Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Federal high tech security boondoggles

In an article by Ken Dilanian, swamppolitics.com - the Washingtom Bureau of the Chicago Tribune - reports that a number of high tech security programs initiated by the Bush administration have flopped. The biggest reason for the failure? Failure to properly test the technologies before implementation. A weakness shared by the current technical bandaid, full body scanners.

Technology is an important tool in the war against terror. But according to Brian Jenkins of the Rand Corp the Department of Homeland Security is overly reliant on technology. There is no silver bullet, but new technologies are treated as the final solutions to our national security problems.

From the "virtual fence" aka Project 28, on our southern border to the Real ID Act that Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano has called for Congress to repeal, U.S. high tech anti-terrorism initiatives aren't working as advertised.

In fact, recently the majority, if not all, of the terrorist that have been caught before attempting terrorist acts have, to the best of our knowledge, not been caught through new, high tech gadgetry but through old fashioned investigation and surviellance techniques. Techniques that employ technology, but as a tool, rather than as the lynchpin of the procedure. Maybe it's time we started focusing on the things we know work, and take the time to do proper testing of new technologies before entrusting the lives of our citizens and the security of our nation to them.