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News Link • Technology: Computer Hardware

What Has Technology Fixed Since 9/11?

• www.technologyreview.com
Not much, as it turns out. And it's helpless against the widespread threat of bureaucracy and self-interest.

As we hit the 10-year anniversary of the September 11 attacks, we're confronted with a sobering "report card" from the heads of the original September 11 Commission. In spite of a doubling of the intelligence budget since 2001 to $80 billion, the creation or reorganizing of some 263 government organizations, and the formation of the $50 billion Department of Homeland Security, the government has largely fallen short, the new report notes. The report states that while some progress has been made, "some major September 11 Commission recommendations remain unfulfilled, leaving the U.S. not as safe as we could or should be."

Technology has, in some ways, been a particular disappointment with regard to security, in that no real breakthrough technologies spurred by massive government R&D investments have emerged. "We've mostly seen the deployment of off-the-shelf equipment," says James Jay Carafano, director of the Center for Foreign Policy Studies at the Heritage Foundation. "Improved intelligence and counterterrorism investigation have been more important than new technologies."


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