There has been an increased dependence on technology in the everyday life of the modern society due to its significant impact on each societal aspect. In the recent past, there has been a significant evolution of technology over the years, which is evident through the radical changes in the business, communication, and entertainment landscape. After transformation of the way people communicate, the relationships between individuals in the society have significantly strengthened. However, technology has a negative impact on the society with the particular regard to the deterioration of the interpersonal interactions and communication between individuals in the society. In addition, technology has significantly increased the risk of alienation, withdrawal, and isolation from the society due to the creation of a “me-centered society.” Moreover, technology has a tremendous impact on the security matters given the fact that there has been a reliance on technology to create secure and reliable anti-terrorism and crime prevention systems. However, the development has offered a new opportunity for the criminals and terrorists to exploit the weaknesses in the security systems in order to propagate their criminal and terrorist acts, which is evident in the Boston bombings. Considering the focus on the impact of technology on the social relationships, technology has become an integral component that shapes the individual intimacies in the society. According to Turkle, there has been an illusion of companionship that is offered over the internet through the social networking sites such as Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. The relentless connection introduced through the technological progress results in a new solitude that, consequently, leads to the emotional depressions. The purpose of this paper, therefore, is to investigate the impact of technology on security in the society.
The digital age is characterized by the increased connectivity and emergence of new technologies that have an enormous impact on the social relationships within the society. According to Turkle, human beings have developed interesting relations with technological gadgets, such as iPads and iPods, and this has accelerated human functioning without the needs for face-to-face contact. In the recent past, there has been increased connectivity and convenience in the particular regard to the social networking, e-mailing, and texting. However, such recent developments have created an individualistic society that is centered on the individual, thus creating social alienation and dissatisfaction, especially among the teenagers (Turkle). The development of social networking sites and discovery of highly sophisticated cell-phone technology may portray a picture of flourishing societal relationships. It is attributable to the creation of new instabilities concerning solitude, intimacy, and privacy in addition to unsettling of the relationship between children, adults, friends, and lovers.
Technology poses a significant amount of national security and privacy concerns due to the susceptibility of digital data to the threat of cyber-attacks. In the United States, there has been an increase in the surveillance programs by the government through its security agencies. A Pew Research report indicates that at least forty percent of the US adults find the US government surveillance programs for American citizens acceptable (Madden). In addition, around eighty-two percent of the respondents approve the monitoring of communication from terrorists for the purposes of national security. The increased level of surveillance programs by the US government on the email accounts, search engines, social media sites, text messages, mobile apps, and cell phones is an indication of the increasing security threats.
The recent development of technology, especially revolution of the information, has a significant impact on the state of privacy and security in the particular regard to cyber-crime. More criminal and terrorist acts are committed with the help of technology given the fact that it is used for the execution, perpetration, and investigation of actions that are in violation of the criminal law. The perpetration of illegal activities with the aid of computer technology has become a problem for most governments due to the fact that it affects the security of computer data and the whole systems (Kunz & Wilson). Using computer technology, various types of crimes are committed, such as traditional offenses and computer fraud. The traditional crimes include theft, fraud, stalking, child pornography, and organized crime rings. The digital medium has thus offered a set of new opportunities for the offenders to perpetrate the crimes by exploiting the weaknesses of the electronic environment.
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Technological developments have resulted in the increased cases of traditional offenses such as identity fraud, credit card and debit card fraud, financial fraud, and telecommunications fraud. The new forms of traditional crimes have become difficult to detect and prevent considering the fact that the traditional offenses have become adaptable to the technology (National White Collar Crime Center). In addition, there has been increased access to the electronic resources making it easier to propagate frauds using the digital platform, especially websites, messages, and chat rooms. The other common frauds that are committed over the electronic platform relate to debit card and credit card fraud that involve the unauthorized and fraudulent access to money or property.
