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The Politics of the Internet Lecture 9b Privacy and the State What implications does government use of data have for privacy??? A key set of questions.

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Presentation on theme: "The Politics of the Internet Lecture 9b Privacy and the State What implications does government use of data have for privacy??? A key set of questions."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Politics of the Internet Lecture 9b Privacy and the State What implications does government use of data have for privacy??? A key set of questions in the wake of September 11. What implications does government use of data have for privacy??? A key set of questions in the wake of September 11. How do we deal with potential trade-offs between security and privacy (as well as other civil rights). How do we deal with potential trade-offs between security and privacy (as well as other civil rights). Has led to harsh rhetoric from both pro-security and pro-privacy advocates and proponents of tighter security. Has led to harsh rhetoric from both pro-security and pro-privacy advocates and proponents of tighter security.

2 The Politics of the Internet Lecture 9b Privacy and the State Introduction: relationship between privacy and security. Introduction: relationship between privacy and security. Debates post-September 11. Debates post-September 11. Key controversies: Key controversies: Patriot Act Patriot Act Total Information Awareness Total Information Awareness Airline Data Airline Data NSA Wiretapping Scandal NSA Wiretapping Scandal Conclusions – striking a balance. Conclusions – striking a balance.

3 The Politics of the Internet Lecture 9b Privacy and Security Privacy involves control of personal information. Privacy involves control of personal information. Recognized as a right in most advanced democracies. Recognized as a right in most advanced democracies. But also may come into conflict with security interests. But also may come into conflict with security interests. Computers and data mining offer powerful new tools to collate and analyze information to provide intelligence. Computers and data mining offer powerful new tools to collate and analyze information to provide intelligence. But gathering of this intelligence necessarily involves the use of personal information (and thus, necessarily, the invasion of privacy) in many instances. But gathering of this intelligence necessarily involves the use of personal information (and thus, necessarily, the invasion of privacy) in many instances.

4 The Politics of the Internet Lecture 9b Privacy and the State in recent US history Privacy protections vis-à-vis the state were considerably expanded in the US in the 1970’s. Privacy protections vis-à-vis the state were considerably expanded in the US in the 1970’s. Reaction to some of the abuses of the J. Edgar Hoover era FBI. Reaction to some of the abuses of the J. Edgar Hoover era FBI Privacy Act put clear bounds on the ability of the state to gather and use information on private citizens Privacy Act put clear bounds on the ability of the state to gather and use information on private citizens. Wiretapping laws became more restrictive, and US courts began to consider wiretapping without a warrant a breach of Fourth Amendment rights with the Katz case (1967). Wiretapping laws became more restrictive, and US courts began to consider wiretapping without a warrant a breach of Fourth Amendment rights with the Katz case (1967).

5 The Politics of the Internet Lecture 9b Privacy and the State in the US II This led to much less domestic intelligence activity than in the past. This led to much less domestic intelligence activity than in the past. Wiretapping regime required warrants etc. Wiretapping regime required warrants etc. Broadly-based information gathering on domestic groups was effectively illegal except where there was clear criminal intent. Broadly-based information gathering on domestic groups was effectively illegal except where there was clear criminal intent. Indeed, new technologies were more difficult to monitor than the old ones. Indeed, new technologies were more difficult to monitor than the old ones. Battle over FBI’s ‘Carnivore.’ Battle over FBI’s ‘Carnivore.’

6 The Politics of the Internet Lecture 9b September 11 September 11 led to a massive re-evaluation of this – and harsh language. September 11 led to a massive re-evaluation of this – and harsh language. Two fundamentally different (and apparently completely incompatible) views of the world. Two fundamentally different (and apparently completely incompatible) views of the world. Security advocates – argued that it was necessary to recognize changed realities post September 11. Security advocates – argued that it was necessary to recognize changed realities post September 11. Privacy advocates – claimed that we were perhaps on the brink of a newly tyrannical state. Privacy advocates – claimed that we were perhaps on the brink of a newly tyrannical state.

