Return to Transcripts main page
PAULA ZAHN NOW
Safe at Home?
Aired August 5, 2005 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
HEIDI COLLINS, CNN ANCHOR: Hi, everyone. I'm Heidi Collins. Paula Zahn is off tonight.
What you're about to see in the next hour may calm you or alarm you. Either way, you're certainly in for some surprises.
COLLINS (voice-over): In the struggle to be safe from terror...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The rules of the game have changed.
COLLINS: ... over there and over here, changing rules, changing rights. What would you give up for your safety?
PAUL BURGESS, AMATEUR PHOTOGRAPHER: There's two armed officers standing in front of us telling us that we could be placed in federal detention.
COLLINS: Are you willing to always be monitored?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: National I.D., a central database in the United States of America? Are you crazy?
COLLINS: Tonight, a comforting or disturbing series of reports. What do we gain? What do we lose to be "Safe at Home," a PAULA ZAHN NOW special.
COLLINS: Some people would say we now live in a world of fear, 9/11, the Madrid bombings, the London bombings. They have left us sensitive to just about any threat.
Just look what happened today in Houston. A passenger or an airplane found a note claiming there was a bomb on board and the plane was diverted.
But how far should we go to ensure our security? For the next hour, we're going to look at the state of security in the United States. And, as you'll see, there are two startling realities. There are lot of incredibly high-tech innovations just around the corner. But there's also a whole lot going on now that you never see. And, depending on your point of view, that can be comforting or it can be disturbing.
In England, where three more people were charged just hours ago in connection with last month's failed bombings there, Britons are struggling with the same dilemma. And, today, things changed.
Here senior international correspondent Walter Rodgers.
WALTER RODGERS, CNN SR. INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): They're still burying the dead in Britain, those victims from the July 7 suicide bombings. And, as they were laid to rest, political leaders are signaling they have now learned how to better deal with Islamist practitioners of hatred and violence.
TONY BLAIR, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: If you come to our country from broad, don't meddle in extremism, because if you meddle in it or get engaged in it, you're going to go back out again. Now...
RODGERS: Proposing new tougher laws, Prime Minister Tony Blair said, the rules of the game have changed, even for mosques.
BLAIR: We will consult on a new power to order closure of a place of worship which is used as a center for fomenting extremism, to draw up a list of those not suitable to preach who will be excluded from our country in future.
RODGERS (on camera): Privately, law enforcement officials in Europe have complained that, given the new challenges, existing laws may actually shield would-be terrorists, and there are concerns that some of the proposed new laws may not be tough enough to do the job.
STEVEN PARK, SECURITY EXPERT: We know the mosques are at the moment no-go areas to the police. They're not going to be invited in. How do we know what's going on in mosques? We're asking the Muslim society to, effectively, clean up their back garden.
RODGERS (voice-over): Generating police intelligence about Islamist radicals is daunting, so police rely heavily on other tools, closed-circuit TV cameras, which proved vital in the manhunt for the July 21 bombers. If you work in London and use public transportation, it's estimated you're photographed more than 300 times a day as security checks. Not surprisingly, that piques the interest of some American law enforcement officials.
DON HENNE, KROLL, INC.: I think we see that CCTV cameras are an intricate part of deterring crime and also as an investigative tool. When things occur, then you can look back.
RODGERS: Yet, closed-circuit TV is not infallible.
IAN JOHNSTON, LONDON TRANSPORT POLICE: Undoubtedly, there will be future attacks. I guess it's our job to make them less likely and less effective.
RODGERS: Thursday, the British police put 6,000 police officers on the street, high visibility patrols, as a deterrent. But the advantage still lies with the would-be terrorists.
PARK: We've been such a free society. We've been, for want of a better word, a bit of a tea bag, letting everybody and anybody in.
RODGERS: Some police suggest the politicians still have not learned the lessons of terrorism. The International Association of Chiefs of Police, top cops in America and around the world, issued new guidelines saying officers should shoot a suspected suicide bomber in the head.
That makes a cop, judge, jury and executioner, as when British police mistakenly killed a Brazilian laborer, thinking he was a terrorist. One lesson still unlearned, British borders remain a sieve. One of the alleged July 21 bombers simply boarded a Eurostar train and fled to Europe, unchallenged and undetected.
PETER NEUMANN, SECURITY ANALYST: Why the hell after 7/7 and after the second wave of attacks on the 21st of July, they have not put the resources back into controlling people leaving the country? That's the big questions that the authorities have not answered yet.
