Monday, January 15, 2007

Schneier on the Automated Targeting System

I've cited Bruce Schneier a number of times in the past, but this time around, he really hits the nail on the head.

An article in the current issue of his newsletter CryptoGram -- and also appearing on his blog -- discusses the Automated Targeting System, the "terrorism score" program that was revealed in early December.

Schneier makes two crucial points:

The idea of feeding a limited set of characteristics into a computer, which then somehow divines a person's terrorist leanings, is farcical. Uncovering terrorist plots requires intelligence and investigation, not large-scale processing of everyone.


There is something un-American about a government program that uses secret criteria to collect dossiers on innocent people and shares that information with various agencies, all without any oversight. It's the sort of thing you'd expect from the former Soviet Union or East Germany or China. And it doesn't make us any safer from terrorism.

If you value your freedoms as an American you'll go read the entire article. Hell, read the entire issue. And his archives.

I can guarantee you, it will open your eyes.

1 comment:

  1. But... but... Bruce is the world's foremost expert on security systems, while Dear Leader's men are the world's foremost experts on, err, horse fluffing or something. How DARE you say that Bruce knows better than Dear Leader!

    Actually, Bruce has been sounding this note since September 14, 2001, when the first idiotic security measures were implemented. Nobody listens, because, look, Bruce is an expert, and you can't trust experts, y'know, because they use those FACT thingies, when what really counts is truthiness (thanks, Colbert!).

    - Badtux the Snarky Penguin