Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Dubai and Port (In)Security II

[Updated to reflect details from the article]
The AP (via Drudge) is reporting that an agreement between the Dubai corporation and the federal government required the Dubai corporation to participate in future investigations and disclose internal operations records. Included are records about "the design, maintenance or operation of ports and equipment."

While this doesn't fully address by previous concerns, it does somewhat alleviate it, if true. Internal operations probably include hiring criteria for the ports, disclosure policies relating to port operations, and security protocols for the protection of data. Requirements to participate in investigations presumably means that they'll need to give more assistance than a standard corporation, else why the agreement?

That the higher ups in this corporation are probably more likely to have fewer levels of separation between them and the terrorists still concerns me. But with any corporation, the terrorists can learn the names of the managers and blackmail them, or, insert someone into the company with the requisite skills to lift the information.

It also bothers me that copies of business records and an American citizen to act as a liason with the federal governmnet weren't included, though the former is the larger concern. According to the article, these are routinely required in other foreign transactions. But again, provided they must cooperate, and the risk of being nationalized by the US government is a good incentive for that, as are Congressional laws against them, the concern is somewhat mitigated.

On the political side: That the federal government has taken steps to insure cooperation and US security should teach everyone, both on the right and left, politicans and the media, a lesson. Namely, there's always more to a story than what breaks at first, and it behooves you to wait, think about it, and be responsible. Else you end up with egg on your face. Not that they ever learn.

[Update: It seems DovBear lucked out by waiting to post. With details beginning to emerge, and fodder for both sides, I'm sure his post will be interesting. I'm curious what his take is on my concerns (linked above), what he views the real issues to be, and how the recent information impacts that. Of course, without some partisan bickering it just wouldn't be a DB post.]