7 The Politics of the Internet Lecture 9b Security Advocates Security advocates – argued that US intelligence gathering capacities had been crippled by bureaucracy (and, to some extent, by a too-great concern for civil liberties). Security advocates – argued that US intelligence gathering capacities had been crippled by bureaucracy (and, to some extent, by a too-great concern for civil liberties). September 11 Commission – pointed to the gap between foreign intelligence gathering (NSA, CIA etc) and domestic policing (FBI etc) as a key reason that the terrorists succeeded. September 11 Commission – pointed to the gap between foreign intelligence gathering (NSA, CIA etc) and domestic policing (FBI etc) as a key reason that the terrorists succeeded. Called for a more coherent approach – and for the application of computer technologies to domestic information. Called for a more coherent approach – and for the application of computer technologies to domestic information.

8 The Politics of the Internet Lecture 9b Security analysis and goals Broadly speaking, advocates of security reform wanted. Broadly speaking, advocates of security reform wanted. More cooperation – and information sharing – between different law enforcement and intelligence gathering services. More cooperation – and information sharing – between different law enforcement and intelligence gathering services. More application of data mining and other techniques to available information. More application of data mining and other techniques to available information. More freedom to gather information through cooperation with private actors, through electronic eavesdropping etc. More freedom to gather information through cooperation with private actors, through electronic eavesdropping etc.

9 The Politics of the Internet Lecture 9b Privacy advocates Virulently opposed to any curtailing of civil liberties and freedoms post-September 11. Virulently opposed to any curtailing of civil liberties and freedoms post-September 11. Groups like EPIC (Electronic Privacy Information Center) and the ACLU expressed fears that the state was using September 11 as an excuse to greatly expand its powers to monitor its citizens. Groups like EPIC (Electronic Privacy Information Center) and the ACLU expressed fears that the state was using September 11 as an excuse to greatly expand its powers to monitor its citizens. Sought to create massive publicity campaigns to stop government intrusions. Sought to create massive publicity campaigns to stop government intrusions.

10 The Politics of the Internet Lecture 9b Privacy advocates’ analysis and goals Privacy advocates argued that: Privacy advocates argued that: Many of the new privacy-invasive technologies that were being introduced were completely ineffective against terrorism. Many of the new privacy-invasive technologies that were being introduced were completely ineffective against terrorism. These technologies, thus, were not being introduced because the state wanted to fight terrorism, but because the state wanted to expand its powers. These technologies, thus, were not being introduced because the state wanted to fight terrorism, but because the state wanted to expand its powers. If fundamental civil liberties were curtailed in the fight against terrorism, then the terrorists would have won. If fundamental civil liberties were curtailed in the fight against terrorism, then the terrorists would have won.

11 The Politics of the Internet Lecture 9b Security Theater Bruce Schneier – a security specialist – talks about what he calls ‘security theater.’ Bruce Schneier – a security specialist – talks about what he calls ‘security theater.’ Big, flashy publicly visible initiatives that don’t necessarily do very much to help our security. Big, flashy publicly visible initiatives that don’t necessarily do very much to help our security. Having soldiers in airports post-September 11. Having soldiers in airports post-September 11. Many of these initiatives had privacy implications. Many of these initiatives had privacy implications. Big programs of information gathering and analysis that seemed better at soaking up funds than at actually improving security Big programs of information gathering and analysis that seemed better at soaking up funds than at actually improving security

12 The Politics of the Internet Lecture 9b Privacy Theater But privacy advocates have also engaged in what one might describe as ‘privacy theater.’ But privacy advocates have also engaged in what one might describe as ‘privacy theater.’ Hyping up government actions so that they sound big and scary, when in fact they’re small- scale, or have other implications than are implied. Hyping up government actions so that they sound big and scary, when in fact they’re small- scale, or have other implications than are implied. Advocates argue (in private) that this is necessary in order to get public awareness and fight versus real intrusions (watchdog function). Advocates argue (in private) that this is necessary in order to get public awareness and fight versus real intrusions (watchdog function).

