📅 Thought for today:

‘If you think technology can solve your security problems, then you don’t understand the problems and you don’t understand the technology.’

— Bruce Schneier

#thoughtfortoday #security #safety #travel #borders #vetting

In 1977 I spent the summer working at Manchester Airport. My father already worked there part-time as a tour rep.

I, however, joined as a cleaner. One of the best and most coveted jobs for students. It was well paid and you had complete freedom through the airport. I had a pass that could get me anywhere I liked.

I worked in the main terminal of course. I also worked in the administrative offices, the control tower, the bonded warehouses, the maintenance hangers, the police station (with prison cells), and the duty-free warehouse which supplied all the duty-free shops.

I worked through the summer, the deaths of Jackie Onassis and Elvis Presley, with a subsidised staff canteen and a cash pay packet at the end of the week.

I started in Leicester as a student in September.

In December 1977 the airport wrote to me and let me know they would be rescinding my “access all areas” security pass in two months because I didn’t seem to be using it, and asked me to return it.

Things have moved on a bit with airport security since then – but not much.

When honest people build technology solutions (such as vetting systems), they are generally unable to think like someone with criminal intent. There is a “law-abiding bias”.

The UK is rushing the staff vetting process to cope with the demand for travel. Who would have thought the end of Covid restrictions after two years would lead to an increase in demand for holidays and air travel?

I suspect that the reliance on technology, and “rush”, is something we will come to regret.

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