I’ve been waiting for Bruce Schneier to weigh in on the situation in Boston, which I would have to sum up as Security Theater of the Absurd. Schneier calls it the Non-Terrorist Embarrassment in Boston:
Now the police look stupid, but they’re trying really not hard not to act humiliated:
Governor Deval Patrick told the Associated Press: “It’s a hoax — and it’s not funny.”
Unfortunately, it is funny. What isn’t funny is now the Boston government is trying to prosecute the artist and the network
instead of owning up to their own stupidity. The police now claim that
they were “hoax” explosive devices. I don’t think you can claim they
are hoax explosive devices unless they were intended to look like
explosive devices, which merely a cursory look at any of them shows that they weren’t.
But it’s much easier to blame others than to admit that you were wrong.
After a few more embarrassing quotes from local officials, he continues:
These blinking signs have been up for weeks in ten cities — Boston,
New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Atlanta, Seattle, Portland, Austin, San
Francisco, and Philadelphia — and no one else has managed to panic so
completely. Refuse to be terrorized, people!
Now, unless your nerdly credentials are up to date, you probably don’t even know who Bruce Schneier is. But when you read his web site and his books, it’s clear he knows more about real security and pretend security than any ten blowhard big-city mayor’s you’d care to name.
A lot of time, money and lives have been wasted on useless security measures over the last five years or so. I for one don’t feel any safer now than I did on Sept. 12 2001. I get the idea there are other people who feel the same way. Bruce Schneier is the only one I know of who can clearly explain why that unacceptably distressing state of affairs exists.
Naturally, nobody anywhere inside the Bush administration seems to be paying the least bit of attention to him.