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:
February 20, 2018
Nick Pemberton
The Gun Violence the Media Shows Us and the State Violence They Don’t
John Eskow
Sympathy for the Drivel: On the Vocabulary of President Nitwit
John Steppling
Trump, Putin, and Nikolas Cruz Walk Into a Bar…
John W. Whitehead
America’s Cult of Violence Turns Deadly
Ishmael Reed
Charles F. Harris: He Popularized Black History
Will Podmore
Paying the Price: the TUC and Brexit
George Burchett
Plumpes Denken: Crude thinking
Binoy Kampmark
The Caring Profession: Peacekeeping, Blue Helmets and Sexual Abuse
Lawrence Wittner
The Trump Administration’s War on Workers
David Swanson
The Question of Sanctions: South Africa and Palestine
Walter Clemens
Murderers in High Places
Dean Baker
How Does the Washington Post Know that Trump’s Plan Really “Aims” to Pump $1.5 Trillion Into Infrastructure Projects?
February 19, 2018
Rob Urie
Mueller, Russia and Oil Politics
Richard Moser
Mueller the Politician
Robert Hunziker
There Is No Time Left
Nino Pagliccia
Venezuela Decides to Hold Presidential Elections, the Opposition Chooses to Boycott Democracy
Daniel Warner
Parkland Florida: Revisiting Michael Fields
Sheldon Richman
‘Peace Through Strength’ is a Racket
Wilfred Burchett
Vietnam Will Win: Taking on the Pentagon
Patrick Cockburn
People Care More About the OXFAM Scandal Than the Cholera Epidemic
Ted Rall
On Gun Violence and Control, a Political Gordian Knot
Binoy Kampmark
Making Mugs of Voters: Mueller’s Russia Indictments
Dave Lindorff
Mass Killers Abetted by Nutjobs
Myles Hoenig
A Response to David Axelrod
Colin Todhunter
The Royal Society and the GMO-Agrochemical Sector
Cesar Chelala
A Student’s Message to Politicians about the Florida Massacre
Weekend Edition
February 16, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Jeffrey St. Clair
American Carnage
Paul Street
Michael Wolff, Class Rule, and the Madness of King Don
Andrew Levine
Had Hillary Won: What Now?
David Rosen
Donald Trump’s Pathetic Sex Life
Susan Roberts
Are Modern Cities Sustainable?
Joyce Nelson
Canada vs. Venezuela: Have the Koch Brothers Captured Canada’s Left?
Geoff Dutton
America Loves Islamic Terrorists (Abroad): ISIS as Proxy US Mercenaries
Mike Whitney
The Obnoxious Pence Shows Why Korea Must End US Occupation
Joseph Natoli
In the Post-Truth Classroom
John Eskow
One More Slaughter, One More Piece of Evidence: Racism is a Terminal Mental Disease
John W. Whitehead
War Spending Will Bankrupt America
Robert Fantina
Guns, Violence and the United States
Dave Lindorff
Trump’s Latest Insulting Proposal: Converting SNAP into a Canned Goods Distribution Program
Robert Hunziker
Global Warming Zaps Oxygen
John Laforge
$1.74 Trillion for H-bomb Profiteers and “Fake” Cleanups
CJ Hopkins
The War on Dissent: the Specter of Divisiveness
Peter A. Coclanis
Chipotle Bell
Anders Sandström – Joona-Hermanni Mäkinen
Ways Forward for the Left
Wilfred Burchett
Vietnam Will Win: Winning Hearts and Minds
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail