National security

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National security impacts the people of the region. Individuals also trigger causes that endanger security by launching aggressive attacks, either physically or verbally. In most situations, there is a connection between liberty and protection. When people are granted unrestricted rights, they often incite each other, resulting in the dissemination of hate speech on the internet. It has occasionally culminated in the loss of human life. The government and policymakers are responsible for enacting laws and regulations that regulate people's actions. They should partner with other scholars, especially those that deal with individual freedom when formulating the policies to ensure they are standard and they do not undermine the personal welfare of others. They should set a limit on the internet usage and monitor any activities that are malicious and that may put the national security at risk. Education will also play a crucial role in reducing the number of people who are radicalized to join extremist groups.

Key words: national security, violent attacks, freedom, security.

The Intricate Relationship between National Security and Freedom of Expression


Freedom allows people to express their ideas and thoughts without interference. In the United States, the origin of freedom of expression dates back to the period of independence. It now covers a variety of facets that impinge on security. Freedom, for instance, when it has no limits, can cause tension in a country. It has a capacity to influence people to look down upon others, especially in the United States where the majority of the people are from different cultural and racial backgrounds (Brown 56). Many challenges and dilemmas arise when there is a mix of freedom and national security. The paper will discuss the relationship between the security of the nation and freedom of expression.

Problem Statement

Criminal and terrorist acts have led to the establishment of laws and legislations that would limit the freedom of expression. Freedom gives the people a right to express opinions without any interference. However, not all people use freedom to express the good ideas and thoughts that can build a nation. Technology plays a crucial role in the spread of information across networks. Criminals use the platform to spread hatred and create an environment of negativity among people. Terrorism activities are on the rise, so many people have lost lives, and many are suffering from health conditions as a result of injuries that occur during the attacks (Barendt 25). No one deserves to take the life of others human beings. If trained to love, we can avoid so many deaths through criminal activities and save lives.

In the United States, a significant portion of the population uses the internet on a daily basis. The internet plays a crucial role in inciting people to engage in violence. The abuse in the utilization of the web through hate speech can trigger wars that affect the citizens of the country.

Many controversial issues, however, surround freedom of expression and national security. It raises an ethical dilemma, for instance, when can the government impose a limitation that will protect the citizen against terrorism that is initiated by the use of the internet? What is the mandate of the government concerning monitoring of any malicious activity that may cause war to erupt? How do set laws and legislations limit the freedom of expression? What defines circumstances that may result in a violation of the law and those that, in which if overstated, the government can initiate a legal action against the person. Scholars have argued about the repercussion of the utilization and the increase in hate speech and racial discrimination (Weimann 22). Such issues hurt the citizens, especially in the United States where the majority of the people are foreigners.

Motives and Warrants

Many benefits exist from freedom of expression. However, the challenges should be considered as they affect peace and stability of a nation. In a diverse society, individuals have different views and perceptions about what they acknowledge as right or wrong. Some cultures do not restrict the moral behavior of a person. We may have a generation of rebellious young children who are not afraid to commit criminal activities. It is hard to change the perceptions of individuals, especially at an advanced age. Religious movements have formed organizations that radicalize the youth to engage in acts of terrorism (Friedman 23). People have died, and losses have been incurred for instance through explosions and bombings. In places that are densely populated it is easy for criminals to gang up through peer pressure and initiate acts that violate the law. Young people are heavy users of the internet they believe in freedom of expression they are therefore likely to express thoughts positively or negatively (Mason). Educating them about the implications may reduce hate speech and create an environment for peace.

According to Kurrild-Klitgaard et al., media plays a pivotal role in informing the public about the occurrence of the events that occur on a global scale. In a democratic society, the media is independent. However, there are ethical issues and dilemmas that they face when determining the type of information to expose to the public. Free speech has a capacity of imposing threats to a nation. People have got different opinions about what they consider right and wrong. In most circumstances, the media houses are engaged into warfare and competition as they struggle to be the first to report on the issues with security. The terrorists use the information provided by the media to set strategies that will ensure they achieve their goals. Other media houses do not carefully analyze the information before passing it on to the public (Kurrild-Klitgaard et al. 290). That information once passed to the public can put the security of a nation at risk. They should determine whether it is in the best interest of the country or the media house. If the information does not facilitate peace, then it is not essential to expose to the public.

