18 August 2006


As usual, Bruce Schneier is thinking clearly about security.
None of the airplane security measures implemented because of 9/11—no-fly lists, secondary screening, prohibitions against pocket knives and corkscrews—had anything to do with last week's arrests. And they wouldn't have prevented the planned attacks, had the terrorists not been arrested. A national ID card wouldn't have made a difference, either.

Instead, the arrests are a victory for old-fashioned intelligence and investigation.
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.

I wonder if regular folks are starting to catch on, now that proposed “security” measures are becoming absurd.

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