Monday, December 16, 2002

Total Information Awareness

I’ve been meaning to write something on the Total Information Awareness (TIA) inititive underway at that bulwark of civil liberties, the Bush Administration. But my travel schedule the past few weeks has been more than a bit hectic, and I haven’t gotten around to it.

Declan McCullagh (DC correspondent for has an interesting little piece today about the possibilities of scrambling database data to prevent its misuse. While the details are a bit presumptive, I like the idea that the storage of data doesn’t necessarily equate to a potential for abuse. Let’s face it – the more data that’s captured somewhere, the more likely that someone who wants to snoop around will get access to it goes up. Sharply.

Trivia answer: McCullagh refers to a “femtosecond”, proving that life is getting faster. Turns out that a nanosecond is so last century. A femtosecond is a thousandth of a nanosecond.

Use it in a sentence? Sure: “Trent Lott went from Republican Majority Leader to late night punch line in a femtosecond.”

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