OverviewThe word security covers a wide range of issues:
- home security
- intrusion prevention & detection
- fire prevention & detection
- disaster contingency plans (hurricanes, flooding)
- back-up utility systems (emergency water, electricity, heat, communications)
- personal security
- physical safety (especially anything not covered by "home security")
- identity safety (prevention and detection of unauthorized use of one's personal credentials)
- privacy (prevention and detection of unauthorized distribution of private information)
- "homeland security"
- defense against open attack by known enemies
- defense against terrorism (unexpected attack by unknown enemies)
Some common but mistaken assumptions about security include :
- that there is a basic, zero-sum tradeoff between safety and freedom: we can only augment one by diminishing the other
- that major incidents such as 9/11 only happen because of some kind of "security breakdown" requiring stringent fixes by a protective government
- that only professionals have a role to play in coping with 21st century dangers
War on Liquids
Apparently the reason for the new restrictions on carrying liquids is a foiled terrorist plot which apparently wasn't chemically possible in the first place:
- 2006-12-13 War on moisture: charges dropped in "liquid terror" plane plot: "A judge in Pakistan has decided there is not enough evidence to try the main suspect in a purported terror plot to blow up airlines with liquids. This alleged international conspiracy is the reason you now have to carry less-than-3 oz bottles of mouthwash and shampoo in clear ziplock bags when you fly."
- 2006-08-16 Would a hair-gel bomb actually work? posted by Cory Doctorow
- David Brin:
- 2001 (post-9/11): The value - and empowerment - of common citizens in an age of danger: on citizen empowerment as the best technique for homeland security
- 2005: on Sousveillance as a means of enhancing transparency: "...the most objectionable sections of the Patriot Act were not those portions allowing the FBI to see, or surveil, a little better. (How, in any event, will you prevent it?) Rather, the truly scary parts of that law were those removing oversight, supervision and the power of each well-informed citizen to hold public servants accountable."
- 2007-09-28 Alabama City Reopening Fallout Shelters: "In an age of al-Qaida, sleeper cells and the threat of nuclear terrorism, Huntsville is dusting off its Cold War manual to create the nation's most ambitious fallout-shelter plan, featuring an abandoned mine big enough for 20,000 people to take cover underground." eventually move to US security page
- 2006-11-15 Amateur Videos Are Putting Official Abuse in New Light (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia) Sousveillance at work
videotaping of police
- 2007-06-19 Videotaping Police: "Kelly was charged with a felony, spent 26 hours in jail, and faces up to 10 years in prison. All for merely recording a police officer, a public servant, while he was on the job."
- 2007-06-21 Wiretap charge dropped in police video case: '"When police are audio- and video-recording traffic stops with notice to the subjects, similar actions by citizens, even if done in secret, will not result in criminal charges," Freed said yesterday. "I intend to communicate this decision to all police agencies within the county so that officers on the street are better-prepared to handle a similar situation should it arise again."'
- 2007-06-21 A Crisis in Transparency by David Brin (piece at the beginning of a longer blog entry) comments briefly on the above case
- 2006-12-29 The TSA Follies: "Are you more afraid of airport security procedures than of terrorism? Do you think the Department of Homeland Security is out of their minds? If so, you aren’t alone. Here are three reports from recent air travelers of the lunacy they encountered at the airport security checkpoint."
- 2005-07-20 Federal Judge: Videotaping Police Traffic Stops OK: "A federal court has ruled police cannot arrest a man for peacefully videotaping a traffic stop." (Includes link to PDF of the decision.)