Monday, January 04, 2010

The Dichotomy of Security

We can’t have it both ways:

We want to be safe in our homes and in our everyday lives; but we don’t want to “waste” our free time by joining the neighborhood watch or by calling the police when we see something suspicious.

We want to feel safe in our workplaces, in our offices and parking areas, and we want our business visitors to feel safe and welcome; but we don’t want to have to use an access card or biometric reader to enter our workplaces or parking lots and we don’t want to be surveilled while we work and we don’t want to inconvenience our visitors by having them sign in.

We want to be safe on our streets; but we don’t want “Big Brother” watching us on surveillance cameras or to have police patrols randomly questioning us.

We want good service and low prices at the stores in which we shop; but we don’t want store security personnel watching us on surveillance cameras or following us while we shop.

We want banks to keep our money safe, and to make it available to us at a moment’s notice; but we don’t want to give our fingerprints to make a withdrawal or to have to remember and change our account passwords.

We want to move quickly and easily through airports and we want our flights to be safe; but we don’t want long security checkpoint lines or intrusive body searches or have our bags poked and prodded and inspected by security personnel.

We want to feel safe in our nation and we don’t want terrorists on our shores; but we complain about our taxes and criticize the military for their actions and want to afford terrorist detainees the same rights and protections as we citizens enjoy.

And on and on and on........

In other words – we want to be free and safe, but we want none of the prices that have to be paid to remain that way.

Unfortunately, we can’t have it both ways.

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