Friday, September 13, 2013

Hey everyone! My name is Megan.
In light of Wednesday being 9/11, I’ve been thinking how much this tragedy has affected communication, relating to the conflicts of technological advancements we’ve been covering in class. 

From what I understand, during the attacks, government agencies repeatedly had technological issues and were unable to contact the air traffic control center, radios in the trade center left some police and firefighters stranded and uninformed that the towers were collapsing, as well as unable to contact each other because the Office of Emergency Management was located in the towers and had been evacuated. Systems were also overwhelmed, causing radio feeds and phone calls to be disconnected.  

After the attack, it was apparent that there were flaws in the technological systems we were using, and in some opinions, even the reliance on technological communication in general. Programs were created to try and minimize the chances of these same communication issues happening again. The Department of Homeland Security helped develop Fusion Centers across America to help agencies cross exchange information between each other. Also, a system called STARS, Statewide Agencies Radio System, was updated in 2004, which increased mobile radio coverage for 21 state agencies to improve communication during a crisis anywhere in the state. After the attacks, researchers helped create a database of all terrorist events ranging from 1970 to 2010 called the Global Terrorism Database, which tracks the rates and patterns of attacks over time and the impacts of terrorist countermeasures.

However, during the attacks many people did have access to phones and some radios that did work, and passengers on one of the planes were able to understand what was going on in time to crash the plane before it hit the target. Others contacted police and loved ones from inside the planes and towers telling them their current situation.

On a side note, various government agencies began “spying” on citizens long before 9/11, since the attacks it has become more prominent as people argue, “domestic eavesdropping is a necessary part of a post-9/11 world” as an anti-terrorism technique. This means that Homeland Security and the IRS are allowed to access your emails, texts, phone calls, and more without a warrant and without informing you. If the government has found a way to do this without us knowing, isn’t there some computer hacker out there who probably can too?

Even with the amount of failures, I’m pretty sure we can all agree that if there had been no form of technological communication at all, the death toll would have been even worse. How much worse, though? And do you think that updating these technological systems has just put us more at risk by opening up more ways for types of terrorist attacks?

For more information, as well as my works cited, visit:

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