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David Boulton to John Vasconcellos re Phil Ryan's 'What If' on Airport Security - Ethics 2

From: David Boulton
Sent: Saturday, December 29, 2001 11:26 AM

Subject: RE: airport security


I think their argument that the breakdown was a breakdown in intelligence (or the lack of availability of the intelligence that existed) is right. But the technical aspects of solving the problem have existed for quite a while. The issue hasn't been the inability to technologically provide the information (though on the surface they look to have a great system) its been the 'privacy' issue. Proposals like theirs run right into the 'big brother' scare. Its very touchy stuff. It may be, like in so many other cases, the Bush administration will use the 9-11 crimes as the basis for pushing against citizen rights and be able to overcome the resistance from privacy advocates. Frankly and in theory, I would be all in favor of it in this limited case (boarding airlines) but its a hard thing to contain. What other circumstances will it bleed into? If you have someone in your circle you trust on the privacy frontier I suggest you get their thinking before you get involved with this.

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