Monday, January 07, 2008

Biometrics Are Useful?

Civil libertarians have been tepidly questioning the great increase in funding to the various surveillance methods available to FBI and police at the various levels. It is justified as a response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks: Identify people and keep track of them, and terror can be prevented.

The Cato Daily Podcast from January 4, 2007 features Jim Harper of the Cato Institute, and a 9-minute discussion of biometrics. Cato Podcast archives. Key quote from Harper, at 7:06:

We thought somehow identity was going to protect us from future terrorists. In fact, terrorism makes use of surprise, not anonymity.
So, are we wasting a lot of money? Seems like it, if only from a practical standpoint. Add the civil libertarian angle...

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