Monday, February 28, 2005

Why, the gall. Security-guy-person Bruce Schneier has the nerve to point out that some things might make you feel more secure without in fact making you more secure.

Security systems fail in one of two ways. They can fail to stop the bad guy, and they can mistakenly stop the good guy. The TSA likes to measure its success by looking at the forbidden items they have prevented from being carried onto aircraft, but that's wrong. Every time the TSA takes a pocketknife from an innocent person, that's a security failure. It's a false alarm. The system has prevented access where no prevention was required. This, coupled with the widespread belief that the bad guys will find a way around the system, demonstrates what a colossal waste of money it is.

Let's face it—security issues are all about practicality. They're not about good intentions, or team spirit, or patriotism, or any of the other public-relations nonsense that the administration likes to hammer on like a dinner bell when they need affirmation. And as far as I can tell, the only reason that Bruce hasn't been officially declatred an Enemy of Freedom is that his level-headed views are still flying below the D.C. radar. If he were to start showing up with any frequency on cable networks to make the same points, my guess is he'd be quickly labeled an America-hater.

Schneier is the kind of guy we desperately need to start listening to, while there's still a chance he can help.


Post a Comment

<< Home