In another life I was an information security tutor. Security is such a fascinating topic, both to teach and learn. I can’t get enough of it, and routinely end up taking part in security decisions at my company, just because it’s a startup, and I can. I have a background in usability and user experience research, and I love trying to solve the problem of the balance between user frustration and protection.
Anyway, I digress. Security theatre is such a problem at the moment, 6.5 years after September 11th. Cory Doctorow from BoingBoing has posted the latest ridiculous element of “security” to be enforced, with some excellent commentary.
Britain’s breaking new ground in the slide into a total surveillance state: as of the end of this month, domestic passengers at the new Heathrow Terminal 5 will be fingerprinted and photographed twice, to “ensure the passenger boarding the aircraft is the same person.”
Well, I suppose that if you’re the kind of lazy suicide bomber who believes in dying for the cause — but not if it means rebooking your ticket or, you know, driving to Stansted or Gatwick or East Midlands or Manchester, this’ll work. And that sounds like a pretty good adversary analysis. We all know how easily dissuaded suicide bombers are.