Thursday, February 01, 2007

Getting it Wrong (the price of security)

Perhaps you've heard about the brouhaha surrounding the bomb scare in Boston. You know, the one set off by magnetic LED graffiti that was part of a marketing campaign (and so on...).

What I think is lost in all of the rush to assign blame (on all sides) is that this is the cost of having a bomb squad. Bomb squads get called in on false alarms all the time (like this). Sometimes you get it wrong. What happened in Boston was simply a false alarm; someone mistook an object for a bomb. Everyone clamoring for lawsuits against Cartoon Network or decrying the overreaction of Boston officials needs to step back and remember that there's no point in having a bomb squad if they're afraid to get it wrong some of the time.

Of course, that assumes that you believe in the relative merits of having a bomb squad...

... and that the security response is timely...

... which, in this case, it wasn't (the "bombs" had been up for 2 weeks prior to this incident).

Then, of course, there's the two actual fake bombs that were found the same day (with no arrests made yet).

[UPDATE] Here are a few more interesting comments on the situation:


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