Thursday, March 24, 2005

Nuclear Terrorism False Positives: or How Security Professionals Don't Understand Radiological Science

Another entry by Schneier. I think the posting is very good in that it sparks debate on the topic, and if you look at the comments, you'll get to see security professionals response to the situation. That will indicate that many in the security field haven't much of an understanding of how radiological sciences work.

My kick is the people who still think that the radiation detectors being used by fire departments are "Gimicky." Seeing that these detectors have been used by nuclear facilities and radiological facilities for decades, all around the world, I find it hard to conceive where they get the idea that they are gimicky.

They also don't seem to like the police reaction in this case to the detection of radiation from a person that received a medical treatment with a radio-isotope. From my point of view they are lacking in perspective. The person set of a broad spectrum gamma radiation device. A person making a dirty bomb could possibly do the same thing. Should we ignore the indications of a problem? Or should we react reasonably and ensure the greatest amount of safety for the public in general by inconveniencing an individual for an hour? I think this is obvious.

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