Strong opinions, weakly held

Documenting the harm caused by airport security post-9/11

Today Bruce Schneier writes up the actual harms caused by airport security policies imposed after 9/11. It’s easy to decry these policies for their stupidity and costs, but describing the ways they cause actual harm is more work. This piece is a must read — here’s a snippet:

This loss of trust—in both airport security and counterterrorism policies in general—is the first harm. Trust is fundamental to society. There is an enormous amount written about this; high-trust societies are simply happier and more prosperous than low-trust societies. Trust is essential for both free markets and democracy. This is why open-government laws are so important; trust requires government transparency. The secret policies implemented by airport security harm society because of their very secrecy.

1 Comment

  1. I hold Mr. Schneier in the utmost respect and I am very far from having the philosophical chops to engage in a professional-level debate about philosophical theories of trust. However, it appears to me subjectively that trust is infantile and impractical and that the great need is to make it irrelevant.

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