MISTICA: NY Times: Tecno-terror y Seguridad

From: Yoe F. Santos (
Date: Thu Sep 27 2001 - 16:50:16 AST


In a forum on the role of technological innovation in resisting terrorism,
SRI International computer security expert Peter Neumann warns against the
idea that technology alone can provide security: "The most elaborate
technological measures are likely to be inadequate, misused and subverted.
Surveillance is all too easily misused. Trapdoors in cryptography to
facilitate law enforcement can be misused. Existing system security is
seriously flawed. As a result, we must avoid expecting technological
security measures to be adequate in protecting privacy. So, ultimately, we
have a double-edged sword. Techniques to protect can be used to subvert,
attack or otherwise compromise human rights, nation states and
organizations. The problems are inherently human, and technology can be
used for good or bad." And Stanford Law School professor Lawrence Lessig
makes the point that the "technology" used in terrorism is not just acts
of violence but the reverberations of those scenes of violence through the
media: "This 'scenario of terror' was not low-tech, for its impact was not
just the impact of the souls who were lost. As powerful was the effect of
a world watching as it occurred. The technology of a networked world meant
that scores of television cameras would be trained on the south tower, to
capture the horror of the delayed second impact. And the extraordinary
impact of these killings in two cities is the product of a heavily
integrated < technologically integrated < world community. Terrorists take
advantage of this technology to have the effect they seek. Elsewhere, in
places without this technology, it would not have the same effect." Other
experts taking part in the forum were Ray Kurzweil, Bruce Sterling, Severo
Orstein, and Whitfield Diffie. (New York Times 27 Sep 2001)

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