encompassing world-view in a national security strategy which identified “security” as one of the country’s “four enduring national interests” that were “inexorably intertwined”: “To achieve the world we seek, the United States must apply our strategic approach in pursuit of four enduring national interests: * Security: The security of the United States, its citizens, and U. S. allies and partners. * Prosperity: A strong, innovative, and growing U. S. conomy in an open international economic system that promotes opportunity and prosperity. * Values: Respect for universal values at home and around the world. * International Order: An international order advanced by U. S. leadership that promotes peace, security, and opportunity through stronger cooperation to meet global challenges. Each of these interests is inextricably linked to the others: no single interest can be pursued in isolation, but at the same time, positive action in one area will help advance all four. ” National security and rights ;amp; freedoms
The measures nearly universally adopted around the world to maintain national security in the face of the possible threats has led to ongoing dialectic struggle, particularly in liberal democracies, between government authority and civil and human rights. These are natural tensions of the process of maintaining self-determination and sovereignty and keeping the rights and freedoms of individuals. Although national security measures are imposed to protect society as a whole, many such measures may restrict the rights and freedoms of individuals in society.
Where the exercise of national security laws and powers is not subject to good governance, the rule of law, and strict checks and balances, there is a risk that national security may simply serve as a pretext for suppressing unfavourable political and social views. Measures which may ostensibly serve a national security purpose, such as mass surveillance, and censorship of mass media, could ultimately lead to an Orwellian dystopia. In the United States, the controversial USA Patriot Act and other governmental actions has brought the issues of rights and freedoms to citizen’s attention.
Among questions raised: to what extent for the sake of national security individual rights and freedoms can be restricted, and how the restriction of civil rights for the sake of national security be justified in an absence of war. USA PATRIOT Act The USA PATRIOT Act of 2001 is an Act of Congress that was signed into law by President George W. Bush on October 26, 2001. The title of the act is a ten-letter acronym (USA PATRIOT) that stands for Uniting (and) Strengthening America (by) Providing Appropriate Tools Required (to) Intercept (and) Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001.
It is commonly referred to as the Patriot Act. The act, as a response to the terrorist attacks of September 11th, significantly weakened restrictions on law enforcement agencies’ gathering of intelligence within the United States; expanded the Secretary of the Treasury’s authority to regulate financial transactions, particularly those involving foreign individuals and entities; and broadened the discretion of law enforcement and immigration authorities in detaining and deporting immigrants suspected of terrorism-related acts.
The act also expanded the definition of terrorism to include domestic terrorism, thus enlarging the number of activities to which the USA PATRIOT Act’s expanded law enforcement powers can be applied. On May 26, 2011, President Barack Obama signed the PATRIOT Sunsets Extension Act of 2011, a four-year extension of three key provisions in the USA PATRIOT Act: roving wiretaps, searches of business records (the “library records provision”), and conducting surveillance of “lone wolves”—individuals suspected of terrorist-related activities not linked to terrorist groups.
Functional aspects[edit source | editbeta] Because of the highly competitive nature of nation states and the fluid state of world order, national security preparedness depends as much on routine technical measures and operational procedures as on central decision making. This ranges from information protection to state secrets to weaponry to international negotiation strategies. Any given national security apparatus runs on combination of management practices and technical capabilities.
Emerging issues such as proliferation, failing states, climate change and global terrorism increasingly dominate the reality of competition between nation states. All of these lead to the need to have a clear understanding of the technical issues underlying national security in order to create and sustain the national security institutions that may ultimately affect the future of a nation state. Homeland security is an American umbrella term referring to the national effort to prevent terrorist attacks within the United States, reduce the vulnerability of the U. S. o terrorism, and minimize the damage from attacks that do occur.  The term arose following a reorganization of many U. S. government agencies in 2003 to form the United States Department of Homeland Security after the September 11 attacks, and may be used to refer to the actions of that department, the United States Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, or the United States House of Representatives Committee on Homeland Security. In the United States, the concept of “Homeland Security” extends and recombines responsibilities of government agencies and entities.
According to Homeland security research, the U. S. federal Homeland Security and Homeland Defense includes 187 federal agencies and departments, including the United States National Guard, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the United States Coast Guard, Customs and Border Protection, U. S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, the United States Secret Service, the Transportation Security Administration, the 14 agencies that constitute the U. S. intelligence community and Civil Air Patrol.
Although many businesses now operate in the area of homeland security, it is overwhelmingly a government function. Homeland security is officially defined by the National Strategy for Homeland Security as “a concerted national effort to prevent terrorist attacks within the United States, reduce America’s vulnerability to terrorism, and minimize the damage and recover from attacks that do occur”.  Because the U. S. Department of Homeland Security includes the Federal Emergency Management Agency, it also has responsibility for preparedness, response, and recovery to natural disasters.