Information technology has also resulted in the new forms of electronic crimes that are propagated by terrorists, fraudsters, and criminals. Technological progress has caused an increase in cases of phony escrow services, spoofing, counterfeit check schemes, advance fraud schemes, and investment fraud. Spoofing and phishing are commonly used in the propagation of online security threats such as identity fraud and auction fraud (National White Collar Crime Center). It is usually propagated through the fraudulent acquisition of sensitive and confidential information such as bank account numbers, passwords, and credit card details. These new forms of cybercrime have been thriving due to the increased interconnectedness between governments and businesses involved in the cross-border trade. In the US, there have been increased cases of external cyber attacks that caused a substantial damage to the organizations and companies.
Information technology innovations have resulted in piracy concerns that involve the unauthorized use of intellectual property. Electronic resources are increasingly used for the propagation of theft computer crimes concerning access to the property and its removal. The technology resources enable criminal groups to alter digital data without authorization and the misuse of proprietary information. In addition, computer technology has been used in the propagation of terrorist acts through the unauthorized access to the resources via hacking. In addition, the online security of numerous large multinational corporations, such as eBay.com, Yahoo.com, and CNN.com, were compromised by the denial of service attacks. The availability of technology has necessitated the incidences of cyber terrorism, which poses a security threat to the nation’s stability (Kunz & Wilson). Cyberterrorism disrupts the entities that operate in both the real and digital worlds given the fact that that there exist new technological variations of crimes (McQuade). Thus, it has the effect of causing fear to the victims because it attacks the electronic resources.
The effect of technology on the national security of the United States is evident in the recent terrorist threats that continue to be faced by the country. Networked computers pose a big threat to the national security due to the fact that the high levels of government service and international commerce are internet-based. In addition, critical communication between large multinational corporations, government agencies, banking institutions, and power grids is conducted over the internet. If such technology is used by the individuals who pose threat to the community, it will result in advance consequences to national security given that the disruption of such essential services will be severe and calamitous. The protection of computer resources from potential threats is thus regarded as a matter of national security due to the integration of technology in the essential national infrastructures.
In addition, there has been an increasing threat of the internet attacks from other nations that have access to the internet technology resources. The warfare technology has replaced the immense investments of different countries in weaponry, thus posing a new challenge to the national security. In the past, the threat to the security of a particular nation was shaped by the geographically specific dangers such as ballistic missiles and massed armies. However, technological developments have made computer attacks ambiguous since it poses substantial problems when determining the origin of the computer attacks. In addition, technology makes it difficult to ascertain the perpetrators of the crimes committed using the electronic platform and their motive. The risk of cyber war faced through a coordinated and organized attack on the computer systems of a given country by another state, thus posing a significant threat to the national security.
Due to the evolving nature of technology, it is difficult for the governments to respond appropriately to the situations connected with cyber terrorism and wars. Thus, security agencies consider it challenging to prevent the occurrence of those crimes that are committed through the use of electronic resources due to the following reasons. Due to the availability of technology, it is easy for terrorist groups and criminal gangs to commit crime and terrorist acts from any place of the world. The reason is that due to the proliferation of technologically advanced gadgets, cyber terrorism has a global presence. The critical national security systems are thus susceptible to the attacks from the whole world or from within the boundaries of a given country. In addition, technology has resulted in conflicting interests and confusion between the security agencies that have the jurisdictional mandate to guard the security interests of the country from domestic and external threats. Thus, technology, especially the internet resources, forms a critical factor in the assessment of the national security of a particular state.
The rapid and constant change in the technology results in new features such as contingency, innovation, complexities, and a constant churn. Such complications increase the vulnerabilities of the security systems in cases of cyber terrorism and crimes. There have been cases of hacking the critical computer systems that have involved the altered orbital paths of the US defense satellites. During the Cold War, the United States suffered from a similar aggression from the Soviet Union that was centered on the attack of its critical internet-networked computers. In the recent past, the Pentagon has experienced security breaches characterized by the hacking of its computer systems by the unknown hackers. The vulnerability of secure computer systems through the use of technology resources has led to the creation of a surveillance society.
