War Against Terrorism Attacks In New York Washington Criminology Essay

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The September 11, 2001 attacks on New York and Washington brought a series of responses, and every country enhances the surveillance level. In the 'war against terrorism', the net of suspicion is being cast far and wide and no one can be exempt from scrutiny (Lyon, 2003). In the post 9/11 world, the surveillance is becoming continuous, general, routine, systematic, impersonal, and ubiquitous no matter in which parts of the world (Lyon, 2003). The privacy is threatened in an unprecedented way because of the digital collection, matching, comparing, and retrieval of information (Ribak, 2007). Scott McNealy, the president of Sun Microsystems even said: "You have zero privacy. Get over it." It could be argued that the concept of privacy is now redundant in a post 9/11 world. Is it true or rational? This essay will try to analyze the nature and concept of privacy, discuss the influence and responses which brought by the events of 9/11, and will argue the relationship between surveillance and privacy.

The concept of privacy is not straightforward, and it can be interpreted from many different perspectives (Introna and Pouloudi, 1999). There is no universally accepted definition of privacy though the fairly intense debate since the late 1960s (Introna and Pouloudi, 1999). Kasper (2005) implies that the meaning of privacy and the social conventions surrounding it vary dramatically according to the socio-historical context, and the variable nature of privacy makes it difficult to arrive at an exact definition. Kasper also stresses that privacy seems to swell and erupt each time when 'a new means of perceived invasion is introduced' (Kasper, 2005: 80).

Privacy was defined by Brandeis and Warren (1890: 205) as 'the right of the individual to be let alone'. Privacy as a basic, inviolable human right is related to the basic status of being human (Margalit, 2001). Van Den Haag stated that 'privacy is the exclusive access of a person to a realm of his own. The right to privacy entitles one to exclude others from (a) watching, (b) utilising, (c) invading his private realm' (Van Den Haag, 1971 as cited in Introna and Pouloudi, 1999: 29). An obvious problem of this definition is about what is private or personal. Most scholars hold the point that the exact demarcation of the personal realm is culturally defined without ontologically defined (Introna and Pouloudi, 1999). Westin argued that privacy is the control of personal information by defining as 'the claim of individuals, groups or institutions to determine for themselves when, how and to what extent information about them is communicated to others' (Westin, 1967: 12). Westin also pointed out that privacy functions to provide and protect personal autonomy, emotional release, self-evaluation and limited and personal communication (Lyon, 2008). However, Lyon argued that some of the original social force of Westin's ideas has been lost when translating the above ideas into legal and practical terms, and with the significant growth of new surveillance technologies (Lyon, 2008).

It would seem that privacy is a highly subjective value. Privacy varies over time, across jurisdictions, by various ethnic subgroups, or by gender (Bennett and Raab, 2007). Law cannot easily draw a definite line between those types of data are particularly worthy of protection and those are not (Bennett and Raab, 2007). Johnson emphasizes that the concept of privacy 'varies from context to context, it is dynamic, and it is quite possible that no single example can be found of something which is considered private in every culture. Nevertheless, all example of privacy have a single common feature. They are aspects of a person's life which are culturally recognised as being immune from the judgement of others' (Johnson, 1989: 157). In 2006, the Surveillance Project undertook a survey of attitudes toward issues of surveillance in 9 countries, found that privacy was both understood and valued differently in various countries (Lyon, 2008).

In general, the concept of privacy has four main aspects: (a) territorial privacy: protecting the close physical area surrounding a person, and limiting the access to personal spaces (Fischer-Hübner, 2000); (b) privacy of the person: protecting the person against undue interferences, such as physical searches (Fischer-Hübner, 2000); (c) informational privacy: controlling personal data whether and how can be gathered, stored, and processed (Fischer-Hübner, 2000); (d) expressive privacy: protecting a space for individual self-expression (DeCew, 1997 as cited in Patton, 2000). Privacy protects individuals from unreasonable intrusions and broad social control (Patton, 2000).

