Science and technology have a profound impact on the all aspects of human life (Rosenberg, 2004). This paper discusses the impact of Social Media, specifically, on the screening and the security practices of law enforcement agencies.Last two decades have seen the phenomenal growth of the virtual socialising using the various platforms like Orkut, Facebook, Twitter etc. Everyone felt the impact of the unprecedented development of these social media, including the law enforcement agencies. On one hand, the terrorist outfits used this media to distribute their messages across while on other unsuspecting youths wanting to join the enforcement agencies posted their profiles in their natural form (Berger, 2007). As the article selected for review mentions (Johnson, 2010), the recruitment department of these security agencies, screened the application of the candidates, taking their social media profile as one of the background check criteria.
The article cites the instances of new recruits, who were dropped during the training as the agencies found the posted profiles of these people un-acceptable. Another case cited in the paper mentions the trouble past of the candidate discovered by the agencies through an investigation conducted on his social media profiles.This resulted in disqualification of the candidate. The logic used by these agencies in doing is that anyone who has posted their social media profiles should be ready to see them in the newspaper, the next day. Hence, if a defence attorney later finds the questionable antecedents of the prosecuting officer, it may undercut on the viability of the case. The public opinion, obviously, does not support such a move by the enforcement agencies.
Privacy advocates consider that the law enforcement agencies are going too far when they investigate the text messages and email logs as part of background checks. They support their argument with the statement that though the public profiles are accessible to anyone, the emails, text messages and personal profiles on social media are only available to chosen set of people. Moreover, the candidate may have posted the social profile during adolescence and many of the details there would not apply as he gets to shoulder law enforcement responsibilities (Rosenberg, 2004).