Terrorism: One of Humanity's Greatest Obstacle

2021-05-14 03:01:32
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Humanity has lived on for many millenniums and survived through many horrific and injurious obstacles. For instance, earthquakes, tsunamis, mega storms, famine, pandemics, world wars, the list could go on and on for quite a while. However, today, one of humanity's greatest obstacle is facing the risk of losing their freedom to terrorism. USA remained main target for terrorists around the world, mainly because of the great influence it possesses over the rest of the world and the freedom it upholds and defends, no matter the cost. Many view the ways of the United States and the rest of the western world as unethical and a disgrace to tradition and native culture. These false ideologies give these people reason to attack the western world and destroy what they stand for, hence terrorism. Extremism has sabotage breathes of millions of American citizens and soldiers, let alone the rest of the world. The United States government should have the right to hold surveillance apparatus towards its citizens in the name of national security, safety and freedom and in order to prevent future terrorist attacks, to also make it easier to track and catch criminals and to better understand and comfort the lives of its citizens.

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Terrorist related incidents have greatly grown over the years, resulting in the war on terrorism.

For instance, the United States suffered greatly during the attacks of 9/11 with the loss of 2,996 American lives. After the attacks, the United States enhanced its security measures and launched the war on terrorism. With many nations around the world joining the battle and helping to reduce the influence that terrorism possesses. However, the United States faces an obstacle towards winning the war on terrorism. This obstacle is the American people and their need for absolute privacy. Which brings up the question, which is more important, personal privacy or national security? The increase of surveillance has proven to be effective in savoring the United States from foreign threats. For example, in the article Government Surveillance written by CQ Press magazine, they state, Supporters of increased government surveillance say it has made the United States markedly safer from terrorists. If the NSA programs had been in place before the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks in New York and at the pentagon, they [the attacks] could have been prevented (721). As the article continues explaining, the greatest terrorist attack on U.S. soil could have been prevented by NSA surveillance that wouldve revealed that Khalid al-Mihdhar, one of the 19 hijackers, was in San Diego prior to the attack and communicating with an al Qaeda safe house in Yemen (721). Having less privacy as an American citizen is uncomfortable but necessary. We now know that the National Security Agency gathers phone logs and Internet data from millions of Americans as well part of its mission to keep the United States safe. Which is a great improvement because if the government is aware of what's happening where and by whom, they can prevent future attacks from happening and it would be all thanks to the sacrifice for lesser privacy in the name of national security by the American citizens. It all comes back to the ideology, if you have nothing to hide, then why care?

The United States government must be excused to monitor the privacy of its citizens to keep them safe and well protected. Some may argue that privacy is not just a human right but a constitutional one at that, but is it worth even just one American life, let alone the entire United States Population. The United States citizens must be accepting of all surveillance held by the government so that no lines should be crossed nor any constitutional law be broken. However, the government should do their part in finding a healthy balance between protecting the nation and the privacy of its people so that it earns the trust and faith of its citizens. Though there are some that just seek power and influence, most of the American leaders have what's best for the United States at heart and would do anything to protect it from the threats that stands in its way from prospering.

Its not just terrorism that can be crippled by the government by enhancing surveillance on the American citizens, it can also make catching criminals within State lines much easier. It would make it very difficult for murderers to walk this earth unpunished, rapists to continuously assault fellow Americans or drug lords to poison the streets of this graceful nation. Already, surveillance cameras, tapped phones and hacked computers have helped with the solving of many cases, but imagine if all cameras including home surveillance, or phone cameras were included in the factor to find evidence. Many more criminal cases would be closed and at a much faster rate.

Aside from helping nab criminals, surveillance measures can also be helpful to drug addicts who have overdosed and lie helpless in the alleys and backstreets of major cities. It might not be possible to completely eradicate the drug menace, as the dealers might at times outsmart the authorities or even collude with some unscrupulous officials. Mitigation of the devastating effects of drug addiction is the only plausible option available. In 2014 alone, an estimated 47,000 Americans died due to overdose, a majority of these deaths (60 percent) caused by heroin and related painkillers such as fentanyl. Various methods have been fronted to address the issue, though some appear controversial to the conservative. A radical measure was adopted where some sites were designated for addicts could shoot themselves with the drug and a nurse or a doctor would be on standby to administer an antidote if necessary. Such measures were however not readily accepted but were vehemently defended by some quarters. New York State assembly woman Rosenthal said "The idea shouldn't be dismissed out of hand. I don't see anyone else coming up with anything new and innovative." Such centers are not however widespread and most addicts could face imminent death from overdose. Surveillance cameras could come to the rescue of these helpless addicts. Installation of CCTV cameras could be helpful in alerting healthcare personnel of addicts facing imminent danger in the alleys and backstreets who could be rescued. Surveillance is not an infringement on civilian privacy but can be used to save lives at the nick of time.