Freedom of the media allows them to air controversies and the theories that surround the country for instance corruption, political assassinations and criminal threats. They, therefore, allow people to take precautionary measures on any uncertainties that may arise. In the United States, the media has been vocal in informing the general public about events that may put security at risk (Barnatchez and Lester 358). Some information, however, is required to be confidential because if exposed it can affect peace and stability of a nation. The journalist should be guided by their moral and ethical principles to reveal only what the standards accept to be presented to the public (Johnson 609). In most cases, people have died because the media exposed a witness to the criminal activities. Many cases have been dragged out of court from lack of evidence. If the journalists kept such information confidential, many criminals at the moment could have been prosecuted. Failure to gather evidence and witness has often left them to roam the streets and carry out crime related activities. Before presenting information to the public, the journalists should weigh the benefits and the risks as they will guide in making an appropriate opinion. (Kurrild-Klitgaard et al. 290). If there are many risks, they should keep the information confidential or represent it to the relevant authorities rather than the public.

Fig. 1. American death rates in terrorism acts.

Conversations and Debates

Scholars and the administrators of the government have always conducted debates on the laws that deal with freedom of expression. They try to seek solutions that will strike a balance between the welfare of the society and the individual liberty. The solution to the problem, however, is hard as most of the decisions cannot be accepted by all the communities in the United States (Meloy and Amman 622). Some factors affect the choice of the decision, and the political environment influences them. The laws and legislations vary across states in the United States. The socio-cultural factors, such as the age factor, also determine the rate of use of the internet. Many young people are likely to be influenced to join radicalized groups that carry out acts of terrorism. They also believe more in freedom of expression and teaching. Their perceptions are different from those in a higher age bracket (Mason). Other factors that also influence the choice of the decisions include the geographical factors as different regions are prone to attacks compared to others due to factors such as proximity to evasion routes.

According to Paul Coleman, who is a scholar and also a senior legal counsel for the alliance defending freedom, the freedom of speech should be restricted to an individual who call for physical violence and those who are liberal on others. His argument agrees with that of Leo when he states that limitations play a crucial role in the national security. Coleman further argues that consideration should be given when deciding on the limits especially those that are responsible for regulating or controlling speech too easily and quickly. There should be standards that govern when the restrictions should be used to have an outcome that is favorable. According to Valentin Le Dilly, who is a chief legal officer at the French anti-racism organization, when someone makes comments that are racist, they have an ability to generate hate and physical attacks on the people. Most of the incitements, for instance, are not intended for violence, but the atmosphere of hatred often lead to physical attacks on people in the streets (Didier et al). It is crucial to initiate debates as people have different ideologies and if both views are combined, they can produce an amicable solution.

Social activists fight for the rights and freedom of the people. They play a pivotal role in ensuring there are peace and stability in a nation. They support personal liberty and expression of ideas through media and the use of the internet. The government, on the other hand, is responsible for the formation of policy that protects the citizens from harm and extortion that may result due to freedom of expression (Burnap and Williams 224). The two stakeholders are supposed to work together to define right and wrong so that in the case of any illegal activity neither of the two will have a conflict of interest and the solution to the problem will be unanimous. Those responsible for making policies cannot work alone. They need support from different platforms such as the activists (Taylor

Opposing View

Too many limits may kill democracy of the citizens. Some rules may be imposed on citizens and may hurt the people. Freedom gives them an ability to express themselves and rebel against such laws. Many possibilities are presented with a representation of limitation of freedom and expression. In the United States, for instance, people have freedom of expression, but there are limits to the freedom. The role of the restrictions is to ensure the security of the citizens is maintained (Iglezakis 25). Other countries across the globe, for example, France and Syria which have experienced violence in the past, have set up additional precautionary measures (Zick 11). They include the use of surveillance laws and the promulgation of the state of emergency. Those convicted of crimes have to be subjected to court hearings and proceedings that will charge them with the offenses relating to speech that will compromise the national and security (Snow 8). They also have measures against terrorism, for example, most people glorify the activities over the internet, and those can lead to incitement that may cause violence destabilizing the welfare and peace of a nation.