13 The Politics of the Internet Lecture 9b Privacy Debate Result: a debate that sees a lot of heated rhetoric from both sides, while it in large part ignores the underlying issues. Result: a debate that sees a lot of heated rhetoric from both sides, while it in large part ignores the underlying issues. Security advocates focus on need to fight war against terrorism. Security advocates focus on need to fight war against terrorism. Often discount or ignore real civil liberties concerns; even in programs that don’t contribute much to our security. Often discount or ignore real civil liberties concerns; even in programs that don’t contribute much to our security. Privacy advocates focus on need to protect civil liberties. Privacy advocates focus on need to protect civil liberties. Don’t often recognize real possibility for trade-offs – often use alarmist rhetoric. Don’t often recognize real possibility for trade-offs – often use alarmist rhetoric. Both sides often exaggerate the effectiveness of wiretapping technology Both sides often exaggerate the effectiveness of wiretapping technology

14 The Politics of the Internet Lecture 9b The Patriot Act The disagreement between the two sides came to a head with the USA Patriot Act. The disagreement between the two sides came to a head with the USA Patriot Act. An incredibly complex piece of legislation that was rushed through very shortly after 9/11. An incredibly complex piece of legislation that was rushed through very shortly after 9/11. Attorney-General Ashcroft demanded that the bill be passed in one week – without changes. Attorney-General Ashcroft demanded that the bill be passed in one week – without changes. Caused enormous controversy among privacy advocates and civil libertarians – who saw it as an assault on privacy. Caused enormous controversy among privacy advocates and civil libertarians – who saw it as an assault on privacy.

15 The Politics of the Internet Lecture 9b Patriot Act Provisions Patriot Act did have important provisions affecting privacy. Patriot Act did have important provisions affecting privacy. Extended government authority to engage in Internet surveillance (formally extended existing wiretapping regime). Extended government authority to engage in Internet surveillance (formally extended existing wiretapping regime). Increased access to business records. Increased access to business records. Provided authority for ‘secret’ search warrants (sneak-and-peek). Provided authority for ‘secret’ search warrants (sneak-and-peek). Made it easier to use various forms of intercepted communication in court. Made it easier to use various forms of intercepted communication in court.

16 The Politics of the Internet Lecture 9b Privacy advocates and Patriot Act Represented by privacy advocates as a naked power-grab. Represented by privacy advocates as a naked power-grab. ACLU – The bill “had nothing to do with fighting terrorism … a successful use of the terrorist attacks by the FBI to roll back unwanted checks on its power.” ACLU – The bill “had nothing to do with fighting terrorism … a successful use of the terrorist attacks by the FBI to roll back unwanted checks on its power.” Argued that the Patriot Act was creating a police state – even library lending records were now open to the state’s investigative powers. Argued that the Patriot Act was creating a police state – even library lending records were now open to the state’s investigative powers.

17 The Politics of the Internet Lecture 9b Security advocates and Patriot Act Security advocates argued that the Patriot Act was an entirely appropriate response to our changed security needs. Security advocates argued that the Patriot Act was an entirely appropriate response to our changed security needs. Extension of wiretap regime to Internet was long overdue – law enforcement sometimes needed access. Extension of wiretap regime to Internet was long overdue – law enforcement sometimes needed access. Increased access to private records was also appropriate in the fight against terrorism. Increased access to private records was also appropriate in the fight against terrorism. Arcane rules against use of evidence/information sharing had contributed to letting September 11 happen. Arcane rules against use of evidence/information sharing had contributed to letting September 11 happen.

18 The Politics of the Internet Lecture 9b Balance of debate Both sides argued past each other – but both sides had a point. Both sides argued past each other – but both sides had a point. The privacy advocates were right in saying that the Patriot Act had little or nothing to do with September 11. The privacy advocates were right in saying that the Patriot Act had little or nothing to do with September 11. Many of its provisions had been drafted long before – Justice Dept took opportunity to get them passed at a moment when there would be little political opposition. Many of its provisions had been drafted long before – Justice Dept took opportunity to get them passed at a moment when there would be little political opposition. Yet privacy advocates arguably exaggerated the risks – for the most part the ‘objectionable’ elements of Patriot Act didn’t do anything to the Internet that hadn’t already been done to phones or the mail system. Yet privacy advocates arguably exaggerated the risks – for the most part the ‘objectionable’ elements of Patriot Act didn’t do anything to the Internet that hadn’t already been done to phones or the mail system. Although some parts – e.g. the requirements on private actors to share information or data, did have little precedent. Although some parts – e.g. the requirements on private actors to share information or data, did have little precedent.

