Security as a Trade-Off

Security as a Trade-Off.

The Economist has an excellent editorial on security trade-offs. You need to subscribe to read the whole thing, but here's my favorite paragraph:

The second point is that all technologies have both good
and bad uses. There is currently a debate about whether it is safe to
install mobile antennas in underground stations, for example, for fear
that
terrorists will use mobile phones to detonate bombs. Last year's bombs
in Madrid were detonated by mobile phones, but it was the phones'
internal alarm-clock function, not a call, that was used as the trigger
mechanism. Nobody is suggesting that alarm clocks be outlawed, however;
nor does anyone suggest banning telephones, even though kidnappers can
use them to make ransom demands. Rather than demonising new
technologies, their legitimate uses by good people must always be
weighed against their illegitimate uses by bad ones. New technologies
are inevitable, but by learning the lessons of history, needless scares
need not be.

[Schneier on Security]

Leave a comment