Recently, Time Magazine published an article titled Homeland Insecurity: After Boston, The Struggle Between Liberty and Security. The piece questions at what point does the increased threat of terrorism encroach on our right to privacy. Well, as the world becomes more populated and potential threats rise, this very hot topic will continue to grow.
In short, the TIME article states, “With al-Qaeda weakened abroad but self-taught, wi-fi-empowered jihadis increasingly a threat at home, balancing freedom and security is an old problem we’ll have to get used to once again."
Security is a way of life in today’s world, and yet, all Americans deserve the right to their individual freedom. So, how can we strike a balance?
The article points to video surveillance and its intrusion on all individuals regardless of the possibility of security threats. While I believe that all individuals deserve their right to freedom, I equally believe that we deserve to be protected, or as protected as can be, from senseless and arbitrary violence.
The article goes on to say, “The failure to detect the brothers’ [Tsarnaev] plot seemed to some like a replay of 9/11, when communication failures between U.S. intelligence and law-enforcement services blew a chance to stop the attacks.”
In today’s world, video exists, whether we like it or not. Whether it is from stationary cameras posted on stoplights and street corners, or cameras in retails stores or offices, or on phones and handheld devices, it is everywhere. It is used most often as a forensic tool – evaluating situations after a breach occurs, such as breaking and entering, holdups, or even more violent acts of crime.
Although a camera captures images of all those in its field of view – perpetrator and victim alike – it is really only those who have had a hand in illegal acts that have cause for concern. According to Time’s article, authorities have identified a total of 21 homegrown jihadist-inspired terrorist plots and two attacks in the eight years after 9/11, and U.S. law enforcement made 42 arrests from May 2009 to December 2012. So whether it is acknowledged or not, the threat is real and it is here.
Now, take the fact that the average attention span of a security guard viewing CCTV feeds peaks at only 20 minutes. Given fatigue and other human factors, such as the blinking of an eye or some type of distraction, a high probability exists that some behavior will be missed. Fortunately, there are new tools, such as behavioral analytics, that assist human eyes by taking these video feeds and highlighting the potential threats while ignoring normal or ongoing behavior. This allows security personnel to anticipate possible threats and act accordingly.
Not all potential threats can be acted upon and stopped before they occur, sometimes, because there is not enough warning. But the solutions such as behavioral analytics bypass the burden of needing human eyes staring at hundreds and hundreds of minutes of video footage 24x7, enabling primarily potential threats to be highlighted. At that point, experienced security personnel can decide if the threat is real and if it warrants further investigation.
By reducing the requirement to view all footage all the time, it does not offer greater liberty, but does put the emphasis squarely on prevention of threats rather than reacting to them after the fact.
We at Crescent Guardian believe it is every citizen’s right to civil liberties, but we also believe it is every citizen’s right to expect safety and security measures to protect us from harm. Continued vigilance by our citizens is the best way to reduce threats, but a helping hand from technology can go a long way to helping in the fight against crime and terrorism.
Fo more information on "smart" cameras and behavioral analytics, email email@example.com or call 504-483-7811.
Read the entire Time Magazine article here - http://swampland.time.com/2013/05/01/homeland-insecurity-after-boston-the-struggle-between-liberty-and-security/