CSC 352 – Discussion Topics:  Some Effects of September 11



1.  National Identity System

Focus:  what questions should we ask in the process of determining whether or not to proceed towards adoption or rejection?

How would you describe consideration of a national identity system to a friend or family member?


National Research Council,  “IDs—Not That Easy:  Questions about Nationwide Identity Systems,”

Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility, “National Identification Schemes (NIDS) and the Fight Against Terrorism:  Frequently Asked Questions,” 11/27/01,    

Cherry, Steven M.  “Security, Fear, and National ID Cards.”  Nov 1, 2001. IEEE Spectrum Online.         

Electronic Privacy Information Center, “Your Papers, Please:  From the State Drivers License to a National Identification System,”  Feb. 2002,     


For further reading:

Sobel, Richard.  “The Degradation of Political Identity Under a National Identification System, Harvard Journal of Law & Technology, Spring, 2002,   



2.  Biometric Systems

Focus:  Can/how can biometric systems provide better security in the US?


Facial recognition systems have been tested at Logan Airport and at the Statue of Liberty this summer.  Do these systems work?


Schneier, Bruce. “Biometrics in airports,” page 5+ of Crypto-Gram Newsletter, 9/30/01,         

Agre, Phil. “Your face is not a bar-code:  Arguments against automatic face recognition in public places,” version of 6/2/02,     

Kilgannon, Corey.  “Cameras to Seek Faces of Terror in Visitors to the Statue of Liberty,” 5/25/02,

Bray, Hiawatha. “Reliability of face-scan technology in dispute,” 8/5/02,  Boston Globe (available on Lexis-Nexis through La Salle’s library)


Not facial recognition, but a new biometric technology described as “brain fingerprinting”:  Guevin, Laura. “Picking your brain in the name of security.”  August 16, 2002.           


3.  Vulnerability of US computer systems (including Internet, government, and critical infrastructure) to attack

Focus:  Weaknesses/vulnerabilities

What can be done to protect?


Vatis, Michael, Director of Institute for Security Technology Studies, Dartmouth College, to House subcommittee, “Cyber terrorism:  the state of US preparedness,” 9/26/01,           

Cyber Protests:  The Threat to the US Information Infrastructure, Oct 2001, NIPC,           

National Infrastructure Protection Center (NIPC):       

Schwartz, John. “Securing the lines of a wired nation,” 10/4/01,         

O’Harrow, Robert.  “Key US computer systems called vulnerable to attack,” 9/27/01,  

Jones, Jennifer, et al, “Feds make cyberassets protection a priority,” 10/12/01,       


Not directly related to critical infrastructure protection, bur rather focuses on the risks of disinformation:  Knight, Will.  “Hacker rewrites Yahoo! news stories,” 9/20/01,

From the National Infrastructure Protection Center (NIPC), 7 tips for protecting small business and home computer users:           



4.  Access to Government Information

Focus:  What are the pros and the cons of restricting access to government information as has taken place since September 11? 

In the aftermath of the terrorist attack, how can we balance the public’s right to know with the nation’s security?


Tien, Lee.  “Access to Information after 9/11,"  presented at the Computers, Freedom, and Privacy conference in April, 2002,

OMB Watch.  "Access to Government Information Post September 11th, " 2/1/02,

Federation of American Scientists’ Project on Government Secrecy,  Follow link to Secrecy

Center for Democracy and Technology’s page on Access to Government Information at           

Toner, Robin.  “Government Clamps Down on Agency Web Sites,” 10/28/01,     

Cha, Ariana.  “Risks Prompt US to Limit Access to Data,” 2/24/02,          



5.  Civil Liberties:  privacy and security

Focus:  What are some specific civil liberties concerns in the Patriot Act?


EFF Analysis of the Provisions of the USA Patriot Act, 10/31/01,      

Center for Democracy and Technology (CDT) page on the USA Patriot Act at       

Heymann, Philip.  “Civil liberties and human rights in the aftermath of September 11,” Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy, Spring 2002, available on Proquest through La Salle’s library online.

Schneier, Bruce.  “Protecting privacy and liberty,” page 14+ of Crypto-Gram Newsletter, 9/30/01,          

McCullagh, Declan.  “Why liberty suffers in wartime,” 9/24/01,,1294,47051,00.html