RODGERS: So, for the families of the bombing victims, those unanswered questions, as well as the lessons later learned by politicians, remain cold comfort.
COLLINS: Walter Rodgers reporting from London. So, do you feel like you're being watched, being examined more than ever?
After 9/11 and now after the London bombings, it seems we've grown used to police officers with automatic weapons, security cameras everywhere, our bags being searched. So, where is it all headed? Do we need more security to keep us safe or is Big Brother already here?
Take a look at these numbers now from a CNN/"USA Today"/Gallup poll, first, a shocking result. More than half us say Arab-Americans should be singled out for special security checks before getting on airplanes. What that means is, an awful lot of us favor some kind of racial profiling when it comes to security.
Also, close to 80 percent of us want airport-style security, you know the kind, bag searches, metal detectors, for subways, buses and trains. And 81 percent of us favor sending everyone who goes into office buildings through metal detectors. Looks like a lot of support for tighter security.
Here's what we can expect from Tom Foreman.
TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In the four years since the world came to face greater fears, greater forces, greater security, Lisa Kasmer has accepted one thing above all else.
LISA KASMER, HAIRSTYLIST: The world has changed a lot. It's a difference place to live.
FOREMAN: Living and working near Washington, D.C., she watches America's security revolution up close. And she doesn't always like it.
KASMER: I have to worry every time I go anywhere about emptying my pocket and having somebody look at everything that I have and look through my purse.
(on camera): Some people say we just have to put up with this and it's worth it.
KASMER: To some extent, I definitely agree. But, like I said, I think that there is such a thing as too much, as excessive.
FOREMAN: But jump forward five to 15 years and security analysts say most Americans will be in for a lot more. Commuting, count on cameras. Experts say the millions of police and private surveillance cameras already at work will be increasingly watched by computers. So, if you circle a government building too many times, license plate recognition could give police instant pictures and a map of everywhere else you have been, then match that with your driver's license, cell phone, Internet and credit records.
JAMES LEWIS, CENTER FOR STRATEGIC AND INTERNATIONAL STUDIES: There are some really big gaps in our security.
FOREMAN: Jim Lewis is with the Center For Strategic and International Studies.
LEWIS: We're seeing some of these things tested for power plants, where cameras will notice if a car is driving around, if someone appears to be in a vehicle and surveilling the plant.
FOREMAN: At some offices and large public places, biometric systems are already becoming more common, scanning eyes or fingerprints to guard access to buildings and especially computers. Sophisticated I.D. badges designed to thwart counterfeiting are also growing in use at work and at schools. And more contain radio tracking devices to record your location every second, again matching your electronic record with any suspicious activity.
JAMES LEWIS, CENTER FOR STRATEGIC AND INTERNATIONAL STUDIES: The use of sophisticated software to do data mining is already something that the private sector is doing. And it will be natural to look for solutions in antiterrorism there as well.
FOREMAN: The biggest challenge is public transportation because it involves so many people moving so rapidly. Today, security is obvious at most hubs, with police sometimes armed with machine guns making their presence known. Bomb dogs, random bags searches. And experts are promoting more of all of this in the name of future safety.
In a dozen years, they say, when you enter many train stations, subways or airports, you will walk through built-in biohazard, bomb and weapon detectors. Even highly advanced X-rays that look through your clothing may become cost-effective. No wonder, in the rush to security, privacy experts say American laws, written long before such technology, much also be scrutinized. CEDRIC LAURANT, ELECTRONIC PRIVACY INFORMATION CENTER: The problem is that there no privacy framework in place that specifies what's going to happen with that data, for which purpose it could be used.
FOREMAN (on camera): ... electronic data.
LAURANT: Who will get access to it.
FOREMAN: Still, the Security Industry Association says, while, right now, the nation's security infrastructure is like an unfinished building, with bare beams and wires hanging everywhere, over the next decades, it will be completed. And in the process it will largely disappear.
(voice-over): So much so, that they dream of a day when at the airports you will be so thoroughly scanned, identified tracked walking through the building that you'll get right on to your plane.
Lisa Kasmer can't wait, because right now, the endless of talk of terror and security is unsettling.
KASMER: That it definitely makes people more aware.
FOREMAN: And when she turns on the news each evening, though she knows she is safer, she doesn't always feel that way, even safe at home.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The nature of the bombs is critical...
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: All for more surveillance cameras...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And that we're starting to see a pattern here...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Multiple bombings spaced shortly apart...
