Recently, Schneier has talked about a disturbing trend in our society he calls the "War on the Unexpected". Basically, if you encounter anything which doesn't seem quite right, it must be a terrorist plot, right? The consequences of such thinking lead to terribly ridiculous consequences, resources diverted from real security issues ... and perhaps most ominously, the creation of a culture of uniformity and conformity.
The December issue of Crypto-Gram has an amazing number of examples of this. I'll just reprint the relevant section from the newsletter here:
I'd comment ... but the stories themselves do a far better job than I ever could.
More "War on the Unexpected."
In Australia, a man was kicked out of a pub for reading a book called "The Unknown Terrorist."
At the US/Canadian border, a fire truck responding to a fire -- with lights and sirens -- was stopped for about eight minutes.
Police tasered a man on a Leeds bus when he went into a diabetic coma.
A mixture of flour and sugar closed down a Maine airport:
A blind calypso musician and his band removed from an airplane:
A Jewish man removed from a train for praying:
A bomb squad in Sarasota, Florida, is called in to detonate a typewriter:
Fear is winning. Refuse to be terrorized, people.