An introduction

This is a semi-public place to dump text too flimsy to even become a blog post. I wouldn't recommend reading it unless you have a lot of time to waste. You'd be better off at my livejournal. I also have another blog, and write most of the French journal summaries at the Eurozine Review.

Why do I clutter up the internet with this stuff at all? Mainly because I'm trying to get into the habit of displaying as much as possible of what I'm doing in public. Also, Blogger is a decent interface for a notebook

Monday, November 29, 2010

Privacy and terrorism

The terrorism threat in Germany has been being hyped recently, through warnings from the Interior Minister and a false alarm over a bomb on a plane in Namibia.

German politicians have been impressively willing to call bullshit on this, in some cases openly suggesting that it's fearmongering as a political tactic.

In particular, the idea is already widespread that it's an attempt to build public support for increased surveillance and for weakening of privacy laws.

This wikileaks cable from February gives more fuel to that view. It shows that the US links German support for privacy with the lack of terrorist attacks in Germany: "the German public and political class largely
tends to view terrorism abstractly given that it has been
decades since any successful terrorist attack has occurred on
German soil

Also, a little schadenfreude at the US saying that " We need to also
demonstrate that the U.S. has strong data privacy measures in
place so that robust data sharing comes with robust data

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