COLLINS: So, Tom, it's a fascinating look at all of this. But there may be quite a few of these techniques that people haven't heard of or didn't really know about. That doesn't mean, though, does it, that they're new. I mean, some of these methods have been in place for years.
FOREMAN: Yes. What we're talking about mainly is expanding what we have.
There are new technologies. But almost all of these things have been field-tested or in some sort of use. In some cases, they're just not really affordable or practical on a big scale right now. But you know what? All these little cameras that are watching us everywhere -- I mean, heaven knows how many I'm on right now -- all of those weren't affordable 10 years ago. Now they are. Every 7/Eleven has got them. That's what we're looking at, is expansion, expansion, expansion.
And I'm telling you, Heidi, the day's coming when, pretty much, everywhere you go, somebody is going to know you're there. They're going to be watching you. They're going to be tracking you. Whether we can live with that or not, that's a question.
COLLINS: Well, you touched on this a little bit in your story, too. But what does happen to the information that's gathered about you? I mean, how long does that stay on file, so to speak? And is there any talk at this point about hackers?
FOREMAN: There are really kind of no rules for this stuff right now.
A lot of this, yes, it may fall under the purview of any given legal system, DA's office or a police department. And they may have some general rule for these kind of things. But what industry is doing right now, in many ways, is kind of the Wild west. People are out there collecting lots of information, trading a lot of information.
That's why you see these efforts, like in the past few years, of people saying, well, I want to get off this call list, and my phone number and my purchasing information being traded to everybody else, because I think a lot of consumers weren't wholly aware that it was happening.
Well, it's still happening right now. I had a police officer say to me the other day, you know what? He said, I can tell you your short size, if I need to know it.
That was kind of daunting. But that is what is happening with this information. No real rules yet.
COLLINS: Daunting, to say the least.
Tom Foreman from Washington National tonight -- thanks, Tom.
Here's something to watch for all throughout this hour. Some people will look at the security changes and say, I have nothing to hide. This will protect us. But other people are furious.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It seems, as we try to fight terrorism, that that very same Constitution they're supposed to be protecting is under attack.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COLLINS: Is the Constitution really under attack? Or are this country's new laws just common sense? Coming up, what's already in place that you may not know about. And, later, a provocative question: Would you be uncomfortable carrying a national I.D. card?
COLLINS: Still ahead tonight, do you know how much our own government can spy on us? It's more than you think. But is it comforting or an outrage?
And, later, technology that can actually see through your clothes. Is that going too far to fight terrorism?
But, first, it's about quarter past the hour. Time for Erica Hill at Headline News to update the top stories.
ERICA HILL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Heidi. Good to see you.
We actually start with more now. The race is on -- this is a story we've been following all day -- to save the crew of a Russian mini-submarine before they run out of air. A jet carrying U.S. Navy deep-water robots is now on its way from California to the other side of the Pacific. The robots, like the one you see here, are equipped with cameras, lights and robot arms that can cut through cable. What they'll try to do is unsnag a fishing net that has jammed the Russian sub's propeller in 600 feet of water.
Meantime, back in this country, a memorial service for a few good men from Ohio today, in Cleveland, services for 16 Marine reservists who were killed in the war in Iraq. Nine members of an Ohio-based unit died on Wednesday in a roadside bombing, along with five other Marines and an interpreter.
Crude oil prices hit another record high today, above $62 a barrel. Analysts say it's likely gas prices will head even higher. Concerns about energy inflation were one of the factors that pulled the Dow Jones' average down 52 points lower today.
DSL Internet service could cost you more next year. The FCC says it will allow phone services to charge rival services, like EarthLink, anything they want to rent those phone lines. Consumer advocates say the deregulation, though, means fewer choices and higher prices. But the phone companies say -- they say they'll provide you a better value.
And fire crews in Montana struggling to control wildfires worsened by drought and near record-high temperatures. Montana is under a fire state of emergency. There's actually a 90-mile stretch of interstate closed from Missoula to the Idaho border. Not easy.
Heidi, that's the latest from Headline News at this hour. We'll hand it back over to you.
COLLINS: All right, Erica, thanks. We'll check back with you a little bit later on. Meanwhile, did you know the government can detain you for taking a picture of a train?
Coming up, one man found out the hard way.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I said, well, look, that directly contravenes the protections of the First Amendment. And he said, these new laws supersede the First Amendment.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COLLINS: How much power do our anti-terrorism laws give the police and will it reassure you or shock you?
