FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Security Expert Harrassed by Dept. of Homeland Security After Exposing Flaws in Security Around the Fleet Center in Boston

by RICHARD FORNO

A term first coined by security technologist Bruce Schneier in his 2003 book “Beyond Fear” to describe what generally passes for “security” these days — namely presenting the appearance (and reassuring illusion) of security (or improved security) despite however ineffective in reality such postures really are to those who know what real security is all about. Also a favored approach to security by the United States government, even after September 11.

Below is an interesting thread about James Atkinson, a well-known TSCM specialist in Boston (www.tscm.com) — who, after publicizing the goofy nature of physical security in/around the Fleet Center in advance of this week’s Democratic National Convention, reports what he believes is harassment by the Department of Homeland Security and others, including the sudden and unannounced shutdown of his TSCM mailing list by Yahoo last week.

Apparently James was (unofficially) informed that “Yahoo was contacted by a “Federal Law Enforcement Agency” and asked to disable the TSCM list as it posed a national security threat. Also, his contact stated that on Friday afternoon Yahoo was served with a formal request by the US government for copies of all list members, and copies of the thousands of messages and postings that were made to the list, plus a history of everything he had ever subscribed to or posted.”

If the events listed below are true (and knowing James’ competence, I have no reason to think otherwise) and while DHS may view him as a “troublemaker” I think it’s a refreshing (and much-needed) situation to have an otherwise objective and competent security expert take a look at the state of “improved security post-911” and report publicly their findings without the usual watering-down, politicization, or classification of such matters by those responsible who seek to avoid embarrassment or accountability for their actions — or lack thereof.

We need more such disclosures, not less. Otherwise, we’re forced to accept the government’s word on things being “better, safer, or more secure” than they really are — a reality not overlooked by those who might seek to attack us, even absent such publicized disclosures like this one. Pretending vulnerabilities don’t exist doesn’t make anyone any safer and actions that perpetuate such a mindset are a concrete demonstration of security theater in action.

For your reference, the situation involving Atkinson can be found at the following links:

 

21 July – DHS Contacts Cryptome to Complain
http://cryptome.org/nicc-cryptome.htm

23 July – Eyeballing the DNC Protest Pen (AKA “Free Speech Zone”)
http://cryptome.org/dncpen-eyeball.htm

25 July – What’s Wrong with Security at the DNC in Boston
http://cryptome.org/dnc-insec.htm

25 July – Yahoo Shuts down TSCM Mailing List
http://cryptome.org/dncsec-yahoo.htm

25 July – DNC Radio Frequencies Discovered
http://cryptome.org/dnc-radio.htm

25 July – Additional Comments about DNC Security Operations
http://cryptome.org/dnc-apeshit.htm

A lesson our government has yet to learn — even after the renewed interest in security theory post-911 — is that security through obscurity does not work. Neither does saying “trust us, but don’t ask any questions.”

Sadly, the more things change, the more they stay the same.

RICHARD FORNO writes the information warrior blog.

 

More articles by:
May 23, 2016
Conn Hallinan
European Union: a House Divided
Paul Buhle
Labor’s Sell-Out and the Sanders Campaign
Uri Avnery
Israeli Weimar: It Can Happen Here
John Stauber
Why Bernie was Busted From the Beginning
James Bovard
Obama’s Biggest Corruption Charade
Joseph Mangano – Janette D. Sherman
Indian Point Nuclear Plant: It Doesn’t Take a Meltdown to Harm Local Residents
Desiree Hellegers
“Energy Without Injury”: From Redwood Summer to Break Free via Occupy Wall Street
Lawrence Davidson
The Unraveling of Zionism?
Patrick Cockburn
Why Visa Waivers are Dangerous for Turks
Robert Koehler
Rethinking Criminal Justice
Lawrence Wittner
The Return of Democratic Socialism
Ha-Joon Chang
What Britain Forgot: Making Things Matters
John V. Walsh
Only Donald Trump Raises Five “Fundamental and Urgent” Foreign Policy Questions: Stephen F. Cohen Bemoans MSM’s Dismissal of Trump’s Queries
Andrew Stewart
The Occupation of the American Mind: a Film That Palestinians Deserve
Nyla Ali Khan
The Vulnerable Repositories of Honor in Kashmir
Weekend Edition
May 20, 2016
Friday - Sunday
Rob Urie
Hillary Clinton and Political Violence
Andrew Levine
Why Not Hillary?
Paul Street
Hillary Clinton’s Neocon Resumé
Chris Floyd
Twilight of the Grifter: Bill Clinton’s Fading Powers
Eric Mann
How We Got the Tanks and M-16s Out of LA Schools
Jason Hirthler
The West’s Needless Aggression
Dan Arel
Why Hillary Clinton’s Camp Should Be Scared
Robert Hunziker
Fukushima Flunks Decontamination
David Rosen
The Privatization of the Public Sphere
Margaret Kimberley
Obama’s Civil Rights Hypocrisy
Chris Gilbert
Corruption in Latin American Governments
Pete Dolack
We Can Dream, or We Can Organize
Dan Kovalik
Colombia: the Displaced & Invisible Nation
Jeffrey St. Clair
Fat Man Earrings: a Nuclear Parable
Medea Benjamin
Israel and Saudi Arabia: Strange Bedfellows in the New Middle East
Ted Rall
Trump Isn’t Bluffing, He’ll Deport 11 Million People
Kent Paterson
Death in a Shopping Aisle: Jonathan Sorensen’s Fatal Encounter with Kmart
Lisa Sullivan
Venezuela’s Crisis From Up Close
Clancy Sigal
Trump’s Rasputin: What the Donald Learned From Roy Cohn
Manuel E. Yepe
Think Tanks and the US Power Elite
Kathleen Wallace
$25 vs $30, Hats Off to the Two-Party System!
Terry Simons
Mob Politics: the Democrats Have a Problem and It’s Not the Sandernistas
Franklin Lamb
U.S. Financial Regulations Increase Starvation Among Syria’s Children
James Cronin
The Pope and Mercy: the Catholic Church has not Abandoned Its 400 Year War on Science
Linn Washington Jr.
Islamophobia on the Rise in England
Thomas Mountain
25 Years of Struggle Building Socialism in Eritrea; Fighting the Cancer of Corruption
David Wilson
Who Speaks for the Refugee Children of Calais?
Michael Welton
Terry Eagleton: the Cheeky Marxist
David Mattson
Disserving the Public Trust: the Despotic Future of Grizzly Bear Management
Rick Sterling
Bernie Comes to Vallejo
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail