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The 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 [1]:

  • 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

Related Pages


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:




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.)