And later, in our special hour, "Safe at Home," how much of your body are you willing to let a stranger see if it might help catch a terrorist?
COLLINS: The challenge of defending America from terrorism is finding the balance between security and maintaining our freedom. So, when you hear the government is well within their right to come into your home without telling you and search through your things, it might make you stop and think.
It turns out there are a lot of surprising powers the federal government has, powers the government says protect us.
Here's justice correspondent Kelli Arena.
KELLI ARENA, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Paul Burgess and Randy Olson are train enthusiasts and amateur photographers. So it's no surprise that one of their favorite pastimes is taking pictures of trains.
BURGESS: That was Hiawatha service from Milwaukee.
ARENA: Which is exactly what they were doing one day about seven months ago on this very platform in suburban Chicago when they were confronted and detained by police. Their car searched and their names and information checked against terrorist databases.
BURGESS: There was a crowd of people standing here staring at us. We're up against a police car. We're not handcuffed. There's two armed officers standing in front of us telling us that we could be placed in federal detention.
ARENA: While it usually doesn't go this far, police officers do have the right to question you and will if you are taking pictures of transportation systems or bridges or other infrastructure. In fact, as CNN was shooting video for this story, our cameraman was stopped and questioned by authorities.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was just trying to find out who you were with.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I told you who we're with.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right, OK.
ARENA: As attacks in both London and Madrid have made obvious, trains and subways attractive targets for terrorists, and terrorists often conduct early surveillance by taking photos.
Burgess and Olson understand that concern, but don't think stopping photographers will help.
RANDY OLSON, AMATEUR PHOTOGRAPHER: Examine the passengers' baggages. Two rail fans taking pictures on a platform, no. Guys getting on, looking suspicious with, you know, oversized suitcases, maybe you should stop and look at them, you know?
ARENA: Photography isn't the only hobby that could result in a confrontation with law enforcement. Ken Kurtis owns a dive shop in Los Angeles. He received a subpoena from the government in 2002 asking for customer information going back three years.
KEN KURTIS, DIVE SHOP OWNER: It was incredibly broad. It was incredibly unfocused, and, from that standpoint, in my opinion, going to be incredibly unproductive.
ARENA: Intelligence at the time suggested terrorists might be planning an underwater attack. And agents have the right to request business records while conducting terrorism investigations.
Kurtis refused to comply with the subpoena and filed suit. And officials voluntarily backed off. But many other dive businesses did provide information, deciding security trumped their customers' privacy.
Most Americans are intimately aware of post-9/11 restrictions when they travel on airplanes, for example, taking off your shoes, going through metal detectors, showing your I.D. But most are probably not as familiar with new aggressive laws and practices that law enforcement and the federal government are now using in the war on terror.
Did you know, for example, that someone accused of plotting a terrorist attack can be held indefinitely if the president says so? The president, as commander in chief, can detain people allegedly fighting for the enemy.
(on camera): Jose Padilla got off a plane here, at Chicago's O'Hare Airport. His feet barely touched the ground before he was taken into custody, the attorney general alleging that he was involved in a plot to set off a dirty bomb in the United States. But Padilla was never charged. Instead, he was declared an enemy combatant and has been in military custody for more than three years. Padilla is a U.S. citizen.
(voice-over): Most enemy combatants are held overseas and are not U.S. citizens. The government argues Padilla's capture in the United States and subsequent detention are legal because al Qaeda made the U.S. a battlefield when it attacked New York and Washington on 9/11. Padilla's lawyers filed suit, arguing the government should charge him and present its evidence in a court of law.
DONNA NEWMAN, ATTORNEY FOR JOSE PADILLA: What the government has done is not only tried Mr. Padilla in the media before the public, they have charged him and been the jury. How convenient, except that it is such a violation of our Constitution that it is egregious.
ARENA: The FBI's new mandate to prevent terror attacks has raised other constitutional questions.
Did you know, for example, that your home could be search without you ever knowing if the government thinks you are a national security risk? Well, federal agents thought Brandon Mayfield was. Armed with a court order, they took 10 DNA samples, 335 digital photographs, searched his computer hard drives and wiretapped his home.
Mayfield had no idea until almost a year later. At the time, authorities thought Mayfield's fingerprints matched those found near the scene of the Madrid bombings last year, a good enough reason for a judge to sanction the government's actions. Later, the FBI admitted the prints did not match. And Mayfield is now suing.
GERRY SPENCE, BRANDON MAYFIELD'S ATTORNEY: You don't want to have people walking into your house and violating your Fourth Amendment rights against unreasonable searches. That's what it's about.
