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Security theater comes to CES

Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols | Jan. 4, 2016
That same level of security that we love at airports will be at CES next year. This will not be pretty.

Hey! I’m a married man! Keep your hands to yourself.

  • “While we will be as sensitive to lines and inconvenience as possible, you can expect delays entering show facilities.”

You think?

I’ve waited in line at CES for over an hour with no security other than making sure I had a badge. How long will wait times increase when TSA-style security checks by semi-trained personnel are implemented?

Normally, I run from one venue to another for various meetings, racking up remarkable taxi bills. I have no idea how I and the tens of thousands of others at CES will make our appointments on time.

The really annoying thing about all this is that this is just an example of security theater, like the TSA itself. None of this will stop anyone who really wants to bring guns or bombs in.

To quote security expert Bruce Schneier, “Security is both a feeling and a reality. The propensity for security theater comes from the interplay between the public and its leaders. When people are scared, they need something done that will make them feel safe, even if it doesn’t truly make them safer. Politicians naturally want to do something in response to crisis, even if that something doesn’t make any sense.”The perfect example of that is the requirement that we take our shoes off at the airport, simply because Richard Reid attempted, and failed, to detonate explosives hidden in his shoes in 2001.

Meanwhile, the trained “professionals” of the TSA let fake weapons in with a 95% failure rate in June 2015. Can we really expect CES’s security guards to do better? I don’t think so!

I’m tired of this. I’m tired of it in airports. And I’m tired of people introducing it at conferences, schools and businesses.

If I die in Las Vegas (please no, not Vegas), the odds are far greater that it will be from a car accident, bad food or alcohol poisoning than a terrorist attack. At least if I expire from those causes, I won’t have waited in a queue before meeting my maker.


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