• United States



by CSO Contributor

Measuring Lost Freedom vs. Security in Dollars; Bank Security Falls Victim to Moles; Stealth Sea Lions

Mar 11, 20033 mins
CSO and CISOData and Information Security

Measuring Lost Freedom vs. Security in Dollars

According to todays New York Times, top advisers to President Bush want to weigh the benefits of tighter domestic security against the “costs” of lost privacy and freedom. Last month the budget office asked experts from around the country for ideas on how to measure “indirect costs” like lost time, lost privacy and even lost liberty that might stem from tougher security regulations. Jarring as it may seem to assign a price on privacy or liberty, the Times says, the idea has attracted an unusual array of supporters, including Ralph Nader, the consumer advocate and former presidential candidate, who said the approach might expose wrong-headed security regulations. Other supporters include the American Civil Liberties Union and conservative Republicans who shun big government. John Graham, director of regulatory affairs at the White House Office of Management and Budget, said it was important to analyze such costs, even if they could not be translated into precise dollar amounts. “Simply identifying some of these costs will help understand them and get people to think about alternatives that might reduce those costs,” he told the Times.Bank Security Falls Victim to MolesFinancial Times last night, a crime ring infiltrated Citigroup four years ago and pulled off a dramatic $37 million heist. The incident illustrates how even a large banking group such as Citigroup, viewed by security experts as having some of the more sophisticated controls in the industry, can fall prey to organised criminals working inside their institutions, says the Financial Times.

CitigroupAccording to a story in Londons

Stealth Sea LionsBBC News reports today that specially trained sea lions have been deployed to the Persian Gulf region to protect U.S. and British warships against attacks from underwater saboteurs and mines. The British naval commander in the Gulf, Rear Admiral David Snelson, warned on Monday that possible al-Qaeda attacks on warships in the region were the biggest security threat facing his forces as they prepare for a possible war with Iraq, according to the BBC. The U.S. Navy says it has about 20 sea lions in the Gulf, trained in mine recovery—diving, locating a mine and if possible attaching a grabber device to it. They are also trained to alert humans when they detect an intruding diver and can even attach a restraint device to a divers ankle. Dolphins have been used by the Navy before, but sea lions can withstand the regions heat better. Animal rights groups object to the use of animals in combat. War is a human endeavor and while people and political parties may decide war is necessary, animals cannot, Dawn Carr, a spokeswoman for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals told BBC News Online.