Saturday, September 25, 2004

Academics locked out by tight visa controls

It may be obviously true, but it needs to be said, and I am glad more people are saying it. Here is Bruce Schneier in the San Jose Mercury News:
Security is always a trade-off, and specific security countermeasures affect everyone, both the bad guys and the good guys. The new U.S. immigration rules may affect the few terrorists trying to enter the United States on visas, but they also affect honest people trying to do the same.

All scientific disciplines are international, and free and open information exchange -- both in conferences and in academic programs at universities -- will result in the maximum advance in the technologies vital to homeland security. The Soviet Union tried to restrict academic freedom along national lines, and it didn't do the country any good. We should try not to follow in those footsteps.

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