19 The Politics of the Internet Lecture 9b The Total Information Awareness Initiative TIA – a DARPA initiative. TIA – a DARPA initiative. Under the oversight of former Admiral John Poindexter (disgraced in the Iran-Contra affair). Under the oversight of former Admiral John Poindexter (disgraced in the Iran-Contra affair). Sought to bring together new forms of data mining, and apply them to national security issues. Sought to bring together new forms of data mining, and apply them to national security issues. “to better detect, classify, and identify potential foreign terrorists.” “to better detect, classify, and identify potential foreign terrorists.”

20 The Politics of the Internet Lecture 9b TIA structure TIA consisted of a number of sub-programs. TIA consisted of a number of sub-programs. Genisys – aimed at integrating and broadening databases and information sources through ‘virtually centralized databases.’ Genisys – aimed at integrating and broadening databases and information sources through ‘virtually centralized databases.’ Evidence Extraction and Link Discovery – datamining for unexpected links between terrorists. Evidence Extraction and Link Discovery – datamining for unexpected links between terrorists. Social Network Analysis – to discover terrorist cells. Social Network Analysis – to discover terrorist cells. Misinformation analysis, facial ID etc. Misinformation analysis, facial ID etc.

21 The Politics of the Internet Lecture 9b TIA and Privacy Activists Privacy activists (EPIC etc) discovered TIA, and started publicizing it in the press. Privacy activists (EPIC etc) discovered TIA, and started publicizing it in the press. Characterized it as a proposed massive surveillance system, in which all available information on US citizens would be collated and sorted through. Characterized it as a proposed massive surveillance system, in which all available information on US citizens would be collated and sorted through. William Safire wrote op-eds in the NYT attacking the program in harsh language. William Safire wrote op-eds in the NYT attacking the program in harsh language. Big Brother language – Poindexter’s history and scary logo didn’t help. Big Brother language – Poindexter’s history and scary logo didn’t help.

22 The Politics of the Internet Lecture 9b Security counter-response Security proponents countered by pointing to need for better information in fight against terrorism. Security proponents countered by pointing to need for better information in fight against terrorism. Pointed to simple and ex post obvious links between 9/11 hijackers – that could have been discovered by a TIA type program. Pointed to simple and ex post obvious links between 9/11 hijackers – that could have been discovered by a TIA type program. This argument made in September 11 Commission Report. This argument made in September 11 Commission Report. Said that this wasn’t doing anything that was illegal under US law, and that there were privacy protections in place. Said that this wasn’t doing anything that was illegal under US law, and that there were privacy protections in place.

23 The Politics of the Internet Lecture 9b Results Debate over TIA led to a huge controversy in Congress. Debate over TIA led to a huge controversy in Congress. DARPA had to issue report to Congress describing program and (not in any great detail), its privacy implications. DARPA had to issue report to Congress describing program and (not in any great detail), its privacy implications. Congress decided to withdraw all funding for TIA – the program effectively disappeared. Congress decided to withdraw all funding for TIA – the program effectively disappeared. But only disappeared from public sight – key parts of the program survived under different names in different agencies and parts of the military/intelligence apparatus. But only disappeared from public sight – key parts of the program survived under different names in different agencies and parts of the military/intelligence apparatus.

24 The Politics of the Internet Lecture 9b Balance of Debate Privacy activists considerably exaggerated the scope of TIA. Privacy activists considerably exaggerated the scope of TIA. At $20-$40 million a year it was unlikely to have serious consequences. At $20-$40 million a year it was unlikely to have serious consequences. Technologies were in their infancy – unlikely to be employed for a decade at least. Technologies were in their infancy – unlikely to be employed for a decade at least. But DARPA was less than forthcoming about the TIA. But DARPA was less than forthcoming about the TIA. In principle, programs like the TIA have real and serious privacy consequences. In principle, programs like the TIA have real and serious privacy consequences.

