You’ve heard enough about Big Brother to last a lifetime, so
I’ve renamed him Super Snooper to spare you the cliche during
Super Snooper, (Big Brother), is using terrorism as an excuse to
spy on everyone, scan their irises, print their fingers, record
their movements and assign threat levels to each and every one
of us. The latest announcement from the airline industry tells
us of the testing of a huge new database full of facial
recognition files, credit card activity records, airline seating
charts, travel histories, driver licenses, social security
numbers, bank records, employment records and any other
“relevant” information they deem necessary to track terrorists.
The computer all this information is stored on is capable of
noting who you sit near on the plane and if you know anyone else
on the passenger list. It knows if you’ve been sleeping. It
knows if you’re awake. It knows if you’ve been bad or good. So
be good for goodness sakes! Super Snooper knows all-in the name
of security and safety. I hope everything it knows is, not only
true, but unfailingly correct in it’s conclusions drawn from
everything stored in those really deep data piles.
Snooper sniffs the slightest whiff of smelly actions and, using
predictive behavior models, assigns a threat level to you and me
and dear old Auntie Mabel. Well, that’s O.K. with me! It’s all
in our best interest, right? Security and safety are more
important than protecting privacy, right? Right?!
Lest you think I’m exaggerating, hop over to the Washington Post
story from February 1, at the link below and review it for
It’s not just terrorism that is putting security in the news
headlines and privacy on the backburner. This week Microsoft
announced the appointment of a new Security Czar who takes the
helm as their top privacy protector on April Fools Day. Scott
Charney is a former Department of Justice Cybercrime cop who
calls the top security job at Microsoft, “Irresistable.”
His characterization of his new job is no doubt due to the
horrible security breaches built into Microsoft’s products and
he relishes the challenge of plugging all those many gaping
For my part, I wish him well and hope he succeeds on a grand
scale since security of Microsoft products is critical if they
gain even the smallest adoption of the .Net Passport system that
requires registration of all MSN products users as it is built
in to their latest iteration of Windows, Explorer, Outlook
Express and required of each of the MSN web services such as
hotmail, bCentral small business services and each of their web
I predict, without hesitation, that individual privacy and
enterprise network security will be the blockbuster issues of
computing and the web in the coming year. Super Snooper is, like
it or not, going to be snooping and sniffing you, your
grandmother, your kids, your neighbor, your friends, your
enemies and all our biometrics to compare all that information
to profiles of known terrorists. I know, I know, you’re very
harmless and sweet and innocent and honest and true.
It’s those bad guys I’m worried about, so you don’t mind if we
profile you, right? We won’t attach any of that information to
your .Net Passport, your medical records or your tax files.
Really! We promise! Super Snooper is only after terrorists.
Nobody is interested in all that information we have on you.
Betcha it’s totally secure too (on Microsoft IIS server soft-
ware that is completely patched and impervious to hackers or
criminals or even that cybergeek who lives next door.) I know
that because Microsoft has a new Security Czar who starts his
irresistable job on April Fools Day!