09 Jan Running Head: POLICE 1 POLICE 4 Question – What role should state and local law enforcement play in the fight against terrorism and cyber-crimes today? How should we evaluate the success or failure of U.S. policy on terrorism?
Running Head: POLICE 1
Question – What role should state and local law enforcement play in the fight against terrorism and cyber-crimes today? How should we evaluate the success or failure of U.S. policy on terrorism? What, if any, legal rights should terrorist suspects have in terms of access to legal counsel, protection from abuse while detained and questioned, and the harsh conditions of their detention?
State and local law enforcement play a very important role because they are often the first contact that is made with a potential terrorist or cyber criminal. Some offenses can be handled at the state and local level (investigation and prosecution), but some larger offenses such as mass terrorism plots, or cyber fraud in the millions of dollars, can be forwarded to the FBI or whichever federal agency is appropriate to handle it. Some investigations go directly to federal agencies (and never cross paths with local law enforcement) due to surveillance, confidential informants, tips, and other reasons. But it is still important that state and local law enforcement is the front line for these investigations. I think the success/failure of US terrorism policy since 9/11 should be measured by the terrorism incidents since then. We have had no massive terrorism incidents on US soil since 9/11, and we have had numerous incidents which were foiled by investigators (Katulis & Juul, 2021).
Sure, there have been some incidents such as the Boston Marathon bombing, and San Bernardino, but I truly believe we can never stop every single threat without a full seizure of our liberties (which should not happen). This leads me to believe intelligence agencies are sharing information better and thwarting threats. I also believe the passage of the homeland security act after 9/11 was a good thing because it got more federal agencies (that are important to national security) under the same umbrella which makes information sharing better (Mays & Ruddell, 2018). I believe terrorism suspects that we have in our custody on US soil should be afforded the same rights and protections as regular inmates in our custody, (4th, 5th, 6th, 8th amendment rights, etc.). They should be afforded the same living conditions as regular inmates in our jails and prisons. This should be the same for military confinement, etc. Where I feel they should not be afforded the same protections is when there is an imminent threat to live due to a likely terrorism plot. For example if there is credible information that the suspect is part of a plot which could lead to another 9/11 type incident, they should be allowed to be interrogated without an attorney and without protection from self incrimination, in order to save lives.
The importance of state and federal law enforcement in today’s overview is critical. To further comprehend the function, we’ll look at a few pieces of laws that have been established to keep track of those who perpetrate these crimes against not only government employees but also the general public. First, we’ll look at the USA Patriot Act, which was enacted in the aftermath of the horrible events of 9/11. The Patriot Act is intended to serve as a deterrent and punishment for individuals who commit terrorist activities in the United States and other countries. This act also equips law enforcement with the resources and procedures they need to develop preventative measures, detect types of financial money laundering in terrorism, and prosecute all those implicated.
However, prior to the tragic events of 9/11, Congress passed the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act in 1978 in response to governmental groups or agents eavesdropping on political groups in the 1960s and 1970s. Surveillance for national security intelligence purposes could continue without regular court oversight, but only with the blessing of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC), a secret federal tribunal that “decides whether to approve wiretaps, data collection, and government requests to monitor suspected terrorists and spies.” Both acts come together today to create a system to track any suspected terrorism threats or acts.
When it comes to the infringement of one’s private rights and privacy, members of society have contended that the Patriot Act has done more harm than good. Prior to the Patriot Act, the amount of information the government could get from a communications provider through an administrative or grand jury subpoena was limited. The information gathered by a subpoena could only be obtained in the individual’s name or address. If more information was needed for an investigation, the investigator had to acquire a court warrant, an actual court order, or the consent of the person being investigated.
Question 2 – How should we balance security and liberty? We have specific constitutional rights that were written to protect citizens from our own government. Why should we, as citizens, give up some rights and the expectation of privacy for the government to more readily protect us from cybercrimes and terrorism?