25 The Politics of the Internet Lecture 9b Airline Passenger Data Airline passenger data – an especially sensitive topic post-September 11. Airline passenger data – an especially sensitive topic post-September 11. Arguments pro- and con- over whether or not government should have access to this data in order to detect potential threats/worrying- looking passengers. Arguments pro- and con- over whether or not government should have access to this data in order to detect potential threats/worrying- looking passengers. Most of debate focused on so-called Computer- Assisted Passenger Pre-Screening (CAPPS) program and its proposed successor, CAPPS-II. Most of debate focused on so-called Computer- Assisted Passenger Pre-Screening (CAPPS) program and its proposed successor, CAPPS-II.

26 The Politics of the Internet Lecture 9b Existing state of debate CAPPS program gave the federal government access to certain kinds of data. CAPPS program gave the federal government access to certain kinds of data. But highly limited – only invoked a relatively narrow set of data given by passengers to airline (name and payment information). But highly limited – only invoked a relatively narrow set of data given by passengers to airline (name and payment information). CAPPS II would have involved much more extensive data analysis. CAPPS II would have involved much more extensive data analysis. Data-mining of a variety of government and commercial databases with information on individuals. Data-mining of a variety of government and commercial databases with information on individuals. A much bigger set of passenger data. A much bigger set of passenger data.

27 The Politics of the Internet Lecture 9b Pro-privacy arguments. Privacy advocates saw this as like the TIA – an initiative that would allow government access to large amounts of data on US citizens. Privacy advocates saw this as like the TIA – an initiative that would allow government access to large amounts of data on US citizens. Secondary question – what data should foreign airlines give? Secondary question – what data should foreign airlines give? Also claimed that the database analysis techniques that were being mooted wouldn’t in fact do very much to stop or to detect terrorists. Also claimed that the database analysis techniques that were being mooted wouldn’t in fact do very much to stop or to detect terrorists.

28 The Politics of the Internet Lecture 9b Pro-security arguments. Security advocates depicted this as another attempt by privacy advocates to drum up hype in order to stop the government from addressing real security concerns. Security advocates depicted this as another attempt by privacy advocates to drum up hype in order to stop the government from addressing real security concerns. Pointed to nature of September 11 attacks – and possibility that it might have been stopped if we had had better data on the terrorists. Pointed to nature of September 11 attacks – and possibility that it might have been stopped if we had had better data on the terrorists. The argument for better data on flight risks seemed to enjoy considerable public support (unlike other potential privacy intrusions). The argument for better data on flight risks seemed to enjoy considerable public support (unlike other potential privacy intrusions).

29 The Politics of the Internet Lecture 9b Results Public controversy heightened as it became clear that certain airlines (Northwest Airlines, Jetblue) had provided data on their passengers to government or government contractors to do test- runs on various parts of CAPPS-II. Public controversy heightened as it became clear that certain airlines (Northwest Airlines, Jetblue) had provided data on their passengers to government or government contractors to do test- runs on various parts of CAPPS-II. Again, this led to questions in Congress about whether or not this was appropriate – or whether the CAPPS-II program went too far. Again, this led to questions in Congress about whether or not this was appropriate – or whether the CAPPS-II program went too far. Congress blocked funding of CAPPS-II until the relevant agencies reported on whether the program would be effective, and what its effects on privacy would be. Congress blocked funding of CAPPS-II until the relevant agencies reported on whether the program would be effective, and what its effects on privacy would be. No such report was forthcoming – but the Department of Homeland Security came up instead with a remarkably similar program called “Secure Flight,” which was cancelled $200 million dollars later. No such report was forthcoming – but the Department of Homeland Security came up instead with a remarkably similar program called “Secure Flight,” which was cancelled $200 million dollars later. But, according to TSA publications, has been revised and reintroduced. But, according to TSA publications, has been revised and reintroduced.

