Thursday, January 26, 2006

Does what we believe about Al Qaeda help Al Qaeda?

If you don't read Schneier on Security, you probably don't know what security is. Bruce
Schneier, founder and CTO of
Counterpane Internet Security, Inc., is an internationally renowned security technologist and author. If you want to know how security really works, turn to Schneier. His book ‘Beyond Fear’ is an indispensable resource for understanding safety, crime and both Corporate and National security.

I was going through my rss feeds when I came across this.

Science & Technology at Scientific American.com: Murdercide -- Science unravels the myth of suicide bombers:
“The belief that suicide bombers are poor, uneducated, disaffected or disturbed is contradicted by science. Marc Sageman, a forensic psychiatrist at the Foreign Policy Research Institute, found in a study of 400 Al Qaeda members that three quarters of his sample came from the upper or middle class. Moreover, he noted, 'the vast majority--90 percent--came from caring, intact families. Sixty-three percent had gone to college, as compared with the 5-6 percent that's usual for the third world. These are the best and brightest of their societies in many ways.' Nor were they sans employment and familial duties. 'Far from having no family or job responsibilities, 73 percent were married and the vast majority had children.... Three quarters were professionals or semiprofessionals. They are engineers, architects and civil engineers, mostly scientists. Very few humanities are represented, and quite surprisingly very few had any background in religion.' ”

http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?chanID=sa006&articleID=0006A854-E67F-13A1-A67F83414B7F0104&pageNumber=2&catID=2

Liberty Increases Security

http://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2006/01/liberty_increas.html

From the Scientific American essay "Murdercide: Science unravels the myth of suicide bombers":

Another method [of reducing terrorism], says Princeton University economist Alan B. Krueger, is to increase the civil liberties of the countries that breed terrorist groups. In an analysis of State Department data on terrorism, Krueger discovered that "countries like Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, which have spawned relatively many terrorists, are economically well off yet lacking in civil liberties. Poor countries with a tradition of protecting civil liberties are unlikely to spawn suicide terrorists. Evidently, the freedom to assemble and protest peacefully without interference from the government goes a long way to providing an alternative to terrorism." Let freedom ring.

Found on John Quarterman's blog.

Posted on January 18, 2006 at 01:33 PM

But hold on, here's more…

From his CryptoGram Newsletter, http://www.schneier.com/crypto-gram-0601.html ,

News

Two stories that shamelessly hype computer crime:
<http://www.cnn.com/SPECIALS/2005/online.security/>
<http://www.usatoday.com/tech/news/internetprivacy/2005-12-14-meth-online-theft_x.htm>
Beware the Four Horsemen of the Information Apocalypse: terrorists, drug dealers, kidnappers, and child pornographers. Seems like you can scare the public into allowing the government to do anything with those four.

Microsoft received a Common Criteria (CC) EAL 4+ certification for Windows, demonstrating how weak such a certification really is:
<http://www.eweek.com/article2/0,1895,1901965,00.asp>

After FBI agents expressed frustration that the Office of Intelligence Policy and Review wasn't approving their orders under Section 215 of the Patriot Act, procedural changes were made allowing the FBI to bypass that office.
<http://www.epic.org/foia_notes/note10.html>
Remember, the issue here is not whether or not the FBI can engage in counterterrorism. The issue is the erosion of judicial oversight -- the only check we have on police power. And this power grab is dangerous regardless of which party is in the White House at the moment.

Meanwhile, the U.S. military is spying on Americans. Specifically, the Department of Defense is collecting data on legal and peaceful war protesters, in violation of U.S. law.
<http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/10454316/>

There's a lot more, and an incredible opportunity to have a real position in the debate about rights, security and Presidential power.

So ask yourself, does what we believe about security make us secure?

Does curtailing our liberties preserve our liberty?

Does ‘L’√Čtat c’est Moi’ (I am the State), seem all too familiar. Louis the fourteenth also said, ‘It's legal, because I wish it .’ http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/l/louis_xiv.html

Ask yourself, which novel we're living in:
1984? Is war peace? Ignorance, Strength? Is our Freedom becoming Slavery?
1984 by George Orwell: Chapter 1

Or are we in the ‘Wizard of Oz?’
Shall we pay attention to the man behind the curtain?

Does the Presidency have clothes?
Then why do they offer up fig leaves?/

con·cept: Does what we believe about Al Qaeda help Al Qaeda?