Marx (1999) suggests that personal border crossings and trust are related to whether (a) individuals are aware that personal information is being collected and by whom and for what purpose and, if so, (b) whether they agree their data to be collected and subsequent used. However, no one can be fully aware of all the possible consequences of collecting data or the subsequent uses (Marx, 1999). Sometimes to consent the collection of personal data does not necessarily mean being aware because there are social roles that grant the right to transcend personal boundaries without consent (Marx, 1999). In addition, Bennett and Raab (2007) point out that data security is a necessary but not a sufficient condition for information privacy. For example, an organization might collect personal information, and keep it highly secure, however, if the information should not be collected in the first place, the personal information privacy rights are obviously violated (Bennett and Raab, 2007).

The events of 9/11 brought the latent anxieties about threats to national infrastructures to the surface, thus, all the countries in the world tended to adopt a 'war' model of response against terrorism (Levi and Wall, 2004). Many governmental, commercial and military pressures push the surveillance front and centre (Lyon, 2008). The Rand Europe survey studied seven EU countries about the post 9/11 national counter-terrorism policy making and implementation, and found that each of the seven countries had increased security against attack (Levi and Wall, 2004). In December 2001, both the Anti-terrorism and the Crime and Security Act passed in UK, which increasing the level of information-sharing among organizations (Raab, 2003). Surveillance has been seen as the preferred solution to any number of social ills, and governments gather all kinds of data in order to rectify such social issues (Haggerty, 2009). Some other examples of surveillance such as the efforts to reduce cheating in sports by testing for drugs, to manage disorder by installing more CCTV cameras (Haggerty, 2009).

Lyon (2003) points out that the establishment of 'surveillance societies' was already well under way long before 9/11, and 9/11 simply accelerated the arrival of a number of surveillance which had been developing quietly, and largely unnoticed, for the previous decade and earlier. For example, there had been an exponential increase in the installation of CCTV cameras in UK before 9/11, there were over 5000 cameras in the London Underground in 1996 (John and Maguire, 1998). Wood, Konvitz and Ball (2003) point out that 'surveillance surge' was sparked by 9/11, and 9/11 allowed the rapid and overt introduction of new technologies for surveillance with less public debate than usual, in order to take necessary responses to the changed situation. The events of 9/11 have legitimated existing trends, inventions and legislation that were often not intended or ineffective (Wood et al., 2003). Although the nature and range of types of surveillance may have changed, the focus and targets of the controllers may not have (Manning, 2008). The targets of surveillance are always focusing on the other, the stranger, the outsider and the marginalized (Manning, 2008). The integration of new technologies enhances the national security network, and data mining even extends and intensifies the surveillance work (Wood et al., 2003). Moreover, bureaucratic organizations have played an important role in enhancing surveillance by undertaking a lot of surveillance activities, making it become a central, constitutive component of modernity (Lyon, 2002).

The relationship between surveillance and privacy is seen as competitive with each other (Bloss, 2007 as cited in O'Brien, 2008). The purpose of surveillance is to govern people's activities by collecting and analyzing their information (Haggerty, 2009). As Felix Stalder (2002 as cited in Lyon, 2008) states that, the conceptual framework of surveillance has been altered in the networked twenty-first century. Surveillance has become a means of governance, which serves to organize social relationships and contributes to patterns of social ordering (Lyon, 2007). Lyon (2003) argues that the loss of some liberties which is portrayed as the price paid for security is a dubious deal. Widespread surveillance leads to a loss of autonomy, because liberal democratic societies are based on the idea of self-conscious and autonomous citizens (Peissl, 2003). Ribak (2007) stresses that the invasion of privacy is constructed as humiliating by either institutions or individuals, and it violates the principles of the decent and civilized society. When people notice being observed, they will change their behaviour to what they are supposed to show (Peissl, 2003). Peissl (2003) also states that the more surveillance we tolerate, the more we are heading towards a 'panoptic society'. Similarly, Fox (2001) highlights that a significant degree of privacy is necessary for each human's keeping psychological and physical space within intimate communications, in order to maintain a sense of personal autonomy and worth. Although the interference with privacy can be justified according to the interests of national security, public safety or the prevention of crime, such qualifications on privacy still need the appropriate legal authorization and the proof that there is a real need to invade privacy (Fox, 2001).

