Katina Michael spoke at the International Women in Law Enforcement Conference on the topic of National Security. She was the second speaker of the day. Over 24 countries represented at this event and over 120 participants, half of which were high ranking female police officers in India.
The Benefits and Harms of National Security Technologie
After the tragic events of 9/11, governments across the world reviewed their national security strategies, specifically with a focus to curbing terrorism. Apart from better coordination between law enforcement agencies at all levels (local, national and international) to sharing intelligence, introducing new technologies for ensuring long-term social and economic securitization and stability became a premier goal. National security technologies are meant to (1) safeguard a country’s borders from illegal entrants; and (2) protect citizens within a nation state in terms of the adequate and equitable distribution of wealth and resource sustainability. The introduction of electronic passports for international travel authorisation, multimodal biometric scanning at customs and border control, full body image scanners at airports, and biometric-based smart card national identity schemes have arguably made the world a safer place. But is there evidence to show that these technologies actually work to fulfil their aims beyond existing person-number systems? This paper presents a number of case examples and discusses the harms and benefits posed by the new technologies, weighing up the impacts on the harmonization between privacy, security, and liberty and control. The emerging trend toward evidence-based policing is also described in light of the ability to proactively profile global citizens who pose a perceived threat to society.