FBI: Terrorists Can Operate Airport Webcams, You Know

from the well-duh dept

A new "assessment" from the FBI and the Homeland Security Department suggests that airport webcams are the latest public menace, and may be used by terrorists to plan their attacks on the nation's airports (via The Raw Feed). The warning was triggered after a link to an Alaskan airport webcam was posted to an unspecified "extremist website," raising concerns among the feds that terrorists were using the cameras to track "security measures, guard shift changes, and pedestrian and vehicular traffic patterns." No specific instance of webcam use by actual terrorists was given, and the warning is "precautionary", says the feds. As with the recent Google Earth terrorism worries, terrorists are going to get the information they need whether or not these technologies exist. We're guessing that a group seriously considering an attack isn't going to rely solely on grainy 100 yard views of tarmacs, but it's nice to know the FBI and Homeland Security have realized that public access webcams shouldn't be aimed at secure airport facilities. Still, we might be safer if we just shut this whole Internet thing off.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Craig, Jan 15th, 2007 @ 4:43pm

    Don't forget about other infrastructure!

    I mean, didn't some of the 9/11 hijackers use unsecured highways to get into the US from Canada? And weren't they driving themselves [gasp!] in private vehicles?!

    Clearly we need to re-assess the risk posed by allowing individuals to move freely about without proper tracking mechanisms and safeguards. Clearly.

     

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  2.  
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    Stu, Jan 15th, 2007 @ 4:45pm

    As our government says

    THEY ARE TRYING TO KILL US !!!!!

    (I guess that justifies anything.)

     

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  3.  
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    charlie potatoes, Jan 15th, 2007 @ 5:52pm

    tarmac?

    did you say tarmac? tarmac is a substance much like...um..well.. like... a mixture of tar and macadam ...it hasn't been used on a runway since 1961.. most airports are made of concrete..omg.. is that a secret? please delete this..

     

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  4.  
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    Rational Thought, Jan 15th, 2007 @ 6:16pm

    Knowledge is Dangerous

    I guess this goes to show that the theory about information being accessible by a priviledged few is the only way to prevent misuse of said information by miscreants. Of course, there has never been misuse of information by the powers that be, elected or otherwise. As Stu points out in #2 above, scare tactics can make the public acquiesce to relinquishing more and more freedom and restricitng access to information to the authorities, who will ensure that no one ever harms us again. That has worked so well for totalitarian regimes, its high time we give it a shot here in the grand USofA. But, I am just a cynical old coot.

     

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  5.  
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    Super Secret Terrorist, Jan 15th, 2007 @ 7:06pm

    And....

    The terrorists can sit at the airport bar drinking $8 cosmos and planning their evil-doing whatever they do too... So foo!

     

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  6.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 15th, 2007 @ 8:34pm

    In this particular case, just take down the webcams...they wont be missed by anyone.

     

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  7.  
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    Damon Billian, Jan 15th, 2007 @ 9:19pm

    Hmmmm

    I don't see why anyone, save the aforementioned bad guys, would want to view an airport? I think we spend enough time in airports just getting through security.

    What is the value exactly in web cams in airports? Watching the birth of a baby eagle? Cool. Watching a web cam from an airport? Snore.

     

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  8.  
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    Damon Billian, Jan 15th, 2007 @ 9:42pm

    Hmmmm

    I don't see why anyone, save the aforementioned bad guys, would want to view an airport? I think we spend enough time in airports just getting through security.

    What is the value exactly in web cams in airports? Watching the birth of a baby eagle? Cool. Watching a web cam from an airport? Snore.

     

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  9.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 15th, 2007 @ 10:43pm

    What a waiste.

    Do American people actually portray that airport webcams are the latest public menace?

    Seems to me the worst nuisance is sons and daughters dieing over religion beliefs.

    These FBI mellow dramatics teaches nothing.
    And is just a "P.R" campaign to "pretend" they are actually doing something.

     

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  10.  
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    the man, Jan 15th, 2007 @ 11:22pm

    Re: Don't forget about other infrastructure!

    1.who the hell r u to say "shut this whole internet thing off"? they drove cars. why don't we shut the car thing off. it'llsave the environment too. and the crashed planes. i guess we'll use the other less-safer ways to travel once they shut that off. and they communicated. we should all jus stop talking to each other rite? these types of extremist 'cures' r wut bugs me most sometimes.

    2.u can't stop a terrorist frmdoing his deed. remember these are ppl with no past criminal records. they're normal ppl (at first). therefore anywhere the public, even security guards themselves can go, terrorists can go. that what leads me not believe in the whole terrorist deal anyways. no one spends millions of dollars, calmly and coolly plans out an attack on a building just because they believe in their religion or they hate the us. why don't u just tear the flag like everybody else?

     

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  11.  
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    Techdirt Reader, Jan 16th, 2007 @ 2:21am

    **KARLSPRECHT ALERT**

    Thanks for feeding the FUD trolls with your speech, Karl, adding as much value to the discussion as if you'd opened your mouth up and hurfed up everything since lunch yesterday.

