Security may be defined as any concerted effort taken in order to protect persons and organizations from any harm or destruction. Companies and organizations have heavily invested limited resources in personnel, buildings, communication infrastructure, data storage facilities and business processing plants to enable such organizations run business. Ensuring that such investment is safe from any destruction is the primary concern of both government and individuals. In the United States security has always taken considerable amount of resources from organizations however this has since changed after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack. Security now takes center concern of both government and organizations. Both congress and the executive in the United States government have taken considerable effort to in trying to stem insecurity in the nation. This research evaluates the concept information security vis-à-vis legislation and the role of politics. This paper will particularly be concerned with the legislation directed at fighting terrorism.
Information Security and the Internet
Computer networks and the internet have drastically changed the way we live and conduct business . In the current business environment and governmental authorities, integrated information system based on vast networks make the core of operation form E-commerce to interstate communication. Governments such as the United States government hold sensitive information about its citizens in such computer networks. Businesses rely to perform business transactions that use electronic transfer of money between a buyer and seller. Currently, nearly all businesses and government operation are electronic and controlled different kinds of servers and technology.
However, as these systems are efficient and effective in management, they present the most vulnerable system to security breaches. The internet, while providing a very effective method of communication, also happens to be the most insecure channel for communicating crucial information. ‘Companies and Internet Services Providers (ISP) have developed several schemes such as encryption to protecting internet users’ . However, hackers have since been able to bypass these measures and continue to attack internet users. Such hackers target crucial information that is held by these devices. The information that they obtain is sometimes extremely sensitive information that could jeopardize a person’s livelihood for good. The government and politicians understand the nature of such communication and the manner in which threats to national security may use such channels of communication. Terrorist used the internet and other kinds of computer network to pass crucial information.
The attacks of September 2011, led to the introduction of the PATRIOT Act which was aimed preventing future attacks . The Act was meant to ensure the future security of the country is protected. The legislation gives authorities immense powers in the fight against terror. In a sense, the act would allow the federal government to breech the provisions of the right to privacy in the course of protecting national security . This particular legislation has brought much controversy in the United States as several sections of the public find the law intrusive.
The controversy surrounding the PATRIOTIC ACT is on the application and the methods followed for such surveillance and intelligence collection. The federal government together with the congress should have involved civil society groups and human rights organizations in finding a plausible solution to information security. The use of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court might be a good step however the process of issuing surveillance warrants should not be shrouded in secrecy.
The issues information security is central to the 21st century society. Today, the world relies on information communication systems to pass crucial personal, national and business information. Ensuring that the information passed remains confidential is very important. However, while the government and congress attempts to define legislations to cover such areas, inclusion of stakeholders in vital for the entire process. Openness in the process of drafting the legislation and implementation is very important.
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