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THE EDITOR'S DIARY - WEDNESDAY 12 SEPTEMBER 2001
Has Freedom Just Been Closed Forever

CWN only writes about local news, but yesterday the world changed for everyone.

The death toll from the horrendous terrorist attacks in America is not yet known, but it will be thousands, if not tens of thousands.

The sad statistic of probability means that there is a high chance that someone from Coventry or Warwickshire was caught up in the carnage.

CWN has a large ex-patriate readership, many of whom are in the United States. It is inevitable that some of those will have family or friends touched by this atrocity.

My heart bleeds deeply and my tears flow strongly for them.

I have sat for hours mesmerised by the images on TV. I cannot comprehend why any human being could even contemplate, let alone carry out, such an act.

It is almost certain that the terrorists (or would the word barbarians be more apt) were driven by some fundamentalist religious belief. It that is religion - oh my God!

Now we must wait, and fear, the aftermath.

The United States will retaliate. And surely they must. On a grand scale.

The 'turn the other cheek, give peace a chance, let's sit round the table and talk' lobby will be outvoiced a million times on this one.

The question is against who?

Yesterday has been described as America's second Pearl Harbour. But this time the enemy is not showing its face.

So many more innocents are to die. And alas, alas, alas they must if a whole nation's grief, anger and claw for revenge is to be appeased.

And then what comes next? How do governments everywhere in our free world prevent this happening again.

For sure, there were some breakdowns in security procedures at the American airports but this was terrorism on a PhD scale.

This act was organised by 'people' with expert skills, thorough training and large resources. And most of all 'people' willing to knowingly give their own lives.

How does the world guard against such suicide fanatics?

The UK government, like many others, has already announced a whole raft of increased security measures.

That will only be the beginning. How far will we need to go to make us feel safe again? Which freedoms are you and I willing to give up?

Identity cards, email screening, CCTV surveillance...

They will come. They are coming already.

West Midland Police are trialling a hi-tech facial recognition system to help cut street crime. CCTV systems will automatically scan for the faces of known criminals and suspects. If a match is made against a database an alarm alerts police.

This is already operating in Birmingham. It is expected in Coventry early next year.

The age of innocence and privacy has gone. Freedom is fading fast. Welcome to the sci-fi world.

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IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO MAKE COMMENT OR RAISE A QUESTION EMAIL ME AT chris@cwn.org.uk
  

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CWN / The Editor's Diaries / 2001 / 12 September
1995-2001 Coventry Internet Developments Ltd This page updated 09 August 2002