ARENA: Did you know that FBI agents have the authority to not only enter your home, but can enter your church, synagogue, mosque, or political meeting to gather information? Well, they can. Because, John Ashcroft relaxed FBI guidelines after 9/11. But many agents say they won't, without a good reason.
KEVIN PERKINS, BALTIMORE FBI OFFICE DIR: I think what the public needs to know that any type of investigative technique along those lines, there is significant oversight by either -- by a judicial body, perhaps by Congress, perhaps by the inspector general's office.
ARENA: Kevin Perkins runs the FBI's Baltimore Field Office. With a major port and its proximity to the nation's capital, he says he doesn't have the resources or the desire to spy on law-abiding citizens.
PERKINS: We have to have a real specific reason why we do things we do.
ARENA: Case in point, under the Patriot Act, the government has the power, with a court order, to demand a library hand over a list of books you've borrowed, or Web sites you visited on computers there. Well, so far, it's a power officials say they have not used. Just as the public is getting used to the new powers, Congress is considering even more changes such as giving the FBI the ability to get records from hotels, schools and other businesses in terror investigations without even going before a judge and broader authority to examine the outside of letters or packages mailed to people connected to terror investigations. It's all supposed to make us safer.
PERKINS: I have to know that stopping a terrorist attack is my number one goal. But at the same time, protecting people and their civil rights is very important to me.
ARENA: Still, some, like photographer Paul Burgess are concerned about what the future may hold.
BURGESS: It's the old argument of the slippery slope. And I know people tend to laugh things off, and say, well, that can never happen. But you know, if you look at the history of police states, most of them are incrementalists.
ARENA: Burgess says ultimately Americans have to speak up like he did if they think the government is going too far.
COLLINS: That was Kelli Arena tonight.
So, do you think the government is going too far? According to a CNN-"USA Today"-Gallup poll, a lot of you do. When we asked if the government should be allowed to indefinitely hold U.S. citizens suspected of terrorism, three-quarters of you said no. But that's exactly what's happened to an American citizen, suspected dirty bomber Jose Padilla.
When we asked if it should be easier for authorities to read your mail or tap your phone without your knowledge, almost three-quarters of you said no to that, too. And should the government be able to find out what books you check out from the library? Sixty percent oppose that, but it's a power that law enforcement already has.
Coming up our special hour, "Safe at Home," have you been on TV lately?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BILL BROWN, SURVEILLANCE CAMERA PLAYERS: I believe democracy is threatened by these cameras. They are installed secretively. They operate secretively.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COLLINS: Next, the explosion of security cameras. Do we need them all? Do we need more? And who's watching?
Also, when you hear someone say, "Don't leave home without it," could they be talking about a national identity card? You might be surprised at who thinks they're a good idea.
COLLINS: Since 9/11, the sight of extra police at airports and subways has become routine. But that's the least of it. There's much more going on that you never really see, more sophisticated and secret security steps.
Here's Jeanne Meserve.
JEANNE MESERVE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The medium truly is the message. As a New York City subway surveillance camera captures an anti-surveillance protest action, an adaptation of George Orwell's "1984."
BILL BROWN, SURVEILLANCE CAMERA PLAYERS: It was a way of bracingly asking people, "We should stop and think about what kind of society do we live in and what sort of society do we want to live in?" The first one is directly above us.
MESERVE: Bill Brown also gives guided tours of New York's surveillance cameras which he has carefully mapped.
BROWN: I would say that, in Manhattan alone, there are probably 15,000.
MESERVE: With high-powered binoculars, Brown demonstrates how much some cameras can see and talks about what they do.
BROWN: The problem is, is that they're not just looking at people who are ringing their bell. They could also be looking at anybody and everybody who's walking up and down the street.
MESERVE: Brown believes the cameras are ineffective security tools that put our rights and our governmental system at risk.
BROWN: I believe democracy is threatened by these cameras. They are installed secretively, they operate secretively, and that secrecy is the antithesis of democracy.
MESERVE: But the London bombings have triggered calls for more cameras and smarter cameras that can help stop crimes, not just help investigations.
(on-screen): Proponents say some of these new technologies make security less intrusive, not more so.
(voice-over): On Madrid's train system, bombed by terrorists last year, a system is deployed that marries cameras with software that can be programmed to catch people going where they shouldn't go and doing what they shouldn't do.
