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World's most stupid security measures named and shamed

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Privacy International today announced the results of its competition to find the world's most pointless security measures.

The competition, launched in February, attracted almost 5000 nominations from 35 countries.

While airlines and airports dominated the competition, nominations arose from almost all areas of private and public sector activity. The winners include JFK Airport, T-Mobile (UK), Michigan Correctional Facilities and the Australian government.

The Stupid Security Awards were judged by a distinguished international panel of security and privacy experts, and intended to highlight the absurdities of the security industry.

Privacy International's director, Simon Davies, said his group took the initiative because of "innumerable" security initiatives around the world that had absolutely no genuine security benefit.

"The extraordinary number of nominations indicates that the situation has become ridiculous," said Davies. "Security has become the smokescreen for incompetent and robotic managers the world over."

"The situation has become more than an irritation to the public. It has become an outright danger".

The winners are:

Most Egregiously Stupid Award

Winner - The Australian government for a "litany of pointless, irritating and self-serving security measures"
Runner-Up - Moscow Mayor Yury Luzhkov for the 'Propiska' Identity Papers

Most Inexplicably Stupid Award

Winner - Philadelphia International Airport for over-reaction to a bottle of cologne
Runner-Up - Heathrow Airport for quarantining a quantity of green tea

Most Annoyingly Stupid Award

Winner - T-Mobile (UK) for pointless and idiotic financial security measures
Runner-Up - Bay Area Rapid Transport (Bart) for closing its restrooms.

Most Flagrantly Intrusive Award

Winner - Delta Terminal at JFK Airport for forcing a nursing mother to drink her own breast milk
Runner-Up - Carson City Correctional Facility, Michigan for forcing women visitors to wear bras.

Most Stupidly Counter Productive Award

Winner - San Francisco General Hospital for "blind idiocy" in its identity checking procedures
Runner-Up - San Francisco International Airport for endangering the public

Dishonourable Mention

The New Yorker Hotel, New York for aggressive, unnecessary and meaningless security measures.

Full details of the awards can be found here.

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

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