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Mon, Aug. 14th, 2006, 10:13 am

Flogging a dead horse a little here I suppose but here are a couple of interesting links about the current nonsense situation.

UK security authorities say there wasn't really any risk to passengers, they were well on top of the terrists.

Security Aviation expert Michael Boyd outlines some of the reasons why the new measures are worthless. (link to a video)

Bruce Schneier, (who olethros got me reading last week) is now less than positive about the new measures and outlines some excellent reasons why there're worthless. This is in sharp contrast to the opinions he outlined last week.

I sort of figured all these things were the case but it is comforting to see that people smarter than I also hold those opinions.
(Deleted comment)

Mon, Aug. 14th, 2006 11:16 am (UTC)

True, however he based his original point on how little *WE* knew of the plot. The "security" measures were put in place with the aviation authority's full knowledge of how the plot was going to play out, therefore if they're stupid and pointless now, they were stupid and pointless last week.
So I suppose in fairness, he hasn't done a U turn, he just wasn't in possession of the facts last week and was erring on the side of caution... which I suppose is the computer security thing to do.. never mind :)

I like how he thinks alright, I see it more as applying his experience of human nature than computer security but it is only a slight difference and one that means I get a lot more out of it.

Mon, Aug. 14th, 2006 11:30 am (UTC)

Security Aviation expert Michael Boyd outlines some of the reasons why the new measures are worthless.

Like most consultants Boyd is big on criticism and small on alternatives. I've got no argument with him regarding his analysis of the state of international security, or the ineffectual Homeland Secutity department, when asked what he would do his answers were:

"accountability" - well that's true, but who and how? The when doesn't really matter because major changes like that aren't going to happen today or tomorrow. Sure the process needs to start, but that makes no difference today or tomorrow or any day up until the changes have been made.

"an anticipative plan to respond to terrorist's specific plans" - he reckons that this is not rocket science. Make a plan to combat one thing and they just do something else. He VASTLY oversimplifies this whole subject with a sweeping, nonspecific statement, and once again, what do we do today, tomorrow or the next day whilst these "simple" measures are put in place??

"put security professionals in charge" - Oh really? What, you mean perhaps The Boyd Group? Hmm...well yes, that would make sense for the president of that particular company.

Look, we're in vested interest land here again, and we're in the news media who're clammering for a bit of controversy and government criticism to spice up what's rapidly becoming a cold story.

These same consultants you see rolled out for the cameras are ALREADY the same people designing the security measures employed internationally anyway. They make vast sums of money designing systems that already don't work, then get the chance to make even more money redesigning systems when the governments decide on knee-jerk upgrades after each major international security "surpise" (that's when something unexpected happens that the consultants hadn't taken into account of in their original design). Oddly enough you never see the consultant getting the blame when these things fail to work...maybe that's because there's more accountability required...

Mon, Aug. 14th, 2006 11:47 am (UTC)

Fair enough, he's short on alternatives but I'd counter that the people responsible for putting the measures in place are rather short on *real* steps to take in the first place.
Sometimes there simply isn't a concrete alternative to a bad idea.