Our liberty depends on our security. The purpose of our security is to eliminate any threat of terrorism in the United States. The only thing I would say about giving up some of our privacy rights is that it could possibly increase our level of safety. The first question that comes to my mind is what level of privacy are we supposed to give up? For me I would care there was access to my computer such as browser history or emails. My cell phone could even be watch as well but when it comes to surveillance I would say no because not that I’m a criminal and have anything to hide but it’s definitely limitations on privacy. I could see why they would feel like this would help but then to me I also see it as us giving our government more power over us. Privacy is a human right, and this right is set in place to protect our dignity. There is a lot of policies and software set in place to handle issue such as misuse of things or people doing things that they have no business doing such as stealing people’s information off the internet or things that pop up as a red flag notifies national security and DHS. According to a article I found it mentions “The National Security Agency (NSA) collects hundreds of millions of emails, texts and phone calls every day and has the ability to collect and sift through billions more. WIRED just reported NSA is building an immense new data center which will intercept, analyze and store even more electronic communications from satellites and cables across the nation and the world. Though NSA is not supposed to focus on US citizens, it does. cellphones of private individuals in the US are being tracked without warrants by state and local law enforcement all across the country. With more than 300 million cellphones in the US connected to more than 200,000 cell phone towers, cellphone tracking software can pinpoint the location of a phone and document the places the cellphone user visits over the course of a day, week, month or longer. The FBI admits it has about 3,000 GPS tracking devices on cars of unsuspecting people in the US right now, even after the US Supreme Court decision authorizing these only after a warrant for probable cause has been issued (Quigley, 2021)”. This seems to focus on citizen in my opinion.
When we speak on the matters of a balance in the desire to safe keep one’s liberty while implementing guidelines to keep security at its highest level, it can lead to some form of tension seen. From past political debates on the matter, national security has always been the main goal of focus, while abiding by constitutional laws of privacy. Today, civil liberty groups bring concerns that a balance of both are needed, and that if one is off balance then the other it will continue the tension. “To achieve security, government responses must be proportional to the perceived threat and measured in how they are implemented. At the same time, civil liberties advocates argue that because government responses are usually reactive after a threat arises, a more permanent solution may be found by countering extremism through reform in effect, the creation of an environment that counters conditions conducive to encouraging radical sentiment. ” (Okada & Sardina, 2019, Pg. 207). In other words, government officials act upon national security by some type of image or influence, when an event has taken place already. In these counterterrorist options, they are seen by the misgivings of advocate groups, due to the practices and procedures from DHS. Some examples given these factors are regulating the media, electronic surveillance, terrorist profiling, and labeling detainees. When it comes to a regulation of media, some information may be given out that contains sensitive information, which could pose a threat to national security. With surveillance, this controversial topic has always had concerns when it comes to the privacy of its very own citizens. Some individuals who are monitored through this form of technology used by governmental security, which ended with those being innocent of all crimes accused. Terrorist profiling, led up after the horrific event of 9/11 when FBI offices created a profile of criminal investigations, which were placed in a category of what a terroristic threat, or person may look, or act like. This leads us into labeling detainees. Soldiers of war who were captured and imprisoned, are given legal rights under the international law, but those who are not citizens of the United States, are not given the same rights and protection when being prosecuted for their crimes. (Okada & Sardina, 2019, Pg. 208).
However, should we as citizens forfeit some rights, we are given under the Constitution and Bill of rights in privacy, in order to prevent possible terroristic attacks, or cybercrime? In my perspective and understating’s from both sites of oppositions, no. If an individual is suspected without a reasonable of at doubt, then they should be given the right to counsel like all other criminal proceedings in a court of law to process and come to a verdict. If we are to allow those of government officials the right to access information and monitor its citizens without reason, it violates the fourth amendment, which states those of government cannot conduct a search without a warrant from the courts showing probable cause of crime that has or will happen. (UScourts.gov).
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