Social Policy Implications For Futuristic Crime Fighting Strategies Essays Example
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The concepts of technology are changing everyday and with it they change our social framework. In this paradigm shift, crime has also evolved to strike at us using the same technology that enriches our lives. There are new avenues everyday for criminal activity to sprout their trees that eventually hurt us and the economy. Drug runners, human traffickers, gun runners, terrorists and even street gangs have gone online to garner support for their activities. The battlefield is slowly progressing into the virtual world as crime prevention strategies are paying off in the real world. This paper analyzes the cause and effect of this paradigm shift in the criminal dimension with ways to counter it. This paper also investigates the possibility of technologically revolutionary crime fighting mechanism interfering with privacy of innocent people both inside and outside the United States.
We have enjoyed considerable freedom as the citizens of the United States of America. Our constitution allows us rights that protect us from unnecessary scrutiny of law enforcement agencies and even provides us securities during the process of being arrested. The law even protects us during illegal arrests and gives us the freedom to protect ourselves. We have the right to freedom of speech and we are free to express our beliefs irrespective of government policy. All these are safeguards exist in the real world. However, the virtual world is a totally different arena. It is not mandated by the laws brought on by legislators. Destroying a virus or tracking a malware source origin involves the scrutiny of thousands of online email and even bank accounts. Are there search warrants issued for such searches? Are we notified that none of our conversations on the internet are private? Do we know for sure we do not have prying eyes looking through our webcams?
Suddenly we have a surge in technological innovation by law enforcement to fight crime that does not provide us with any of the usual safeguards that cover us. No more Miranda rights and no more search warrants; only federal officers breaking down our firewalls to look through all of our personal data. How many of us know that the browsing history in our computers is recorded periodically? There are auto search options that constantly search for certain keywords. There is a risk of harmless horseplay turning into a situation where federal officers break down our doors to place us under arrest for terrorist activities if we used a certain combination of words.
Social media and the internet are the foremost recruiting ground for future sleeper cells. Tracking such data is painstaking however essential to prevent another 9/11 or Boston marathon tragedy however; this does not warrant the subjection of anarchy towards the cyber citizens of the United States of America. There are far too many incidents of accidental shooting by police officers across the United States in recent years; adding excessive spying into this equation will only turn people away from the belief of freedom.
Crime fighting strategies and their effectiveness
Biometrics is an important tool to fight crime. Biometric identification is a futuristic strategy that involves the recording of all personal information about an individual into a tiny chip. This information is maintained in a national registry that will record last known address, blood type, fingerprints, DNA profile, etc. This identification process provides an option to the individual to operate all activities online without having to be physically present. The CODIS is an example of biometric identification database.
This database could also be used to target a certain set of individuals to suit the lawmakers of that particular period. This was a controversial lawmaking concept to divide the punishment according to race. It was prevalent during the 1970s crack cocaine war.
DNA collection is also a program that can be used quite effectively to rule out suspects especially in sexual assault cases. However such a program violates the constitutional rights of citizens and can be potentially harmful in the wrong hands. It could also have application in identifying the relatives of terrorist suspects and subject them to undue hardship.
The use of heavy duty spyware is a controversial program. This software can decrypt the most advanced encryptions and interpret terrorist threats to the U.S. There have been several arrests during the post 9/11 period that were directly the result of such monitoring software. It can penetrate into the best formulated passwords and firewalls. They can also latch onto specific combination of words and help identify potential threats. They can also be downloaded as part of a free game or utility and will be completely untraceable. However, such technology comes with its own negatives too. As discussed earlier, none of our interactions on the internet are private. The use of such programs only increases the opportunity to misuse information obtained.
The advent of spy satellites has been popularized in movies such as “Body of Lies” where the protagonist is tracked by the CIA using their satellites orbiting space or by Unmanned Ariel Vehicles (UAV). However, there isn’t a lot of data on the use of such technology. Surely it is an extremely intrusive strategy to keep an eye on certain individuals.
Sting operations have been conducted for decades with extensive success against the drug cartels in South America. There have also been sting operations that have been successfully executed on U.S. soil. The arrest of mafia hitman Richard Kuklinski was one of those fine examples.
Online traps or honey pots for potential hackers who are on the lookout for sensitive and valuable information have paid off in recent years.
Access to financial records for all individuals and organizations had been mandated by the Patriot Act. Hence, financial transactions are always monitored. There is also a lot of scrutiny into the identity of all individuals who access federal websites including the National Student Loan Database System (NSLDS).
Development of crime fighting capabilities
Law enforcement agencies and supporting teams such as forensic labs should also develop better crime fighting capabilities. The quick resolution of a certain type of crime is a powerful deterrent for future would-be criminals. This section analyzes the different aspects that both law enforcement and forensic teams need to develop.
