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Deep Discussion: Civil Liberties vs. Security

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  • Deep Discussion: Civil Liberties vs. Security

    There is a conflict in this country between security and civil liberties. If security acts on all probable threats, they are over-reacting bad guys. If security fails to act on a probable threat and the worst happens then they are the ones who dropped the ball. Boiled down, this thinking is why 9/11 happened and Katrina was so bad. Security and Law Enforcement got a lot of heat after Columbine because they didn't act on the pre-existing threat, but caught heat after expelling several students who had made any threatening remark.

    The discussion question is: Freedom vs. Security: How / what do we do as professionals to find and create a balance and at what point should one take precedence over the other?

  • #2
    Here is my 2 cents.

    We as an industry have to do a better job of educating the public. I think it is really that simple.

    My company does security integration at the enterprise class level, and I can?t tell you how many times people expect electronic security to be like what they see on TV-even security directors, IT directors and other executives, people who should now better.

    I personally feel that the security sector needs to do a better job of presenting itself, maybe along the lines of the IT sector. IT has done a remarkable job of integrating into the social fabric, not seamlessly mind you but far better than the security sector. IT professional has the potential to invade privacy far more than the physical security professional could ever achieve and yet we are distrusted more. I guess it is a matter of education and perception.

    Good post by the way.


    • #3
      One one person wants to touch upon this subject?


      • #4
        This balancing act, civil liberties versus security, has been around since the dawn of civilization. The need for security was an answer to threat. The individual cave where our ancient ancestors resided had defense mechanisms in place. Security imposed group restrictions on movement especially in the middle of the night. Members could be wounded or killed in an innocent attempt to leave the cave.
        In biblical times, there were watches maintained throughout the varied tribal camps. Those who violated the established rules were forcibly removed from the camp, safety in numbers as emblematic of camp life.
        Later there was group security as evidenced by the castle surrounded by the ubiquitous mote and drawbridge. When word of an attack was received, the surrounding residents would head for the castle. In England, there was the shire + reeve and his deputies paid by royalty to maintain peace and enforce royal edicts. In early cities and towns, curfews were the order of the day and violation could result in death.
        Private security, policing, was vested in oneself or organizations paid to protect the city or township. Public law enforcement followed sometime later with the creation of organized policing agencies the most famous of which was Sir Robert Peel?s London?s Bobbies, euphemistically referred to as summoning the Beagle. In each instance, requested and subsequently imposed security meant the surrender of individual freedom of movement.
        In modern times, police forces were established by governments to perform tasks formally reserved to the individual for the benefit of all.
        It must be remembered, and we often forget this, our form of government mandated security from foreign invasion not from harm we do to each other. Rising from the simple to the complex did not occur overnight.
        We face de facto arrest everyday when we stop for traffic signals when our forward progress is halted for the benefit of others. We obey other laws p***ed by elected government bodies for the common good of all.
        Since 9/11, personal freedom of movement on public transportation such as airplanes, trains and so forth has been greatly restricted for society?s benefit.
        The application of security methods and techniques are based on three guiding principles of criticality, sensitivity and vulnerability of resources to be protected and at what level of sophistication. These principles are often referred to as threat tricostate.
        Threats are either postulated or credible. The postulated threat is that which could possible happen to the person, place or thing to be protected. The credible threat is that which is most likely to happen, in varying degrees of probability, to the person, place or thing to be protected.
        In the name of society?s health and safety, which we demand, individual or civil liberties must be sacrificed for the common good of all. It seems ironic that man must be protected from himself.
        Enjoy the day,
        Last edited by Bill Warnock; 11-17-2005, 05:49 PM.