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Tuesday, 4 May 2004, 1:48 PM EST

Many large and expensive government programs--the CAPPS II airline profiling system, the US-VISIT program that fingerprints foreigners entering our country, and the various data-mining programs in research and development--take as a given the need for more security.

At the end of 2005, when many provisions of the controversial Patriot Act expire, we will again be asked to sacrifice certain liberties for security, as many legislators seek to make those provisions permanent.

As a security professional, I see a vital component missing from the debate. It's important to discuss different security measures, and determine which ones will be most effective. But that's only half of the equation; it's just as important to discuss the costs. Security is always a trade-off, and herein lies the real question: "Is this security countermeasure worth it?"

By Bruce Schneier at CNET.

[ Read more ]




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