The Line between Security and Liberty

In the era of terrorist threats tohe national security and well-being, the government works on measures to predict possible attracts and ti ensure the safety of its people. Since the 9/11 attack, the notion of safety has been violated, and national security has never been the more vulnerable. The measures of security have been reorganized and strengthened with the emergence of Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). Both law enforcement and intelligence agencies work on information gathering using various techniques (depending on their credentials). However, there are some differences in policies that oversee intelligence gathering, because some of the methods might have an ambiguous nature. Law enforcement and information agencies monitor possible threats to national security using available methods (intelligence gathering)

First of all, the collection of information is approached with the help of the law enforcement and reporting agencies differently; however, there are several similarities. Both of the agencies go through the same intelligence cycle, which uses such plan as “collection, planning and direction, dissemination, analysis, and processing”. Consequently, the same techniques will be adopted by law enforcement and intelligence agencies; yet, the intelligence agency would present the gathered analysis to security organization and not vice versa. The first stage is collecting information; usually, it is the data collected from different sources that is not assessed. The next step is to categorize and to sort out the data that was gathered and to identify possible threats while delivering it to policy makers. Further, dissemination of the end product (intelligence information) involves important decision makers to begin the process of analysis. The analysts evaluate the information based on its sources and content and create a report. In the end, the information is presented as a form of “intellectual analysis”. Following all of these steps, the agencies initiate an enormous process of data analysis that involves major legal procedures and human resources. However, from the hierarchical point of view, law enforcement has more power in comparison to the intelligence agencies; yet, the inevitable competition between them can create a speculating process in the fight for power and influence. Certainly, intelligence agencies have well-prepared analysts, who build up important cases, while law enforcement “simply” follows the lead and literary eliminates the thread. FBI puts in numerous resources to monitor the information, such as imagery equipment, to capture satellite photographs or eavesdropping devices that are used in particular cases. As a result, some of their methods might intrude personal private life and cause public discontent. Intelligence agencies, in turn, use plenty of synthesizing tools to sort out and categorize information, making the process more subtle and less intimidating.

Law enforcement and intelligence agencies also have some differences in policies that aim to oversee intelligence gathering. The main difference lies in the area of power and influence that both of the agencies deploy. Certainly, FBI has a larger area of influence when it comes to domestic or international threads and methods of monitoring and gathering information. Despite the fact that CIA might seem to have a smaller scope of responsibility, each agency has to comply with the Constitution of the United States and ethical norms. Burch, states that both agencies have to create a better information sharing and oversight. In general, “increased collaboration among police departments, specifically greater openness toward information sharing” would lead to more excellent results in eliminating threats to national security. Surely, the blurry line between safety and liberty should not be crossed in order not to resort to domestic spying abuses and rude interrogations. However, collaboration is the key to eliminating competition between the departments, considering that both law enforcement and intelligence agencies are working for the same purpose.

Berman, in turn, expresses the concern towards rights protection, since FBI has little constraints regarding financial and employment records, private emails, and dialed phones. He believes that the protection of liberal rights should have the same weight and priority as national security. The expressed concern towards the “vigorous pursuit of terrorism prevention” and no regulations of FBI’s intelligence gathering leads to unbalanced democracy with “undervalued rights protection”. Moreover, Berman mentions the necessity of establishing practical measures to oversee the process of intelligence gathering. Unfortunately, such actions have more ambitions than actual nature. Consequently, at the moment law enforcement is eligible to search and review person’s records; however, a more balanced system of security and liberal rights protection should be established.

All in all, information gathering techniques and methods of overseeing the process of collecting and employing this information have some similarities and differences while comparing law enforcement and intelligence agencies. With the help of the methods of information gathering, both companies usually go through the same cycle to reach their goal, following such steps as collecting, direction and planning, dissemination, analyzing and processing. Moreover, law enforcement also builds their work around cases that are prepared by intelligence agencies; however, there might be exceptions. Despite the fact that both agencies work to ensure national security, the competition still takes place and weakens the process of information sharing and oversight. What is also significant, FBI has more power and influence regarding assessing personal information and sometimes intruding into private life; therefore, more policies and regulations to balance the oversight should be established. As a result, the national well-being can be ensured.