Friday, January 16, 2004

Color-Coded Terrorist Threat Levels

I know I’ve posted about Bruce
Schneier’s CryptoGram newsletter
before…but it’s just so good. Here’s another
great article about what’s wrong with the color-coded threat levels (Yellow,
Orange, etc.) that the US Government has been using. To sum up: they’re worthless.
Much as I would like to blame this on President Bush, I’m not going to. His
approval ratings and the tiny amount of public outcry over the massive sell-off of
personal liberties for the (mostly false) perception of increased security point out
that things like this are a consequence of a society-wide fear, not the actions of
one man or one administration.

As usual, the only real antidote to fear is education, in this case about what security
really means. In other words, if you haven’t already signed up for Crypto-Gram,


  1. I've always thought those threat levels were politically motivated. It's a way to control the fear level in the public. A lot of "interesting" laws have been passed in the name of crisis management, including the Patriot Act. And Craig even pointed out further sneaky reductions of liberties in This is one small reason why I'm supporting Wesley Clark in 2004. Hope Craig doesn't mind me posting an URL here, but I think every thinking person should at least review his stance on policies, at

  2. I have no problem with political expression, especially of the form you're using, Keith (i.e. "Hey, check this out for yourself."). I try to keep it fairly toned down in the posts, since that gets pushed to people, but I figure if they click on the comment link, they get what they pay for. :)