Security Theater in China

The Chinese government checked ten thousand pigeons for "dangerous materials." Because fear.

Posted on October 1, 2014 at 7:19 AM • 23 Comments

Comments

mbOctober 1, 2014 7:43 AM

I still say the unplugged metal detectors at the train stations are better theatre. Check next time you go, more than half are unplugged - secondary screening I imagine makes the job more difficult.

DropThatPigeonOctober 1, 2014 8:28 AM

One doesn't have to look up a pigeon's butt to check for dangerous material. That stuff is falling out all over the place (what the pigen dropped). The lice, mites, and other stuff in the feathers are probably a greater risk.

Clive RobinsonOctober 1, 2014 8:49 AM

Hmm Pigeons AKA "Flying Rats" only when it comes to natures WMD more people in the West succumb to Pigeon WMD than Rat.

More correctly called "Rock Doves" the commonly seen pigeon like politicos dumps on people from on high, and are generaly scaby and diseased to the point where foxes and other scavenngers know better than to go near them let alone consume them dead or alive.

Oh and like chickens they lay eggs all throughout the year, irrespective of if they are fertilized and they have a high salmonella risk.

Thus if you were one of the Chinese Politicos, would you want egg on your face or worse as a large flock of nervous pigeons are released with the specific aim of flying above you?

That as they say takes care of their good points... perhaps unbelievably the reason they are so numerous is historicaly humans have used them as a source of food... Which says much about humans when compared to natures natural survivors the scavengers.

Added amusment comes from the fact Rock Doves originate from the middle east as does the news agency Bruce links to.

When I see the scaby avians molesting tourists and others in central London the thought does cros my mind that maybe Arabs exported their avian WMD to the rest of the West as revenge for the Christian Crusades ;-)

Soldiering onOctober 1, 2014 9:43 AM

This "inspection" probably has more to do with an agency looking like it's doing something, rather than any actual security concern. "Look, we even probed a bird's buttocks! Yes, these birds are safe."

Or maybe someone has developed avian behavior modification implants, which will be used to take over the world!

Coyne TibbetsOctober 1, 2014 9:59 AM

I bet the the CIA, FBI and NSA--all our TLA's--had a good laugh at China's expense.

It'll be short-lived, though: Our TLA's will start checking pigeons day after tomorrow. Paranoia is contagious...especially among paranoids.

RSaundersOctober 1, 2014 11:12 AM

I found the end of the article even more troubling, "The capital has also mobilised 850,000 citizen volunteers to help keep a lookout." It's one thing that some official told their security force to waste time "stop and frisk"-ing birds. It's a totally different problem to turn loose almost a million amateurs, that's a recipe for false-positive information overload.

keinerOctober 1, 2014 11:29 AM

I just try to imagine the picture... thousands of the "birzd" flying away... suddenly some explode...

Can't get rid of this picture in my head now... :-D

JacobOctober 1, 2014 12:13 PM

I would pay dearly to see an episode where Barney Fife is assigned to such a detail...

amateurOctober 1, 2014 1:25 PM

In the "if you see something, say something" department, from the end of the article Bruce links to: "The capital has also mobilised 850,000 citizen volunteers to help keep a lookout in the city of about 20 million people, the newspaper said." Any idea what instructions those 850k volunteers were given to ensure the security services didn't subject themselves to a self inflicted DOS attack?

BillyBob ThorntonOctober 1, 2014 1:41 PM

I bet they were checking for paper/etc, imagine releasing 10,000 pigeons and as they fly off little bits of paper fall down saying "democracy now" or something. So from the governments point of view this makes a LOT of sense.

WhistlerOctober 2, 2014 12:17 AM

Hmm. I am guessing somebody in government read about the US attempt to develop bombardier bats during WWII. Lol

WinterOctober 2, 2014 2:14 AM

I think the scare is for bird-flu. But then they should check all the chicken than the pigeons. Or if they have to, they should test the pigeon droppings.

Pigeons are easier to check than chicken (due to active opposition by the owners), and catching pigeons for bodily inspection is more impressive than scooping up droppings, I think.

ChrisOctober 2, 2014 4:08 PM

Well not sure what the chinese are scared about in this particular moment regarding the pidgins, but ofcourse a drone eather "living" or battery driven looking like a pidgin can be used to smuggle not only heroin and stuff like that but also "secret" messages or the like, and it has been used I read about this not that long time ago and every tube had different colors for different departments.

Maybe theater but maybe not, however Pidgins and all sorts of birds that are moving bacterias around is infact a threat and they are bloody everywhere nowadays (not trolling i hope)

But yeah could be they are looking for special birds sending secret messages, its been used in military warfare before (google it) , and I cant see why it still wouldnt be used, it works and its very hard to spot unless cought, but you still dont know the receiver or the sender and the message is encrypted.

Its like a numberstation but it may or may not be spotted wherelse a numberstation transmitter cant be hidden. (that easy)

The birds had different colored tubing that showed who the recepient was, this is very real and happened not that long time ago so why not still in use? Could very well be infact that its still in use and I see no reason why not.
If it works go with it.

ChrisOctober 2, 2014 4:18 PM

So just to fill the gaps, it could be used in a purpose where you have personal behind enemy lines and cant for instance break radiosilence to send back information about what the hell is going on and you need to communicate.

The pidgins fly back to their destination with the coded message.

This is a very useful tool indeed and yes I do think very real threat for the pidgin catcher :-)

Only thing that could change it would be a drone doing the same thing in my opinon.

China isMOREparanoidOctober 6, 2015 7:52 PM

Here's the 'story.' China or 'fill in the blank' is MORE PARANOID
THAN US. They also have BAD BAD haircuts!

www.army.mil/article/6993/bats-over-tokyo

according to govt, the BAT BOMBS were 10 times as effective
as regular incindiaries. The effectiveness was due to the
seeking of eaves of houses where loose insulation or
flammable straw was located.

Another theory is that China Gov't is suspicious due to experience
with Japan's Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes due
to biological warfare.

look up the references.

Bubonic plague and other nasties are still in rural areas and
Manchura at the Unit 731, Japan laboratories, etc.
Reservoirs of disease are still likely found in wild populations
of fleas, ticks, birds, animals.

Of course, there is no or little evidence of biological attack on
China via SARS, civet/bird flu in Hong Kong or other such
zoonotic (animal to human) disease that are NEW and
super - spreaders.

I'm not an expert or at least I use 'plausible deniability.'
so good luck in your Security Theater or Paranoia Theater
viewing experience.

I ask for my money back from the box office

birdfluspreading newyorkcitypigeonOctober 6, 2015 8:05 PM

Why worry about New York City and PIgeons?

NBC news "Bird Flu Spreading As Scientists Look Everywhere For
Clues"

pigeons be carrying it to poultry houses. H5N2 bird flu.

related to SARS in Hong Kong

How many MILLIONS of PIGEONS are there in New York City,
not counting the ones in the subway tunnels and the abandoned
buildings?

Chinese Gov't is only interest in security theater or kabuki?

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