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Posted on October 11th, 2012, by

Today, the administration of justice security faces a number of new problems and challenges, which result from the technological progress and consistent change of the environment in which the justice system operates. In this respect, it should be said that the problem of justice security is closely intertwined with the security of information and privacy of people, which can be under a threat. In actuality, the administration of justice security implies the introduction of new, efficient means of protection of information and security in order to minimize the risk of breaches of information. At the same time, one of the major problems the administration of justice security is the problem of the protection of human rights, especially privacy. In this respect, it is important to lay emphasis on the fact that the problem of protection of privacy is very significant because, today, due to consistent legislative changes law enforcement agencies got larger rights.

People became less protected and their right to privacy is under a threat, to the extent that some specialists (Michaels, 2002) argue that law enforcement agencies violate this right systematically on the premise of the protection of national security and on the basis of legislative changes which enlarged their rights. In such a situation, it is extremely important to develop an effective system of protection of information within the justice system and ensure the protection of human rights by the justice system, especially the right to privacy. To meet these goals it is important to implement new technologies and regulate legal issues concerning the use of means of mass communication not only by ordinary people but also by people working in law enforcement agencies and justice system.

On analyzing the current situation in the administration of justice security, it should be said that it is facing new challenges because of the rapid progress of information technologies and telecommunication systems which enlarge consistently mass communication opportunities. At first glance, the introduction of new information technologies, information systems and telecommunication technologies improves substantially the functioning of the administration of justice security. In actuality, modern technologies allow to store a large amount of information with the help of modern technologies. The creation of modern databases is an essential condition of the normal functioning of the justice system since data stored within the justice system are of the utmost importance since the more information is available to the justice system and law enforcement agencies the more effectively they can prevent crimes and find criminals.

At the same time, the information stored within the justice system inevitably involves privacy issues. In such a context, information breaches from the justice system databases are extremely dangerous because, in such a way, it is possible to uncover very personal information about people if this information is available to justice system. Traditionally, the justice system and law enforcement agencies could obtain such information in terms of very strict procedure which limited consistently the risk of information breaches and unauthorized access to private information of people. However, today, especially after the introduction of the Patriot Act in 2001, law enforcement agencies and the justice system have larger rights and opportunities to search and seizure. Moreover, law enforcement agencies got the opportunity to get important, private information without court sanctions which they used to obtain in the past to conduct a search for instance.

In addition, today, it is quite difficult to control the work of law enforcement agencies and the administration of justice security needs to develop effective tools and mechanisms which help to monitor and control the use of private information of people by law enforcement agencies. In fact, the problem is that modern information technologies and means of mass communication allow law enforcement agencies to obtain private information and people stay unaware of the fact of being surveyed, for instance, or that their private information is accessible to professionals working in law enforcement agencies.

At the same time, the problem of the protection of private information within the justice system is also a serious problem because its databases need to be protected from external hackers’ attacks which lead to information breaches. In actuality, this means that the administration of justice security need to introduce efficient information systems which are able to protect databases and all the information stored within the justice system from breaches. Basically, the problem of information breaches leads to such new types of crime as identity theft by means of new information technologies and telecommunication systems.

In such a situation, the administration of justice security needs to introduce new technologies which increase the level of protection of information. In fact, today, the protection of information and information security are the major goals the administration of justice security has to meet. At the same time, the protection of information refers not only to the information stored with the justice system, but it also refers to the protection of private information of people, including the protection from actions of law enforcement agencies. At this point, it is worth mentioning the fact that it is still quite difficult to regulate and control actions of law enforcement agencies since they use advanced technologies which are difficult to track but which allow them to obtain private information, for instance, e-mails, or communication of people via mobile phones, etc.

Basically, specialists (Mailman, 2002) argue that the administration of justice security should focus on two major directions. First of all, it is necessary to introduce technologies changes which allow to secure private information of people which is stored within the justice system.

The introduction of new information systems minimizes the risk of information breaches and unauthorized use of private information.

Secondly, it is necessary to develop effective regulatory policies which could prevent the unauthorized use as well as access to private information. In this respect, these regulatory policies should refer to law enforcement agencies which have got larger opportunities for search and seizure, while the access to private information of people is quite difficult to control that is particularly dangerous in the situation when there is no strict punishment or counter-action to misuse of power by law enforcement agencies.

In such a context, the problem of the split between the protection of human rights and the needs of the justice system and security arises. To put it more precisely, today, the administration of justice security as well as the justice system at large faces a serious ethical and legal dilemma. On the one hand, there are basic human rights, such as privacy rights, which cannot be violated by any means. On the other hand, the justice system and law enforcement agencies need to ensure the national security and public safety, in order to prevent the rapid growth of crime rates as well as minimize the risk of such threats as terror attacks which have become a real threat to the national security of the USA. In fact, human rights and public safety often come into conflict with each other because in order to ensure the public safety it is necessary to conduct search and seizure, and implement practices which may be viewed as the violation of human rights. At the same time, the concern with the protection of human rights may lead to the neglect of the threat to the public safety. What is meant here is the fact that the protection of human rights implies the strict control over the actions of law enforcement agencies. In fact, they cannot violate human rights, but, in their work, they often use methods which evoke a strong criticism from the part of supporters of the supremacy of human rights over all other issues (Van Bergen, 2004). For instance, the introduction of the Patriot Act in 2001 enlarged consistently right and opportunities of law enforcement agencies, but many specialists (Van Bergen, 2004) warned that this legislative act violated basic human rights and constitutional norms of the USA.

In this respect, it is possible to speak about the violation of the Fourth Amendment and basic privacy rights of people. In fact, the enlargement of rights of law enforcement agencies led to the situation when Americans cannot feel fully protected in regard to their privacy. Supporters of the idea of the enlargement of law enforcement agencies’ rights argue that it is the most effective way to improve the public safety and the administration of justice security should use the larger rights of law enforcement agencies to increase its effectiveness in terms of the protection of national security and public safety (Van Bergen, 2004). It is obvious that the more information law enforcement agencies have the more opportunities they have to prevent such serious crimes as terror attacks. In addition, it is possible to prevent other crimes as well.

On the other hand, the enlargement of law enforcement agencies’ rights inevitably leads to the limitation of human rights of Americans. In this respect, privacy rights are the first at stake. What is meant here is the fact that the improvement of the work of law enforcement agencies as well as the justice system at large occurs by means of simplification of the procedure of search and seizure as well as surveillance. As a result, private information and private life of Americans are less protected, while law enforcement agencies are free in their actions. Consequently, basic human rights are sacrificed for the sake of public safety, but the negligence and ignorance of basic human rights will inevitably lead to the total change of the lifestyle of Americans and American socioeconomic and political system.

Thus, taking into account all above mentioned, it is possible to conclude that the development of new technologies and telecommunication systems had a dubious effect on the administration of justice security and the society at large. On the one hand, new technologies improved the work of law enforcement agencies and justice system, while, on the other hand, they raised the problem of the protection of basic human rights, including privacy rights. In such a situation, the administration of justice security needs the introduction of technologies and regulatory policies which can balance the public safety and human rights protection.

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