Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano has said that in the future there will be increased internet monitoring of US citizens in response to the dangers of terrorism.
In a speech to the American Constitution Society for Law and Policy
Napolitano said that recent domestic terrorism cases had shown that the internet was used to gather information for attacks. As a result the US was beefing up its monitoring capabilities and there would be a trade-off with individual's privacy.
"The First Amendment protects radical opinions, but we need the legal tools to do things like monitor the recruitment of terrorists via the Internet," Napolitano said, according to Associated Press.
"We can significantly advance security without having a deleterious impact on individual rights in most instances. At the same time, there are situations where trade-offs are inevitable."
She also announced an extension of the use of full body scanners at airports, saying that they were essential to stop further attacks like that of failed underpants bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab. The operator can't save or store scans on the new machines she said, and operators will be barred from having phones or cameras with them at work.
Naturally the DHS is happy with the move.
"Her speech is a sign of the maturing of the administration on this issue," said Stewart Baker, former undersecretary for policy with the DHS.
"They now appreciate the risks and the trade-offs much more clearly than when they first arrived, and to their credit, they've adjusted their preconceptions."