Impact of Terrorism on American Justice

Impact of Terrorism on American Justice.

The terrorism has affected American justice by bringing changes into it. The changes became more vivid especially after the September 11, 2001. American citizens were used to the security, that doesn't exist any more. A lot of changes were made in law enforcement since the 9/11 attacks. The focus has been mainly on security. In order to limit or exclude the future attacks the government created measures to monitor the internet, airports and country borders. Americans don't have any more the freedom that they were used to in the past. Nowadays Americans should be more attentive to their surroundings; know better the world issues and know what could happen later in the future if the terrorist attacks are ever forgotten (Rivera, 2006). After the attacks of terrorists on 9/11, the agencies of the local law enforcement and the state agencies made several steps such as increasing the quantity of personnel involved in emergency response planning; renovating response plans for radiological, chemical and biological attacks; signing new mutual aid agreements; increasing departmental spending to focus on terrorism readiness and changing the location of internal resources. All these things were made under the influence of terrorism attack possibility (Siegel 148-150).

The Patriot Act. The most common area of the U.S. justice that the terrorists' attacks had on our society was the quantity of security that really increased in all areas and aspects of Americans` lives. Congress of the United States passed the Patriot Act which gave the right to the enforcement to make a deeper search in order to try to get “information on terrorist and the possibility of the future attacks.”(Davis 2004). A lot of citizens and representatives of government were afraid that the Act could enable law enforcement to government snooping (Cole 278).

Cyberspace. An area that had large changes due to terrorist attacks was that of cyberspace. The cyber revolution has been spread into all spheres of human lives. Beginning from 2003, the American economy and national security became totally dependent on information infrastructure and technology. Computers control and operate all spheres of the economy - “energy (electric power, oil and gas), transportation (rail, air, merchant marine), finance and banking, information and telecommunications, public health, emergency services, water, chemical, defense industrial base, food, agriculture, and postal and shipping” (Miller, 2003). Most physical objects such as “pipeline pumps, electrical transformers, chemical vats, trains and radars are also under their control” (Gaines 256-258).

Americans are at risk from this increasing dependence on computers as these technologies also provide new opportunities for criminals. As a great amount of people all over the world has incorporated an advanced information technology and the Internet into their everyday lives, so have many criminals, adversarial foreign nations and terrorists. “Cyber crime presents the most fundamental challenge for law enforcement in the 21st Century.” (Cohen, 2002). Although we trust computers, they are vulnerable to the effects of poor design and insufficient quality control and to deliberate attack. The modern thief can steal more with a computer than with a gun and today terrorists can do more harm with the help of keyboard than with a bomb (Mahan 114). For a real-world terrorist to blow up a dam, he would need tons of explosives, a delivery system, and a means of evading armed security guards. During the last couple years people have faced a number of computer crimes, starting from defacement of websites by juveniles to complicated intrusions that are suspected to be sponsored by foreign powers, and so on. “The theft of national security information from a government agency or the interruption of electrical power to a major metropolitan area would have greater consequences for national security, public safety, and the economy than the defacement of a web-site.” (Miller 2003).

Law Enforcement's Role. Before the terrorist attack of 9/11, only few local law enforcement agencies experienced the accidents, related to terrorism; but after 9/11, nearly all governmental agencies and the half of local agencies worked on responding to terrorist-related incidents. The response burden was rather high for these agencies. It was the kind of crime that agencies were not ready to cope with (Pastor 40).

The terrorist attacks were a reason for increased amount of assessment activities, especially at the local level. Here is an example: before the 9th of September 2001 “only one fourth of local agencies within smaller counties had made a risk assessment; and during one year after the attacks, nearly three fourth had done so.” (Davis, 2004)

There have been made many changes since the attacks terrorists began. One of the main and important changes was made in the way in which the cyberspace is viewed now. Just now people understand that they can't surf the web with no fears, we all have to wonder now who else is watching us (O'Keefe 107). Just now not only the government can check how we use computer, but there is a possibility that terrorist get access to our systems and it will cause damage to many areas of our society. So, the terrorists' attacks, especially events of 9/11 were tragic and that is why the pain people feel will never be forgotten.

Works Cited

Cohen, Patricia. The Freedom of Information Center. 9/11 Law Means More Snooping? Or Maybe Less? (2002, September 7). Retrieved from:

Cole, George F., Smith, Christopher E. The American System of Criminal Justice. (2006). p. 278. Print.

Davis, Lois. RAND. How Prepared Are State and Local Law Enforcement for Terrorism? (2004). Retrieved from:

Gaines, Larry K., Miller, Roger LeRoy. Criminal Justice in Action: The Core. (2008). Print. pp. 256-258. Print.

Mahan, Sue., Griset, Pamala L. Terrorism in Perspective. (2007). p. 114. Print.

Miller, William. GSU Law. Cybersecurity After 9/11. (2003). Retrieved from:

O'Keefe, Michael., Coady, C. A. J. Terrorism and justice: moral argument in a threatened world. (2002). p. 107. Print.

Pastor, James F. Terrorism and Public Safety Policing: Implications for the Obama Presidency. (2009). p. 40. Print.

Rivera, Brandi. The Criminal Justice System after 9/11. October 06, 2006. Retrieved from

Siegel, Larry J. Introduction to Criminal Justice. (2009). pp. 148-150. Print.

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