Some time ago, in a nation where criminals were seldom caught and terrorist acts could occur easily, the phenomenon of surveillance was nearly nonexistent. Today, almost every building a person comes across has some type of surveillance system. Video cameras and security guards have become a part of nearly every person's life. The big question is: is it all for a good purpose or a bad? Michel Foucault, one of the leading 21st century intellectuals, argues that from the use of surveillance, "there were no more bars, no more chains, no more heavy locks" (234). Based on such ideas from Foucault, the use of surveillance greatly aids in the war against terrorism, decreases the occurrence of crime, and increases a feeling of "safety" for all citizens.
The occurrence of terrorism can be greatly reduced or eliminated through the use of terrorism. Since September 11, 2001, the nation has had time to reflect on how such a catastrophic event could have taken place. A nation touched on many levels would have done anything to ensure that it would not happen again. Surveillance has come up as a solution to cover up the holes in security that a terrorist would need to go through to go through with an act of terrorism. The increase of video cameras and security guards in airports show that it is a solution, since all other attempts at similar events have been avoided. Surveillance can be used to accumulate knowledge on these terrorists as well. Surveillance can be used as a "support if an accumulation and centralization of knowledge" (Foucault 244). Intelligence can look at surveillance tapes, and watch to learn information on terrorist organizations and their plans. Some can argue that our rights as citizens have been infringed upon due to this increase of surveillance and that the increase is pointless has done nothing. However, due to the war against terrorism, in order to ensure the safety of all of us, our rights need to be slightly altered to bring out the ones who wish to cause harm.