Do Privacy Fears Allow Terrorism?

Friday, 4 April 2003, 12:55 AM EST

Privacy advocates: Quit picking on the U.S. government.

If you don't want the government to do what it must to protect you from terrorists, you should butt out, said Heather MacDonald, a lawyer at the Manhattan Institute, a conservative think tank. She made her remarks Wednesday at the 13th annual Computers, Freedom and Privacy conference.

And, she urged, stop all the panic-stricken screaming, because it's endangering human lives.

Al-Qaida and other terrorist groups wield technology as a weapon with no worries about privacy rights, MacDonald said. But fear and distrust of anti-terrorism and surveillance technology hampers the U.S. government's ability to shore up defenses and stop attacks before they happen.

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