The scope of homeland security includes: Emergency preparedness and response (for both terrorism and natural disasters), including volunteer medical, police, emergency management, and fire personnel; Domestic and International intelligence activities, largely today within the FBI; Critical infrastructure and perimeter protection; Border security, including both land, maritime and country borders; Transportation security, including aviation and maritime transportation; Biodefense; Detection of radioactive and radiological materials; Research on next-generation security technologies.
On June 6, the Guardian newspaper in Britain and the Washington Post in the United States revealed the American government’s ongoing efforts to monitor the activities of people all around the world. They did so only after verifying the authenticity of the confidential documents they had obtained. The top-secret documents showed that through an electronic surveillance program code-named PRISM, the U. S. National Security Agency (NSA) as well as the FBI have direct access to the communication data of nine major technology companies enabling them to identify suspicious communications.
On June 9, the “whistleblower,” former CIA employee Edward Snowden, revealed his identity. Allegedly, the PRISM program was first implemented in 2007, during the George W. Bush administration. Its creation was enabled by the Protect America Act, which U. S. Congress had just passed. A year later, amendments were made to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), authorizing private companies to collaborate with intelligence agencies in order to expand the NSA and other agencies’ monitoring capacity, while immunizing these private companies from potential infringement of privacy lawsuits.
This scandal has seriously harmed the reputation of the United States. However, it should encourage global citizens to think about human rights in the Internet age, in particular about people’s privacy and the rights to property and the freedom derived from it. It took thousands of years to develop the constitutional protection of human rights, with its measures and values. However, while Internet brings social progress it also provides those in power with too much room to maneuver — and too much temptation. This could lead to the rapid destruction of those hard-won human rights.
These rights are clearly defined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, proclaimed by United Nations as such: “No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honor and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks. ” However, in the Internet age, our e-mails, instant messages, phone records, social media, private correspondence and text messages can all be listened to, obtained, and monitored. According to Edward Snowden, the U. S. overnment surveillance force is all-powerful and ubiquitous. In addition, many of these intelligence agencies employees can easily invade anyone’s privacy. This phenomenon urged Snowden to tell the truth, even if it comes at a great personal cost. The right to privacy naturally extends to property rights. Before the Internet age, in countries with the rule of law, one could say “my home is my castle. ” Money, things, documents and letters could be considered safe in one’s home. If a person tried to steal this property, they were violating its owner’s rights, and breaking the law.
Even governments could not intrude, peep into or plunder someone’s home illegally. However, in the Internet age, programs such as PRISM can precisely break into our electronic “homes:” mailbox, cloud storage, chats, etc. , and steal our property – credit card numbers, trade secrets, intellectual property rights and so on. Finally there is the right to freedom, and specially the freedom of expression. In the real world and countries with the rule of law, one can talk about almost any topic with trusted friends relatively safely and this is a right that is protected by most countries’ constitution. Power and wisdom
However, in the virtual online world, not only can their conversations be monitored, but they can also be stored away for a long time ready to be dug out whenever it serves somone’s purposes. This is like the King Li of Zhou Dynasty, a corrupt Chinese monarch of the 9th century BC who controlled his people rather than listening to any remonstration. He sent out minions on the streets to listen to what people were saying. Anyone who was overhead talking against him would be punished. Where is freedom of speech if we know that our secrets and flaws are captured, stored and labeled, ready to be used when needed?
In the age of big data, which we are entering, those in power will possess even greater power. Mass storage coupled with machine learning and data mining can greatly enhance the efficiency of monitoring. Not only is our information peeped at; our voices can be overheard and automatically identified – Snowden also mentioned this point. Our online behavior can be monitored too. What we buy online and download, what we say to strangers, and even our geo-location can be under the control of a program such as PRISM.
This kind of intelligent software can even predict the decisions we make and the things we do in the future. Once these technologies are fully deployed, the suffocating and terrifying totalitarian society described in George Orwell’s novel Nineteen Eighty-Four will appear in the Internet age. As 19th century English historian and political thinker John Dalberg-Acton stated: “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. ” In the real world, thousands of years of human wisdom has resulted in various ways of restricting the abuse of power.
But in the virtual world, where people’s supervision is absent, with the support of big data technology in the name of “national security,” the power of those in authority has reached a record high. Lured by absolute power, authorities will do whatever they want and this will result in rampant rights violations. How are we to protect the vulnerable netizens from this? Should we establish more stringent standards of protection, liability? Check and balance the state apparatus through organizing international monitoring such as the Global Network Initiative?
