Oct 01

Security Theater” is a term coined by Bruce Schneier and refers to “security countermeasures intended to provide the feeling of improved security while doing little or nothing to actually improve security.” I got a taste of it today when one of the packages I sent last week was returned. We’re now sending out t-shirts to people that make us happy at JumpBox. Apparently stuffing two shirts in one of the pre-paid envelopes puts it over the 13oz limit for what’s safe to mail anonymously in the USA. May I point out:

  1. Wasn’t anthrax the scare awhile back? That’s a powdered substance that’s virtually weightless and therefore immune to this countermeasure.
  2. If letter bombs are the real threat, it takes a lot less than 13oz of c-4 to hurt someone. Again rendering this policy ineffective at blocking that threat.
  3. If a terrorist wants to mail an anonymous package over the weight threshold he/she can just make the return address the intended destination and it will get there (as I found out today when they returned my package to me). Oops I guess I just spilled the beans on how to defeat this silly security practice…

All this practice does is inconvenience people. Perhaps there is some value to the feeling of security it gives the public, but it’s false security just like the shenanigans we go through when we take our shoes off at the metal detector in the airport. And now that TSA employees are allowed to bypass screening themselves at the metal detector, that whole process has more holes in it than a block of baby swiss. Oh well, </end security rant>.

One Response to “Security Theater from the US Post office”

  1. codemonkey says:

    If you would like to add to the "Security Theater" my favorite is the elimination of carry on liquids. I would like to challenge everyone to read this article: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2006/08/17/flying_to

    Makes you wonder why I can't carry on a bottle of water . . .

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