    Spreading FUD does little to actually STOP the FUD and only encourages it.

    Karlsprecht -- n., 1) Speech, either oral or written, used to blindly spread Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt, generally through a disorganized rant attempting to combat said FUD but ends up actually spreading it more. 2) Any such Karlsprechtian ignorant attempt to mitigate a crisis by unwittingly aggrevating it, i.e., putting out a small brush fire with gasoline, reacting in panic as the fire grows, throwing the open gas can in the back of the pickup, and driving away oblivious to the steady trail of gasoline leaking out the back, allowing the fire to spread miles through the forest, and then watching the news the next morning muttering about how people with cigarettes really need to be more careful about how they dispose of their ashes to prevent future tragedies like this.

     

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  12.  
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    A smarter man, Jan 16th, 2007 @ 5:52am

    Re: Re: Don't forget about other infrastructure!

    'The man' just posted one of the stupidest things I've ever read. Sarcasm mother fucker: do you use it?

     

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  13.  
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    Vidal, Jan 16th, 2007 @ 7:02am

    Unprotected Live Webcams

    Unveiling the unprotected public live webcam streams. Have a look at Nasa Mission Control Centre, beaches, snow scenes, aquarium and many more categories to choose from. http://www.camorati.com

     

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  14.  
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    David, Jan 16th, 2007 @ 8:47am

    Re: tarmac?

    So, how's your mom's basement? Still nice and warm, 3 free meals a day? People don't care that tarmac is a defunct material. Tarmac is the "traditional" term for a runway and people understand that.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tarmac#Later_developments

     

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  15.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 16th, 2007 @ 10:26am

    Re: Don't forget about other infrastructure!

    Dude, none of the 9/11 hijackers came in through Canada. Your point is good, but I cringe whenever I hear somebody make that old, bogus claim.

     

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  16.  
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    jim, Jan 16th, 2007 @ 12:24pm

    Re: Re: Don't forget about other infrastructure!

    NONE of the terrorists ever came through Canada.

    Did you only watch one newscast about this and then turn off your tv?

    Man I wish people would get their facts straight...

     

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  17.  
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    bob, Jan 17th, 2007 @ 6:14pm

    wow

    These comments might be the dumbest ones ever on the internet. They make a pretty good case for shutting the internet off foreva.

     

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  18.  
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    Sherman R. Buck, Jan 17th, 2007 @ 7:37pm

    webcams

    I'm sure the authorities would love it if they could just shut off the internet, because ignorance is bliss to those that like keeping people imprisoned and docile, it allows them to do as they please and keep the gap between the haves and the have nots. It's a bit too late for the fools, because they spent all those years making people dependent on them so as to get them to buy their "stuff" only the damn fools were so engrossed with riches and power that they forgot to realize the power of the consumers. People put their money where their mouth is and it effects those fools who thought they were in charge. I'm reminded of the old margarine commercial saying, "It's not nice to fool Mother Nature." The light is coming and it is going to obliterate the dark. Bye Bye

     

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  19.  
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    a uk Reader, Jan 18th, 2007 @ 12:23am

    Such an amusement to read you americans bickering with each other. You should all be on the same side. Not fighting over stupid opinions. Lighten up.

     

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  20.  
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    derf, Jan 18th, 2007 @ 10:10am

    Even worse, some of these terrorist types could be crafty enough to climb a fence.

    I'm sure the TSA will be on guard against these genius fence climbers while they're busy strip searching young white females with loaded bras instead of actual terrorist suspects.

     

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  21.  
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    Catatonic, Jan 18th, 2007 @ 1:13pm

    Tarmac

    I'm pretty sure charlie potatoes was making a subtle joke; as if he had divulged a state secret mentioning that airports are no longer using actual tarmac. Sort of a commentary on the whole surveillance theme. You're not one for subtelty, are you David? Probably not too bright in general.

     

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  22.  
    identicon
    Cliff Harvey, Mar 4th, 2007 @ 9:39am

    Re: Re: tarmac?

    Dear David: Tarmac is not a defunct material. Google the term and you will find it is a thriving industry. But a runwway is not a tarmac. Ask a pilot or an engineer. Tarmac is a term misused by many due to the pervasive use of the term by American journalists (who picked up the term in 1970s hijacking reports by British TV reporters, who also were misusing the term. The Americans just started using the word, not knowing what it meant: i.e., a comman paving material).

     

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  23.  
    identicon
    r, Aug 21st, 2007 @ 9:43am

    r

    no thank u.

     

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  24.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 2nd, 2008 @ 4:04pm

    hello

     

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  25.  
    identicon
    imran shahed, Feb 21st, 2008 @ 1:39am

    I think in my opion right that an terroist will look at every angel mainly at big perimeter building. The reason why becasue if they hit something big that makes an big impact which is what they want to prove however having webcam at airport i think wont bother them. Becasue they try to find out a leake in security and plus u should not be tell the public what you are indroucing how are you ment caputre these evil people.

     

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