ALAN LIPTON, OBJECT VIDEO: People leaving bags behind, maybe on a railway platform, or a railway carriage, or in an airport, people stealing objects, vandalizing things.
MESERVE: Another system pairs cameras with facial-recognition technology. In a demonstration, my picture is added to a watch list. When I join a simulated airport ticket line, I am picked out before I can pose a threat.
JOEL SHAW, CRYPTOMETRICS INC.: It's proactive. It doesn't rely on post-event analysis. It's trying to anticipate. It's trying to get ahead of that.
MESERVE: Authorities are searching, of course, not just for dangerous people, but dangerous objects. Metal detectors can't find plastic explosives or some types of weapons and ammunition.
But an x-ray technology called "Back Scatter" can see inside vehicles and under clothes. As you can see, this is a very candid camera, though the manufacturer says the person operating the equipment sees a less revealing picture.
ROBERT POSTLE, AMER. SCI. AND ENGINEERING, INC.: And what you'll see is very much an outline of the person's image with no detail of anatomy whatsoever, but the threat image is superimposed on that outline. So in my view, the privacy issue has been completely taken care of.
MESERVE: The body is very indistinct when another system is used. Millimeter-wave technology, adapted from space telescopes, can be programmed to differentiate between the human body and objects like the .357 magnum tucked in my waistband.
BRIAN ANDREWS, BRIJOT IMAGING SYSTEMS, INC.: We don't physically have to search you. We don't have to touch you or do anything. We don't racial profile.
MESERVE: A Fortune 500 retailer has just bought a millimeter- wave system to screen large numbers of people quickly, calling it a big boon to security.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's fast. It's quick. It's a minimal amount of manpower and staffing for it.
MESERVE: But all of these technologies have limitations. With a hat and glasses, I stumped the facial recognition program. Software programmed to recognize anticipated threats and scenarios won't recognize new innovations. Neither "Back Scatter" nor millimeter-wave can see through flesh to detect something hidden under an arm or in a body cavity.
POSTLE: There is no one solution that solves every problem. And therefore, the more different interdictions and interrogations you can provide, the better your security is.
MESERVE: The prospect of more surveillance and interlocking systems puts privacy experts on edge. They worry about whether information and some of those intimate images will be recorded, archived, searched and shared. A. MICHAEL FROOMKIN, UNIVERSITY OF MIAMI LAW SCHOOL: Are those tapes ever going to leak? How secure are they going to be? Are they going to be encrypted? Who is going to have access to the tapes? Are they going to be passing them around for office parties?
MESERVE: Some of these technologies, like the "Back Scatter" van, can be used covertly.
POSTLE: If you were to see it on the street, you probably wouldn't think any differently of it than any other van on the street. And many of the government agencies use it in that capacity.
MESERVE: That means our belongings can be searched, our bodies stripped, without our ever being aware. Privacy advocates say current law is inadequate and needs to keep pace with the technology. But some Americans are perfectly willing to sacrifice some privacy for more security and convenience.
To participate in a trusted traveler program and bypass long security lines, Robert Brown is having his iris scanned, his fingerprints taken, and will undergo a government background check.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I have nothing to hide. I have nothing to hide.
MESERVE: But there are tradeoffs between security and privacy.
POSTLE: The more you want to give to the privacy side of the ledger, the more you're likely to miss a threat. So there's a balance. There's a very difficult balance.
MESERVE: But are we striking that balance, or are we at risk of creating a society where we are safe but sorry?
COLLINS: So, Jeanne, the gentleman toward the end of your piece that was using the trusted traveler program, he says he has nothing to hide. Many people may feel the same way. What does the future look like for those of who say, "You know, I really don't care. I don't have anything to hide"?
MESERVE: Well, the Department of Homeland Security is very much interested in those trusted traveler type of programs that will make it easier and faster for some people to fly.
But you do have to get the government information. And what the critics say is, we're worried about how that information is going to be used, if it might be shared, if it might be merged with other information.
They say, you know, the point of the Founding Fathers was that the government should have as little to do with us as possible. This, potentially, could take us in the other direction. But the future seems to be those programs are going to move forward.
COLLINS: Jeanne Meserve, thank you.
MESERVE: You bet.
COLLINS: Would you carry something that critics say could completely violate your privacy? What if you've got nothing to hide and it could also make you safer?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TOM RIDGE, FORMER U.S. HOMELAND SECURITY SECRETARY: If we can come up with a system that would protect privacy rights but also significantly enhance security...
