comes an unexpectedly candid and honest assessment of airline security, from none other than the security boss of Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport
Airport security boss calls time on tech
Marijn Ornstein said: "If you look at all the recent terrorist incidents, the bombs were detected because of human intelligence not because of screening ... If even a fraction of what is spent on screening was invested in the intelligence services we would take a real step toward making air travel safer and more pleasant."
Can't argue with her on that. Bruce Schneier
has been saying the same thing for quite a while. He uses the term Movie Plot Threats to describe the type of situation our 'security' revolves around preventing. But, as he pointed out (back in 2005), Terrorists Don't Do Movie Plots
The problem with movie plot security is that it only works if we guess right. If we spend billions defending our subways, and the terrorists bomb a bus, we've wasted our money. To be sure, defending the subways makes commuting safer. But focusing on subways also has the effect of shifting attacks toward less-defended targets, and the result is that we're no safer overall.
Terrorists don't care if they blow up subways, buses, stadiums, theaters, restaurants, nightclubs, schools, churches, crowded markets or busy intersections. Reasonable arguments can be made that some targets are more attractive than others: airplanes because a small bomb can result in the death of everyone aboard, monuments because of their national significance, national events because of television coverage, and transportation because most people commute daily. But the United States is a big country; we can't defend everything.
One problem is that our nation's leaders are giving us what we want. Party affiliation notwithstanding, appearing tough on terrorism is important. Voting for missile defense makes for better campaigning than increasing intelligence funding. Elected officials want to do something visible, even if it turns out to be ineffective.
As I mentioned earlier, I won't be flying anymore unless absolutely necessary
precisely because of this massive loss of liberties with a negligible increase in security.