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The delicate balance: security and privacy

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The article examines the USA Patriot Act; a new push by law enforcement to wiretap voice-over-IP (VoIP) communications; and the need to prevent abuses of technology at the international level. Although the Patriot Act might be good for overall security, it raises serious privacy concerns. It is very one-sided in favoring law enforcement's ability to get information about people, without giving them the opportunity to attempt to protect that information. The act permits using wiretaps without requiring authorities to specify who is being tapped or where the tapping occurs. The Patriot Act likewise opens the door to potential technology abuses, such as providing funding for government database improvements, while offering no protections in terms of how those databases will be used. The article also examines the worldwide state of security by looking at concerns about the dumping and testing of surveillance technologies in countries where civil rights and civil liberties are not an issue.

Published in:

Security & Privacy, IEEE  (Volume:2 ,  Issue: 4 )