Saturday, February 25, 2006

Trusting the port proxies

Wired's Bruce Schneier posts an interesting discussion of the need for proxies in our society, and how that shakes out in the port discussion.

We don't know what kind of security there is in the UAE, Dubai Ports World or the subsidiary that is actually doing the work. We have no choice but to rely on these proxies, yet we have no basis by which to trust them.

Pull aside the rhetoric, and this is everyone's point. There are those who don't trust the Bush administration and believe its motivations are political. There are those who don't trust the UAE because of its terrorist ties -- two of the 9/11 terrorists and some of the funding for the attack came out of that country -- and those who don't trust it because of racial prejudices. There are those who don't trust security at our nation's ports generally and see this as just another example of the problem.

The solution is openness. The Bush administration needs to better explain how port security works, and the decision process by which the sale of P&O was approved. If this deal doesn't compromise security, voters -- at least the particular lawmakers we trust -- need to understand that.

1 comment:

Jeffrey Hill said...

In that light, the delay should be a good thing all around. Hopefully, the administration will make its case instead of circling the wagons, and congress will judge the deal on the merits and not Rasmussen polls.