.Commentary: The real drug problem–technology

.Commentary: The real drug problem–technology

By Mike Lotz

The real drug problem–technology

By Mike Lotz

The new scapegoat for the failed War on Drugs is, of all things, technology.

The 120-page December 2000 International Crime Threat Assessment – created by basically every federal law enforcement agency in the U.S. – is filled with examples of how computer technology has advanced the cause of national and international crime. Modern telecommunication and information systems, state-of-the-art communications equipment, computer – they’re all to blame.

The report fails to say that the fuel of organized crime in the U.S. is from profit from the trade of illegal drugs bound for the U.S. – billions of dollars in profit from drug sales that enhance the power of international crime cartels and their ability to corrupt police, judges and government officials.

“Through the use of computers, international criminals have an unprecedented capability to obtain, process and protect information and sidestep law enforcement investigations,” the report states. It goes on to say, “Most threateningly, some criminal organizations appear to be adept at using technology for counterintelligence purposes and for tracking law enforcement activities.”

In other words, it’s not our flawed drug policy that’s to blame – it’s NEW TECHNOLOGY.

Instead of rethinking our basic policy on drugs, federal police agencies appear bent on blaming technology – unbreakable encryption e-mails, encrypted cell phones and faster, cheaper, networked computers – for the losses sustained in the drug war. If you don’t know by now, this is clearly nonsense.

The Feds want to pour more funds into the war as an excuse for having their way with encryption. But encryption is an essential business tool and a means of protecting our privacy. Outlawing it as a scapegoat of our drug policy is like trying to eliminate oxygen because it’s used for the aeronautical transport of illegal drugs.

The Feds have no problem blaming their failure to keep drugs out of the country on technology. Never mind that these same technologies have fueled explosive growth in the U.S. economy – if the “drug dealers” use it, it must be bad.

Doesn’t the DEA have computers, cell phones, eavesdropping equipment, satellites, night-vision goggles, laser sites on their guns, etc? Hasn’t technology helped them as much, if not more, than the drug cartels? If not, then the Feds don’t want to solve the drug problem.

If you have any questions or comments, please contact me at questions@iwebwerks.com.

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