Nov 1, 2007

Schneier on Security

I saw this on Good Morning Silicon Valley, and thought it was a pretty interesting article. Here is a quote from it:

"We've opened up a new front on the war on terror. It's an attack on the unique, the unorthodox, the unexpected; it's a war on different. If you act different, you might find yourself investigated, questioned, and even arrested -- even if you did nothing wrong, and had no intention of doing anything wrong. The problem is a combination of citizen informants and a CYA attitude among police that results in a knee-jerk escalation of reported threats. ...

"The problem is that ordinary citizens don't know what a real terrorist threat looks like. They can't tell the difference between a bomb and a tape dispenser, electronic name badge, CD player, bat detector, or a trash sculpture; or the difference between terrorist plotters and imams, musicians, or architects. All they know is that something makes them uneasy, usually based on fear, media hype, or just something being different. Even worse: after someone reports a 'terrorist threat,' the whole system is biased towards escalation and CYA instead of a more realistic threat assessment. ...

"If you ask amateurs to act as front-line security personnel, you shouldn't be surprised when you get amateur security."

-- Security expert Bruce Schneier

You can read the entire article here. The links work in the actual article...


  1. The article makes a lot of interesting points. But I knew we were in trouble a long time ago, after one of my wacky aunts was hired as an airport screener.

  2. I've been saying this for at least 2 decades: Seseme St. may SAY it's OK to be your own person and walk to a different drummer, but it really AIN'T OK. We want lockstep conformity-- we're easier to control this way.

    Anyone read "1984" lately??

  3. I'm just heading out to buy the Billboard top 30 albums right now, because I like exactly the same stuff as everyone else!

  4. Kirby: You mean to tell me the airport screeners aren't the cream of the crop?

    HL: 1984 seemed so weird back when it came out, and now we are finally living it.

    Pistols: Just rebel dude...