There should be a platform that attracts public opinions about laws, especially those that deal with freedom. They can give outstanding contributions that will aid in the formulation of sound policies. Some sections of the members of the community are aware of those who use the media to post abusive content. The government can monitor, but the general public plays a crucial role in alerting the law enforcement officers upon notice of an event that can trigger war or spread hate. The media can also conduct regular debates that will allow scholars and policymakers to share a platform that will aid in the formation of appropriate policies. There should be a balance between individual liberty and the welfare of the society (Berman et al.). There are, however, many challenges while seeking the solutions. In the United States, each state is governed by different laws and legislations. What is right in our state could be wrong in another state. The setting of rules that are accepted by all states is a challenge. The communities are diverse. They are guided by different social-cultural, ethical and moral values. Some cultures do not restrict the moral behavior of a person. In such situations, we may have a generation of rebellious young children who are not afraid to commit criminal activities (Slobogin 137). It is hard to change the perceptions of people, especially at an advanced age.

Other factors include demographics and age. In places that are densely populated, it is easy for criminals to gang up through peer pressure and initiate acts that violate the law. Young people are heavy users of the internet they believe in freedom of expression they are therefore likely to express taught positively or negatively (Mason). Educating them about the implications may reduce hate speech and create an environment for peace.

Information flows first with the web compared to other forms of communication. The use of instant messaging facilitates the transfer of information among many people. Websites such as Facebook allow people to post hate speech and incitements that cause violence. The use of video conferencing allows the criminals to train and radicalize youth across the globe. The limits on the internet usage will allow the policy makers and law enforcement officers to screen information that is posted to the public. It will also facilitate the quick arrest of the individuals before engaging in the acts of violence. Laws govern society, but ethical and moral values dictate the conduct and behavior of an individual (Peak 42). The community members are expected to act with honesty and integrity to ensure their statements do not undermine the personal well-being of other persons.

Education and training of young people on the impacts of freedom and national security would play a vital role in reducing the crime rate. Many people often engage in activities through the lack of knowledge and peer pressure. Most criminals manipulate young minds to go into war and participate in illegal activities. The use of internet facilitates the exchange of information. In most cases, if the youths were educated and aware of right and wrong, they would avoid such acts that would put their lives and the national security at risk (Berman et al.). Parents should also be encouraged to talk to their children and educate them on the need to respect one another and to build relationships that create peace.


The laws alone cannot protect the people. The citizens have a responsibility to ensure they live in harmony and respect each other views. The moral values dictate the perception and attitudes of people in society. Cultural practices guide them, and the community should use them to educate people about the role of ethics and the impact it has when citizens have the freedom that is unregulated. They should use ethical values as tools to educate the young people about the consequences and implications of posting hate speech on the internet as it can result in the loss of human life (MacIntyre 32). National security is crucial as tension can hinder the progress and growth of a country.

Works Cited

Barendt, Eric. Freedom of Speech. Oxford University Press, 2005.

The discussions of the author revolve around the freedom that is affecting the United States and Canada. The role of the courts in determining the legislations is essential to guide a nation. The book, therefore, forms an essential part in the essay.

Barnatchez, Keith, and Robert Lester. "The Relationship between Economic Freedom and Economic Dynamism." Contemporary Economic Policy, 35.2, 2016, pp.358-372.

According to Barnatchez and Lester, economic freedom liberates individuals in a society. Most of the issues that lead to war are caused by conflicts that arise from inequality in the distribution of resources and income.

Berman, Eli, and David D. Latin. “Religion, Terrorism and Public Goods: Testing the Club Model”. Journal of Public Economics, no. 92(10), 2008, pp. 1942-1967,

The author is a professor at University of San Diego. His work relates with the effect of suicide attacks and the repercussions to a nation. In a world where democracy exists security threats are common.

Brown, Widney. "Workshop 1: Freedom of Religion or Belief Vis-À-Vis Freedom of Expression." Religion & Human Rights, 2.1, 2007, pp.55-56.

The author highlights the role of religion in creating peace in society. Those who are guided by the principles and teachings will do what is right even when guaranteed maximum freedom. The journal contributes significantly to the study.

Burnap, Pete, and Matthew L. Williams. "Cyber Hate Speech on Twitter: An Application of Machine Classification and Statistical Modeling for Policy and Decision Making." Policy & Internet, 7.2, 2015, pp. 223-242.

Burnap and Williams highlight the implications of hate speech on websites and social media. They argue about how media contributes to violence. If policies are not implemented to restrict freedom, then peace of a nation is at jeopardy.

Didier, Bigo, Sergio Carrera, Nicholas Hernanz and Amandine Scherrer. “National Security and Secret Evidence in Legislation and Before the Courts: Exploring the Challenges.”, 2015, Accessed 22 Aug. 2017.

