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A good Christian Science Monitor article that brings up a new program, reminds us of old ones, and points out some serious issues. The comments of the EFF and EPIC folks are arguably the most important. On the one hand the data in use is personal, but at the same time it is for the most part public. As long as we lack a comprehensive set of laws/policies on how such data can and should be used and by whom, we’re never going to get beyond the howls of “big brother!” As I have brought up previously:

  • No one seems to care about private snooping and harassment for money, but somehow government attempts to sort out deadly wheat from benign chaff are an invasion.
  • Even if Uncle Sam were able to suck up every 1 and 0 transiting every network across the country, there are serious doubts as it his ability to actually find and make sense of even a fraction of it.
  • Government technology projects, particularly anything linked to DHS, have a track record of success that looks like the Viking’s record in the Super Bowl.

I’m a big fan of such efforts but I am also cognizant of the dangers involved. Let’s get our hands and heads around what we want to be truly private first, and then address the extent to which we’re willing to let anyone intrude on that privacy. Until then this is all so much whistling Dixie.

More views at Alexander the Average . . more at DefenseTech . . . Captain Ed is leaning towards new legislation, which would be fine by me.

Michael Tanji

Michael Tanji

Michael Tanji spent nearly 20 years in the US intelligence community. Trained in both SIGINT and HUMINT disciplines he has worked at the Defense Intelligence Agency, the National Security Agency, and the National Reconnaissance Office. At various points in his career he served as an expert in information warfare, computer network operations, computer forensics, and indications and warning. A veteran of the US Army, Michael has served in both strategic and tactical assignments in the Pacific Theater, the Balkans, and the Middle East.