~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ I O 93 93/93 I O ~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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Location: LaGrange, Kentucky, United States

The opinions and interests of a husband, analyst and Iraq war veteran.


Wednesday, February 07, 2007

On paranoia

As one who has worked more than eight years in the surveillance field (three years in private security, five years as a federal employee) I understand the concerns of civil libertarians about overly intrusive technologies and related abuses.

I do. Really, I do. But there's one fine distinction that always seems to get swept under the rug whenever privacy advocates complain about surveillance technologies: There is a world of legal difference between intelligence gathering, deterrence of crime, and admissible evidence.

Intel operatives are not looking to secure airtight, procedurally bulletproof evidence to be used in a court of law. Neither are those citizens desiring cameras for the purpose of deterring criminal activity. (If they were, why would there even be a market for fake cameras?)

It irks me when privacy advocates (and the reporters who publish their fears) conflate the aims of law enforcement, intelligence gathering for the purpose of counter terrorism, and crime deterrence. They are not all the same thing. Cameras are a part of our modern American life. Get your nose out of that Philip K. Dick novel and frickin' deal.

Note: I'm not saying Americans ought to roll over for AUTHORITY and trade their privacy rights in exchange for increased security. The truth is, we could have both, if only we demanded that our leadership think outside the box a bit.

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