8.28.2005

 

The End of Anonymity 3

This should go a long way toward ending anonymity:

New York transit signs $212 million security deal

From the article:See also:

Comments:
It makes for a good headline, but you could more accurately state, "The End of Privacy (Welcome To America)".

www.lp.org
 
Read Bruce Schneier's commentary on this to find out why this is a huge waste of money and does little to improve security. None of the London subway bombers had criminal records indicating their terrorist intentions. London's subway has lots of cameras that photographed the terrorists, but they didn't stop the bombs from going off. "Ending Anonymity" does not prevent terrorism.
 
Anonymous, the end of privacy is exactly what Marshall is describing here. But this is just one small step. In the scheme of things, this is small change. The NYC budget for 2005 is something like 56 billion dollars. (NYC OMB -- June 2004 Adopted Budget, Fiscal Year 2005) From the city's point of view, this is chump change.

Of course Schneier is also correct, it won't do much, if anything, to prevent terrorism. But it's pretty hard to deny that this is a significant step toward universal surveillance. Suppose there were some sort of freeway attack next -- the result will be universal surveillance of roadways.

The thing is, this one step doesn't "end anonymity." It's a process, but I think Marshall is right to point out that this is a consequential precedent, and the trend is real, whether or not it's an effective deterrent, it's happening.
 
> "Ending Anonymity" does not prevent terrorism.

It actually could go a long way. The four people did not act alone. The bombers had to get the bombs (or supplies for bomb making) from somewhere. If that transaction were not anonymous, we would eliminate the bomb supply chain. Many like-minded people would be captured by association with the bombers.
 
That's only true if you have near-total surveillance.

As long as there are significant holes in the network, then you aren't preventing terrorism.

It's only really valuable when it's near-total.

-- Lion
 
It's a complete sham that politicians foist on the public clamoring for better looking illusions of safety. Hell, if you want real protection, I'd give every American of age concealed weapons permits with weapons training. Counter-intuitively, it would make America the safest nation on earth since any lawbreaker could be killed by the public at large. Police can't stop crime... they usually clean up after it happens.
 
As I understand it, certain Florida cities have a large concealed weapons permit carrying poplulation and crime is quite low in those areas.
 
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