[LINK] offtopic: Over reaction to perceived terrorist threats

Rick Welykochy rick at praxis.com.au
Fri Nov 16 14:02:54 AEDT 2007


A bit of a diversion on Friday. If you're like me, you are by now sick
and tired of the politics of fear employed by many western gummints, including
this one. In an attempt to establish a climate of ever escalating fear in
an ill-defined "war" that can never and of ever be one, we see ads like
the current one on TV from the Howard gummint urging us to dob in any
"suspicious behaviour". Which seems ludicrous, counter to our culture and
more importantly, a vain effort in controlling terrorism.

As Bruce Schneier points out in his latest CRYPTOGRAM,


in the first article about the war of the unexpected,

    "... the problem is that ordinary citizens don't know what a real
     terrorist threat looks like. They can't tell the difference between
     a bomb and a tape dispenser, electronic name badge, CD player, bat
     detector, or trash sculpture; or the difference between terrorist
     plotters and imams, musicians, or architects. All they know is that
     something makes them uneasy, usually based on fear, media hype,
     or just something being different."

Here is a cracker of a real case that occurred recently: an iPod found
by cabin crew on a flight from Chicago to Ottawa raised the spectre
of "yet another terrorist alert".

The news story is here:


and the detailed blog entry straight from the horse's mouth here:


    "Folks, this is the captain. I don't want to alarm you, but we've
     found a suspicious device in the front lavatory. Now, we think it's
     probably nothing, but in this day and age ... you can never be too
     careful. We'll be landing at Ottawa, where we will await further

This is getting out of hand. An personal MP3 player causing a bomb alert?

Thanks for Schneier for digging this one up.


Rick Welykochy || Praxis Services

Don't worry about the world coming to an end today.
It's already tomorrow in Australia.
      -- Charles Schultz

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