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Not a MyNAP member yet? Register for a free to start saving and receiving special member only perks. The tension between individual privacy and law enforcement or national security interests has been an enduring force in American life, its origins long predating the advent of new media or current technologies. Although these tensions predate the information revolution, new technologies, new societal contexts, and new circumstances have sharply intensified that conflict, and even changed its focus. Section 9.
By its very nature, law enforcement is an information-rich activity. The information activities of law enforcement can be broken into three. Gathering and analyzing information to determine the identity of the person or persons responsible for a violation of law; and. Gathering and analyzing information to enable a legal showing in court that the person or persons identified in fact were guilty of the violation.
All of these gathering and analysis activities have been altered in basic ways by functional advancements in the technologies that have become available for collecting, storing, and manipulating data. In actual practice, these can overlap or the activities in each category can occur in several temporal sequences.
When a police officer observes someone breaking a law, the officer is determining that a law has been violated, gathering information about who broke the law presumably the person he or she is observingand gaining evidence that may be introduced in court the testimony of the officer. The essential difference between these is the locus or subject about which the information is gathered. In the first category concerning the breaking of a law, the locus of information is the event or activity.
In the second sort of activity, the locus is the determination of an individual or set of individuals involved in the activity. In the third category, information associated with one and two are combined in an attempt to link the two in a provable way. Although activities in the first category usually precede those in the second, this is not always the case. This is one of the rationales for certain kinds of undercover activity and is frequently regarded as more controversial. Concerns about privacy invasions often involve the possibility that law enforcement officials can cast an unduly broad net, or one that is seen as discriminatory, as they gather information about persons in the absence of specific reasons to suspect that these individuals have violated some particular law.
A case in which an individual is targeted to see if he or she has violated a law is conceptually and legally and morally different from a case in which information is gathered about an individual as part of an investigation into a known or suspected violation of law or in which there are other grounds for suspicion. In the former case, information may be gathered about individuals who in fact were not involved in a violation—which is different in kind from the task of assembling information about an individual in the hope of finding a violation of law.
The potential for data gathering targeted at a particular individual or set of individuals to aid in the discovery of ly unknown violations of the law, or the risk that data gathered by law enforcement may be used for political or harassment purposes, often underlies efforts to restrict the kinds of information that law enforcement agencies can gather and the ways in which it is gathered. Even if the information is never used, the very fact that considerable amounts of data have been collected about individuals who have not been accused or convicted of a crime ensures that substantial amounts of information about non-criminals will end up in the databases of law enforcement agencies.
Moreover, with such data a permanent part of their files, citizens may be concerned that this information will eventually be misused or mistakenly released, even if they are not suspects in any crime. They may even engage in self-censorship, and refrain from expressing unpopular opinions. For individuals in this position, issues such as recourse for police misbehavior or carelessness are thus very important. Nor are worries about the gathering of information by law enforcement agencies restricted to how that information could be used in legal Nsa wanted bored here.
Such proceedings are governed by the laws and professional ethics that protect the privacy of the individual, and the inappropriate use in a criminal context of information gathered by law enforcement agencies can be balanced by judicial review. For example, watch lists, such as those used by the Transportation Security Agency, are not subject to the same level of scrutiny as evidence in a court of law yet can still affect the lives of those whose names appear on such lists.
These uses of information are often not. None of these concerns about balancing the need for law enforcement agencies to gather information and the need of the citizen for privacy are new. What is new are the modern information technologies that law enforcement agencies can now use to observe situations and identify individuals more quickly, more accurately, and at less expense than ever before.
These technologies include surveillance cameras, large-scale databases, and analytical techniques that enable the extraction of useful information from large masses of otherwise irrelevant information. The Nsa wanted bored here that follow describe a of technologies that allow law enforcement agencies expanded capabilities to observe, to listen, and to gather information about the population. Just as the ability to tap phone lines offered law enforcement new tools to gather evidence in the past century, so also these new technologies expand opportunities to discover breaches in the law, identify those responsible, and collect the evidence needed to prosecute.
And just like the ability to tap telephones, these new technologies raise concerns about the privacy of those who are—rightly or wrongly—the targets of the new technologies. Use of the technologies discussed requires careful consideration of the resulting tension posed between two legitimate and sometimes competing goals: information gathering Nsa wanted bored here law enforcement purposes and privacy protection.
