Public Misconceptions Undermine Technology
In response to the article “Connecting the Dots” (Government Security, February 2005, by Michael Fickes), I found the article very informative, but there was a big component that was left out.
After the Sept 11 attacks, several states under the federal government decided that it would be more feasible for field officers to be able to connect the databases of several states and areas of government together. They called it the Matrix (poor naming as you will see later).
The matrix originally was going to link several databases together so that information could be shared and passed along to the people who need it in the street. Several states were selected to participate, and Utah was one of these states.
Utah’s Governor at the time was Mike Leavitt. Things were put in place and participation was going strong. Some of the states decided that this was not where they wanted to go. Utah was involved for about a year, and when the press found out, it printed a story describing the system as “Big Brother” watching the public.
Several political leaders jumped on the bandwagon, and, it was decided in a about a week that we would pull out also.
References were made to the movie “The Matrix,” and how we were all being watched. In reality it was a way to connect existing databases together.
As your magazine deals with security, government and technology, an article addressing the security concerns of the public in articles would be of great interest.
While we move forward with securing our country and government services, we need to be mindful of what those actions are going to cause in the area of public alarm. I have been in law enforcement for 13 years, and security for 22 years. I have watched as people have demanded security to now a growing resentment and concern security is going to far.
JEFF ROSE, workplace security consultant, State of Utah Division of Risk Management
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