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A debate between security and privacy rights

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Earlier this fall, we discussed the challenge delivered by Secretary Chertoff at the 29th International Conference: he argued that privacy rights must be balanced off against a country’s security needs.

In November, several prominent security and privacy advocates participated in a debate at the University of Virginia’s Miller Center of Public Affairs. The resolution?

“In the war against terrorism, and with advances in technology, Americans need to lower their expectations of privacy.”

Participating were Marc Rotenberg, Lord Alderdice, Douglas Kmiec, and K.A. Taipale.

Videos of their statements and rebuttals are available on YouTube and on the Miller Center website.

Here’s an excerpt from opening remarks by Lord Alderdice, the former speaker of the Northern Ireland Assembly:

“These are not just questions of law, politics, and the constitution; they are also very human questions. Invasion of one’s personal space creates feelings. Likewise, terrorism creates feelings. Sometimes these feelings are so powerful that we respond emotionally rather than reflectively and thoughtfully. When governments react emotionally, they very often make mistakes and the laws created are frequently counterproductive.”

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