“It is appallingly obvious that our technology has exceeded our humanity.” -Albert Einstein
I know that people are always afraid of new technology. The phone ruined face to face communication. Email ruined letter writing. Internet chatrooms eat our children. Kids and their damn “texting.”
Of course, law enforcement is especially susceptible to decrying the downsides of new technology. Law enforcement is always a step behind the criminals in utilizing new technology.
An Indian court is considering banning Google Earth because it was used in the planning of the Mumbai attacks last year.
Bruce Schneier, who writes on security and technology issues, points out how idiotic it is. From his blog:
Criminals have used telephones and mobile phones since they were invented. Drug smugglers use airplanes and boats, radios and satellite phones. Bank robbers have long used cars and motorcycles as getaway vehicles, and horses before then. I haven’t seen it talked about yet, but the Mumbai terrorists used boats as well. They also wore boots. They ate lunch at restaurants, drank bottled water, and breathed the air. Society survives all of this because the good uses of infrastructure far outweigh the bad uses, even though the good uses are – by and large – small and pedestrian and the bad uses are rare and spectacular. And while terrorism turns society’s very infrastructure against itself, we only harm ourselves by dismantling that infrastructure in response – just as we would if we banned cars because bank robbers used them too.
He hits the nail directly on the head. Technology is going to come whether government tries to stop it or not. It always has and it always will.