The APEC conference is a big deal in Australia right now, and the security is serious. They’ve blocked off a major part of Sydney, implemented special APEC laws allowing extra search powers for the police, and even given everyone in Sydney the day off — just to keep people away.
Yesterday, a TV comedy team succeeded in driving a fake motorcade with Canadian flags right through all the security barriers and weren’t stopped until right outside President Bush’s hotel. Inside their motorcade was someone dressed up as Osama Bin Laden.
The ABC later released a statement saying the team had no intention of entering a restricted zone and had been wearing mock “insecurity passes” that stated the convoy was a joke.
“It was a piece testing APEC security and the motorcade looked pretty authentic,” the Chaser source said.
“They approached the green zone, and they just waved them through much to their amazement, because the sketch was meant to stop there with them being rejected.
“They were then waved through into the red zone, but rather than go all the way through they made the call to turn around.”
“Apparently that was the first time the police realised it was not authentic and they swooped in and arrested everybody.”
Eight members of the comedy team, including the film crew, were arrested, as well as three hire car drivers.
The fake motorcade three cars and a motorcycle escort had Canadian identification.
“We just thought Canada would be a country the cops wouldn’t scrutinise too closely,” said Chaser performer Chris Taylor.
I’ve written about these large-scale social engineering pranks before (although at this point I doubt that the Super Bowl prank was real). The trick: look like you fit in.
I’ve also written about the Australian comedy group before. They’re from a television show called The Chaser’s War on Everyhing, and they’ve tested security cameras and Trojan horses. And interviewed ignorant Americans.
And APEC security is over-the-top stupid:
On the same day police won a court battle to stop protesters marching down George Street through the APEC security zone, it emerged yesterday that at least one cafe near George Bush’s hotel has been ordered by police not to set outdoor tables with silverware, lest it fall into the wrong hands.
And office workers in Bridge Street’s AMP tower have been told to stay away from the windows, draw the blinds and not to look at helicopters.
EDITED TO ADD (9/7): Video of the motorcade and the arrests. Photo of the fake security pass.
Great video from The Chasers on APEC and security, including some very funny footage about what normal people are willing to do and have done to them in the name of security.
Posted on September 7, 2007 at 1:53 AM •