Terrorism Fatigue and Connecting the Dots
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I don't know about you, but I'm about CNNed, MSNBCed, FOXed, and PBSed out on terrorism and national security.
But having just finished reading Ron Suskind's "The One-Percent Doctrine," having just taken a quick round-trip flight to San Jose myself, having wondered about some good friends who were still in the U.K. when the recent bombing plot was revealed and whom I knew would be trying to come back to the U.S. with their two small children in tow, having learned about all these new acronyms (to me, anyhow) like "TATP" (which stands for "Triacetone Triperoxide," just in case you've been curious)....after all that, I realized continued vigilance was still crucial despite our collective weariness.
Of course, our continued vigilance should be exerted both in a continued focus on improving our ability to know what's going on out there, while also balancing the risks of our needing to know with the inadvertent (or purposeful) misuse of information.
IBM's Jeff Jonas recently participated in the Markle Foundation's Task Force on National Security, which last month issued recommendations on how to reconcile national security needs with civil liberties requirements.
Its report (PDF, 4.8MB) offered a "new 'authorized use' standard for government handling of legally collected information that bases authorization to view information on how the information is going to be used, rather than on the nationality of the subject or the location of collection."
In his own public remarks made when the document was released last month, Jonas observed that "The Task Force has never called for the wholesale transfer of data between systems or agencies; rather, we have called for leaving the data with the original holder."
He pointed out that this approach enables users to discover who has information specifically relevant to their case, and that holders of such information can then grant access, based on policy, to each information request. Such a "discoverability" approach delivers on the "need to share" goal by first answering the question "share what with who?"
Connecting...while protecting...the dots.