If you missed it in The Atlantic or on his own blog, please take a moment to check out this short but compelling piece by security expert Bruce Schneier: Tranparency and Accountability. Schneier talks about almost everything we’re concerned about when it comes to the law enforcement side of data collection.
He notes that local police departments are pushed by the FBI and Homeland Security to invest in new technologies, some of them already shown to be ineffective. And he notes that sometimes lobbyists get involved.
Certainly with the purchase of drones and deployment of an extensive surveillance camera network in Seattle without public input, we’ve seen exactly what he’s talking about.
Schneier calls for oversight with teeth, and that’s exactly what we’re asking for. But we don’t want to single out law enforcement unduly–they’re just easy because they’re so visible. But Please see the Smart Meters post for an example of another a proposed investment in data gathering that cries out for public oversight.