I heard on the news last night that the names of the terrorists who attended flight school in the United States were all on an FBI list of known terrorists (I’m still looking for a cite on this). That, to me, is an amazing communications failure. All day yesterday, I thought about Customer Relationship Management software, which is used by many firms to provide access to all of the relevant information about a customer whenever someone at a business has contact with that customer. This type of software is becoming pervasive in business because without some sort of information aid, it’s impossible for any person to keep track of all of the data that might prove useful when communicating with a specific customer. Doesn’t it seem logical that we would have similar software systems available when security is off the essence? How could we provide a pilot’s license to someone without first checking to make sure that they’re not going to most likely use that license to break the law? How do we let people board airplanes without checking against these sorts of lists? I find it shocking and depressing that these attacks could possibly have been prevented with nothing more than better information technology. We had the information we needed, we just didn’t provide that information to the people who needed it. I had assumed that these pilots would have been people who had perfectly clean records in order to avoid being caught in the system. It’s much more jarring to discover that there just isn’t any system.