Detectives in Oregon suspected that an auto shop was running a racketeering business where they bought stolen vehicles, crushed, and sold them as scrap. They however did not have any evidence to bring charges. They decided to install pole cameras across the street to monitor what activities were being carried out. In the end, the police identified 110 stolen vehicles taken to the business. Many complaints were thrown across the board, others claiming that the evidence was obtained illegally and could therefore not be used in the case. Some claimed that the cameras were installed in public places and was therefore an infringement on public privacy. But really the motive behind the installation of the pole cameras was not to violate on anyones privacy, nor to spy on any one passing by the street but to unravel an ongoing crime. Surveillance in this case was not an infringement on the Fourth Amendment as its sole purpose was to nab the perpetrators of an ongoing crime. The financial benefits and inconvenience achieved through this feat of busting the criminals could only best be felt by a car owner who lost his vehicle. Citizens should not be wary of surveillance as it is aimed at securing their well-being.

Schools and other social places such as malls have been soft targets for terrorists and maniac killers both in the United States and other parts around the globe. The Austin University in Texas and the Virginia Tech shootings flood back horrific memories and scenes. Installation of surveillance systems in schools and crowded public places could help the authorities thwart such vile plans before they can materialize. The Cho Seung-Huis and the Charles Whitmanscan be detected way earlier if surveillance measures had been instituted. It is only after such events have occurred that people tend to appreciate the importance of surveillance measures in institutions and public places. Whitman had reported that he experienced fits of rage and even told his doctor that he would shoot people from the tower. This red flag was however not taken seriously. Cho also had the same anger problems. Had these individuals been closely watched, they might not have killed as many people as they did.

The extensive censure of the use of drones in the recent past. Majority of them had fear drones are used for spying purposes. The truth however is that non-violent drones (no military, as they are commonly known) are used for other operations most beneficial for human existence. Drones are employed in scientific research, wildlife conservation and commerce. While most people fear that drones are specifically designed to be used by the government for surveillance, research has surprisingly proved this notion wrong. 17 percent of drones were used for carrying out scientific research, 14 percent for environmental and wildlife conservation and a further 14 percent for commerce. Surveillance ranked last. Before the advent of drone technology, borders were manned by personnel aided by erection of walls and fences. This was however cumbersome, inconvenient and ineffective. It is now possible to man rough terrains and forbidding conditions in the borders which cannot be accessed by the Border Patrol. Drones are capable of zooming on such areas with their strong cameras and flush out illegal immigrants as well as drug traffickers wishing to smuggle illegal merchandise through the border.

Nowadays, robbers and other criminals are wary of the presence of security cameras installed in strategic places. Various posts have been circulated by the police and private citizens on social media of alleged criminals whose photos were captured by these hidden cameras. These technologies might not prevent the occurrence of a crime, but they can help in apprehending the responsible culprits. Though privacy activists are all up in arms against this move, they cannot do much as these security installations are placed on private properties. Anyone who is intent in keeping the law ought not to be wary of their privacy as these security installations are merely aimed at identifying and recording criminals, not innocent civilians.

A jailer who was sexually harassing inmates was eventually fired from the Victoria County Sherriffs Office. The officer had asked the female inmate to strip for him on her birthday. The inmates were out in the recreation field in the station when an officer ordered them via the intercom to strip. The dismissal memo in part read "waning to dismiss creates an irrational risk of carelessly retentive of a member .officer was later heard asking the ladies not to report the incident, which they did anyway. The officer was later identified after an analysis of video surveillance. Officers who might have had similar intentions will have to think twice because they are aware of the presence of video surveillance watching over their every move. If surveillance can help nab individuals with such behavior, there is no point then of condemning such surveillance measures.

The public cry for their privacy rights to be upheld seems to waiver depending on circumstances. After the Paris terror attacks, for instance, public opinion softened towards communication companies providing personal encrypted information of its users to federal officials for national security purposes. According to a survey conducted by the Center for International Governance Innovation, approximately 60 percent of Ameri...

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