Law enforcement agencies
Psychology driven interrogation methods should be followed and they should avoid going by the gut feeling especially in violent crimes. The United States houses the most number of wrongfully convicted individuals among advanced nations in the world. This is the result of overzealous police officers and detectives who look to convict the first person they set sights on.
Investigative techniques should be improved and all law enforcement personnel should clear training for such procedures before being allowed to investigate criminal cases.
Law enforcement officers should familiarize themselves with the latest software tools that are available in the market to simplify their routine reporting work. This allows more time for their primary objective; fighting crime.
Use of nonlethal force or wax bullets must be used to stop perpetrators while on pursuit. We have lost over five thousand innocent American lives since 9/11 to police firing. That’s more than the toll our soldiers took in both the Afghan and Iraqi wars put together.
Demilitarization of the police force is necessary if they are to operate within social boundaries and take help from its members. There can be a tactical unit per city however there is no need to equip every squad car with surplus M16s.
Crime prevention strategies are the next stop for law enforcement agencies. They should join with members of the community and chalk out activities that will discourage members of the society from indulging in crime for monetary benefits.
Stress release exercises and a healthy work life balance is essential for law enforcement officers. They are the guardians of the law and cannot be in a situation where thirty percent of them are tried on domestic battery charges.
The key is to remain calm in the face of adversity, analyze facts backed by evidence, collaborate with the society and solve crimes. Keeping the wrong person in prison is very poor telling on investigative processes followed these days however; if the real perpetrator gets away, it only enables the resolve to commit the crime again or even pave grounds for escalation.
Forensic labs should come up with faster processes to work DNA evidence, create tools to magnify distorted images better that CSI, pay more emphasis on the story that unfolds based on the physical evidence and not coercion by police, develop foolproof software that make it impossible to hack into evidence stores, use social media to spread awareness on how easy it is to solve some of the most common crimes; resulting in panic among new criminals, find patterns in the articulation of ideas worked by an individual, perform research on lifting fingerprints from the inside surface of gloves and develop superlative digital forensic tools to entrap hackers.
Ethical or civil violation possibilities in futuristic crime fighting mechanisms
We discussed earlier on how the civil liberties in the real world are trampled on when it comes to the cyber world. We will also look at some of the most disturbing trends of such disruptions in this section.
Social policy is made by lawmakers and legislators who take the societies liberties into consideration prior to implementing crime fighting laws. However; the rise of military styled police force and software tools that almost make life to be inside a glasshouse have made several intrusions into private lives.
The foremost violations are pertaining to the First and Fourth amendment of the US constitution. Our right to freedom of speech has been replaced with a pair of prying eyes looking for an excuse to break our doors down with assault rifles clad police officers.
Our safeguards against wrongful arrests, searches and interrogations have been replaced by constant surveillance of our lives; in direct violation of the Fourth amendment.
Spywares and listening devices have not gone well with several nations including regional heavyweights. It is one thing to keep your country safe; it is another to pry into the affairs of another only on the pretext of caution.
The arrest of foreign individuals; Russians in particular has not gone well with the remnant Soviet nation. Although, the arrested individuals had probable cause for searches, U.S. authorities did not have any concrete evidence for the charges these foreign nationals faced.
Policy making involves a lot of aspects and considerations. The laws of allied nations, their interpretation of crime fighting and arresting their citizens; at times these considerations are overridden by certain federal agencies.
The African American community has suffered immensely under the yoke of the judicial system right from the Civil War. The partial sentencing for them during the crack cocaine war during the 1970s, the trying of their juveniles as adults for gun related crimes and the recent spate in shooting of young African American men are examples to the injustice meted out to them. Yet there are very few laws nowadays that prevent the ghosts of the past from returning.
Foreign governments make policies based on the demographics of their nations. They do not have to consider the need of the United States always; especially allied nations. Bypassing such policies like in the case of gunning down Osama Bin Laden without informing Pakistan’s citizen government are violations that will have repercussions of a different nature.
Our founding fathers and long line of Presidents have toiled to build relationships with nations to enrich our nation immensely. It is definitely distasteful to allow such relationships to sour over high-handed actions.
The future of law enforcement, crime fighting and crime prevention are intertwined with the society. Without the society to help law enforcement, the major cities in the U.S. will start resembling Detroit if the social infringement is not kept under check. There is no justification to peek into any information without prior knowledge. The only thing that is worse than the fear of a terrorist attack is the fear of what is being watched, stalked and eventually marginalized by the same organization that was meant to protect us.
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