For some, the rise of surveillance as an instrument of social regulation means the signal of the death of privacy (Whitaker, 1999; Garfinkel, 2000 as cited in Fox, 2001). Social scientists argue that nowadays, we are living in surveillance societies as employers, government departments, credit card companies, banks, police, insurance companies and marketers are gathering more and more personal data from us (Lyon, 2008). There are fewer and fewer 'places to hide' from networked, ubiquitous surveillance (Lyon, 2008). We participate in the data-capture by making telephone calls, using credit cards, passing our hands over entry scanners, walking down the camera-watched street even though we are not always conscious (Lyon, 2007). Haggerty (2009) argues that although interpersonal surveillance becomes an inevitable component of human interaction, nowadays, informal face-to-face scrutiny has become stronger by the abundant initiatives designed to make people more transparent. Collecting information often occurs invisibly, automatically, and remotely (Marx, 1999). However, Lyon (2008) points out that some of the surveillance is beneficial or relatively innocuous even though some is disturbing and dangerous. For example, records can be checked and sorted at high speed from the searchable databases to isolate potential abnormal cases that may indicate risk (Lyon, 2003). Lyon (2007) emphasizes that many concerns about privacy are frequently temporary and contingent owing to the mistakes and errors in databases or telecommunications systems, or the loss of access to the tokens of trust such as credit cards.

It would seem that more surveillance does not really lead to more security. Perhaps surveillance is a sequence of actions of control, and surveillance implies 'an asymmetric hierarchical relationship between those who observe and those who are observed' (Peissl, 2003: 21). Peissl (2003) suggests that control is about comparing actual behaviour to standardised behaviour, and it may trigger a correcting action if necessary. As Kling, Ackerman and Allen claimed that 'during the last thirty years, people have lost control over their records', because their many activities are connecting to computerized surveillance systems (Kling et al., 1996 as cited in Kim, 2004: 203). The new surveillance technologies can not identify potential terrorists before they can perform their criminal activities, because terrorists can pretend to be living in a normal life, as a result, they can avoid being detected by intelligence agencies (Peissl, 2003). Besides that, widespread surveillance seems impossible because criminals can take some strategies of avoidance and use preventive technologies to escape from being observed (Peissl, 2003). In addition, Manning (2008) implies that the surveillance creates widespread anxiety, and its actual consequential impact is still unknown. As Sewell and Barker (2007: 355) said, 'Surveillance is useful but harmful; welcome but offensive; a necessary evil but an evil necessity'.

Leman-Langlois's group did a research in a downtown core, there were a total of 25 participants who were grouped according to the location of their residence or place of work. Leman-Langlois's group tried to find out the overall impact of public or private video surveillance on crime, and they found that the participants were in near complete agreement that, for the time being, the presence of cameras did not enhance their own security in any way (Leman-Langlois, 2008). Furthermore, most participants reported that any preventive effect by installing cameras was imperceptible though cameras might reduce victimisation. Participants also pointed out that the only purpose of installing cameras was to reassure the general public about security in the downtown core, however, there were always sufficient dead angles where invisible attacks were possible (Leman-Langlois, 2008).

It would seem that privacy will not and cannot disappear entirely. As Regan (1995: 221) said, privacy 'serves not just individual interests but also common, public, and collective purposes'. Guidance for future directions of privacy may be sought from Benjamin Franklin's famous quote that 'any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both' (Levi and Wall, 2004). Marx (2003) also states that Humans are good at finding ways to beat control systems and to avoid observation. Furthermore, Lyon (2007) emphasizes that in recent years, data protection and privacy policy and legislation have made significant strides and progress.

After the attacks of 11 September 2001, many people were willing to waive some of their personal freedom in order to gain more security (Peissl, 2003). However, no matter how recent events may have modified people's views about privacy, some types of privacy concerns will probably still remain unaffected (Gellman, 2002). For example, people still expect their medical records to be confidential treatment, and the personal information will not be shared over the Internet.

