MASINT is a surveillance technique that primarily involves information gathering through analysis of signals, images, or data accumulated from human intelligence. In MASINT, signatures or target can be detected, tracked, identified, or described through collecting, processing, and analyzing the information that has been gathered. It is also capable of detecting and differentiating specific signatures that may reveal the presence of opium, marijuana, underground activities, explosives, and others (George & Kline, 2005).
Historically, MASINT had been used for years and has been referred to as air and water sampling, radioactivity sensor, and acoustic devices, among others (George & Kline, 2005). Eventually, it has been coined as MASINT in the 1970's, together with other intelligence gathering methods. MASINT has been considered as the most complex surveillance method; it involves exotic and complex technology that people without any background in science would hardly comprehend it (George & Kline, 2005). Other Traditional Surveillance Techniques
Other surveillance techniques that are usually used by police and intelligence officers include electronic surveillance. Electronic surveillance includes wiretapping, bugging, and other forms using electronic devices in overhearing conversations or obtaining information (Ferdico, 2004). In criminal prevention and tracing of criminals, authorities employ electronic surveillance devices. These devices were preferably used because of its difficulty to be detected, speed, low cost, flexibility, and adaptability. However, such techniques were exposed to constitutional scrutiny.
Many believe that these forms intrude the privacy of the citizens (Ferdico, 2004). Summary and Conclusion To sum up, government departments, which are bestowed with responsibilities to ensure the peace and security of the nation, have adopted extensive techniques to fulfill their duties. Since the crime commission has also been employing technologies and intelligent methods, the government, as well, has to increase and improve its capabilities to tie up or exceed the enemies. Moreover, technological innovations have strongly influenced the development of these techniques.
In investigating crimes and tracking for criminals, surveillance plays a vital role. The various surveillance techniques do not only speed up the investigating, but they also provide reliable sources. Due to technological innovations, surveillance has improved. Surveillance also comes in many forms in order to deal with various problems in surveillance. Advancement in surveillance techniques are also required, especially at these present days where crimes are perfected through the use of technology.
The 9/11 event, which is one of the worst crimes history has witnesses, is a product of technological advancements. In order to prevent crimes such as the 9/11 from taking place, the surveillance techniques need to be further intensified and improved.
Baker, B. D. Gunter, W. H. (2005, August). Surveillance: Concepts and practices for fraud, security and crime investigation. International Foundation for Protection Officers. Retrieved August 6, 2008, from http://www.ifpo.org/