restricted access Part II. Technologies of Openness
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PART II Technologies of Openness After spending the last several chapters detailing some of the evidence for the developing risks of the twenty-first century, we shift our focus to what steps the United States might take in its defense. It’s clear that terrorists cloaked in anonymity are a dilemma for a country like America precisely because they take advantage of the freedom that democracy is designed to protect. For some, like William Safire, who believe that it is impossible to go after the terrorists hidden among us without trampling on civil liberties, the only option is to close our eyes, hide behind a wall of privacy, anonymity, and encryption, and hope that fate doesn’t deal us a tragic hand. The other approach, the one that Safire and others most fear, is to restrict freedom and thereby remove it as an advantage for terrorists. Closing society is the immediate reaction of many to an emergency like 9/11, where the instinct is to put more police on the street, shut down our borders, close monuments , restrict access to public buildings, and even seal up our houses with duct tape and plastic sheeting, making it impossible for terrorists to act, but only at the cost of making life insufferable for Americans. Both shutting our eyes and locking down society carry too great a cost for America to bear; rather, the answer proposed over the next several chapters is that, paradoxically, more openness promises both security and freedom for this current century. The technologies of openness (secure IDs, surveillance, facial recognition, and information analysis) can counter the enemy not by restricting people’s freedom and mobility or singling people out because of their race or religion, but by making everyone’s public actions more transparent, so that when a sinister plot begins to take shape, it isn’t hidden under the cover of darkness but stands out for everyone to see. PAGE 53 .......................... 10897$ PRT2 08-31-04 10:08:29 PS PAGE 54 .......................... 10897$ PRT2 08-31-04 10:08:29 PS ...


Subject Headings

  • Privacy, Right of -- United States.
  • Electronic surveillance -- Social aspects -- United States.
  • Social control -- United States.
  • War on Terrorism, 2001-2009.
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