There's the assumption being made by the national security advisers to the Obama administration that the North Korean leadership is not suicidal, that they know they will be obliterated if they attacked the United States. But I would point that everything in South Korea and Japan is well within range of what they might want to do.
I am disturbed by how states abuse laws on Internet access. I am concerned that surveillance programmes are becoming too aggressive. I understand that national security and criminal activity may justify some exceptional and narrowly-tailored use of surveillance. But that is all the more reason to safeguard human rights and fundamental freedoms.
AIDS and malaria and TB are national security issues. A worldwide program to get a start on dealing with these issues would cost about $25 billion... It's, what, a few months in Iraq.
Many of the benefits from keeping terrorism fear levels high are obvious. Private corporations suck up massive amounts of Homeland Security cash as long as that fear persists, while government officials in the National Security and Surveillance State can claim unlimited powers and operate with unlimited secrecy and no accountability.
It is often in the name of cultural integrity as well as social stability and national security that democratic reforms based on human rights are resisted by authoritarian governments.