There is no easy way to cover our nation’s security needs. And its success is always a mixed bag. Here are a few current examples of how easy it is to get off track —
This overcompensation in airport security may pose a health risk to travellers.
- U.S. Glossed Over Cancer Concerns Associated with Airport X-Ray Scanners — Experts say the dose from the backscatter is negligible when compared with naturally occurring background radiation, but a linear model shows even such trivial amounts increase the number of cancer cases . . . [via Scientific American]
The slowdown of donations to WikiLeaks is threatening its very existence. Moreover, Julian Assange can now be extradited. Free speech remains at risk.
- @wikileaks WikiLeaks Free speech isn’t free: WikiLeaks needs you wikileaks.org/support [via Twitter]
Those in Congress who voted for this legislation did not do their homework. Money may have been wasted, that could have provided security elsewhere
- DHS Doesn’t Want Its New Spy Drones: Department officials were surprised, to say the least. See, new Predators weren’t exactly on their surveillance gear wish list. “We didn’t ask for them,” an unnamed official told the Los Angeles Times. DHS is already struggling to operate their seven existing drones. [via Wired.com]
The Federal Bureau of Investigation, the main investigative arm of the U.S. government, is supposed to do more than merely domestic surveillance. They are also charged with investigating white collar crimes. Bank fraud may go unpunished.
- The FBI: Now, with 48% More Domestic Surveillance … but No Banksters. . . It has netted precisely zero of those who propagated the complex fraud that brought down our country–not even Angelo Mozilo or anyone from Goldman Sachs, against whom they’ve got reams of evidence. The FBI calls this emphasis on terrorism (and spies and hackers and corrupt politicians and Japanese gangsters) over white collar crime a “strategic” focus. Sort of makes you wonder what objective this strategy is supposed to accomplish. [via emptywheel.com]
The focus on national security too often gets blurred. Citizens can become more at risk than protected when an agency goes off course. Constitutionally protected rights can be ignored in the name of making us safer. Money gets wasted that could be put to better use. And the law can be subverted when it is not enforced. Be very careful what you wish for.