While the first anniversary of 11 September will be marked by moments of silence and readings by the governor of New York, it will also be remembered as a time when world governments moved to restrict privacy, boost surveillance and outline civil liberty issues.
Shortly after the events of that catastrophic day, previous proposals by a large number of countries that responded to the threat of terrorism were reintroduced and new policies were drafted to extend police surveillance powers.
The European Commission considered requiring every European Union member state to make cyber-attacks punishable as a terrorist offence.
Germany reduced authorisation restraints on the interception of communications, while Australia and Canada introduced laws to redefine terrorist activity and grant powers of surveillance to national security agencies if terrorist activity or a terrorist affiliation is suspected.
According to a 393-page report by the Electronic Privacy Information Center (Epic) and Privacy International, it may take some years to fully evaluate the effects of 11 September on privacy and civil liberties.
The report also found that efforts to pass new data protection laws, or to strengthen existing laws, are continuing in eastern Europe, Asia and Latin America.
In Singapore the National Internet Advisory Committee issued a model data protection code for the private sector in February 2002, and specific anti-terrorism measures have been introduced in Australia, Austria, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, India, Singapore, Sweden, the UK and the US, according to the report.
"Getting legislation through a government is not an easy thing to do and most of this happened before the end of 2001," said Sarah Andrews, research director at Epic and author of the report.
Following 11 September there had been an expectation on the part of investors that information security companies would outperform the overall market. But Vista Research analyst Igor Stenmark maintained that this now seems far less likely.
"The information security sector may not see substantial market growth until 2004," he said. "We expect modest results and growth during the rest of 2002 and most of 2003, with a more sustained recovery in 2004."
While disaster recovery specialist SunGard benefited directly, Vista predicted considerable consolidation in the sector over the next year and a half.
Separately, the wide-ranging worldwide economic slowdown as well as the aftermath of 11 September has helped spur the demand for web conferencing technologies, according a recent study.
The survey of more than 500 US companies by independent firm Wainhouse Research found that audio and video conferencing are on the rise.
More than 40 per cent of the respondents said that they are travelling less often, while the number of respondents who had access to audio, web or video conferencing rose from 44.3 per cent before the attacks to 63.9 per cent afterwards.
Andy Nilssen, an analyst at Wainhouse Research, explained that one of the major findings was that in-person meetings dropped from more than 54 per cent to 45 per cent after 11 September.
Nilssen maintained that the survey confirmed what many had expected as a result of travel and security concerns.
Perhaps former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani summed it up best when he wrote in Time magazine: "I haven't changed when I go to Ground Zero. I feel as shocked, angry and resolute as I did a year ago."
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