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COLLINS: Coming up on our special, "Safe at Home," an exclusive interview with former Homeland Security Director Tom Ridge. Why does he think national ID cards are a good idea.
COLLINS: It's about quarter till the hour. And time for another update of the top stories. Here's Erica Hill of Headline News.
HILL: Thanks, Heidi.
In Hiroshima, Japan, a solemn remembrance. Thousands gathered at Hiroshima's Peace Memorial to remember the 140,000 victims of the first U.S. atomic bombing exactly 60 years ago. A second bomb three days later in Nagasaki would kill 80,000 more, bringing an end to the war with Japan.
The U.S. is hoping Iran will accept an offer to limit its nuclear program to energy only, no weapons. Britain, France and Germany offered incentives if Iran agrees. The Iranians say they are considering it.
It was packing up day aboard space shuttle Discovery, after two spacewalks and successful repairs to the International Space Station and the shuttle itself. The first mission since 2003 is scheduled to end early Monday at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
And Hunter Kelly died today. He was the son of football hall-of- famer, Buffalo Bills quarterback Jim Kelly. Kelly called Hunter his inspiration to establish a foundation to help other children with nervous system disorders. Hunter Kelly was just 8 years old.
And now, as CNN looks back on its first 25 years, Larry Smith takes a look back in sports.
LARRY SMITH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The top sports characters of CNN's first 25 years. We asked the editors at "Sports Illustrated" magazine to come up with a list. Packing a punch at number five, George Forman is the former heavyweight champion who was the king of pitchmen. At number four, Dennis Rodman may be the bad boy of basketball, but the bold rebounder of the NBA is anything but boring.
MAUREEN CAVANAGH, DEPUTY PICTURE EDITOR, "S.I.": He's like this cross-dressing, you know, tattooed, pierced, rainbow-haired guy.
SMITH: At number three, on the court, he was Magic. Off the court, Earvin Johnson is pure inspiration, as he lives with HIV.
ROY JOHNSON, ASST. MANAGING EDITOR, "S.I.": Magic brought AIDS out of the closet and put it on the kitchen table.
SMITH: At number two, tennis great John McEnroe was as well- known for his volley as his volatile temper. Stay tuned, as we count down to number one.
HILL: And, Heidi, that is the latest from "Headline News." We'll hand it back over to you in New York. Have a great weekend.
COLLINS: All right, Erica, thank you.
And join CNN on Sunday at 8:00 p.m. Eastern for all top 25 sports characters, when we'll reveal number one.
So what's in your pocket or purse that could make you safer and at the same time make it easier for the government to check up on you?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JIM HARPER, PRIVACILLA.ORG: The dominant use of national identification will be surveillance of ordinary, law-abiding citizens.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COLLINS: If you're done nothing wrong, does that bother you? Next, the pros and cons of national ID cards. And are they closer than you think?
COLLINS: How would you feel if police were allowed to stop people at random and ask for ID? That's what we wanted to find out in a CNN-"USA Today"-Gallup poll. About 50 percent of you are in favor of that. And how about a national ID card? Well, there's at least one influential man who supports that idea.
Here's special correspondent Frank Sesno now.
FRANK SESNO, CNN SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In Hollywood's black-and-world of wartime "Casablanca," not having the right papers could cost you your life. In real world America, it's nowhere near that bad.
But just a few years ago, when Nevada rancher Dudley Hiibel repeatedly refused to give his name and ID to a local sheriff's deputy, he was handcuffed and arrested. Hiibel argued his right to refuse ID all the way to the Supreme Court.
DUDLEY HIIBEL, CHALLENGED ID LAW IN SUPREME COURT: This isn't just about me; this is about all Americans.
SESNO: He lost. The court ruled that because the cops had reasonable suspicion that Hiibel was abusing a passenger in his truck they had ever right to demand ID The American Civil Liberties Union called the ruling a step on the road to a police state.
But in a war on terror, ID is now standard fare at airports, federal buildings, and increasingly at the office.
(on-screen): So what's the most common form of identification in the United States? What do I already share with 200 million other people? It's this, my driver's license.
It's my permit to drive, but it's a lot more.
(voice-over): Name, height, date of birth, my address -- which I'm not going to let you see here -- all courtesy of the commonwealth of Virginia. But each state does licensing in its own way. So brace yourself for a brave new world.
A brand new law, the Real ID Act, creates standards for driver's licenses, making them harder to get, harder to forge, more high-tech, linking databases. Non-citizens will have to prove they're here legally, a first step toward a national ID? Yes, says none other than the former head of Homeland Security, who believes it's about time.
