Shostack + Friends Blog Archive


Want Real Homeland Security?

real-homeland-security-frame.jpgAll around cool guy, and former provost of the University of Chicago, Geoffrey Stone (the Edward H. Levi Distinguished Service Professor at the University of Chicago Law School), posted earlier this week proposed that “The next president should create a brand new position, which should become a permanent part of the Executive Branch in the future: a Civil Liberties Advisor“.
Given past posts here, regular Emergent Chaos readers will hardly be surprised that I am a supporter of this proposal. While I encourage everyone to read the entire post, it’s the closing paragraph that really sums why I think this is so important:

Of course, Civil Liberties Advisors may often lose the debate, or even be shunted aside. But sometimes they will win, and sometimes they will raise consciousness and help frame the discussion. Moreover, an administration without such a voice is much more likely to short-change civil liberties than one with such an advocate. The stakes for our nation are simply too high for us to continue to muddle along without someone in this critical position. Indeed, this idea this might well give rise to a whole new meaning to the notion of Homeland Security.

And actually if you replace administration with corporation and civil liberties with customer privacy, you pretty much have the argument for why companies need (and have) privacy evangelists….
[Image is ‘Real’ Homeland Security by richdrogpa.]

3 comments on "Want Real Homeland Security?"

  • Alex says:

    I disagree. I think it would be more effective if the Court system and/or Congress somehow addressed the issue.
    Call my cynical, but I can just see a Cheney or Rove getting the office of “Civil Liberties Advisor” in some future executive-power-expanding-despot-wannabe administration.

  • Arthur says:

    @cynical er I mean @Alex,
    Part of the point of a dedicated position is that it’s easier to take someone to task publicly (up to and including things like congressional investigations or law suits) if they have a more specific charter or more clearly, that they don’t have the potential clashing interests of say security vs privacy that say the DoJ or DHS can have…

  • Kate says:

    For better transparency, this position shouldn’t be appointed by the President, it should be appointed by the opposition party or EFF type organizations.

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