30 The Politics of the Internet Lecture 9b Balance of debate Privacy advocates were undoubtedly correct in pointing to this as a program with real and substantial privacy implications. Privacy advocates were undoubtedly correct in pointing to this as a program with real and substantial privacy implications. Currently, there is very little accountability in airline/govt relationship – even the govt. rules on who can fly/not fly aren’t available. Currently, there is very little accountability in airline/govt relationship – even the govt. rules on who can fly/not fly aren’t available. Do we want to have more data, risk of false positives? Do we want to have more data, risk of false positives? But – this is undoubtedly an area where there are real – and demonstrable – security risks. But – this is undoubtedly an area where there are real – and demonstrable – security risks. Public opinion seems to favour restrictions. Public opinion seems to favour restrictions.

31 NSA Wiretapping The National Security Agency has been engaged in widescale wiretapping of US citizens’ and others’ electronic communications. The National Security Agency has been engaged in widescale wiretapping of US citizens’ and others’ electronic communications. Details are not entirely clear – news stories in the Washington Post and the New York Times may be covering different programs. Details are not entirely clear – news stories in the Washington Post and the New York Times may be covering different programs. But it’s clear (a) that the program was large scale in nature, and (b) that it’s difficult to reconcile with existing US law on wiretapping. But it’s clear (a) that the program was large scale in nature, and (b) that it’s difficult to reconcile with existing US law on wiretapping.

32 On the one hand … Defenders of the program (President, Attorney General) say that it’s an appropriate and necessary set of steps to ensure the security of the American public. Defenders of the program (President, Attorney General) say that it’s an appropriate and necessary set of steps to ensure the security of the American public. Have invoked President’s wartime powers and Congress’s Authorization of Military Force. Have invoked President’s wartime powers and Congress’s Authorization of Military Force. Have claimed that discussing the program gives aid to the enemy. Have claimed that discussing the program gives aid to the enemy.

33 On the other … Critics pointed to dubious legality of the program. Critics pointed to dubious legality of the program. Congressional Research Service has found that it was probably illegal – something most non-administration lawyers agree with. Congressional Research Service has found that it was probably illegal – something most non-administration lawyers agree with. Argued against granting retroactive immunity to telecommunications providers who cooperated with the program. Argued against granting retroactive immunity to telecommunications providers who cooperated with the program. Argued that it wasn’t necessary in fight against terrorism and that it can be abused. Argued that it wasn’t necessary in fight against terrorism and that it can be abused. Asked how it helps al-Qaeda to know that the program exists (they were probably assuming that their communications were tapped anyway). Asked how it helps al-Qaeda to know that the program exists (they were probably assuming that their communications were tapped anyway).

34 Protect America Act But this was a hot button political topic and critics have mostly lost … But this was a hot button political topic and critics have mostly lost … In 2007, Protect America Act was passed. In 2007, Protect America Act was passed. Provided greater scope for government to engage in wiretapping of non-US citizens without court approval. Provided greater scope for government to engage in wiretapping of non-US citizens without court approval. FISA Amendments Act of 2008 provided retroactive immunity to telecommunications companies. FISA Amendments Act of 2008 provided retroactive immunity to telecommunications companies. Made wireless phonetapping easier. Made wireless phonetapping easier.

35 Did the program work Neither side in the debate have focused on a basic question – did the program work for its stated aims and objectives? Neither side in the debate have focused on a basic question – did the program work for its stated aims and objectives? Arguably, no. Arguably, no. NYT – “- In the anxious months after the Sept. 11 attacks, the National Security Agency began sending a steady stream of telephone numbers, addresses and names to the F.B.I. in search of terrorists. The stream soon became a flood, requiring hundreds of agents to check out thousands of tips a month. But virtually all of them, current and former officials say, led to dead ends or innocent Americans. …in bureau field offices, the N.S.A. material continued to be viewed as unproductive, prompting agents to joke that a new bunch of tips meant more "calls to Pizza Hut." NYT – “- In the anxious months after the Sept. 11 attacks, the National Security Agency began sending a steady stream of telephone numbers, addresses and names to the F.B.I. in search of terrorists. The stream soon became a flood, requiring hundreds of agents to check out thousands of tips a month. But virtually all of them, current and former officials say, led to dead ends or innocent Americans. …in bureau field offices, the N.S.A. material continued to be viewed as unproductive, prompting agents to joke that a new bunch of tips meant more "calls to Pizza Hut."

