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Chicken Little Entrepreneurs

Written By: Mike Banks Valentine

Chicken Little is hurrying
Umbrella ‘neath her wing.

She thinks the sky is falling fast
So goes to tell the King.

But, after she has spread the news
And all is told and said

The good old King just laughs at her
And sends her home instead.

That is a very wise old King and I’d love him in charge now.

Technology vendors think they can save the world and they
are using terrorism to sell snake oil to government and
industry. Acting like Chicken Little, they run to
government with a technology based “solution” to terror.
But somehow our King, anxious to appear to be doing
something about terrorism, agrees that the sky is falling
and buys her tech toys instead of laughing and sending
Chicken Little home.

The following is a quote from a Wharton School of
Business, University of Pennsylvania interview with Tom
Siebel of Siebel Systems, a manufacturer of CRM (Customer
Relationship Management) software for big business.

“Tom Siebel has been attacked for his proposal to use
Siebel software to sniff out terrorist plots. In February,
Siebel told a Congressional committee that a specially
tailored Siebel system might have deterred the Sept. 11 attacks.

“Security agencies can use this technology to maintain a
‘logically’ centralized although physically disparate
consolidated view of terrorist-related information
gathered from multiple sources and channels and make this
information immediately accessible to authorized personnel
in the homeland security network,” Siebel testified. “This
is not an opportunistic capitalization of tragic events.
This is a combined effort between the U.S. government and
private enterprise to avoid a repeat of September 11th.”

He added that since November of last year, various
government and non-profit agencies have purchased the
Siebel Homeland Security product to anticipate, track,
prevent, and respond to national security threats.”

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Siebel Homeland Security product? Wow! Can I get a copy
for my laptop and another for my PDA? Must be a hot selling
item, and it’s working like a charm, too. I wonder why it’s
not available worldwide, since it IS so effective? It seems
that between Larry Ellison and his National ID database and
Tom Siebel’s Homeland Security product we’ve got the
problem of terrorism licked. But wait, it seems that the
hardware guys want a piece of the snake oil action.

“If we had advanced (technology) tools in place prior to
Sept. 11, it is almost certain that some of the terrorists
would have been detained and possibly some of the plots
would have been foiled,” said a report from Progressive
Policy Institute, a Washington research center associated
with the Clinton-Gore administration.

A story at NewsFactor.com points out that new tech spy
gear is being hawked to the government at unimaginable
rates.

http://www.newsfactor.com/perl/story/17942.html

“With some exaggeration, Transportation Secretary
Norman Mineta, whose department is responsible for
airport safety, told the Senate Appropriations Committee
earlier this month: “We’ve got every salesman – 20,000
of them, I think – approaching us about how they’ve got
some machine that will take care of everything we do,
including not only detecting explosives but athlete’s foot
as well.”

That snake oil is pretty slippery guys. Software powering
advanced hardware is impressive, but not magical. Where
is the wolf to chase off these high tech chickens? It
seems that we’ve got a children’s story being rewritten in
Washington, D.C. The remake of “Chicken Little” has 20,000
high tech Chicken’s selling overpriced umbrellas to the
King — and apparently he’s buying.

Chicken Little is hurrying
Database ‘neath her wing.

She knows the sky is falling fast
So goes to sell the King.

Now, after she has sold the cure
And all is told and said

The good old King smiles sweet at her
And takes her in to bed.

The huge new homeland security proposal by President
Bush will employ over 169,000 people and incorporate
all or part of dozens of existing federal agencies.

No doubt it will have a vast database incorporating
Larry Ellison’s suggested National ID software, and
will be powered by Siebel’s Homeland Security Product.
Surely there will be lots of iris scanning, finger-
print reading, face recognizing, smart card reading,
body scanning, security cameras and superduper tech-
nology feeding all that data into the centralized
database where Big Brother comes to life, finally.

What the heck, I may as well get into the act. “Oh King!
I have a Homeland Security Bridge I’d like to sell you.”

This baby has a built in database of every vehicle on the
road and computerized steel gates that slam shut when
terrorists attempt to cross over. We’ll know because all
car rentals and sales will require purchasers to state
whether they’ve got evil intent. That will be entered into
our bridge database along with predictive behavior
modeling, just like that used by the airports now. You’ll
need one at every border crossing point. Buy the hardware
at $3 Billion each and I’ll DONATE the software ’cause I’m
a Patriot, just like Larry Ellison!”

About the Author

Mike Banks Valentine
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