Are there technological means that can keep an eye on those in power? When rights are infringed can the rapid disclosure of the violation be a deterrent? Hopefully, the PRISM program and Edward Snowden’s revelations will awake the sleeping netizens of the world and make them understand that in the virtual environment, they are at an absolute disadvantage with those in power. We urgently need to set up limits, to balance and to hold accountable our rulers. If we remain silent, it will be too late for regrets when we wake up one day and discover suddenly that we are living in the world described in
Nineteen Eighty-Four. How does Prism affect me? According to Snowden’s leak, the Prism program has been operational for the last six years. Again, while we can’t be sure of the exact extent of the program without seeing the unreleased slides, it would appear that Prism gives the US government access to just about any data you might have residing on servers based in US data centers. This might sound scary, but ask yourself this: Has anything happened in the past six years that has made you think “damn, I feel so oppressed by the US government’s data collection measures”?
As far as the NSA and FBI are concerned, Prism, the Verizon wiretap, and probably hundreds of other sources of data, all serve just one purpose: Bolstering the security of the United States of America. The US intelligence community doesn’t actually care if you’re searching for porn, or how to grow your own weed; but it does care if you start searching for bomb recipes, and then posting photos of My First Nail Bomb on Facebook. It’s also important to remember the difference between data logging and data mining.
Yes, there’s a possibility that the US government is logging a lot of your data, but in the vast majority of cases that’s it — your data is logged, and then after a certain amount of time it’s deleted. If it turns out that you’re a terrorist, or some other threat to national security, all of your logged data suddenly becomes very valuable indeed — all of those innocuous phone calls and cryptic status updates could be used to track down you and your co-conspirators. It’s no good if the US government only starts logging data after a terrorist commits an atrocity. How to protect yourself from Prism, and other wiretaps
If you want to stay out of the ireful, omnipresent eye of the US and other governments, Prism, and the extensive wiretaps that undoubtedly exist throughout the world’s internet and telephony networks, here are a few tips. Stop using social networks. If it turns out that the US government has direct access to Facebook, Microsoft, and Google’s servers, you really should stop using their services. You can try using another social network that’s outside Prism’s catchment area, but really you’re just delaying the inevitable. Surf using HTTPS. If you use Chrome or Firefox, you should install the EFF’s HTTPS Everywhere add-on.
HTTPS is an encrypted form of HTTP, the protocol that your browser uses to fetch web pages from remote servers. HTTPS should prevent the NSA from intercepting your communications — but, obviously, if the NSA/FBI already has access to the remote server you’re communicating with, HTTPS won’t do you much good. Create an alternate identity, then surf using a proxy/VPN. One of the best ways to prevent the government from tracking you is to assume an alternate identity for all your communications — or at least all of your digital communications — and then use a proxy or VPN to obscure your physical location.
Encrypt your phone calls, or use a burner phone. If you want to make phone calls that can’t be tracked back to you, our sister site PC Magazine has compiled a big list of encrypted and burner phone services. Bear in mind that some of these services might be nullified by a NSA backdoor, and voice analysis could be used to link your calls back to your identity. Ultimately, as you’ve probably surmised, it’s almost impossible to keep your identity and actions hidden from your government.
The only real solution is to get your government to stop snooping on you in the first place, but the chances of that happening are close to nil. Really, we just have to pray that the government doesn’t use its powers for evil — and that it doesn’t mess up and allow hackers into its massive databases. Security Cameras and Privacy In the fight against crime, police forces and governments are increasingly using security cameras in public places. Some people are opposed to this, saying that it invades our privacy. What do you think? The individual has a right to privacy! Security cameras have become ubiquitous in many countries.
Whereas before they appeared only in banks and at high-security areas, they are now entering public places such as malls, streets, stadiums and transport. Many people feel this affects their privacy. This essay will examine whether the advantages of these cameras outweigh their negative impact. Surveillance cameras have several benefits. An obvious benefit is that the police can catch criminals in the act, thus reducing crime. This will make the streets safer for ordinary people. A more important point is that criminals, particularly young offenders or petty criminals will be deterred.
They will not be tempted to carry out crimes, and thus society will be a lot safer. Cameras are also cost-effective and unobtrusive. Authorities do not need to spend large amounts of money on police. However, security cameras are far from being a perfect solution. The biggest objection concerns privacy. Many people feel that they should be free to travel or move around a shop, mall, street or country without being photographed or recorded. They feel that being watched constantly is like being in a jail, and that ordinary people are losing their freedom because of these devices.
Another point is that although the police say that only criminals have something to fear from the cameras, many people do not trust governments with too much information. Corrupt authorities could use information in the wrong way or twist it to victimize some groups. Thirdly, cameras and computers can make mistakes. In conclusion, although there are definite advantages to using surveillance devices such as cameras, we need to balance the need for security with respect for the individual’s privacy and freedom. If we do not trust the members of society, a situation like George Orwell’s “1984? could be the result.