36 False negatives and false positives Problem is that data mining techniques aren’t very good at sorting out real threats from random patterns. Problem is that data mining techniques aren’t very good at sorting out real threats from random patterns. Tend to have a very high ratio of false positives to real positives. Tend to have a very high ratio of false positives to real positives. Result – for every real terrorist that these techniques turn up, they are likely to finger a very large number of innocent people too. Result – for every real terrorist that these techniques turn up, they are likely to finger a very large number of innocent people too. The effectiveness of these techniques is typically exaggerated by both sides – data mining simply doesn’t work well as a means for identifying terrorists. The effectiveness of these techniques is typically exaggerated by both sides – data mining simply doesn’t work well as a means for identifying terrorists.

37 The Politics of the Internet Lecture 9b Overview In these three areas, we see that both sides – privacy advocates and security advocates – have painted the debate in harsh and uncompromising terms. In these three areas, we see that both sides – privacy advocates and security advocates – have painted the debate in harsh and uncompromising terms. Either a question of fundamental security – or of fundamental civil liberties – and little room for negotiation. Either a question of fundamental security – or of fundamental civil liberties – and little room for negotiation. But is this really true? But is this really true? Arguably (professor’s personal take on this) – there is more scope for agreement than either side recognizes. Arguably (professor’s personal take on this) – there is more scope for agreement than either side recognizes. Furthermore, grandstanding obscures the real issues. Furthermore, grandstanding obscures the real issues.

38 The Politics of the Internet Lecture 9b Privacy grandstanding Privacy advocates often paint new programs as major threats to civil liberties. Privacy advocates often paint new programs as major threats to civil liberties. Invoke language of Big Brother, Nazi Germany etc. Invoke language of Big Brother, Nazi Germany etc. But sometimes are very clearly exaggerating. But sometimes are very clearly exaggerating. TIA was not as far reaching – or practicable – as it was painted. TIA was not as far reaching – or practicable – as it was painted. Often, even by their own lights, ignore the real issues in favour of the flashy ones where it is easy to get public anger. Often, even by their own lights, ignore the real issues in favour of the flashy ones where it is easy to get public anger. Thus – perhaps ineffective. Thus – perhaps ineffective. TIA replaced by clandestine programs. TIA replaced by clandestine programs. CAPPS-II replaced by ‘Secure Flight.’ CAPPS-II replaced by ‘Secure Flight.’

39 The Politics of the Internet Lecture 9b Security Grandstanding Security advocates also engage in exaggeration and evasion. Security advocates also engage in exaggeration and evasion. There’s a lot to criticize in security arrangements post-September 11. There’s a lot to criticize in security arrangements post-September 11. A lot of security theater in airports etc. A lot of security theater in airports etc. Many of the programs that security advocates defend seem to have minimal security payoffs, and potentially serious privacy implications. Many of the programs that security advocates defend seem to have minimal security payoffs, and potentially serious privacy implications. Refusal to recognize this: appeal to security as trump card to shut down debate. Refusal to recognize this: appeal to security as trump card to shut down debate. Also, both sides have an interest in exaggerating immediate impact of many of these technologies. Also, both sides have an interest in exaggerating immediate impact of many of these technologies. TIA was a ‘blue sky’ program. TIA was a ‘blue sky’ program. NSA program not very effective. NSA program not very effective.

40 The Politics of the Internet Lecture 9b Conclusions There is some real scope for compromise in these debates. There is some real scope for compromise in these debates. And both security and privacy advocates will admit this – off the record. And both security and privacy advocates will admit this – off the record. Few on either side really see the issues in the stark black and white terms that they use in public Few on either side really see the issues in the stark black and white terms that they use in public But the real debate hasn’t even begun. But the real debate hasn’t even begun. Instead, we see over-inflated rhetoric and failure to properly engage with real concerns of others. Instead, we see over-inflated rhetoric and failure to properly engage with real concerns of others.


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