Security on Planes (was Re: [FoRK] DELL recalling laptops)

Luis Villa < luis at tieguy.org > on > Tue Aug 15 17:49:59 PDT 2006

On 8/15/06, Sat N <sateesh.narahari at gmail.com> wrote:
> I say ban all those damn laptops on the flights....we live in a
> Dell-dangerous world...

Tangentially to the Dell news (which I do admit would make me a bit
nervous about flying with someone with a Dell) Bruce Schneier has been
on a roll of late. If you're interested in security, you should be
reading his blog. In particular this one jumps out:

http://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2006/08/terrorism_secur.html
Money quote:
"It's easy to defend against what the terrorists planned last time,
but it's shortsighted. If we spend billions fielding liquid-analysis
machines in airports and the terrorists use solid explosives, we've
wasted our money. If they target shopping malls, we've wasted our
money. Focusing on tactics simply forces the terrorists to make a
minor modification in their plans. There are too many targets --
stadiums, schools, theaters, churches, the long line of densely packed
people before airport security -- and too many ways to kill people.

Security measures that require us to guess correctly don't work,
because invariably we will guess wrong. It's not security, it's
security theater: measures designed to make us feel safer but not
actually safer.

...

Last week's arrests demonstrate how real security doesn't focus on
possible terrorist tactics, but on the terrorists themselves. It's a
victory for intelligence and investigation, and a dramatic
demonstration of how investments in these areas pay off."

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