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« The Six Degrees of Kevin Arbitrary | Main | Responsible Innovation: Staying Engaged With the Privacy Community »

May 18, 2006

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Jim Harper

I'm reading this through the filter of the National Security Agency spying program revealed by USA Today the other week. I take it you would argue in favor of secrecy in such programs because this gives the good guys an advantage. This sounds like an argument for security through obscurity, which is a highly debatable security practice.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Security_through_obscurity

Indeed, your story shows how dangerous it can be. If the Cali cartel knows how you do your intel, but you don't know that they know, they can play you like a fiddle.

Also, I wonder if secrecy is appropriate in the governmental context given that it prevents tuning and honing of such programs through public discussion and debate. I sense from your writings and our past conversations that if the NSA effort to use phone traffic analysis is a pure data mining operation seeking after terrorists that you would argue against it. But you can't because it's secret.

Your thoughts, Mr. Jonas?

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Indeed, your story shows how dangerous it can be. If the Cali cartel knows how you do your intel, but you don't know that they know, they can play you like a fiddle.

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