Surrendering to Terrorists

Just when we Americans thought that things couldn't be made any worse for us than the horror of the international terrorist attacks of September 11th, along comes a parade of homegrown clowns, zealots, political opportunists, and corporate technology hucksters claiming that they want to "save us" from future attacks.

These are wild-eyed security enthusiasts who are promoting what the New York Times describes as "a new kind of country" for us to live in. In this "new country," get used to domestic spying, carrying an electronic ID card, being profiled and searched, being infiltrated and interrogated, and having your movements constantly monitored.

In the frenzy of the moment, in the compulsion to "do something" about the terrorist attacks, our so-called national leaders are lunging toward a massive new program of electronic surveillance of We the People. "Computer technology will be harnessed to make the country safer," asserts the Times. Hmmm ... this doesn't make me feel one bit safer.

Take the national ID card ... whether you want to or not. A corporate security consultant says enthusiastically that "Each American could be given a 'smart card,' so as they go anywhere, we know exactly who they are." Your card, imbedded with computer chips, would contain detailed personal and financial information about you and would be read by computers, coordinated with your fingerprints and facial characteristics so you could be tracked wherever you go. This is not some science fiction movie, but an actual proposal being considered in Washington. A former federal law enforcement official told the Times that, "Over a period of time, these technologies will slowly be becoming part of our life. You will no longer be able to just come and go."

This is Jim Hightower saying ... Hundreds of thousands of freedom lovers who went before us fought, bled, and died -- from our country's revolutionary war forward -- to establish and preserve the very personal liberties that these bonzos now propose to surrender.

ACLU By ACLUSponsored

Imagine you've forgotten once again the difference between a gorilla and a chimpanzee, so you do a quick Google image search of “gorilla." But instead of finding images of adorable animals, photos of a Black couple pop up.

Is this just a glitch in the algorithm? Or, is Google an ad company, not an information company, that's replicating the discrimination of the world it operates in? How can this discrimination be addressed and who is accountable for it?

“These platforms are encoded with racism," says UCLA professor and best-selling author of Algorithms of Oppression, Dr. Safiya Noble. “The logic is racist and sexist because it would allow for these kinds of false, misleading, kinds of results to come to the fore…There are unfortunately thousands of examples now of harm that comes from algorithmic discrimination."

On At Liberty this week, Dr. Noble joined us to discuss what she calls “algorithmic oppression," and what needs to be done to end this kind of bias and dismantle systemic racism in software, predictive analytics, search platforms, surveillance systems, and other technologies.

What you can do:
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