According to the February 2003 Harris Poll, 68 per cent of Americans supported a national ID system immediately after the terrorist attacks which happened on September 11, 2001 (Kasper, 2005). However, the Washington Post showed that the supporting intent decreased to 44 per cent by November 2001 and in March 2002, only 26 per cent of Americans supported a national ID system which studied by the Gartner Group (Kasper, 2005). Similarly, Harris Poll shows that 61 per cent of respondents reported that consumers have lost the control over the personal information being collected and used by companies (Kasper, 2005). In addition, 79 per cent of adults reported that it is 'extremely important' to those who can get personal information should be controlled, and 73 per cent of respondents reported that it is 'extremely important' to have nobody watching or listening to them without permission; Moreover, 62 per cent reported without being disturbed at home is 'extremely important' (Kasper, 2005). In the same poll, which shows 83 per cent of respondents had requested that a company should remove their name and address from mailing lists because that information is too personal (Kasper, 2005).

The introduction of CCTV into town and city centres across Britain in the 1990s is one of the largest expansions about surveillance in the history (Goold, 2004). Neyland (2006) interviewed some local residents about the public image of CCTV in Burbville town centre, they frequently suggested that they were not a group likely to be targeted by CCTV, instead 'kids' and 'criminals' were likely to be targeted. Besides that, the local residents were also worried about the privacy and the lack of access to tapes, and they wanted the CCTV system to be observable by them, because they had concerns over how they were seen and how that visibility was stored and replayed. In contrast, the CCTV managers suggested that the CCTV system needed to be seen as a good way to protect the community, enhance the community in stead of invading their privacy. Davies (1999) stresses that nowadays the cameras have been used increasing to enforce public order and morals, and in most cases, they are used to monitor protesters and street demonstrators. Environmental organization, roads protestors, animal rights groups, and other campaigning bodies view the cameras as a threat to their freedom and privacy (Davies, 1999).

Another example is the dispute over the Electronic National Identification Card in South Korea (Kim, 2004). In 1996, the South Korean government launched an ambitious plan for an electronic ID card in order to enable more effective administration of personal data. In the electronic ID card, there would be 42 items of personal data from six different database sources to be recorded. Although the proponents showed many positive aspects such as cost reduction, administrative efficiency and better social service, the public attitudes toward the plan were very negative, and the plan was rejected by many sectors of society. They emphasized that the electronic ID card plan would abuse personal data, degrade informational human rights and bring the invasion to privacy. The government tried to make significant revisions to continue the plan, however, the anti-card campaign shattered all the governmental attempts. In 1998, the government had to defer the plan to 2000, but eventually, in 1999, the government abandoned the whole project because of anti-card pressure. (Kim, 2004) Kim (2004) suggests that this event can be seen as a triumph for citizens' rights in the democratization process.

There are a growing number of national and international organizations and movements are dedicated to resisting everyday surveillance, such as Privacy International (PI) in the UK, the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) in Washington, DC of USA, and some consumer champions such as Consumers Against Supermarket Privacy Invasion and Numbering (CASPIAN) in Massachusetts of USA (Lyon, 2008). In the 2004 Athens Olympics, the introduction of national ID cards was perceived a threat, and it tended to provoke serious coalitions of protest (Lyon, 2008). Furthermore, various kinds of responses to surveillance and privacy have emerged in resent years. The significant growth of surveillance calls for ethical scrutiny and democratic involvement (Lyon, 2002). Not only many countries have enacted various data protection and privacy laws, but also many voluntary measures have been taken by some organizations. For example, most banks today proactively offer details of their 'privacy policies' and call for electronic signature in order to keep customers' security (Lyon, 2002). Lyon (2002) suggested that these responses to surveillance are entirely appropriate considering the increasing monitoring of everyday life.

