Feeds

What's the World's Most Stupid Security Measure?

Name and shame compo

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The essential guide to IT transformation

Human rights watchdog Privacy International has launched a quest to find the World's Most Stupid Security Measure.

The global competition will identify what the group describes as the most "pointless, intrusive, annoying and self-serving" security measures.

The "Stupid Security" award aims to highlight the absurdities of the security industry. Privacy International's director, Simon Davies, said his group has taken the initiative because of "innumerable" security initiatives around the world that had absolutely no genuine security benefit.

"The situation has become ridiculous," said Mr Davies. "Security has become the smokescreen for incompetent and robotic managers the world over".

"I have stood for ages in a security line at an inconsequential office building and grilled relentlessly only to be given a security pass that a high school student could have faked. And I resent being forced to take off my shoes at an airport that can't even screen its luggage", he said.

Even before 9/11 a whole army of bumbling amateurs has taken it upon themselves to figure out pointless, annoying, intrusive, illusory and just plain stupid measures to "protect" our security.

Privacy International reckons jobsworths have become a global menace. "From the nightclub in Berlin that demands the home address of its patrons, to the phone company in Britain that won't let anyone pay more than twenty pounds a month from a bank account, the world has become infested with bumptious administrators competing to hinder or harass us," it reports.

There are real concerns about security, of course. Privacy International argues that unworkable security laws and illusory security measures do nothing to help issues of real public concern. They only hinder the public and intrude unnecessary into our private lives, the organisation believes.

Privacy International, the outfit behind the Big Brother awards, is calling for nominations on the candidates for the silliest security measures. Nomination should be sent to stupidsecurity@privacy.orgby March 15.

Nominations should be as specific as possible, mentioning the name of the guilty parties, and wherever possible, including evidence and references.
Any government or private sector initiative or action can be nominated. Legislation and technology can also be nominated.

The judges welcome nominations in the form of narratives and anecdotes.

The competition is to be judged by a panel of well-known security experts, public policy specialists, privacy advocates and journalists.

"Winners" will be announced at the thirteenth Computers, Freedom & Privacy conference in New York on April 3. ®

External Links

The stupid security award page

Related Stories

UK.gov poised for climb-down on ID cards?
UK school plans retinal scans in the dinner queue
9/11 prompts more govt surveillance
Government projects star in Big Brother awards

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Snowden on NSA's MonsterMind TERROR: It may trigger cyberwar
Plus: Syria's internet going down? That was a US cock-up
Who needs hackers? 'Password1' opens a third of all biz doors
GPU-powered pen test yields more bad news about defences and passwords
e-Borders fiasco: Brits stung for £224m after US IT giant sues UK govt
Defeat to Raytheon branded 'catastrophic result'
Microsoft cries UNINSTALL in the wake of Blue Screens of Death™
Cache crash causes contained choloric calamity
Germany 'accidentally' snooped on John Kerry and Hillary Clinton
Dragnet surveillance picks up EVERYTHING, USA, m'kay?
Linux kernel devs made to finger their dongles before contributing code
Two-factor auth enabled for Kernel.org repositories
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.