Schneier on Security
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October 21, 2005
Security Awareness Posters
Weird and amusing tour of U.S. government security awareness posters.
Posted on October 21, 2005 at 2:54 PM
• 16 Comments
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Davi: During WW2 vegitable waste and animal fat was used to produce nitroglycerin for bombs (by reacting with caustic soda). Makes a little more sense in that context.
Yeah, I figured as much but I was a little surprised to see a poster that seems to say, "pour your fat out at the meat dealer and explosives will be fired at you". Maybe I just don't like the image of all those bombs headed right at me...
It made me think, though. I'd like to see a poster produced today that says "save your fat for refineries -- biodiesel helps create jobs and reduce dependence on foreign oil".
Posters do a poor job of communicating anything. Reducing something meaningful to a slogan, then posting the slogan with a picture -- be it cutesy, dramatic, comic, or puzzling -- is a distraction that offends those tricked into looking at them.
It is an easy and useful skill to learn to ignore all posters and never notice their content. It's a lot like ignoring animated ads on browsers.
The lackland links (and most of the other mil links from the page) are dead from my browser. Do they still work from USA IPs? Maybe Fortress America has been locked down to protect it from...Australia. haha
Did you try the google cache?
These have been around for a long time and will be around even longer. Think about the fun someone could have working with Photoshop and creating some of these weird ones.
The most interesting part of this is the link to the WW2 historical stuff that indicates that during WW2, they actually did studies to find out which ones worked, while today it seems to be left to inadequately trained people to make up their own (with rather variable results).
My vote for "most effective" was the one showing the convicted spies with their sentences. Not because it made me think "ooh, I must not spy because I might get caught" but because it emphasised that the threat is real.
"Security isn't a dirty word, Blackadder. Crevice
is a dirty word."
Security awareness posters always have an unprecedented long-term educational effect that hopefully turns into a "dynamic habit" by both the authors building awareness on constantly changing threats, and the end users' realizing that what used to be secure today is no longer secure tomorrow.
Central Cost Security's team have taken the effort to regularly update and provide for free, a *huge* archive of security related posters :
I grew up as a military brat. Overseas, the on-base cable channel broadcast operational security reminders regularly.
It doesn't seem unreasonable, bizarre or weird to remind military personnel to keep their eyes open -- Schneier constantly writes about the importance of vigilant people instead of technology to recognize threats that fall outside of movie plot patterns, after all.
Besides, it isn't really paranoia if they're really out to get you :-)
The poster referenced in the post above can be found at http://www.lackland.us
There is a link opens a larger image of the Avenge Sept. 11 poster
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