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The classic security question

2003-09-15 23:25:36.576327+00 by Shawn 1 comments

Wired is running a story that really should come as no surprise, about how anti-terrorist laws and tighter national security pressures are hampering scientific research. It's the old question that we in the tech industry are well-acquainted with: Does reducing and controlling information/communication/knowledge serve public safefy or hinder it? Per the article, some who were previously researching ways to combat deadly biologics are now abandoning their work and destroying their samples.

[ related topics: Politics ]

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#Comment Re: The classic security question made: 2003-09-16 14:02:37.184043+00 by: petronius

"The criteria for keeping them were particularly onerous," Portnoy said. "It would have required some fundamental changes of the running of the lab."

Well, I should hope so! Somebody sent the anthrax letters, somebody who seems to know what they were doing, and is still at large. And they got the antrax from someplace. And we already know that outfits like Al Queda can call on university-trained members to carry out their orders, as with the WTC hijackers. It would be entirely characteristic for such groups to brew up their deadly materials here incountry, where equipment and facilities are plentiful and the regulations have been lax, up to now. Like out immigration situation, the US is still trying to find the right set of regulations. Perhaps the scientists would do better to work with DHS to develop the regs,rather than just complaining. And also getting rid of those spare Ebola bugs on the shelf, next to the pickle jar.