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.