Schneier on excessive concern with security

Sure, people deserve to be safe, but I often have the impression that concern about security is getting pushed a bit too far. Bruce Schneier, who writes about technology and security, entertains me with his informative and wry observations on matters such as cryptography, terrorism, spam, and similar topics. Yesterday, in his blog he posted a batch of items that illustrate how excessively we have become concerned about security. Here’s one

A British man is forced to give up his hobby of photographing busses due to harrassment.

The credit controller, from Gloucester, says he now suffers “appalling” abuse from the authorities and public who doubt his motives.
The bus-spotter, officially known as an omnibologist, said: “Since the 9/11 attacks there has been a crackdown.
“The past two years have absolutely been the worst. I have had the most appalling abuse from the public, drivers and police over-exercising their authority.
Mr McCaffery, who is married, added: “We just want to enjoy our hobby without harassment.
“I can deal with the fact someone might think I’m a terrorist, but when they start saying you’re a paedophile it really hurts.”

Earlier Mr. Schneier posted a link to a Neatorama compilation of the “Top Ten Anti-Terrorism Patents” that I found quite entertaining. Check Mr. Schneier’s post about Random Stupidity in the Name of Terrorism and the part of his newsletter, Crypto-Gram, that pretty thoroughly debunks prohibitions on photographing public sites, then jump over to Neatorama to check the whack anti-terrorism patents.

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Filed under Amusements, Civil rights, Free speech, News, Notes and comments, Peace, Politics, Technology

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