Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Movie-Plot Threat Contest

Bruce Schneier has announced a movie-plot threat contest on his blog. Closing date April 30th. Loads of interesting suggestions in the comments to his blog.

Imagine the worst thing that terrorists could do. Is society vulnerable? Some people have complained about the competition's giving bad people ideas - as if the bad people didn't already have ideas aplenty. Should security experts publicize vulnerabilities? Should security experts publicize ludicrous vulnerabilities? Should society pretend nothing bad can possibly happen?

Most people are thinking visual drama - some action-packed film, in which people run screaming from packed theatres - or are prevented from doing so. Snakes on planes. Poisoned wells. Subliminal messages on MySpace.

My thoughts turn to more psychological drama. Imagine a future in which the terrorists have already secretly taken over, murdered and replaced the leaders, and gradually poisoned the culture. Imagine a future in which ordinary citizens only slowly and reluctantly discover the truth.

If the terrorists were in charge, what differences would we notice?

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