Modern terrorism, technology and fundamental rights

The use of Google Earth by suspected terrorists resulted in the usual knee jerk reactions by a fearful, anxious America. One of the more thoughtful responses comes from Bruce Schneir in a post on Wired’s blog.

Speaking on recent terrorist threats to the US, Schneir says:

I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t have all the facts in any of these cases. None of us do. So let’s have some healthy skepticism. Skepticism when we read about these terrorist masterminds who were poised to kill thousands of people and do incalculable damage. Skepticism when we’re told that their arrest proves that we need to give away our own freedoms and liberties. And skepticism that those arrested are even guilty in the first place.

There is a real threat of terrorism. And while I’m all in favor of the terrorists’ continuing incompetence, I know that some will prove more capable. We need real security that doesn’t require us to guess the tactic or the target: intelligence and investigation — the very things that caught all these terrorist wannabes — and emergency response. But the “war on terror” rhetoric is more politics than rationality. We shouldn’t let the politics of fear make us less safe.

That could well apply in Sri Lanka too. Read the article in full here.

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