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.

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Comments on “FBI: Terrorists Can Operate Airport Webcams, You Know”

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Craig (user link) says:

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.

the man says:

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?

Cliff Harvey (user link) says:

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).

Rational Thought says:

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.

Techdirt Reader says:


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.

Sherman R. Buck (user link) says:


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

imran shahed says:

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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