The right to defend

Monday, 29 July 2002, 1:25 PM EST

When it comes to matters of security, most policies are hastily enacted as a reaction to some pressing force or foe. This is evident when you look at the rash of laws, procedures and policies put in place since September 11. I guess it is only natural-- our fragile human psyche requires immediate comfort in the face of danger; our fears only resting when we know something is being done, even if that "something" equates to nothing at all.

When I purchased my plane ticket to the Blackhat Briefings (this week in Las Vegas), my receipt included a new "security fee." It was a whopping 15 percent of the ticket price. Fifteen percent! And has this bought us in-flight security? If you consider the confiscation of a fingernail file from Grandma Clampett after a spread-eagle grope-a-thon while 500 pieces of unchecked baggage are dumped in the cargo bay to the dirge of a conveyor belt's hum to be "security," then I got what I paid for.

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