The role of the article in regard with security is that it provides intelligence insights that are crucial when formulating decisions. The article examines the role of national security and the implications it has on the general public.

Freedom House. “Freedom on the Net 2011”. Freedom, 2011, Accessed 22 Aug. 2017.

The article examines about the role of medial in security. The use of the internet, for example, plays a crucial role when communicating and the terrorist can use technology to attack the nation. It should, therefore, be regulated to prevent any uncertainties that may arise.

Friedman, Lauri S. National Security. Greenhaven Press, 2010.

According to Friedman, national security should be prioritized as it creates tension in a county. More resources if deviated to security will improve peace and economic stability of a nation.

Iglezakis, Ioannis. "The Legal Regulation of Hate Speech on the Internet and Its Conflict with Freedom of Expression." SSRN Electronic Journal, 2016.

According to Iglezakis, there is an increase in hate speech. The cause is the freedom in the use of the internet. If such factors are regulated we can create an environment of peace and stability.

Johnson, Loch K. "National Security Intelligence in the United States: A Performance Checklist." Intelligence and National Security, 26.5, 2011, pp.607-615.

The emphasis on the article is the role of intelligence in improving national security. It helps the law enforcement officers to prosecute criminals. It also limits the freedom of expression that allows people to spread hate speech.

Kurrild-Klitgaard, Peter, Justesen, Mogens K., and Robert Klemmensen. “The Political Economy of Freedom, Democracy and Transnational Terrorism” Public Choice, no. 128(1), 2006, pp.289-315.

The article discusses the role of political freedom and the impact it has on the people. The status of a nation is influenced by the type of politics. They can bring peace or generate war affecting peace and stability.

MacIntyre, TJ. "Freedom of Expression and the Internet." SCRIPTed, 11.3, 2014.

The author highlights the role of freedom and circumstance that can lead to legal violations. The internet is a tool of communication and people should be cautious according to the information they post.

Mason, David. "Freedom of Information, Opinion and Expression." Australian Human Rights Commission, 2013, Accessed 22 Aug. 2017.

This source helps in providing evidence for supporting the solution given by various scholars. It contains information regarding various court cases that dealt with freedom of expression in different countries. The opinions shared by justices helps in the supporting the scholars who advise the solutions. The essay has benefited from this source in terms of facts and evidences from the past court cases.

Meloy, J. Reid, and Molly Amman. "Public Figure Attacks in the United States, 1995-2015." Behavioral Sciences & the Law, 34.5, 2016, pp.622-644.

The author indicates the attacks that have taken place in the United States since the period of 1995 to 2015. Meloy further argues that national security is crucial to prevent more fatalities from the terrorist attacks.

Peak, James. “Is Global Freedom of Expression Dangerous?” Student for Liberty, 2017, Accessed 22 Aug. 2017.

The article elaborates the modern forms of technology and how they trigger terrorism activities. It highlights the need for societies to be careful as it is difficult to know the criminals and truthful citizens.

Slobogin, Christopher. "Simon Chesterman,One Nation Under Surveillance: A New Social Contract To Defend Freedom Without Sacrificing Liberty." Intelligence and National Security, 29.1, 2013, pp. 136-141.

The article highlights the relationship that exists between national security and freedom of expression. Slobogin argues that when a nation is put under surveillance many terrorist and criminal acts could be avoided.

Snow, Nancy. Information War: American Propaganda, Free Speech and Opinion Control since 9-11. Seven Stories Press, 2011.

The article highlights about wars and the impact on a nation. Free speech has a capacity of generating war that can destabilize the economy and also affect peace and stability of a nation.

Taylor, Robert W., Fritsch, Eric J., and John Liederbach. Digital Crime and Digital Terrorism. Prentice Hall Press, 2014.

The article highlights how information spreads faster especially through the use of technology for example the internet. People should be cautious about the information they pass across as it can insight people at the same time be used in court as evidence to initiate a legal action.

Weimann, Gabriel. New Terrorism and New Media. Commons Lab of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, 2014.

The article highlights the role of technology and the impact on the young generation. They are the most affected as they constantly use the internet. They are victims of abuse and some have been radicalized to join terrorism groups.

Zick, Timothy. "The Dynamic Relationship between Freedom of Expression and Equality." SSRN Electronic Journal, 2015.

Zick highlights the relationship that exists between equality and freedom of expression. The article argues that the reason why many people get radicalized it is because they feel neglected by the state.

May 04, 2022


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