Edgar wrote:You did equate the two when you decided that all Arabs should be targeted for discrimination and inconvenience. Let alone the fact that doing so would bring absolutely no benefit.
You're right, we should only target people that we know are terrorists for extra screening. But barring Minority Report technology, we should probably pay more attention to groups that are more likely to attack us.
If we already know who the terrorists are, screening at the airport is irrelevant. And if we don't know who the terrorists are, screening at the airport is... irrelevant, since it can't actually tell us who they are.
As already mentioned multiple
times now, the 'groups most likely to attack us' are not ethnically homogeneous, and even within the larger category (Muslims) the number of actual threatening individuals who belong to that group is infinitesimally small. So even if screening did work (make no mistake, it doesn't) focusing on Islamic fliers would not appreciably increase the chances of success but would significantly increase the violation and discrimination against a large group of citizens.
But screening doesn't work.
Do you even have real evidence for your assertion that 'most people who to attack us... are arabs'? Or are you just making a fanciful generalization based on a small percentage of attacks?
Here's a clue, aerial terrorism against the U.S. has been around for a lot longer than ten years.
Well yes, but we should probably be concerned with present threats and not past ones.
Present threats like what? Law Abiding citizens who happen to be (or resemble) ethnic Arabs?
And at the same time we should apparently ignore other potential threats, past and future?
It is also profoundly naive to assume that because less than a handful of recent incidents have involved members of a particular group, that future attacks are more likely to come from the same group.
Interesting stuff. Unfortunately, there are two problems with his arguments. First, while it's true that there will be evildoers who don't meet the evildoer profile, the point of the profile is that evildoers are more likely to fall into that category, not certain to.
Profiling is fundamentally a zero sum game, when you choose to focus on one group you are implicitly choosing to relax scrutiny on others.
And, you are ignoring the likelihood that terrorists would circumvent the profile by disguising themselves as members of other groups.
As for the fear of additional invasion of privacy: given how things are with the TSA now, as far as public opinion goes, interview profiling would be, at worst, a lateral move
Would you feel it was a 'lateral move' if some group you
belonged to was the target?
and the security effectiveness of it would be greatly increased.
No actually, the opposite of that.
The whole fucking point
of the Schneier article is that you can't separate people into groups where one is 'more likely to be a terrorist' and the other is 'less likely to be a terrorist'. Terrorists are rare, they can come from any background or profile and they are likely to disguise their true profile anyway. If you establish a 'profile' for terrorists, even if it is an accurate one, you are only inviting them to defy it such as by disguising themselves as members of groups outside the profile, or by recruiting members from outside the profile. And, terrorists are not fundamentally different from their profile in any obvious way, anyone with a little coaching could muster enough sincerity to pass even an intense interview.
sourmìlk wrote:based on the fact that it appears to work in Israel
Based on what evidence exactly?
One could reason that because there have been no successful attacks on any American flight since 9/11 that the TSA 'works', but this would be justt as wrong.