Movie plot threats
April 8, 2006 12:00 PM   Subscribe

Security expert (and personal hero) Bruce Schneier on the subject of movie plot threats : Sometimes it seems like the people in charge of homeland security spend too much time watching action movies. They defend against specific movie plots instead of against the broad threats of terrorism.

This month, Schneier announces a contest for readers of his blog and newsletter - submit the most unlikely, yet still plausible, terrorist attack scenarios you can come up with.

From the announcement : "The prize will be an autographed copy of Beyond Fear. And if I can swing it, a phone call with a real live movie producer."
posted by Afroblanco (31 comments total)
 
The responses on his blog range from the silly (SoaP!) to the frighteningly plausible (attacking the power grid, cause mass rioting)
posted by Afroblanco at 12:01 PM on April 8, 2006


(oops, kinda screwed up the second link. It goes to the comments section where it should go to the top of the entry. Admins please hope me?)
posted by Afroblanco at 12:03 PM on April 8, 2006


Snakes on a ... oh, never mind.
posted by murphy slaw at 12:18 PM on April 8, 2006


Refreshing in this age of seemingly unguided scare mongering to read an independent thinker on this subject.

It seems he wants to hold this contest to generate a broad range of possible attacks.

I recall a frightening list of possible attacks that had been assembled by enlistening Hollywood screenwriters.
Anybody has a link to that?
posted by jouke at 12:23 PM on April 8, 2006


\ | /
\___/
/ --( )--
\___/
/ / | \ _____
/~ s / ___
{/~ ~ / / |
/s~ ~ / /SoaP|
{/ s s / /___ |
...------------------------------- \__| |
_ / [~] O O O O O O O O O O O O O |
/ The Motherfuckin’ Plane / ___ ___
(_________________\~ s ~\__________________/ _( ^ )( )
_\ s s \ _( ^ )( ^ )
{__\~ ~~ \ (_____________)
_\ s~s {__\ ~ \_____\ ___ ___
___ ___ _( ^ )( )
_( ^ )( ) _( ^ )( ^ )
_( ^ )( ^ ) (_____________)
(_____________)
posted by matteo at 12:29 PM on April 8, 2006 [1 favorite]


it mothrfuckin' worked in preview
posted by matteo at 12:29 PM on April 8, 2006


matteo: don't worry, it sort of works if you view source.
posted by rkent at 12:33 PM on April 8, 2006


Dilettantes. Make no little plans, people.
posted by IshmaelGraves at 12:39 PM on April 8, 2006


Matteo you need to get out some. You spend way too much time furthering internets memes for way too littles returns.
posted by filchyboy at 12:46 PM on April 8, 2006


Okay I stand corrected. You just taking code form others, cool.
posted by filchyboy at 12:47 PM on April 8, 2006


Bruce Scheier comes up with a lot of insightful stuff. This idea that if there are enough action movie scripts, contributed by eager contestants, that fall into the hands of the officals in charge of security, who then comprehensively build the related protections could be some help.
Maybe an effort in combination with this would be to have a contest to determine how one could best sap the motivation of the bad guys.
posted by impuls at 12:48 PM on April 8, 2006


Entertaining, but I can't read it all. I'll have to hire somebody to read it for me, then sum it up in a few short paragraphs and rate it on a scale of 1 to 10. Do they have a name for that sort of thing?
posted by fungible at 12:50 PM on April 8, 2006


Matteo, I think you meant:
\  |  /

    \___/
    /    --(     )--
    \___/
   /       /   |   \             _____
                       /~ s  /            ___
                     {/~ ~  /            /   |

                     /s~ ~ /            /SoaP|
                   {/ s s /            /___  |
     ...------------------------------- \__| |
  _ / [~]    O O O O O O O O O O O O O       |
 /            The Motherfuckin’ Plane       /   ___  ___

(_________________\~ s ~\__________________/  _( ^ )(   )  
                  _\ s s \                  _( ^  )(  ^  )
                 {__\~ ~~ \                (_____________)
                    _\ s~s                    {__\  ~                         \_____\   ___  ___
     ___  ___                  _( ^ )(   )  

   _( ^ )(   )               _( ^  )(  ^  )
 _( ^  )(  ^  )             (_____________)
posted by Bugbread at 12:56 PM on April 8, 2006


But there's already a list like that.
posted by TedW at 12:56 PM on April 8, 2006


Pretty badass. Lucky as hell, but badass.

Of course, he's also a Bad Man.
posted by Drexen at 12:58 PM on April 8, 2006


Er...more or less...
posted by Bugbread at 12:58 PM on April 8, 2006


Duhhh. Wrong thread. Please hit me with that sweet deletion hammer.
posted by Drexen at 12:59 PM on April 8, 2006


Mateo, yours looks like some guy fishing off a Motherfucking dock, with snakes in the water.
posted by Balisong at 1:08 PM on April 8, 2006


So when are flashmobs going to become a felony?
posted by VulcanMike at 1:11 PM on April 8, 2006


Cripple commerce by inventing a communty weblog that has so many fascinating posts that thousands of members spend their work day reading instead of...oh, wait...
posted by Cranberry at 1:35 PM on April 8, 2006


*teach community spelling*
posted by Cranberry at 1:36 PM on April 8, 2006


I just wanted to say that Schneier's "Movie Plot Threats" essay is a hell of a piece of writing. Some of the most crystal-clear, logical thinking I've seen on the subject. And so convincing that its correctness now seems obvious to me.
posted by mr_roboto at 2:03 PM on April 8, 2006


They defend against specific movie plots instead of against the broad threats of terrorism.

Yes, that's true, but American's respond very well to movie plots like that, so it's a very good way to keep the populace distracted while skimming off hundreds of millions from the public coffers into programs that financially benefit your buddies.

For one thing.
posted by Relay at 2:35 PM on April 8, 2006


Relay : "They defend against specific movie plots instead of against the broad threats of terrorism.

Yes, that's true, but American's respond very well to movie plots like that"


Article: "One problem is that our nation's leaders are giving us what we want."

I think you're using the word "but" incorrectly.
posted by Bugbread at 2:40 PM on April 8, 2006


But wait a minute: wasn't the "hijack plane and crash into World Trade Center" scenario used in movies and TV before it was used in real life? (I recall the pilot for Chris Carter's "The Lone Gunmen"...)
posted by wendell at 2:57 PM on April 8, 2006


This is a good idea, to brainstorm about disaster like this.

I'm still waiting for an attack at a big, high-profile shopping mall. The one I'm thinking of is just north of NYC: close enough to NYC media to fell like an "NYC event," but "real America-enough" in its nature to have middle-America impact. That it hasn't happened yet is the one thing that makes me think that the terrorism threat is a bit exagerrated.
posted by ParisParamus at 3:02 PM on April 8, 2006


("waiting" = expecting; /= looking forward to)
posted by ParisParamus at 4:11 PM on April 8, 2006


Nuke Disney World.
posted by slimepuppy at 4:24 PM on April 8, 2006


slimepuppy : "Nuke Disney World."

...it's the only way to be sure.
posted by Bugbread at 4:37 PM on April 8, 2006


They defend against specific movie plots instead of against the broad threats of terrorism.

I always thought that conceptually speaking the foreign policy disasters began when "Mission Impossible" proliferated into a meme.
posted by semmi at 5:09 PM on April 8, 2006


I really, really like Bruce Schneir.

It's refreshing to see somebody write so clearly about why so many security procedures are nothing more than expensive placebos.
posted by I Love Tacos at 9:38 AM on April 9, 2006


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