Daily Archives: January 3, 2010

The “New” New Normal: Privacy versus Security

blogpost by GeoT

How much are we willing to give up to get security?

After the terror attacks on 9/11 the term coined to describe how life had changed for Americans, and indeed the world, was “The New Normal”. This new paradigm brought us a dramatically expanded FISA and The Patriot Act that forever changed how we see the world and even how we interpret our own Constitution. Recent terrorist attacks by Al Queda, both successful and unsuccessful, on U.S. interests have prompted a renewal of calls for tighter security measures and “profiling” of the traveling public as well as demands to halt the GITMO base closure. Is this just an overreaction to recent events meant to mollify the public? “Too little too late” measures from a balky Federal bureaucracy? Are the inmates (terrorists) one step ahead of the wardens? Is this the beginning of the “New” New normal?
We need to be in on this discussion and not just casual observors. So what’s ahead, and are we willing to yield more of our civil liberties to help bolster our security? Get ready, because we’re going to see more and more stories like these in the days to come and this issue is not going away:

Watch list grows as extra airline screening begins

Jan 4–WASHINGTON (AP) — The names of dozens more people have been added to the government’s terrorist watch list and no-fly list after a failed terrorist attack on Christmas prompted U.S. officials to closely scrutinize a large database of suspected terrorists, an intelligence official said Monday.
People on the watch list get additional checking before they are allowed to enter this country; those on the no-fly list are barred from boarding aircraft in or headed for the United States.


Passengers on US-bound flights face more screening

Jan 3, 8:29 PM EST–Passengers flying into the United States from Nigeria, Yemen and other “countries of interest” will be subject to enhanced screening techniques, such as body scans and pat-downs, the Transportation Security Administration said Sunday.


Brown gives go-ahead for full-body scanners at Britain’s airports

Monday 4 January 2010– Full-body scanners are to be introduced at Britain’s airports after Gordon Brown gave the go-ahead for the technology in a move which pre-empted his own urgent review of airline security.


Attack Sparks Fiery Racial Profiling Debate
Dec. 29, 2009– ACLU Adviser: Profiling Is Unconstitutional and Counterproductive; Terrorism Expert: ‘It Will Stop Terrorist Attacks’


of course there are always the extremes:
McInerney: “If you are an 18 to 28-year-old Muslim man then you should be strip searched.’
Vodpod videos no longer available.


What do YOU think?

suggested reading: Inside Obama’s War on Terrorism

“The challenge of leading the struggle against violent extremists is more than just hunting down bad guys; it’s distinguishing between what’s real and what’s not, tracking down where threats begin, figuring out the right response and finding a balance between acknowledging danger and projecting confidence. The Obama administration spent its first year in office trying to find its balance.”

read more here:


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