National security is a crucial requirement that can help to promote the survival of a state through autonomous exploitation of economic and political authority, diplomacy, and freedom projection. Recent debates have argued that the state and the Intelligence Community should have access to personal data so as to promote national security and reduce terrorist threats. This issue has however raised concern within the public domain, and as such, it has been perceived as unconstitutional. This is because the state has supposedly abused its power in utilizing this law to access individual information under the NSA’s data collection program, which has proven to violate the privacy Act. The need to undertake this assessment is driven by the urge to determine whether there is a possibility of the Federal Government undertaking its duties in providing national security without interfering with individual privacy. The method that will be employed in gathering the relevant information includes assessing relevant peer-reviewed articles.
Addressing the conflict between the need for collective security and individual liberty
The command by the Intelligence Community to allow the state to access individual information to enhance national security has become controversial in the recent past. This is due to the fact that individual liberties have supposedly been widely sacrificed to enhance the state’s knowledge and dominance over individual citizens. Concerns and debates related to the friction between the need for collective security and individual liberty indicate that there is a need to maintain a rational balance between the two concepts despite the fact that there is a growing crisis on national defense. Although national security is of paramount importance, the tendency to infringe individual liberty in the name of promoting national defense has been considered unconstitutional hence likely to violate the rule of law. Scholarly evidence has shown that individual liberties constitute an important foundation for individual strength and security. While individual security translates into national security, the government can advocate for security policies that do not conflict with the rule of law and the essential human rights. The state should also give priority to individual liberty and should not use it as a bridge to realize its goals in promoting national security. This is because infringing individual liberty erodes national security particularly because individuals withdraw their efforts in enhancing security when they realize that their individual freedom is being violated. The state should also review its counter-terrorism legislation to ensure that they are effective and relevant. This can include abolishing certain control orders that prove to be ineffective while replacing others with effective prevention and investigation measures. The state can also adopt effective means for dealing with terror suspects without necessarily imposing restrictions that are bound to infringe individual liberty. The state should further adopt communications data rather than attempting to access the actual communication content that individuals may have been involved in. Through communications data, the state can be able to analyze the players, context, and location within which communication between individuals may have taken place without necessarily investigating the actual content of such communication. The use of communications data would be appropriate in identifying persons that may have been involved in criminal activity while on the other hand ensuring that individual privacy is not interfered with.
Individual liberty is crucial and should be protected amid crisis on national defense. This means that the state should not violate individual liberty as it tries to enhance national security but it should give it a priority because it constitutes an important foundation for safety and security. Employing communications data can help trace individuals involved in crime without interfering with personal freedom. Proper legislation can also ensure that the rule of law and the constitution are not violated, and as such, individual rights are protected.
Cano, Rezek. “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness: A Jeffersonian Approach to Development Indicators,” American Economist 56, no.2 (2011):12-32.
James, Ely. “The Constitution and Economic Liberty,” Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy 35, no. 1(2012):12-55.
Joseph, Landau. “Chevron Meets Youngstown: National Security and the Administrative State,” Boston University Law Review 92, no.6 (2012):88-109.
Judicature. “The Security of Our Liberty,” Judicature 88, no.1(2004):39-67.
Michael, McFaul. “The Liberty Doctrine: Reclaiming the Purpose of American Power,” Policy Review 34, no. 2 (2004): 66-87.
Noone, McLoughlin. “Security Detention, Terrorism and the Prevention Imperative,” Case Western Reserve Journal of International Law 40, no.3 (2009):71-98.
Silvio, Ferrari. “Individual Religious Freedom and National Security in Europe after September 11,” Brigham Young University Law Review 2004, no. 2 (2004):20-56.
 Ely James. “The Constitution and Economic Liberty,” Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy 35, no. 1(2012):42.
 Ferrari Silvio. “Individual Religious Freedom and National Security in Europe after September 11,” Brigham Young University Law Review 2004, no. 2 (2004):36.
 Ibid 44.
 Rezek Cano. “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness: A Jeffersonian Approach to Development Indicators,” American Economist 56, no.2 (2011):22.
 Landau Joseph. “Chevron Meets Youngstown: National Security and the Administrative State,” Boston University Law Review 92, no.6 (2012):99.
 McFaul Michael. “The Liberty Doctrine: Reclaiming the Purpose of American Power,” Policy Review 34, no. 2 (2004): 76.
 McLoughlin Noone. “Security Detention, Terrorism and the Prevention Imperative,” Case Western Reserve Journal of International Law 40, no.3 (2009):81.
 Judicature. “The Security of Our Liberty,” Judicature 88, no.1(2004):47.