Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Patt Morrison for Thursday, 7/14/2011


Thursday, July 14, 2011

1-3 p.m.





1:00 – 1:20




1:20 – 1:40

Facial profiling: more crime fighting tool or civil liberties threat?

The hand-held facial-recognition device can snap a picture of a face from up to five feet away, or scan a person's irises from up to six inches away, and immediately search for a match in a database of people with criminal records. No, it’s not a scene from the movie “Minority Report” or Facebook’s latest tagging technology, but the product description of a Mobile Offender Recognition and Information System, or MORIS, which can attach to the back of an iPhone.  Until recently, such a device was only found in military operations, but it could soon be coming to a sheriff’s department near you. Law enforcement groups are split on the matter; police in Arizona are eager to use the gadget to identify people who aren't carrying their ID when stopped, while the National Association of Police Organizations is concerned that, because of its close range, iris scanning could be considered a "search." A search requires a warrant, so without one, facial scanning faces a host of civil liberties challenges, not to mention a bunch of significant questions about privacy in public places. It’s generally legal for anyone with a camera to take pictures of people in public space but once a law-enforcement officer stops someone, a different standard applies. Would you submit to facial scanning? And is the technology up to par after years of jumpstarts, like the attempt at Logan airport, where the system couldn’t even detect the images of employees whose photos were in the database?


  • BI2 says it has agreements with about 40 agencies to deliver roughly 1,000 of the devices, which cost $3,000 apiece.




Orin Kerr, a law professor at George Washington University with an expertise in search-and-seizure law


Dr. Gerry Vernon Dozier, chair of the Computer Science Department and director of the Center for Academic Studies in Identity Sciences at the University of North Carolina

CALL HIM @ 336-334-7245
Back-up email is:


Sheriff Lee Baca, Los Angeles County Sheriff



1:40 – 2:00

Paul Farmer, Partners in Health co-founder, on Haiti after the earthquake

Within three days of the January 12, 2010 earthquake that claimed thousands of lives and laid waste to much of Haiti’s infrastructure, Harvard physician Paul Farmer traveled to Haiti and offered his aid to the injured. In the months afterward, he witnessed widespread human suffering and disease, as well as misdirected, ineffective relief efforts by the international community. Farmer’s new book, Haiti After the Quake, recounts his experience of the event’s consequences and how they exacerbated larger societal problems in Haiti that he has identified over 30 years of living there. Join Patt for an illuminating discussion with Dr. Farmer, now the UN Special Deputy Envoy to Haiti, and weigh in with your humanitarian questions and comments.



Paul Farmer is a doctor and professor at Harvard University and Harvard Medical School; a co-founder of Partners in Health (PIH); and the UN Special Deputy Envoy for Haiti; his latest book is Haiti: After the Earthquake



  • His work is the subject of Tracy Kidder's 2003 book Mountains Beyond Mountains: The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, A Man Who Would Cure the World.



2:00 – 2:30



2:30 – 3:00

Making city roads a driver’s nightmare

Inching along surface streets in bumper-to-bumper traffic can be hellish, but imagine driving in a city with structures and regulations specifically designed to torture car users—with large portions of blocked road, fees for traveling in congested areas, popular biking programs authorized to hog car lanes, closely spaced red lights, and reduced parking. Oh, the horror! But many European cities, like Vienna, Paris, Barcelona, London and Stockholm, are taking exactly these measures to meet their Kyoto Protocol emission obligations and make their urban environments more livable for humans. It seems that Americans often change their cities to make them better for their cars—the upcoming 405 closure and toll lanes come to mind—and not necessarily for their inhabitants, as the Europeans do. Some have pointed out that such transportation changes are easier for them than for us, since cars are so deeply entrenched in American culture, and because many European cities have old, narrow avenues that can’t easily handle automobile congestion. But others attribute the “improvements” to strong policy and a conscious shift in European public attitudes. Though New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg “pedestrianized” Times Square, there haven’t been similar large-scale changes yet. Will Americans ever be able to put the environment ahead of their cars? And if so, will we do it differently from the Europeans? Weigh in with your transit questions and comments.



Michael Kodransky, traffic reduction program manager, Institute for Transportation and Development Policy in New York


  • The Institute for Transportation and Development Policy works with cities worldwide to bring about transport solutions that cut greenhouse gas emissions, reduce poverty, and improve the quality of urban life.
  • Cities throughout the world, primarily in developing countries, engage ITDP to provide technical advice on improving their transport systems. ITDP uses its know-how to influence policy and raise awareness globally of the role sustainable transport plays in tackling green house gas emissions, poverty and social inequality.





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