The Washington Post published this recent piece on the battles that were fought and lost over the USA Patriot Act last year when everyone was crying for more power for law enforcement.
Bruce Schneier had this to say in the June Cryptogram.
It’s not about data collection; it’s about data analysis. Again from the 30 September 2001 issue of Crypto-Gram: “Demands for even more surveillance miss the point. The problem is not obtaining data, it’s deciding which data is worth analyzing and then interpreting it. Everyone already leaves a wide audit trail as we go through life, and law enforcement can already access those records with search warrants [and subpoenas]. The FBI quickly pieced together the terrorists’ identities and the last few months of their lives, once they knew where to look. If they had thrown up their hands and said that they couldn’t figure out who did it or how, they might have a case for needing more surveillance data. But they didn’t, and they don’t.”
First Monday recently published an essay on breaking the airline screening system. Carnival Booth: An Algorithm for Defeating the Computer-Assisted Passenger Screening System by Samidh Chakrabarti and Aaron Strauss