News Tagged "Atlantic"

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Bruce Schneier on TSA Absurdity and the Need for Resilience

  • Jeffrey Goldberg
  • The Atlantic
  • December 29, 2009

Bruce Schneier, my security guru, thinks that the President should confront the American people with the hard truth: Onerous new security regimes in our civilian aviation system won’t protect us. What will protect us is our own resilience. I had an e-mail exchange with Bruce yesterday, and here is an edited transcript:

Jeffrey Goldberg: Do you think that we are moving toward the Israelification of American airport security?

Bruce Schneier: I don’t think it’s possible.  The Israelis rely on a system of individual attention — interviews, background checks, and so on — that simply can’t be replicated on the scale required for America.  If anything, we’re moving in the opposite direction: layers of annoying, time consuming, ineffectual, static — but automatic and scalable — security systems.  Although it seems that we’re finally hitting the limit as to what the American business travel will put up with, and no security measure will survive wholesale rejection by the airlines’ most profitable customers…

The Things He Carried

  • Jeffrey Goldberg
  • The Atlantic
  • November 2008

Excerpt

This day, however, would feature a different sort of experiment, designed to prove not only that the TSA often cannot find anything on you or in your carry-on, but that it has no actual idea who you are, despite the government’s effort to build a comprehensive “no-fly” list. A no-fly list would be a good idea if it worked; Bruce Schneier’s homemade boarding passes were about to prove that it doesn’t. Schneier is the TSA’s most relentless, and effective, critic; the TSA director, Kip Hawley, told me he respects Schneier’s opinions, though Schneier quite clearly makes his life miserable…

Homeland Insecurity

A top expert says America's approach to protecting itself will only make matters worse. Forget "foolproof" technology—we need systems designed to fail smartly

  • Charles C. Mann
  • The Atlantic
  • September 2002
  • To stop the rampant theft of expensive cars, manufacturers in the 1990s began to make ignitions very difficult to hot-wire. This reduced the likelihood that cars would be stolen from parking lots—but apparently contributed to the sudden appearance of a new and more dangerous crime, carjacking.
  • After a vote against management Vivendi Universal announced earlier this year that its electronic shareholder-voting system, which it had adopted to tabulate votes efficiently and securely, had been broken into by hackers. Because the new system eliminated the old paper ballots, recounting the votes—or even independently verifying that the attack had occurred—was impossible…

Sidebar photo of Bruce Schneier by Joe MacInnis.