Communities and law enforcement agencies in many countries are often faced with many challenges and hazards caused by the existence of drugs, weapons, terrorism and generally any form of criminal acts. Modern technological progress has improved law enforcement abilities to expose previously concealed wrong doing by the use of obtrusive search methods. Such technological methods as advance surveillance are used by governments to support in acquiring information from many factors of life. Some methods in which a state or government may acquire their knowledge on the issues pertaining to national security of a person, organization or a country may be deemed as unethical and illegal because of the tactics that are used to gather such knowledge. .
Some may dispute that the ethics of state surveillance actions should be reviewed according to the means, the perspective and the circumstances of collecting data or information with the use or goal of the act. In looking at what state surveillance is used for some may be able to argue that it is useful in situations where crime is concerned, while others may argue that it really does not serve any purpose other than the government using surveillance as a tool to spy on people. This paper will discuss state surveillance in terms of governments spying on citizens and citizens of other countries by using law enforcement tactics while considering the ethical and legal implications of the use of state surveillance. It will also focus on the ethical implications of the state's use of surveillance and whether liberty should ever be sacrificed for national security.
Getting to Know the Facts.
Surveillance can be defined as the observation or monitoring of a person, place or thing. According to the legal definition surveillance is close observation or supervision maintained over a person, group and others specifically one in custody or under suspicion.