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 Post subject: Maureen Webb-Global security undermines democracy worldwide
PostPosted: Fri Feb 23, 2007 3:23 am 
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Canadian human rights attorney and author Maureen Webb discusses the comprehensive scope of government surveillance, and finds that the use of sophisticated methods to search for terrorists is not identifying the right suspects.

http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl? ... 20/1523257

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Love letters, bank transactions, library books, scuba diving lessons…can the government actually use your personal information to predict whether you might be a terrorist?
A new book reveals the comprehensive scope of government surveillance, and finds that the use of sophisticated methods to search for terrorists is not identifying the right suspects.

In “Illusions of Security, Global Surveillance and Democracy in the Post 9/11 World,” human rights lawyer Maureen Webb argues the new global security system is threatening both American and global security while also undermining democracy worldwide.


This article is scary stuff. Maureen Webb is a Canadian human rights attorney and is is co-chair of the International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group and also the Coordinator for Security and Human Rights issues for Lawyers' Rights Watch Canada.

Quote:
MAUREEN WEBB: Well, you know, this is very sophisticated technology. The NSA and its counterparts in the UK, Canada, New Zealand and Australia have been searching the cyberspace since 1948. They began looking at telephone calls and, as technology advanced, they kept up with it. But their gazes have always been directed outside their own countries. They have never been allowed to spy inside their own borders. And since it’s a secret program, very little is known about it, except that it’s a data-mining program where they sift through traffic patterns, looking for key words and traffic patterns. And in the normal exercise of their mandates, they are looking for economic and technical and security intelligence from other countries....<SNIP>.....Guilt by Google, that’s not copyrighted. You know, these data-mining programs, what you have to understand is that they’re not sifting through masses of information to find known terrorists or people who are suspected of terrorism on reasonable grounds. What they're doing is they’re sifting through all this information they’re collecting about us all to predict who might be a terrorist. This is predictive technology. And it’s interesting. It comes from the private sector.

I was in Chicago recently speaking, and the person who chaired the event was a CEO of a business intelligence company. And he told the audience just how far businesses have gone down this road of collecting every piece of information they can get about their customers and then data mining it and handling it through different technologies. And he spoke about an article that was published in the Harvard Business Review recently, which basically says that you’re nowhere as a business unless you’re doing this stuff. And this has been imported by the government into the war on terror. It’s predictive analysis.
Another Canadian book and it's a chiller. Illusions of Security, Global Surveillance and Democracy in the Post 9/11 World- Maureen Webb.

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