Last year, security researcher Bruce Schneier held a movie plot threat contest, where he asked people to come up with unlikely, but plausible, security threats. The reason was to point out the ridiculousness of Homeland Security efforts (taking off your shoes at the airport, no liquids allowed on planes) that are designed not to deal with the bigger problem, but to thwart a single case scenario. If you have thousands of scenarios, as the contest created, you begin to realize how silly it is to focus on any individual threat, rather than create a more comprehensive plan. Of course, there may be a flip side to this as well... as it turns out that the Department of Homeland Security is gathering with a bunch of science fiction writers to talk through various scenarios concerning terrorist threats and how to defeat them. Of course, the likely result is more pointless methods to try to combat specific scenarios brought up by the writers, rather than anything more comprehensive or useful. While it's at least nice to hear that Homeland Security is willing to listen to those with "outside the box" ideas, it's tough to have much confidence in the idea that they'll do anything useful with the information.
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