TOM RIDGE, FORMER U.S. HOMELAND SECURITY SECRETARY: A standard form that basically says, "Frank Sesno is Frank Sesno, Tom Ridge is Tom Ridge, gives anybody involved with combating terrorism a base of information about people who are legitimately here.
SESNO: Knowing he's stirring a hornet's nest, Ridge favors a national ID system.
RIDGE: Look, there are so many people going down so many paths, is it not in the national interest that we come up with a standard form?
SESNO: Jim Harper is a privacy advocate who vehemently disagrees. He's with the libertarian CATO Institute and runs a Web site called Privacilla.org.
JIM HARPER, PRIVACILLA.ORG: The dominant use of national identification will be surveillance of ordinary, law-abiding citizens.
SESNO: But the systems are being built. We visited a company, Visage, that's working with DMVs in more than a dozen states. KENNETH SCHEFLEN, SENIOR VP, VISAGE: The biggest problem and the hardest one to solve technically is knowing who the person is in the first place. Are they really who they purport to be?
SESNO: Authenticating documents is the first step, so they looked at mine as if I were an applicant. My passport takes just a nanosecond to get a greet light. My license...
KEVIN MCKENNA, DIRECTOR, VISAGE: We look for certain visible patterns on that driver's license.
SESNO: ... security features, some exposed only by infrared light. Yes, the documents are real. But am I really who I say I am?
(on-screen): I failed.
MCKENNA: You failed on biometrics.
SESNO (voice-over): Now I've got a problem. Because of the poor quality of my passport and driver's license photos, the machine can't verify I am who I claim to be. A DMV employee will have to look more closely.
But can any of this stop the bad guys? Say I'm a terrorists. I want to change my face, warts and all, because I know the authorities have my original photo on file. What happens now?
My scruffy self, scanned against 50,000 others in this sample database. The computer sees right through the new me and zeros in on a likely match.
MCKENNA: Those are under different names, but it sure looks like the same guy.
SESNO (on-screen): So what's going on here that makes this computer say, "Aha, these are the same guys?"
MCKENNA: Well, what we're actually doing is we're taking a flexible grid, placing it over the face, and it's comparing over 1,700 different feature points on your face.
SESNO (voice-over): The technology is imperfect, but improving. Already, Illinois is using it, every day scanning new applicants against the pictures of 18 million license holders. Critics say terrorists will still do whatever it takes.
HARPER: The terrorists will use fraud to acquire cards. They will corrupt DMV employees. They will use forgery to create cards.
SESNO: But it's an important layer of security, insists Tom Ridge, that, with oversight and limits on access on use, can make us safer.
(on-screen): You know what people are going to say. "There goes Tom Ridge. What's wrong with Tom Ridge? A national ID, a central database in the United States of America? Are you crazy?"
RIDGE: It doesn't have to be a central database. But it does have to be a standard form of identification. I'm optimistic enough and confident enough that we can come up with a system that would privacy rights, but also significantly enhance security.
SESNO (voice-over): Would it present another 9/11? Those hijackers all managed to get valid driver's licenses or state-issued IDs. Would it have stopped Timothy McVeigh? He had a license long before he bombed Oklahoma City. Would a national ID have stopped the London bombers? Apparently, they were all legal residents.
RIDGE: It should not be viewed as the beat-all, and end-all, and the answer to every security problem that we have. It should be viewed as one of a series of steps, particularly in a post-9/11 world, that has, I think, definite security benefits but also other benefits to the 21st century world in which we live in.
SESNO: A dangerous digital world where we have to decide how we balance security and privacy when there are no guarantees.
COLLINS: That was Frank Sesno.
Our CNN-"USA Today"-Gallup poll also shows that about two-thirds of you favor the idea of all Americans carrying a national ID card.
We'll wrap up our hour on safety and security in just a minute. Are you safe at home? What would make you feel safer? Stay with us.
COLLINS: It has been almost four years since September 11, 2001. Our country has changed drastically. How effective are the new laws, new procedures and new technology we've looked at this hour? Well, perhaps, we'll never know how many plots have been foiled or how many would-be terrorists have been deterred.
But we do know this: In nearly four years, there has been no major terrorist attack inside the United States. It's something to think about the next time you're waiting in a security line or enjoying the end of another work week, safe at home.
I'm Heidi Collins. I'll see you a little bit later on tonight on "NEWSNIGHT." "LARRY KING LIVE" starts right now.
TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.fdch.com