Publication Details

This article was originally published as: Michael, MG & Michael, K, National Security: The Social Implications of the Politics of Transparency, Prometheus, 2006, 24(4), 359-364. The journal is available here from Taylor & Francis journals.


This special issue of Prometheus is dedicated to the theme of the Social Implications of National Security Measures on Citizens and Business. National security measures can be defined as those technical and non-technical measures that have been initiated as a means to curb breaches in national security, irrespective of whether these might occur by nationals or aliens in or from outside the sovereign state. National security includes such government priorities as maintaining border control, safeguarding against pandemic outbreaks, preventing acts of terror, and even discovering and eliminating identification fraud. Governments worldwide are beginning to implement information and communication security techniques as a way of protecting and enhancing their national security. These techniques take the form of citizen identification card schemes using smart cards, behavioural tracking for crowd control using closed-circuit television (CCTV), electronic tagging for mass transit using radio-frequency identification (RFID), e-passports for travel using biometrics, and 24x7 tracking of suspected terrorists using global positioning systems (GPS). The electorate is informed that these homeland security techniques are in actual fact deployed to assist government in the protection of its citizenry and infrastructure. The introduction of these widespread measures, however, is occurring at a rapid pace without equivalent deliberation over the potential impacts in the longer term on both citizens and business.



Link to publisher version (DOI)