When you ask people what the top of their list would be for what they want out of life, most people tend to answer “health”. I bet if you were to ask them to elaborate, the conversation would gradually transition to the topic of “safety…security…”
What is security? Is it wanting your children to stay alive if another Hurricane Katrina hits? Is it wanting to protect your country from another terrorism aero-attack or a military file leakage? Is it wanting to safeguard one’s identity, one’s individuality?
Two scenarios highlighting the issue of how security is defined or more specifically analysing what are reasonable/rational actions to take to ensure security, made “top stories” on the newswire today.
The first, a group of San Francisco-based plaintiffs, filed suit against the National Security Agency among other federal entities for teaming up with commercial telecommunications companies to eavesdrop. In total 33 different lawsuits were filed against AT&T, Verizon and others. Why? The Associated Press did not describe the actual mechanics of how telecommunications products were being rigged but that the plaintiffs were alleging the government-corporate’s purpose was to eavesdrop on individuals.
The second scenario is just adding on to the piles of news stories discussing the NYPD’s “spy” mission. A group of New York undercover cops, along with informants, were set to investigate neighbourhoods with high populations of Muslims and schmooze with people at mosques, businesses and other community centres. It has received much criticism from the press and human rights groups. Today, 15 Muslim clerics, who had been planning to attend Mayor Bloomberg’s breakfast, announced they were no longer going. While Mayor Bloomberg had been praised by the Muslim community for his support in the past, they blame him for the NYPD’s investigative techniques.
What does security mean to you? Maybe it means becoming a lawyer and defending a person’s right to a fair trial. Your educational path could start with a legal studies degree on your way to writing the LSAT. Perhaps it means protecting the nation as a whole. Then a homeland security degree, criminal justice degree or a public administration degree may be more suitable. Or maybe you want to rescue those in distress when another natural disaster hits. Then an Emergency Management Degree is an obvious choice.
All in all, everyone values security…it just means different things to different people.