Monday, November 17, 2008

Internet! Panic!

John ReidIt seems that former Home Secretary John Reid has only just discovered some of the Internet scare stories of the 1990s. He tells the Daily Telegraph breathlessly:
"We have to recognise that on the net you can practically get the full DNA of the First World War flu that killed 24 million people."

If Mr Reid had taken the time to read any of the literature on this subject, he might realise that there is more to weaponising flu, anthrax and other biological agents than finding usually-inaccurate sets of instructions or DNA sequences online. He could start with Simson Garfinkel's Database Nation, first published in 2000. For an update he could even read my Terrorism and the Proportionality of Internet Surveillance. Maybe he should have done this before he started making policy in this area as Home Secretary.

I am slightly embarrassed to see that University College London is to host Reid's new thinktank, the Institute of Security and Resilience Studies.

2 comments:

Jacob said...

nice post

John Lilburne said...

Just when we think that politicians couldn't get any more clueless they surprise us once again.