Sunday, November 28, 2004

Surveillance and Privacy: The Legacy of Northern Ireland

The British government' s long occupation of Northern Ireland led them to experiment with a variety of electronic surveillance methods for tracking crime and terrorism. The British have now applied that expertise to their own domestic law enforcement practices.

Towards that vein, the BBC's Tom Geoghegan is reporting on a new product that takes 3-D pictures of faces for identity confirmation.

Interestingly, the US Department of Homeland Security last year appointed a privacy officer to do privacy impact analyses mandated by the E-Commerce Act of 2002. Her name is Nuala O'Connor Kelly, and as you might have guessed, she is from Northern Ireland.

She took the job partly because of her childhood experiences with Irish snipers, she told the USA Today.

She recalled getting caught in a sniper attack in Belfast when she was 7 or 8 years old, playing in her aunt's front yard. On Sept. 11, she says, she felt the same "fear that someone is trying to kill me, andit's not because of anything I've ever done to them." That, she says, "is something I don't want my child toever have to go through." |Link|
Snipers can be awfully pesky, as the Beltway Sniper taught our nation's Capitol.

Wired Magazine has an interview with her from 2003 available here.

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