Today's events mark more than a display of courage by Americans, an effort to exact retribution on those who committed this senseless act, and how this country will be changed as a result. It directly impacts us all on an international scale as individual architects of the global Internet.

LinuxSecurity Headquarters is located about thirty minutes north of NYC in New Jersey. We are geographically at about the highest elevation in New Jersey. High enough that on the drive into my office this morning, I could clearly see the smoke and fire emanating from the Twin Towers, and as I reached my office, I heard reports of the first building collapse. The normally peaceful and serene skyline view turned surreal.

I think what disturbs me the most is how well-coordinated and distributed it was, and how effective it was in making Americans immediately feel insecure. Perhaps the level of privacy we currently sacrafice, and the civil rights we give up in exchange for protection from others with differing beliefs or malicious motives is not enough. Will it require further sacrafice of our personal rights and freedoms to prevent this in the future, or does it call for a completely different means of protecting our countrymen?

The media reports this is an act of agression on the United States. While it certainly most immediately impacts citizens of the United States, it also affects citizens of every other country almost equally. For a long time to come, regardless of the level of civil liberties we give up to increase the level of protection, will it be possible for fellow peace-loving citizens from other countries to enter our borders without some level of fear and additional scrutiny to be placed upon them by Americans? I believe it displaced our complacency with a hightened level of mistrust and insecurity.

It's possible our ofttimes braindead government will revisit the idea of restricting encryption outside US borders for fear of rebels using the technology against us. Is this a level of privacy we wish to sacrafice in exchange for increased security? If it's later confirmed that encryption played a key role in the plot to destroy the towers, would that be enough of an impetus for you to make the decision? Will the United States government continue to pursue developing touchy-feely technologies like Echelon and Carnivore that were supposed to protect us from such incidents, perhaps needlessly decreasing our level of privacy?

A store I visit frequently was today closed. The store is normally open 24 hours and owned by people not native to the United States. After the attendant ran away from me after my inquiry as to why they were closed as he was locking the front door, I could only surmise that it was for fear of retribution. Certainly not the only possibility, but a probable one considering the nation's unrest.

I believe solidarity, not just amongst fellow Americans, but amongst all those around us, will squelch those fears of civil liberty and privacy violations. You and I, more than any other sector of the world's population, live in a very unifying environment. The person you may be communicating with over the Internet has many of the same abilities and fears as you do. You and I experience limitless borders on a consistent basis. For us to protect this nation requires reciprocal protection from foreign countries.

It is evident that the United States government didn't have the necessary information to prevent this atrocious breach of national security. Is it possible that with better coordination by the attackers' nation of origin this could have been prevented? Should our efforts instead focus on creating better lines of communication between allies to prevent atrocities by foreign terrorists and nations "who harbor them", as Bush states?

Something as commonplace for you and I as sending an email to a pal in a land a world away does not occur between nations. Perhaps it's naive of me, but invite your country to replace "National Security" with "International Security", and I'll do the same. Our strength is in our diversity.

  God Bless America.
Land that I love
Stand beside her, and guide her
Thru the night with a light from above.
From the mountains, to the prairies,
To the oceans, white with foam
God bless America
My home sweet home.
God Bless America,
Land that I love
Stand beside her,
And guide her,
Through the night
With the light from above,
From the mountains,
To the prairies,
To the ocean,
White with foam,
God bless America,
My home sweet home.
God bless America,
My home sweet home.