Protection vs. Privacy Essay

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Protection vs. Privacy In September of 2001, the worst terrorist tragedy that has ever occurred on American soil, and quite possibly in the world, rocked the foundations of the United States of America. The unimpeded destruction of the twin towers of the World Trade Center led many to wonder how an event of such magnitude could not have been foreseen and prevented. Later, many sources led us to believe that it was not that the information was not there, but rather, it was the inability of intelligence communities and law enforcement agencies to communicate the data among themselves that resulted in the greatest security breach in American history. To combat this inability to coordinate use of data and information, the Defense Advanced…show more content…
The research into data search and pattern recognition technologies is based on the idea that terrorist planning activities or a likely terrorist attack could be uncovered by searching for indications of terrorist activities in vast quantities of transaction data (DARPA 1). In simple terms, TIA uses the information that already exists in a variety of databases across the globe, such as bank and credit records, library memberships, medical records, airline travel records, and databases belonging to local and foreign intelligence agencies, law enforcement agencies and many more, in an attempt to weed out terrorists through a "Virtual Dragnet" (ACLU 2). The three key elements, language translation technologies, data search and recognition technologies, and advanced collaborative and decision support tools, are the cornerstones of the TIA program and are what raise both hopes for the program’s ability to succeed and fears of the program’s ability to invade the privacy of every American citizen. It is crucial to understand the current limitations and future expectations of each of these elements in order to comprehend the amount of power this program will hold. The first of the three key elements is the "language and translation technologies"(DARPA 1) portion of the TIA program. It is designed to improve the speed and accuracy of translation of foreign communications into the English language.
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