Haggerty (2009) suggests that in the foreseeable future, surveillance will continue to expand, becoming more transparent, pervasive, penetrating and prosaic. The change is from local to the national and international; from using a few channels with no memory such as mere dumb cameras to channels with expansive memories, storage capacities, linked databases and be capable to reproduce and analyse data; from monitoring known and common threats to the possible and the unknown (Manning, 2008). It is not difficult to find out a particular building, road or street is permanently monitored by cameras (Honess and Charman, 1992 as cited in John and Maguire, 1998). The new surveillance technology has led more pervasive intrusion to our private lives, such as wireless tracking devices, biometric identifiers, 'spy TV' and 'super ears', which creating a new set of privacy worries (Hawkins and Mannix, 2000). It is unknown whether the world can be insulated from the heavier surveillance approaches because privacy is often suspended during wartime or other periods of actual or perceived threat to political institutions (Raab, 2003).

One significant issue should be considered is that how to balance between the need of state organisations to conduct effective investigations for national security and the privacy of citizens. It seems to fit the realities of the relative positions for isolated individuals and large institutions, that is the personal data is exchanged in some sort of equal transaction between them, 'where each party gains something and gives up something of equal value' (Rule, 2009: 7). In UK, the providers of communication services must retain personal data according to their own requirements, not only for purposes of national security, but for the privacy under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 (Raab, 2003). As a means of governance, surveillance serves to reinforce the social difference, organize social relationships and contributes to patterns of social ordering (Lyon, 2002). It should be recognized that surveillance is an essential form of power, however, it has been dramatically enhanced by the new technology, and it seems to extend too much across the entire social fabric (Norris and Armstrong, 1999). Excessive surveillance is bad not only for individuals, but also for the public society (Bennett and Raab, 2007). For example, video-surveillance cameras in public place are effective in deterring and detecting crime, in contrast, they can be criticized on the individual level because of being overly intrusive and may 'lead to mistaken identification with adverse consequences' (Bennett and Raab, 2007: 348).

It tends to be the case that law is ill-equipped to deal with the surveillance and privacy though it is perhaps the most common ways (Goold, 2009). The reason is that the law will always lag behind technical developments in the field of surveillance, besides that, it is difficult for the public to detect illegal surveillance because they are not sure whether or not the surveillance is accordance with the law (Goold, 2009). The privacy enhancing technologies (PETs) seems a promising means in protecting privacy. Originally, PETs were software-based tools to preserve the anonymity of computer users and protect the confidentiality of information sent over the Internet, however, the term now refers to any technology which is used to protect an individual's privacy (Goold, 2009). The European Commission (2007) states that the use of PETs will 'improve the protection of privacy as well as help fulfil data protection rules' (Goold, 2009: 27). Similarly, Kim (2004) suggests that PETs may not only aid societal transparency, but also reconstruct interpersonal trust in the networked environment. Goold (2009) points out that a legal model should place PETs at the very heart of the regulatory project, and make their development and adoption mandatory. However, Kim (2004) argues that the introduction of PETs seems naive from a political and economic point, owing to such technological solutions 'fail to acknowledge the drive for dominance or exploitation' (Kim, 2004: 210).

In conclusion, the concept of privacy is a highly subjective value, it varies from context to context, and it can be interpreted from various perspectives such as human right and information control. In general, the concept of privacy has four main aspects: territorial privacy, privacy of the person, expressive privacy and informational privacy. The events of 9/11 create widespread anxiety about the public security, all the countries tended to adopt a 'war' model against terrorism (Levi and Wall, 2004). However, the establishment of 'surveillance societies' was already in the process before 9/11, and 9/11 simply accelerated their arrival (Lyon, 2003).

The relationship between surveillance and privacy seems competitive with each other. Surveillance is important and necessary for modern society in serving to organize social relationships and contributing to patterns of social ordering (Lyon, 2007).In contrast, the invasion of privacy violates the principles of the decent and civilized society (Rebak, 2007). Although some of the surveillance is beneficial, excessive surveillance is bad for the public society and individuals' privacy. Nowadays, not only individuals, but also national and International organizations are dedicated to resisting everyday surveillance. Furthermore, studies suggest that more surveillance cannot guarantee the more security. Perhaps in the foreseeable future, surveillance will continue to expand, and the new surveillance technology will lead more pervasive intrusion to privacy. Therefore, it is important to balance the surveillance and privacy. In order to solve this problem, the privacy enhancing technologies (PETs) seems a promising means in protecting privacy.