Combating terrorism is a primary responsibility of the government in this age where terrorist activities are common. The United States government established the Federal Bureau of Investigation as an agency that should be responsible for combating crime that are of a federal nature. The bureau is charged with responsibility of surveillance and investigations of all federal crimes including terrorism. The law gives the FBI the principal responsibility to ensure political surveillance.
This is done in order to detect and avert acts of terror. Terrorists are arrested and prosecuted in federal courts. Since the 9/11 attacks, the FBI surveillance has been enhanced and restructured in order to facilitate it to carry out its responsibility effectively in keeping the United States safe and secure. The FBI employs various mean to achieve this objective. In most cases, undercover agents are deployed to penetrate through the ranks of political extremist group both within and outside the United States. These agents are highly trained to detect any deviant behavior. They work day and night to ensure that they gather as much information as possible from the possible terrorists and then report back to their superiors who take decisive action.
There have been numerous legislations and judicial decisions that have been enacted for purposes of facilitating and limiting the scope of political surveillance. The proliferation of these laws was enhanced especially after the 9/11 attacks. However, the civil society has also been advocating for delimiting of some of the powers of these agencies in order to preserve fundamental civil liberties. Nevertheless, FBI has the requisite authority to track and identify by any means using data that would facilitate them revealing terrorist. FBI has a legislative mandate to use all information available to the public to analyze and compile evidence against a suspected terrorist. Abrams (2012) argues that they not only have the power to detect, but also attend any functions of the public further this objective.
The Attorney Generals guidelines and the patriotic at authorize the FBI to conduct independent investigations on any suspicious individuals. Any information gathered should be used for prosecuting the suspects. If the information has no criminal contents it should be destroyed. This is to ensure compliance with the First Amendment. The court has also been keen to protect civil liberties. They will only interfere with civil liberties of any individual if there is a real possibility of a threat to public safety.
The Attorney General is the principal government advisor. He is also the leader of the bar. Therefore, his advice to the government is extremely significant as it ensure that government actions and decision are legally made and legally executed. If acts of government or its agencies lack legitimacy, then they cannot be enforceable. The significance of the AG guidelines to the FBI serves to ensure that they operations do not contravene the constitution, which they swore to protect and uphold. AG has also defined the scope of operation for the FBI. There are now aware of the extent of their jurisdiction. It is vital to ensure that security agencies maintain fidelity to the law. If they do not maintain fidelity to the law, their office holders will abuse these offices leading to more criminals than those it set out to prevent.
Abrams, N. (2012). Anti-Terrorism and Criminal Enforcement. (Fourth Edition (West) ed.). New York: American Casebook Series.