Narus: Arms Supplier to Uncle Sam?

Exaggeration? Perhaps, but in the rerun of Frontline's Hedrick Smith report on domestic US spying, a pricey Narus box was the smoking gun that led a whistleblower to understand just how extensively AT&T had sold out information on millions of Americans to a covert federal program.

You can watch the show online. The interview with the Narus Marketing Director has the feel of an arms dealer working earnestly to wash his hands of the affair. As Tom Lehrer famously sang, "Once ze rockets go up, who knows where zey go down. That's not my department, said Werner von Braun."

Thinking of IT -- especially network IT -- as an integral part of the military-industrial complex, is a perspective that must be more widely adopted. The social responsibilities of its practitioners, deserve closer scrutiny. One first step is for them to review section 1.7 of the ACM Code of Ethics, i.e., Respect the privacy of others.

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