The web and the internet form the technological infrastructure of a networked global society, and these two factors clash with the traditional national security principles. Technological progress is often taking different forms, and it is continuously evolving, thus affecting the national security policies of the United States. Moreover, the depth, scope, and the speed of the technological transformation change the nature of counter-terrorism policies that are established by the United States. In addition, the digital revolution has created a network society that introduced new security issues due to the transformation of the socio-political practices. The disintermediation of horizontal communication systems as well as their control by the government and corporate institutions pose new security threats due to the sociopolitical transformation. The creation of networked social movements poses a significant challenge to the national security agencies as it is evident due to the Arab revolutions.
Based on the above security threats that are posed by the proliferation of technology, it is focused on the integration of information revolution in the security matters of the state. It is evident that networked warfare and cyberspace factors have become integral components of the society due to the fact that they result in the transformation of the political power structures. In addition, these both elements are essential because they aid in the determination of the economic winners and losers, thus capturing the attention of the technologist, specialists, and policy makers. In addition, the increase in computing power, which results from the rapid change in technology, continues to affect the global geopolitical security environment (Kadtke & Wells). The security threats have led to a significant drain of the resources that are meant to provide security for the nation. The US spends high amounts of money for the investment in the newest innovation and science that are aimed at supporting its defense, prosperity, and international technology leadership.
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Despite the new opportunities that technology creates for crime and terrorist acts, the internet, and the web have become integral components in the enhancement of the national security of the state. The US National Security Strategy notes that critical government agencies, such as the Defense Science Board and the National Intelligence Council, have fully integrated technology trends. Thus, it placed emphasis on the information security due to the fact that a high number of nations increasingly depend on the information infrastructure that is relied on by individuals, corporations, and governments. According to Carey-Smith & May, various forms of information security technology are being increasingly implemented for the societal improvements. In addition, information security technologies are often used for the protection of highly essential and sensitive data from fabrication, modification, or unwarranted disclosure (Carey-Smith & May). Highly-sophisticated programs, such as cryptographic software tools, are an example of the technology that is used in the potential incriminating and sensitive information gathered by the human rights investigators.
Technology also plays a crucial role in the improvement of the societal security through increased surveillance and internet censorship while using information security technology. Internet censorship is an example of internet security technology that is used to limit access to the sensitive material on the websites. In addition, such technologies are increasingly used by the corporations and government agencies in the prevention of unauthorized access to the sensitive and critical data. The internet security technology has also facilitated government surveillance practices that are aimed at increasing government access to a substantial amount of database. According to Wolfson, the United States has used such technology to collect information on the internet and phone communication through the involvement of AT&T and NSA. Other foreign nations, such as China, have highly sophisticated surveillance and internet censorship programs that are aimed at improving national security.
In addition to the utilization of technology in government surveillance and internet censorship, technology is also used in biometrics that has a positive impact on information security technology. Such a form involves the use of the iris and retina patterns, fingerprints, gait, voice, and facial recognition features that are used in identification and authentication. Facial recognition is a standard biometric technology that is applied during the process of identifying the images of potential targets such as criminal targets or victims. The facial recognition software is installed in the cameras that are provided in a public place with a database of the criminal or terrorist individuals. The process of identifying the perpetrators of criminal acts is thus easier because the cameras can be able to capture their images and make comparisons with the database.
Technology has also been applied in the development of secure access control systems in home properties and workplace environments. In addition, the automatic gate access systems have intelligent access controls making them convenient to use and practical to monitor. In addition, the development of closed circuit television channel CCTV has increased the monitoring activities. The new technology makes the cameras smaller and more flexible, thus being adaptable and deterrent from vandalism. Furthermore, the development of sensor technology has resulted in secure home property and workplace environments coupled with an increase in the standards of technology and security systems.
In conclusion, technology has both positive and negative impacts on the security of the society depending on its deployment. Most world governments are increasingly placing emphasis on the national security concerns that are raised by information security technology. In addition, the threat of terrorism poses a lot of risks to the national security of a given country. The situation has resulted in the development of protected information security technology systems, such as biotechnology and government surveillance, that are aimed at improving the security situation. However, the deployment of systems, such as facial recognition biometrics, poses a threat of privacy intrusion and a decline in civil liberties. In addition, if the technology is used by the individuals who may pose a threat to the society, it will have disastrous consequences because it increases the technological capabilities of the criminals and terrorists.