As a point of departure, consider the issue of privacy as it relates to government authorities conducting surveillance of its citizens. Using the anchoring vignette approach described in Chapter 2 see Box 2. Here are a of possibilities:. See, for example, Peter M. These vignettes, ordered from most to least privacy-protecting, illustrate only a single dimension of privacy namely image-based personal informationbut they are a starting point for knowing what must be analyzed and understood in this particular situation, and what decisions society will have to make with respect to the issues the vignettes raise.
Whether it is used to see that a law has been or is being broken, to determine who broke the law, or to find a suspect for arrest, physical observation has historically been the main mechanism by which law enforcement agencies do their job. Physical observation is performed by law enforcement officers themselves, and also by citizens called as witnesses in an investigation or a trial.
The vignettes above suggest that physical observation has evolved far beyond the in-person human witness in sight of the event in question. When individuals are watched, particularly by the state with its special powers, privacy questions are obviously relevant.
The usual expectation is that, unless there is a reason to suspect an individual of some particular infraction of the law, individuals will not be under observation by law enforcement agencies. But because of advances in technology, the means by which law enforcement can conduct physical observation or surveillance have expanded dramatically.
New technologies that provide automated surveillance capabilities are relatively inexpensive per unit of data acquired; vastly expand memory and analytical ability, as well as the range and power of the senses particularly seeing and hearing ; and are easily hidden and more difficult to discover than traditional methods. They can be used to observe violations of law as well as a particular individual over extended periods of time unbeknownst to him or her. Today, for example, the use of video cameras is pervasive. Once only found in high-security environments, they are now deployed in most stores and in many parks and schools, along ro, and in public gathering places.
A result is that many people, especially in larger cities, are under recorded surveillance for much of the time that they are outside their homes. Law enforcement officials, and indeed much of the public, believe that video cameras support law enforcement investigations, offering the prospect of a video record of any crime committed in public areas where they are used. Such a record is believed to have both investigatory value. Such systems may be based on the use of GPS or on cell phones that provide location information as part of E services. If such tracking is recorded, correlations can be made at any time in the future.
Indeed, given the right monitoring equipment and enough recording space, it is even possible that the locations of every person for much of a lifetime could be made available to law enforcement agencies or even family members or researchers. Similar issues regarding data reuse arise with respect to the use of video cameras for the enforcement of traffic regulations.
In many cities the traffic lights have been equipped with cameras that allow law enforcement agencies to determine violations of red-light stop zones simply by photographing the offending vehicles as Nsa wanted bored here pass through the red light. Such images allow local police agencies to Nsa wanted bored here send red-light-running tickets to the vehicle owners. Even such a seemingly straightforward use of surveillance technology, however, brings up a host of privacy. It is unquestionable that video records have had forensic value in the investigations of crimes that have already been committed.
The deterrent effect is less clear. A study done for the British Home Office on the crime prevention effects of closed-circuit television CCTV cameras systematically reviewed two dozen other empirical studies on this subject and concluded that, on balance, the evidence suggested a small effect on crime reduction on the order of a few percent and only in a limited set of venues namely, car parks.
The deployment of CCTV cameras had essentially no effect in public transportation or in city-center contexts. Welsh and Farrington also noted that poorly controlled studies systematically indicated larger effects than did well-controlled ones. A lower-tech version of this capability is inherent in toll systems on highways.
For some highways, periodic toll plazas on turnpikes were replaced by a system in which the driver picked up a ticket at the point of entry that was then used to determine the toll at the location where the car exited. Given that these tickets included the time of entry into the turnpike, there were concerns that the tickets could also be used upon exit to determine if the car had exceeded the speed limit.
Stories of such secondary use have the ring of urban myth, but they continue to surface on the Internet and are certainly consistent with what the technology enables. For example, consider that these cameras could also be used to trace and record the pd locations of people based on the observed time and location of their cars.
That is, they could take pictures even when no car was running a red light. Such a concern is based on the future possibilities for repurposing the information gathered by such cameras rather than on the purpose for which these cameras were originally deployed. Note that nothing intrinsic in the use of a video system to catch those running traffic lights enables secondary use of the information. The system could be deed in such a way that only those images showing someone running a red light were kept, and all other images were discarded immediately. Such a system could not be used to track the location of any but a small of vehicles.
