Sep 28, 2001

Biometrics in Airports
Human Justice
'I think it would be a great addition to airport security: identifying airline and airport personnel such as pilots, maintenance workers, etc. That's a problem biometrics can help solve. Using biometrics to pick terrorists out of crowds is a different kettle of fish.'

A text-book concrete example of what I'm getting at in my Human Justice essay.


Sep 28, 2001

Google Search:

Best kind of humor... there's a point beneath the sarcasm. Replicated here, since Google may not store it forever (minus a few unimportent headers):

Subject: [] ID cards - Yes or No? A Questionnaire (Or 2)
Date: 27 Sep 2001 17:29:53 GMT

Subject: ID cards - Yes or No? A Questionnaire (Or 2)
From: Min Lacey

Q1. Do you agree that the recent terrorist disaster was a Bad Thing?

Q2. Do you agree that security should be toughened?

Q3. Do you agree the Good Guys need to know lots about the Bad Guys?

Q4. Do you agree with the statement that "Only criminals need be afraid
of legitimate identification"?

Q5. Do you agree with compulsory ID cards?


Q1. Do you think that it's right that, since the Health & Social Care
Act, your medical records can be given to 'any organisation considered
in the public interest' without your knowledge or permission?

Q2. Do you think all institutions treat the information they possess on
you with due care and attention?

Q3. If '01' on an ID card indicated you were an asthmatic and '02'
indicated you were a paedophile, would you trust a poorly paid public
servant to enter that information?

Q4. Does any government's implementation of a widespread computer
system (DVLA, passport) fill you with confidence?

Q5. Do you agree with compulsory ID cards?

(With apologies to Messrs Jay & Lynn)
Make them an otter they can't defuse.
Proud Person with a PHIL. GULP.

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Sep 26, 2001 Technology | Peer-to-peer terrorism

'Their hatred is implacable, their forces are decentralized. They seek the protection of remote hosts for their secret bases. Their networks are weblike and personal, difficult for outside observers to penetrate. They use e-mail, encryption and other new technologies to hide their dark doings.'

'Pay close enough attention to the descriptions of America's newest enemies coming from Washington's talking heads, and something starts to seem oddly familiar. Haven't we heard about these people before? Wasn't it just a few months ago that we were being warned about their dire plans and the civil liberties compromises required to fight them? But no. That wasn't about Osama bin Laden at all. That was about ... about ... Napster?'

Interesting article. I don't necessarily endorse it, but it's certianly worthy of thought.<//P>

'On the one hand every new tactic we develop to defend democracy can be turned against the forces of democracy somewhere else in the world. And on the other, every bulwark the Internet provides against the anti-dissent squads somewhere far off and repressive, it provides also against the anti-terrorist branch of the FBI back home.'

'Technology giveth, and it taketh away. The same filtering software that protects children from pornography is used by repressive governments to "protect" their citizens from critical opinions. The new formats for compressing music designed to sell more CDs instead became the leading techniques for its illicit distribution.'


Sep 26, 2001

Real-Life Cyborg Challenges Reality With Technology
Protecting Yourself
'The inspiration for SeatSale and for many of Dr. Mann's other recent inventions is his growing alarm at what he calls the totalitarian uses of technology: the omnipresent surveillance cameras hidden behind "ceiling domes of wine-dark opacity" or the daunting licensing agreements anyone has to accede to before running new software or trying out new online services.'


Sep 24, 2001

Hackers face life imprisonment under 'Anti-Terrorism' Act
'Hackers, virus-writers and web site defacers would face life imprisonment without the possibility of parole under legislation proposed by the Bush Administration that would classify most computer crimes as acts of terrorism....'

'Most of the terrorism offenses are violent crimes, or crimes involving chemical, biological, or nuclear weapons. But the list also includes the provisions of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act that make it illegal to crack a computer for the purpose of obtaining anything of value, or to deliberately cause damage. Likewise, launching a malicious program that harms a system, like a virus, or making an extortionate threat to damage a computer are included in the definition of terrorism.'

The best part is, you can probably do some of these things accidentally. Ignorance of the law is considered not to be an excuse under the law. Is ignorance of the violation?

'As a "Federal terrorism offense," the five year statute of limitations for hacking would be abolished retroactively -- allowing computer crimes committed decades ago to be prosecuted today -- and the maximum prison term for a single conviction would be upped to life imprisonment. There is no parole in the federal justice system.'

!!!. Words fail me. How the hell is this supposed to prevent terrorism? Wanting to abolish statutes of limitations really leads one to believe that terrorism prevention is not what the Justice Department wants. The only way this makes sense to me is assume that the Justice Department simply wants to jail as many people as possible. I mean, come on, what possible other use is there?!?!?


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