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January 30, 2008

Bruce Schneier's "security theatre"

From Australia's ITnews.com.au:

Computer security expert Bruce Schneier took a swipe at a number of sacred cows of security including RFID tags, national ID cards and public CCTV security cameras in his keynote address to Linux.conf.au this morning.

These technologies were all examples of security products tailored to provide the perception of security rather than tackling actual security risks, he said.

His main beef is that he feels that public discussion is tainted with commercial and political self-interests (hmmm...sound likes health care) that may obscure the best workable solution.

He does waffle a little bit:

The best security solution will fail if it doesn't cater to both the reality and perceptions to do with security, Schneier warned.

So when you undo your belt buckle and take off your shoes at airport TSA checkpoint, it's partly to make you feel safe?

They're discussing this on Slashdot, where I first saw this story.

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