Stupid Security
August 3, 2003 1:13 PM   Subscribe

The intent of is to expose a particularly seamy aspect of modern life -- misguided thrashings labeled "security" and defended -- if at all -- by an appeal to paranoia.  My hope is that by providing a chronicle of really stupid security measures, we can make it more uncomfortable for pointy haired bosses of various types to approve really stupid security measures. [via]
posted by soundofsuburbia (14 comments total)
...and read about Privacy International's Stupid Security competition (now closed) here!
posted by soundofsuburbia at 1:17 PM on August 3, 2003

...and the text in my post is a direct quote from their faq...
posted by soundofsuburbia at 1:21 PM on August 3, 2003

Interseting link, soundofsuburbia.

"Pointy hair" is, of course, the stupidest security idea of them all.
posted by BT at 1:23 PM on August 3, 2003

umm...interesting link, I mean...
posted by BT at 1:24 PM on August 3, 2003

P.I.S.S. competition. Say no more.
posted by Joeforking at 6:03 PM on August 3, 2003

Yes, but they missed the Great Omelet Pan Incident. Still, any site with a picture of J.R. 'Bob' Dobbs as a category icon deserves to be cut some 'slack'...
posted by wendell at 8:04 PM on August 3, 2003

I may never visit that site again...but the honor of being member #100 is worth the trip. I even posted!
posted by m@ at 9:07 PM on August 3, 2003

I had that site in my RSS feed for a while, but finally pulled it out last week. Really, it gets tedious rather quickly. There isn't much insight, just accumulated anecdotes, and the "idiot airport screener scanned my metal coffee cup" stories get old real fast. Bruce Schneier is a master at deconstructing stupid security. Highly recommended.
posted by chipr at 9:23 PM on August 3, 2003

I'm still annoyed every time I have to take my laptop out to go through the x-ray machine. If they really need it pulled out to be able to x-ray it, I have serious doubts about the effectiveness of them x-raying every other bag going through. It does seem a good way for them to creatively separate you from the laptop so it'll disappear when they decide they need to wand your shoes before you pick your stuff up though.
posted by piper28 at 9:26 PM on August 3, 2003

looks kind of hokey.
posted by angry modem at 10:27 PM on August 3, 2003

Though I certainly agree about common sense security measures at airports. I'm really not particularly concerned about another WTC. A large part of the reason that those terrorists got away with hijacking the plane with minimal weaponry was because no one expected them to crash it. I'm sure the prevailing attitude was "do what they say and hope for the best". But they can't pull that gambit again. People will assume worst and future hijackers better have kryptonite and bazookas. Nothing less will keep people obediently in their seats.
posted by RavinDave at 5:07 AM on August 4, 2003

I was on a flight Saturday (Tucson to Dallas) and a passenger told some kids to sit down and put their belts on. The father of the kids then got a guy in an official looking union to criticise the person who´d got the kids under control for not saying "please".

...So it's nice to know that the Air Marshals are useful for something.

The whole trip was a surprise - things seem to have changed a lot over the last year. I'm pretty sure people weren't putting shoes through X-rays a year ago when we went to NY. Since that was after 911, I'm wondering - why the change in emphasis? Is it to make people feel more insecure to support the war? Or am I starting to sound like a conspiracy loony?
posted by andrew cooke at 6:17 AM on August 4, 2003

There seems to be a competition between the words "security" and "safety", as to which can be most abused by people wanting to get their way. I wonder if they are the province of the right wing and the left wing, respectively?
That is, someone once suggested that "monsters" are either "right wing", something evil outside of us meaning to do us harm; or "left wing", something evil within us that can come out to do us harm.

That being said, does "security" sound inherently right wing, the province of those who fear the enemy at the gates, the outsider, the alien?

And also, what about "safety", protecting us from ourselves, or the risks posed to our lives from inanimate, "unsafe" objects?
posted by kablam at 8:08 AM on August 4, 2003

I didn't see the largest, stupidest and most expensive "security" action yet.
There's no mention of invading Iraq to reduce the threat from Al Queda and WMD.
posted by nofundy at 12:07 PM on August 4, 2003

« Older he's got stones   |   KABOOM! Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments