Analysis & Opinions - Global Policy

Surveillance: Blurring the Lines Between National Security and Law Enforcement

| July 29, 2013


"In a post-Snowden world, surveillance has taken on a new importance in the ongoing public debate about cybersecurity. The revelations that the National Security Agency (NSA) operated a series of highly classified programs that engaged in mass collection of Internet user data and telephony metadata garnered breathless coverage and attention from leaders and citizens around the world. But to understand how the Snowden affair may really impact the future of cybersecurity, it is important to understand how a dichotomy that the United States advocates for on the international stage – “national security” as distinct from “law enforcement” – has broken down domestically. Just as China is able to conflate the issues of economic or industrial espionage with “traditional” espionage and derail the conversation, so will our mixed messages on the issue of law enforcement and surveillance hamper our ability to credibly negotiate on the international stage."

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For Academic Citation: Mohan, Vivek.“Surveillance: Blurring the Lines Between National Security and Law Enforcement.” Global Policy, July 29, 2013.

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