It seems America will soon resemble a cross between last summer’s Minority Report and George Orwell’s 1984. As soon as the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency finishes developing the Total Information Awareness program.
DARPA’s Web site says the main goal of the program is to “revolutionize the ability of the United States to detect, classify and identify foreign terrorists and decipher their plans in order to enable the United States to take timely action to successfully pre-empt and defeat terrorist acts.”
In order to accomplish this, the government will build a “virtual database”: a permanent record of personal data for each individual in the United States. This means every person will be looked at as a potential terrorist, much like the McCarthyism of decades past.
So much for “innocent until proven guilty”, or the rights protected by the Fourth Amendment which guarantees, “the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon “probable cause.”
All this information will be collected and analyzed for patterns that indicate possible terrorism, all for the assistance of Homeland Security. But what happens to the privacy of Americans?
While there is an increased need for security now, achieving a secure state shouldn’t take away Americans’ rights.