Deing such a system in this way is simple to do when the system is first being built but is far more difficult once the system has been installed. However, privacy concerns associated with possible secondary uses are usually not raised when a system is deed, if nothing else because those secondary uses are not yet known or anticipated.
It could be argued that a video camera at the stoplight is no different in principle from posting a live police officer at the same place. A police officer can issue a ticket for a car that runs a red light, and if a live police officer on traffic detail at the intersection is not a threat to privacy, then neither is the placement of a video camera there.
Others, however, would argue that a live officer could not accurately record all vehicles passing lawfully through the intersection, and could not be used to trace the movements of every vehicle passing through a busy intersection—lawfully or not—in the way that a video camera can. The image-retention capacity of a video system vastly exceeds that of even the most astute human observer and thus allows the tracking of all vehicles, not just those that are of interest at the time they move through the intersection.
The images stored by the video system can, in principle, be not just those of vehicles that have violated the law, but of all vehicles that have passed by the camera. In addition, information gathered by a video camera ostensibly deployed to catch cars running a red light can be Nsa wanted bored here for other purposes, such as tracking the location of particular cars at particular points in time, or finding speeders this would require combining of information from multiple cameras at multiple locations —purposes that are not possible with a human officer.
Further, when the images are stored, law enforcement agencies gain the capability to track what individuals have done in the past, and not just what they are currently doing. The worry is that once the information has been gathered and stored, it will be used in a variety of ways other than that for which it was originally intended. Finally, video surveillance is far Nsa wanted bored here expensive than the use of many human officers.
From an economic point of view, it is impossible in large jurisdictions to station officers at every intersection, but placing a video camera at many intersections is much less expensive and within the means of many police departments. An important check on executive power has always been based on the allocation of resources, and if technology can enable a greater amount of police activity—in particular, more surveillance—for the same cost, the introduction of that technology changes the balance of power.
Perhaps most importantly, this change in the balance of power is often unnoticed or not discussed—and when it is, a dispute about the amount of police activity must be resolved explicitly on policy grounds rather than implicitly on economic grounds. Beyond video technologies such as those discussed above, there is also the prospect that emerging technologies can extend the reach of observation from public spaces into what have traditionally been private spaces.
If environmental sensors Nsa wanted bored here pervasive, it may in the near future become possible to infer the location of people from the information gathered for purposes such as energy conservation—and to infer identities by correlating that information with other recorded information such as building access records. The conditions under which law enforcement agencies will or should have access to such information raises difficult questions both of law and of policy.
Concern over the potential use of such sensitive information lies at the heart of many privacy-based concerns about the deployment of such technologies. The deepest concern, from the privacy perspective, is the potential for combining constant and non-obvious data gathering and the ability to assemble the data gathered to give the effect of largely constant observation of any space, whether public or private. Such a prospect, combined with the temporally permanent nature of the data when they are stored, appears to give law enforcement agencies the ability to constantly monitor almost any place and to have access to a history of that.
The definitive ruling on this point is the decision of the U. Supreme Court in Kyllo v.
Nsa wanted bored here StatesNo. Together with the ability to aggregate and mine the data that have been gathered discussed belowthis prospect would appear to give law enforcement enormous amounts of information. The most serious issues arise if and when such technologies enable monitoring of specific individuals. Many present-day technologies indicate bodies, but not the identities of the persons who own those bodies.
Future technologies may enable the identification of individuals—that is, the high-accuracy association of specific names with the bodies within view—in which case the privacy concerns are accentuated many-fold. Even today, modern cell phones with location identification capabilities yield information about the whereabouts of individuals, because of the generally unviolated presumption that individuals carry their cell phones with them.
Both communication and data storage technologies have long been of interest and use to the law enforcement community. Being able to observe and overhear the discussions of those suspected of breaking the law and to obtain records of criminal activity has been an important means for gaining evidence—but has also created inevitable threats to principles of privacy.
The primary difference between records and communications is that by definition, records are intended to persist over time, whereas communications are more transient. Transient phenomena vanish, and they are generally more private than persistent entities that can be reviewed anew, copied, and circulated. For this reason, technologies that threaten the privacy of records are often seen as less problematic than those that threaten the privacy of communications.
For keeping records private, the most common technique used has been to hide the records in a location known only to their owner.Nsa wanted bored here
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